Your thesis is the final straw in your master's programme, which takes place in periods 3 and 4 of the second year. The writing of your thesis coincides with the compulsory course Thesis Lab. 

Thesis topics from the past
> Theses in Medieval Studies


The central research question should be clearly formulated at the beginning and its relevance to scholarly discussions within the discipline set out. The body of the text should show how you went about trying to answer this question, why you proceeded the way you did, and what your findings were. In your conclusion you should analyze your findings in the light of your original question and explain the broader implications of your conclusions.

The thesis should be written in correct and clear English. The thesis will generally be around 30.000 words long and may be no longer than 40.000 words (including notes and bibliography).

More detailed information on deadlines and procedures can be found in Criteria thesis (doc).


The thesis will be assessed and graded by the supervisor and by a second assessor who has not been involved in the supervision. The Programme Coordinator appoints the second assessor. More detailed information on assessment criteria and writing a reader’s report can be found in:

Finished? Upload your thesis to the Digital thesis Archive

When you've finihed writing your thesis and you've got your final mark, you will have to upload your thesis to Utrecht University Library's online thesis archive. Here you can also view other students' theses for inspriation.

forms and procedures master's thesis

Your Master's thesis will be assessed following specific evaluation procedures. You can prepare for this by reading the following documents and explanations prior to starting your thesis.

All theses will be evaluated by two separate evaluators. If your supervisor is a professor connected to your Master's programme, he/she will also be the first evaluator. 

Your Research Master's thesis will be evaluated using a standardised assessment form (pdf). In some cases a third evaluator will be asked to assess your paper. This third evaluator will use another form (pdf) to evaluate your thesis.

Utrecht University considers any form of academic dishonesty to be a serious offense. Utrecht University expects each student to be familiar with and to observe the norms and values that ensure academic integrity.

Therefore, when you start writing your thesis you will have to hand in the Plagiarism rules awareness statement (pdf). With this, you declare to know about and abide by the norms and rules on fraud and plagiarism of Utrecht University. When your professor or supervisor suspects fraud or plagiarism, they will notify the board of examiners by filling in this form (Dutch, pdf).