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Thesis & Methods Classes


Admission requirements

This class is only accessible for students of the MA Asian Studies (120 and 60 EC).


The course consists of two separate components: a thesis class and methods modules. Students will take the course in the second half of the first semester of their programme (i.e. Block 2 for students starting in September; Block 4 for students starting in February). One thesis class and two methods modules must be completed to pass the course as a whole.
The thesis classes provide a focused environment for a first introductory grounding in the methods and disciplinary approaches involved in thesis preparation. Students will be guided through the process of designing a research project and preparing an MA thesis outline, including the practical aspects of academic writing and publishing. The MA programme coordinator will assign each student to a particular class with attention to their topic and disciplinary orientation to the degree possible.
The methods modules provide an introduction and hands-on experience with specific research methods as applied in Asian Studies.

For PSE students, one quantitative methods module must be followed (Statistics, Questionnaires or equivalent), while the other one can be selected freely.

For HAC students, one methods module in the theories and methods associated with the analysis of written texts, material objects, and/or audiovisual materials must be followed (Discourse Analysis, Audiovisual Materials, or Arts and Material Objects), while the other one can be selected freely.

For students in the other specializations of the 60 and 120 EC degrees, the two methods courses both can be selected freely.

Each method will be taught as an independent module consisting of four sessions. For each module, students will complete one practical assignment, either individually or in small teams. Students are strongly advised to select methods modules that have a direct bearing on their thesis research.

Course objectives

  • Designing a research project

  • Understanding of research methods associated with one discipline or set of related disciplines

  • Academic writing and publishing

  • Oral and written presentation of work

  • Methodological underpinnings of individual research methods

  • Practical use of specific research methods, sources, or data


The timetable is available on the Asianstudies website

Mode of instruction

Lectures and Seminars

Course Load

Thesis class (0.4 of total study load)
*Seminar 2×6 uur = 12
*Compulsory readings = 20
*2 assignments = 24

Total = 56

**2 methods module ** (each 0.3 of total study load)
*Lectures and seminars 4 × 2 hours = 8
*Compulsory readings = 14
*1 assignment = 20

Total = 42 (x 2) = 84.

Assessment method

The thesis class will count towards 40% of the final grade; each methods module will count toward 30%.
For the thesis class 2 assignments will be completed; for each methods module one assignment will have to be completed.
Drafts of the assignments will be marked and can then be re-submitted for a final grade, which counts as a resit.

Exam Review
Students may request an oral elucidation of the assessment within 30 days after publication of the grade.


Blackboard will be used to post readings and other class materials, for discussion boards for students to post and discuss their draft assignments, and to post marks and grades.

Reading list

Readings will be posted on Blackboard and students are expected to study these before class.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory for the Methods Classes.

For the Thesis Class you cannot enroll yourself but you have to fill in the online form on or before October 1st in the fall semester, and on or before March 1st for the spring semester.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch


Dr. Ethan Mark