Theses and internships

BSc-thesis

The BSc-thesis is a compulsory part of the BSc-program and finalizes your BSc-study. It should therefore preferably be planned at the end of the BSc-program; at that time, the student has followed all compulsory courses in the study and specialization program, and preferably also the free courses the student planned to do to deepen his or her knowledge.

The BSc-thesis is a small scientific research on a topic that is of the student’s interest and fits into the group where the student is doing his or her BSc-thesis. By carrying a BSc-thesis, the student can show that he or she

  • is able to carry out a small research independently
  • possesses the scientific knowledge about the specific research area and can apply this knowledge
  • can critically analyze and reflect upon topics
  • report (written and/or oral) about the research
  • carry out a research within the available time

Depending on the group or the study program of the BSc-thesis, different requirements are set for the BSc-thesis. Check the internet pages of the study programs and/or chairgroups for additional info:

MSc-thesis

Many people see the writing of an MSc-thesis as the coronation of higher academic education. And indeed, the importance of the thesis work is also reflected by the prominent role it takes within the whole MSc-programme. After completing introductory and specific courses in the educational program the MSc-thesis offers the challenge to set up and to carry out a scientific research project in an almost fully, self-responsible manner. This challenge includes:

  • assuring the adequate delineation and definition of the research topic
  • building a sound theoretical framework for orientation of the research
  • collecting data in a systematic and verifiable manner, as well as  
  • analyzing the data critically,
  • presenting the results comprehensibly,
  • drawing sound conclusions based on a comprehensive discussion of the results, and potentially
  • showing the possible contribution of the research to the process of theory building as well as policy advice.

The first step in working on an MSc-thesis is the selection of a topic and a supervisor.

There are in principle three different ways to find a topic:

  1. topics offered by one of the groups (see the central WU-thesis page or the different pages of the chairgroups)
  2. topics are brought up by the student himself/herself (but can only be carried out after permission is given by one of the members of the chairgroup the student plans to carry out his or her research)
  3. topics are worked out on initiative of other research organizations

Before starting any thesis activities an MSc thesis contract must be filled in by the student and the representative of the department.

For more information on doing a thesis project at the specific groups, we refer to the following pages:

Traineeships

The traineeship (or internship) may be a part of the MSc-programme you are following. It may be a paid or unpaid position, either in the Netherlands or abroad. The intention of the internship is to give students a unique learning opportunity, allowing them to put many of the concepts and methods learned in the classroom into practice in a realistic professional setting. The internship also serves to help students focus their interest area and course work for the remainder of their studies, and provides maturity gained from relevant work experience.

Securing an internship is primarily the responsibility of the student; the internship coordinator can however provide substantial aid in locating a position and in insuring that the work experience is relevant and appropriate to the student's program of study. An internship can only be credited if the internship coordinator or the supervising lecturer approves of the traineeship and if a satisfactory evaluation from your field supervisor and your supervisor from within the university is received. Usually you must also complete a satisfactory internship paper.

Useful links: