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Thesis Seminar Arts and Culture


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


The Thesis Seminar will introduce students to the requirements and processes of writing a Master Thesis. Students will be introduced to the standards of evaluation for the thesis, and guided through the process of designing a research project and preparing a thesis outline, including practical aspects of academic writing (reference systems; bibliography). Special focus will be given to the formulation of the main research question. Part of the Seminar consists of giving a presentation of the research proposal, finding the main relevant literature to your thesis topic and writing a critical review paper.

Course objectives

Students will be able to:

  • develop a thorough knowledge of the ways of writing an academic research proposal and presenting it to an audience;

  • acquire the necessary skills for writing a Master Thesis:

  • analyse their research interests and formulate a pertinent research question;

  • put together an up-to-date relevant bibliography;

  • critically review the relevant literature;

  • design a thesis outline/proposal.


Please consult the timetable on the MA Arts and Culture website.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Seminar

  • Attendance is compulsory. Students are allowed to miss a maximum of two seminars, provided they present a valid reason beforehand. Students who have missed more than two seminars will have to aply to the Examination Board of the Ma Arts and Culture in order to obtain permission to further follow and complete the course.

Course Load

Total course load for the course 5 ec x 28 hours = 140 hours (5 ec):

  • seminar meetings 4 × 2 hours = 8 hours;

  • compulsory readings/seminar preparations: 10 × 2 = 20 hours;

  • assignments (incl. preparation of presentation and critical review paper: 112 hours.

Assessment method

  • Presentation of thesis topic; research question (25%);

  • Critical review paper (75%).


The final grade for the course is established by determination of the weighted average.


Re-write of critical review paper.

Exam Review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used throughout the course for announcements; assignments and literature.

Reading list

  • Wayne C. Booth; Gregory G. Colomb; Joseph M. Williams, The Craft of Research. The University of Chicago Press: Chicago & London, 2008 (3rd ed.)


Students are required to register for this course via uSis, the course registration system of Leiden University. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable




Arthur Crucq
Administrations Office Huizinga