You complete the Master's programme by writing a Master's thesis (15 EC). 

The MA thesis is a scholarly text in which you are expected to contribute, on the basis of independent research, to a debate within the field of arts and society. It should be structured around a central research question which is clearly formulated in the introductory chapter and has a strong relevance to active scholarly discussions. The body of the text should show the methodology you employed to answer this question, the theoretical considerations you have made, 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 will showcase the student's ability to (largely) independently report on research findings, a professional skill that is highly valued within the working field.
In the past thesis topics for our MA have included:

  • Contemporary European Art Images of Asylum Seekers: From Case Studies to Issues of Representation
  • The Conceptual Notion of “The Streets” in Graffiti and Street Art: A Search for its Role, Meaning and Characteristics in the City of Utrecht.
  • Give Me A Brain: Deleuze and the Ethics of Thinking in the Essay Film and Believing in This World
  • Colonial Re-enactment?: Questioning Renzo Martens’ Empowerment Project Through the Arts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • The New Creative Class Crisis: A Critical Review of Creative Class Theory
  • Arts and Society: An Alternative Option from the Periphery (Investigation of the role of the arts in opening up room for alternative ways of constructing identity and memory drawing on the work of Castrum Peregrini as a case study)
  • From the Interstices: Performative Instances of Productive Liminality (Drawing on theoretical work from Turner, Bhabha and others to analyse subversive potential in the work of British theatre companies Forced Entertainment and Complicité)
  • A Change Society: A Collaborative Research into the Possibilities of Changing the Society through Participatory Theatre
  • “Listen to Us! Love Us!”: Issues of (Self-)Representation and the Asylum Seeker/Refugee Artists of Fada Theatre’s Talent on the Run

The thesis should be written in correct and clear English; it has a length of about 15.000 words  and should not exceed 20.000 words (including notes and bibliography). The individual thesis trajectory is supervised by a staff member of the program. The thesis will be evaluated by the supervisor and a second assessor appointed by the programme coordinator.

It is recommended to combine your internship (15 EC) with the Master's thesis.

Digital thesis archive

You are required to upload your Master’s thesis to Utrecht University Library's digital thesis archive. This archive is also an interesting reference point to see what your fellow students have submitted. You can search or sort through it by faculty or study programme.

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 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. When your professor or supervisor suspects fraud or plagiarism, they will notify the board of examiners by filling in this form (Dutch, pdf).