The thesis is the last course in the 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.

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 12.000-15.000 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.

Digital thesis archive

Students are required to upload their master’s thesis to Utrecht University Library's online thesis archive. Here you can also view the theses of other students.

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).