You will write your Master's thesis (15 EC) in block 3. In this project you demonstrate that you are capable of independently applying the knowledge and skills you acquired in the programme, as well as presenting your findings in a societal context in a manner that demonstrates a professional approach. If you do an internship (5-15 EC) it is recommended to combine this with your 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.

In the language specific course of block 2 you will write the outline for the thesis you will be writing in block 3. Be sure to consult with the programme coördinator or tutor in an early stage, as by the end of block 2 the 

  • subject
  • thesis statement
  • theoretical framework
  • approach
  • first and second reader/supervisor

You will finish your thesis in block 3, and hand it in on the date you agreed upon with your first supervisor. Only in exceptional cases and with explicit permission of said supervisor will you be able to deviate from this planning.

 

The thesis outline will be assessed by the instructor of the language specific course in block 3. Your first and second supervisor or reader are assigned based on your thesis outline. They will also evaluate your plan before you start your research in block 3. As theses produced in this programme are often of an interdisciplinary nature, it is possible to consult the second reader in this stage as well.

You will write your thesis in a thesis group; a small group of 3 or 4 students who meet weekly or bi-weekly with their supervisor. You write your own thesis individually, but peer review plays an important role in this process. In these meetings you will share and discuss your drafts with each other, and although the various subjects may not overlap too closely, you will be able to learn about these other issues as well as use the knowledge gained in the first two blocks to provide your fellow students with advice.

If one of your supervisors is based outside of The Netherlands, make sure their part in the supervision process is clearly agreed upon by all parties, your first supervisor included. In order to work with an international supervisor, you will be required to request approval of the Board of Examiners in advance.

According to the guidelines of the Faculty of Humanities, the Master's thesis contains about 10,000 words, excluding any appendices containing required texts documenting your research. You will determine the final structure of your thesis with your first supervisor.

Students of the general track write their thesis in Dutch, whereas students of the language specific tracks write in the language of the track they selected. In the language specific variant, at least one of the thesis supervisors will have to be a qualified member of staff of the department in charge of instruction in the relevant language. 

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.

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).