Thesis Practice Track

In the Middle Ages student-craftsmen had to show their master that they were really capable of building a decent piece of furniture or forging a fine example of ironwork themselves before they were allowed to enter the guild of their profession. Writing a final thesis is in fact a comparable exercise. Packed with the knowledge and skills you have acquired and expanded during your MA it is now time to show whether you indeed may call yourself a Master in International Relations.

Objectives

  • Independently gaining and assessing empirical and theoretical knowledge on a specific topic at an expert level
  • To present research results in a clear and well-structured way in writing and at an expert level
  • Independently conducting self-initiated research at an expert level and on the basis of a
    • a) Self-developed relevant and well-marked research question
    • b) To be answered through an autonomous exploration of relevant sources in combination with a legitimate method of research

Supervision

Thesis supervision takes place within the framework of so-called Thesis Kitchen Tutorial Groups. TKTGs start in February and in September. The lecturer coordinating your TKTG is also your supervisor. The Thesis Kitchen Tutorial Group intends to guide you through the thesis writing process without any delays.

Research Thesis, Research Track

When writing a research thesis we expect you to offer something extra. Your 'piece of furniture or ironwork' should apart from decency also show some eloquence. In other words your research should not only be more extended, but also show a higher level of analysis including a more expanded use of sources, including an extensive amount of primary sources (archival material, interviews and resolutions, declarations, proceedings and policy-papers from the internet).

Objectives

  • Independently gaining and assessing empirical and theoretical knowledge on a specific topic at an expert plus level
  • To present research results in a clear and well-structured way in writing and at an expert plus level
  • Independently conducting self-initiated research at an expert plus level and on the basis of a
    • a) Self-developed relevant and well-marked research question
    • b) To be answered through an autonomous exploration of relevant sources, including an extensive amount of primary sources, in combination with a legitimate method of research

Supervision

You will be supervised on an individual basis by one of the lecturers of the Research Tutorial within the framework of a Research Thesis Kitchen Tutorial Group. For further information on how to write a proper thesis, see our history research guide: http://ong.wp.hum.uu.nl/en/

Procedures and grading

Your thesis will be graded by two evaluators, who will fill out the evaluation form separately and come to a final grade after joint consultation. Once you have handed in the final version of your thesis, the evaluators have 10 working days to evaluate the thesis and inform you of the final grade. If both evaluators believe your thesis should be assessed as only ‘just sufficient’ (6 or 6,5 on a grading scale form 1 - 10), and in cases in which the first and second evaluator cannot agree on the final grade for your thesis, a third evaluator will be approached and consulted by the first evaluator. You will be given notice by the first evaluator that a third evaluator has been employed and that the grading period of 10 working days will be extended by another 10 working days. The third evaluator evaluates the grades of the first and second evaluator by examining their provisional grades and argumentation. The judgement of the third evaluator is binding. If the third evaluator agrees with the other two evaluators on the proposed grade (if all evaluators agree), no further argumentation is needed. A brief explanation will otherwise suffice.

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).

Osiris Cases

Handing in your thesis

Once you have completed your thesis, you must submit it in Osiris (and not via an e-mail 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 can upload your thesis in Orisis via Cases > My Cases
  • As soon as you have obtained a pass for your thesis, you must submit it to the UU's digital thesis archive. This is mandatory::
    • Go to Utrecht University Library's digital thesis archive
    • Log in with your Solis ID (student number) and password. 
    • Enter your student number. Your name and programme will be automatically updated.
    • Fill in the rest of the form. A confirmation email will automatically be sent to the Humanities Student Information Desk once your thesis has been uploaded. 
  • Your thesis must be approved by your supervisor before you can upload it to the archive.
  • Remember to list the title of your thesis in the language in which it was written. Write the abstract in the same language.
  • Your thesis will appear in the archive as soon as your exam date has been registered. If you have written a thesis together with another student, then it will be posted on the date on which the first of you has graduated.
  • The theses are available to the public unless you choose to prohibit publication. You may choose to block access to your thesis permanently or until a certain date, for example because you wish to continue your research on the subject. The thesis itself will not be displayed, but the bibliographic information will be visible to the public. You may also choose to block access to your thesis at a later date by sending an email to the Student Desk Information Humanities with your name, student number and the title of your thesis. If you are the co-author of the thesis, you must coordinate this with the other author or authors.
  • Exercise caution when including personal data -such as telephone numbers- in your thesis.
  • Theses should preferably be submitted in PDF format. Only those theses submitted in PDF format will remain permanently accessible and legible. You may also submit the thesis in MS Word format, but the archive cannot guarantee that it will be supported in the long term. If you would prefer to submit the thesis in a format other than PDF or MS Word, then you must inform Scripties Online in advance: support-igitur@uu.nl
  • Send an email to studentdesk.hum@uu.nl if you wish to upload a second thesis.

Osiris Case

All final theses, with their final assessment, will be archived in Osiris. If you have any questions or remarks, please feel free to contact the Student Information Desk Humanities.