Your Bachelor’s thesis is a “proof of competence.” It is where you showcase your skills in your chosen area of Celtic Languages and Culture. Your thesis allows you to share the competences and knowledge that you have acquired over the three years of your degree programme.
Final assignments have a length of about 5000-6000 words, including quotations and attachments. The final paper can have different shapes. Before you start, make sure that your supervisor has explicitly approved the form you have chosen.
- a detailed literature review
- a review article
- research in which different points of view are juxtaposed in a reasoned manner
- a short scientific treatise (whether experimentally supported or not)
- an annotated translation
- an activity aimed at making a direct contribution to education at a specified level
- a structured presentation of scientific information
In addition, in consultation with your supervisor, you may also choose a different form, if the agreed subject of the thesis gives cause to do so. For example:
- an original website, with links
- a recording on an audio and/or video carrier (audio, video, CD, DVD, etc.)
- an execution or production plus documentation, etc.
Your final thesis can, in consultation with the accompanying teacher, be the joint product of several students, with each student individually making a study effort of 210 hours. This working method is also recognizable (at the discretion of the teacher) in the form of the final project.
Your final thesis is linked to the content of a speciallisation of the programme.
You decide for yourself in which block you want to start your final thesis (provided that a supervisor is available), and complete this within the same block of study. Contact your intended supervisor (usually the teacher of the course to which the the thesis is linked) in good time to see if he or she is available in the intended block. The lecturer will guide you in the choice of subject, in drawing up a time schedule and throughout your writing process.
When you are abroad, you can produce the thesis there, for example by contacting the Utrecht supervisor by post or e-mail. You make agreements about the content and method of supervision before you start your study abroad.
Your lecturer checks the progress of your thesis and evaluates the final result. A 'second reader' will be involved in the assessment, who will be sought by your supervisor. It is the task of this person to marginally test the final version of the thesis in terms of content and form. The final assessment of the final thesis is the result of careful consultation between the supervisor and the second reader.
The second reader may be from outside the Celtic Languages and Culture programme, for example if the subject of the thesis gives rise to this in terms of expertise.
Irish - literary subjects
- In sagaliterature the concept of grád écmaise often occurs, i.e. someone falls in love with another person without ever having seen this person. Investigate this story motive - is it always women, for example, who fall in love with men, or vice versa? Are there different rules for men and women, and what would they be based on? Does it have a certain function in the story?
- In the text Fingal Rónáin the queen falls in love with her stepson Máel Fothartaig. It seems as if she wants to force him to enter into a relationship with her. However, she does not do this herself, but by sending a maid. However, the girl does not dare to tell him in public what the queen wants from him. Eventually she does this when she is alone with him. See if and how the queen wants to force Máel Fothartaig (what terms are used in the text; is there a geis or ailges etc.), and under what circumstances must such a commandment be conveyed in order to be valid?
- The terms horny and genit are used interchangeably for wild men and dangerous women. Is it possible to find an original definition of these words in the literature?
- What is fiddler and how was it played? Nowadays it is often seen as a variant of the game table, but is this justified? And what is the role of vanfidchell in the texts? Is it played at a certain moment, under certain circumstances, and is it just a game or is there more to it? For example, does the outcome of a game of fidchell affect the rest of the story? This could also be investigated with regard to other games, or with regard to Welsh gwyddbwyll.
- In sagalitarianism, under certain (magical and negative) circumstances, objects from specific types of wood are used (for example, a certain kind of thorn was part of the pronunciation of a glam dícenn-satire, or a spit from the wood of the Rowan in the story of Cú Chulainn's death). What kinds of wood do you find, why are they precisely those kinds of wood and what kind of wood was used for what?
Irish - linguistic topics
- Glide vowels: in classical Old Irish the glide vowels -a- and -i- are used to show velarity or palatalisation respectively but not so in earlier sources, e.g.cumacht ae vs. cumachte or be i rid vs. berid . Examine the growth of the use of either of these glide vowels by comparing an early text corpus (e.g. Würzburg glosses) with a later text corpus (e.g. Milan glosses, St. Gallen glosses).
- Orthography and spelling: in early sources (Cambrai homily, Book of Armagh) length in vowels can be shown by doubling : ee (Cambrai) vs. later é . How much does this constitute two separate spelling conventions, an earlier one and a later one which became the established convention?
- Latin loanwords: examine one or more aspect of the Latin loanwords ( c - < p-, s- < Latin f -, Latin loanwords and syncope, unstressed vowels) in early Irish.
- Use of cases: the accusative and dative have many functions in Old Irish ( GOI 157-158, 160-162). Examine in detail one function in one of these cases. Do we see change in that function over time (i.e. in Middle Irish period)? Can we pinpoint with some accuracy when that change occurred?
