This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies who have succesfully completed the second year elective course.
The number of participants is limited to 6.
Building on earlier exercises in essay-writing, in particular the essay for the second year’s elective course, a bachelor’s thesis is the finishing paper of the program. It is a research paper of 10,000 words, which to a considerable extent is the result of research and writing that is independently done.
Collective supervision is provided in thesis seminars. The aim of the thesis seminar is to guide students through the process of designing a research question; collecting literature, sources, data, and other materials that are necessary for answering the question; bringing logic and persuasive order in the material and in the arguments supported by it; and designing appropriate research methods.
Attending a seminar is mandatory; no thesis can be submitted that has not been written in the context of a thesis seminar.
Apart from collective supervision, students will receive individual supervision, specifically focused on the subject of their research. The thesis seminar leader is also the one who provides this individual supervision. Students will have four individual meetings with their supervisor during the semester.
Each seminar will be devoted to one of the geographical areas covered by International Studies. Most seminar leaders will have expertise on political and economic subjects. For some larger areas, there will also be a limited number of seminars where stronger emphasis is laid on language, history, culture, religion, and society.
This thesis seminar focuses on the diverse and vibrant economies of South and Southeast Asia which, after the rise of East Asia and more recently China, come to play an increasingly important role in the global economy. This seminar caters to a wide variety of thesis subjects that fall under the broad umbrella of economic activity in the region. First, students may zoom in on more micro- or macro-level topics, ranging from individual entrepreneurs or businesses to particular economic sectors or national economies, and from government-to-government relations or transnational business networks to the impacts of globalization. Second, the economic sphere is highly intertwined with other spheres of life – including politics, religion, national identities, kinship, ethnicity and migration. As such, students may explore economic activity in the region from different conceptual angles by employing insights from political science, international relations, area studies, anthropology and sociology.
Based, and further elaborating on the knowledge and skills acquired, students will prove themselves to be able to:
- work with research techniques that are current in the discipline(s) applied by them;
• comprehend sophisticated academic debates;
• report on their studies and research in good written English;
• work and write under time-pressure, and deal with deadlines.
• report on their studies and research in good spoken English;
• participate in debates in an active, prepared and informed way, respecting other people’s convictions and emotions;
• understand fundamental cultural differences and divisions.
The general academic skills covered by these aims are:
- collect and select specialised literature using traditional and electronic methods and techniques;
• analyse and evaluate this in terms of quality and reliability;
• formulate a well-defined research problem based on this;
• set up, under supervision, a study of limited size, taking into consideration the traditional and electronic methods and techniques relevant for the discipline;
• formulate a reasoned conclusion on the basis of this;
• explain research findings in a clear and well-argued way, both orally and in writing.
The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website
Mode of instruction
Six seminar meetings of two hours, spread over semester; four individual meetings with supervisor (half an hour on average).
Attendance: 14 hrs.
Presentation: 8 hrs.
Literature review: 100 hrs.
Independent study and writing: 298
Total: 420 hrs.
• 25% (5% active participation;
• 5% research question;
• 15% literature review [3,000-4,000 words]).
Thesis (10,000 words, including footnotes and bibliography): 75%
Note: The maximum possible grade to be obtained for re-submission of the thesis is a 6.0. There is no resit for the other assessments.
Blackboard will be used. Students are required to register on Blackboard
for this course.
Enrolment through “uSis”: https://usis.leidenuniv.nl is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in “English”: http://hum.leiden.edu/students/study-administration/usis-english.html and Dutch
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
No thesis can be submitted that has not been written in the context of a thesis seminar.
There are four important due dates during the seminar: student are to submit a research question in week 40; a literature review in week 43; a draft version of the thesis in week 48; and the definitive version in week 1 of Janurary, 2016.
The due dates are not negotiable.
Since both the number of individual meetings with the supervisor, and their duration is limited, it is important that students go to them well-prepared.
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