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BA Final Paper Koreastudies


Admission requirements

Only Korean studies students who have successfully completed all courses in BA1, BA2, and the first semester of BA3 and are enrolled in or have successfully completed the Thesis Seminar may write a BA Final Paper (thesis).


The BA Korean Studies program is completed with a thesis. In this thesis, the student reports in writing on research into a self-chosen topic that he/she has conducted under the supervision of a lecturer from the study programme.

A thesis formulates a theoretically substantiated answer to a research question that is based on an insight into the scientific literature. Not collecting data, listing facts, or reproducing information but writing a critically argued argument is the essence of a thesis. The quality of a scientific argument rests on an appropriate theoretical framework and an adequate research method. Using an appropriate methodology, you logically and insightfully develop a case study, or a particular insight based on primary and secondary material from a clearly defined theoretical framework.

Starting from a scientific approach (theory), familiar with the state of the research, and based on an appropriate research method and an analysis of relevant source material, you answer a self-formulated research question and formulate a clear conclusion. When writing a thesis, you pay attention to appropriate scientific language and follow the conventions associated with academic writing (i.e., footnotes, references, etc.) and the Leiden Korean Studies Thesis Style Guide.

The thesis has a word count of 10,000 (including footnotes and bibliography but excluding appendices) with a margin of +/- 10%. A reasonable amount of Korean-language primary/secondary source material (10%) must be incorporated in the thesis. A tight schedule is essential. Submission deadlines must be respected.

Course objectives

The course objectives consist of the following basic research skills, including heuristics:

  1. collect and select scientific literature using traditional and digital methods and techniques;
  2. analyse and assess them for quality and reliability;
  3. formulate a well-defined problem statement based on this;
  4. set up and carry out research of a limited scope under supervision, taking into account the traditional and digital methods and techniques relevant to the field;
  5. formulate a reasoned conclusion based on this;
  6. also use his/her acquired research skills outside his/her own field.

and written presentation skills:

  1. explain research results clearly and substantiated;
  2. formulate an answer to questions concerning (a topic in) the field;
    a. in the form of a clear and well-structured written presentation;
    b. in accordance with the criteria set by the discipline
    c. using relevant illustration or multimedia techniques;
    d. that is aimed at a specific target group.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Independent research and writing of the thesis.

Assessment method

Assessment and weighing

The BA thesis is assessed on the following aspects, among others:

  1. the adequate formulation and operationalization of the problem definition;
  2. the adequate processing of secondary literature (partly Korean-language literature);
  3. the adequate processing of primary source material (partly Korean-language material);
  4. language use, structure and design.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with the university's rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Any work submitted under your name will be considered your own. For questions, the student should approach the teacher.



The program and the Board of Examiners assign a supervisor based on your research topic, method(s) and disciplines. Only students who are enrolled in or have successfully completed the Thesis Seminar may apply for thesis supervision.

  • The application should be submitted by February 1, 2024, via the BA Korean Studies Registration for Thesis Supervision form.

  • Students who wish to complete their BA thesis in the second semester should inform their Topical Reading seminar teacher before October 1, 2023.


  • Submission of complete (draft) version of the thesis: April 25, 2024, at 23:59.

  • Submission of the final version of the thesis: June 1, 2024, at 23:59.

Two versions should be submitted to the supervisor by email with the email address BAthesis ( in cc. The theses will be checked for plagiarism by Turnitin.


All BA theses that are to be assessed in the current academic year (before August 31, 2024) must be submitted before the deadline of June 1, 2024. We work with a two-deadline policy for handing in the BA thesis. The first submission deadline is April 25, 2024. The second and ultimate submission deadline is June 1, 2024. As is the case with papers, students who submit a draft on or before the deadline are entitled to feedback from their supervisor. They will receive the feedback, including comments, from the supervisor within three weeks to enable timely revision and resubmission. Students who have not submitted a draft by the first deadline will forfeit their 'right to rewrite.' They do retain the right to submit a final version of their thesis on or before the date of the final deadline, without further prejudice, apart from the fact that they forfeit the right to revise and resubmit their thesis.


All final versions submitted by June 1, 2024, will be reviewed by the supervisor and the second reader. The assessment—and the final grade—will be announced within six weeks. Students may submit their graduation forms (see the ‘Remarks’ section in this e-guide) with a deadline of June 1 before the grade of the thesis has been entered.


Theses submitted after June 1 will only be assessed, and therefore only receive feedback, after the start of the first semester of the following academic year, i.e., from September 2024.

Students who meet the attendance requirements and submission dates of the graduation seminar in the second semester, may complete their thesis after September 1 and until December 10, provided that approval has been obtained from the Board of Examiners and the study advisor has been informed.

  • The final deadline for submitting this second attempt for the thesis is December 10, 2024.

Students who fail to submit their thesis by December 10, 2024, at the latest, must write another thesis, in principle with a different supervisor, on a different subject.


The thesis should be written in Dutch or English. The Board of Examiners may give permission for the choice of another Western language. A request for this must be submitted in good time, also with a view to the second reader.

Use of Korean language materials

The use of a demonstrable degree of Korean language materials (primary, secondary, spoken, and written) is mandatory.


Graduation procedure:

  • Submit the completed graduation form to the education administration no later than 1 June 2024. The graduation form can be found on the website. The graduation ceremony will take place in October or November 2024. Students will receive an invitation via the education administration.