You must complete the Research Master's programme by writing a Research Master's thesis (30 EC) that is based on original research. A Reseach Master's thesis is a scholarly text in which you are expected to contribute, on the basis of independent research, to a debate within your discipline.

The central research question should be clearly formulated at the beginning and its relevance to scholarly discussions within the discipline set out. The body of the text should show how you went about trying to answer this question, why you proceeded the way you did, and what your findings were. In your conclusion you should analyze your findings in the light of your original question and explain the broader implications of your conclusions.

Language and length

The thesis should be written in correct and clear English. The thesis will normally be around 30,000 words long and may be no longer than 40,000 words (including notes and bibliography).

For more detailed information on deadlines and procedures, see our programme book.

Supervision

The thesis will be assessed and graded by the supervisor and by a second assessor who has not been involved in the supervision. The Programme Coordinator appoints the second assessor.

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.

forms and procedures master's thesis

Your Master's thesis will be assessed according to 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 assesment 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. When your professor or supervisor suspects fraud or plagiarism, they will notify the board of examiners by filling in this form (Dutch, pdf).