- Comparison of adjectives: in the course of Middle Irish the use of the comparative form of the adjective is used instead of the superlative, e.g. Lucifer léom as dúru'Lucifer, the hardest lion' (not as dúram ). Can this be explain ed? Based on a corpus of Middle Irish (e.g. Saltair na Rann ) study this development.
- Suffixed, infixed and independent object pronouns: all three of the above types of object pronouns are found in Irish. Is it possible to explain why one type ousted (or replaced) another?
- Nouns and stems: during the course of early Irish some noun stems go over to another stem formation. For instance, OIr. dún originally an o-stem becomes an s-stem and DIL gives OIr. áin, án 'act of driving' as an a-stem and i-stem. Based on more examples can we see a pattern of change? Is the change unidirectional (o-stems to s-stems; i-stems to a-stems) or not?
- Verbs: in Middle Irish certain new verbal personal endings appeared which existed side-by-side with or replaced existing OIr. personal ending, for instance - ann/-enn (Pres. Ind. 3 sg. conj.); - mit/mait (Pres. Ind. 1pl. abs.) or -at/-et (Future 1sg. abs.). Based on a corpus of Middle Irish (e.g. Saltair na Rann ) examine closely one or more of these personal endings. What is their origin? Did they replace existing endings? Why?
Welsh - literary subjects
- What was the role of the gatekeeper in early Welsh Arthurl literature (Pa gwr, Culhwch ac Olwen)?
- Examine the text Culhwch ac Olwen, and see which medieval Welsh customs have been incorporated into it.
- Was there a Goreu saga?
- See the texts about the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain. What treasures are mentioned? Which of these are found in other stories? Are the treasures derived from objects from other countries or texts from classical antiquity, for example, or not?
Welsh - linguistic topics
- MW ry + verb: grammars do give a vague meaning, like ry + preteritum makes a perfectum. But how is it possible that ry is also used in combination with the plusquamperfectum? In short, what does ry add to the meaning? Another aspect: old texts use ry more often than new ones (for example, this is a difference between the old and the new version of Culhwch and Olwen). In which meanings does ry become rarer and in which meanings is it preserved, and how does it work step by step? You could investigate this by means of one or two well-chosen texts from electronically available corpora (see: http://www.rhyddiaithganoloesol.caerdydd.ac.uk/).
- Texts often jumped wildly between present and past times: make an inventory of how one text does this and what the underlying motivation can be.
- If the subject of the sentence is a noun in the plural and it follows the verb, then the verb is in the 3 singular. The copula does not seem to adhere to it or does not always adhere to it. Examine this in a larger text and try to find out if there is a rule.
- Variation in - or -th- spelling of the bent preposition gan (gantawvs.ganthaw) and addition or omission of a -y- after the trunk (keissawvs.keissyaw) seems to show a dialect difference between North and South Wales. Investigate whether these criteria can be used to determine the origin of one or two well-chosen texts from electronically available corpora (see: http://www.rhyddiaithganoloesol.caerdydd.ac.uk/).
As a final paper, you can make a translation of a text that has never been translated, has been translated a long time ago, or has been translated very poorly, or has only appeared in modern Welsh, for example. In that case, always consult your supervisor first.
See also the digital thesis archive for more papers.
Handing in your thesis
Once you have completed your thesis, you must submit it in Osiris (and not via an email to your supervisor). Osiris also provides you with evaluation progress as well as your final grade.
If your supervisor has indicated that your final paper is ready for assessment, proceed as follows:
- You upload your thesis in Orisis via Cases > Start case > Case type Thesis and graduation
- You upload your thesis in Blackboard (to check for plagiarism).
Did you get a pass?
If you have received a satisfactory grade, you will need to upload the final version to Utrecht University's thesis archive. This is mandatory.
- Go to Osiris Student > Cases
- Choose Archive & publish thesis - Follow-up Case
- Archive your thesis
Bachelor theses are not published by default.
Forms and procedures Bachelor's thesis
Your Bachelor'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 Bachelor's theses are assessed by two lecturers. If your supervisor is one of the lecturers teaching in the Bachelor's programme, then this person will also be the first assessor (or the 'examiner'). Theses are assessed using an assessment form. If there is a large difference of opinion between the first and second assessors, a third assessor may be engaged, who will always work with a separate assessment form.
We take all forms of academic deception very seriously and expect all students to observe the ethical standards of proper academic conduct. When you start writing your thesis, you must submit the Plagiarism awareness declaration form as an acknowledgement that you have read the University's regulations regarding fraud and plagiarism. Lecturers or supervisors will report any suspected cases of fraud or plagiarism to the Board of Examiners.
In case you are doing research that involves interviewing people, submitting questionnaires or involving people in any other way, you are probably doing human-subject related research. If so, please review the checklist and discuss it with your supervisor. The checklist contains information on privacy, ethics and data management.
Once your thesis has been completed and approved, you will need to upload the final version in our thesis archive via Osiris > Cases. Choose Archive & publish thesis - Follow-up Case and Archive your thesis.