Your thesis is the last course in your Master’s programme in which you apply the skills, knowledge and insights that you have acquired during the year of study. You do independent research and write an academic or practice based thesis (for example after completion of a research internship) based on the gathered information. It is the academic proof of competence and knowledge in the field(s) studied within the Literature Today Master’s programme. In it, you demonstrate that you are able to conduct independent research in the field(s) of study and are able to analyse and critically evaluate a phenomenon or question pertaining to the relevant scholarly debates.

Written exposition

The final product is a written exposition of said research, which has to fulfil the scholarly and formal requirements for advanced MA-research. The final product has to be clearly structured, present the discussion of a central research question and provide an answer to it. The thesis should be around 15.000-20.000 words in length and will yield a total 20 EC.

If you do an internship it is recommended to combine this with the Master's thesis.

Requirements per track

The MA-thesis Literature Today/Literatuur vandaag (English and Comparative Literature) has to be written in correct English. For students focusing on English literature, at least one of the supervisors of the MA-thesis is a qualified examiner of the Department of English. For students focusing on Comparative Literature, at least one of the supervisors of the MA-thesis is a qualified examiner of the Department of Comparative Literature.

The MA-thesis Literature Today/Literatuur vandaag (Dutch Literature) has to be written in correct Dutch. At least one of the supervisors of the MA-thesis is a qualified examiner of the Department of Dutch.

The MA-thesis Literature Today/Literatuur vandaag (Modern Literature French, German or Spanish) has to be written in the respective language. At least one of the supervisors of the MA-thesis is a qualified examiner of the Department of French, German or Spanish.

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).

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.