Thesis with the Cultural Geography Group

The thesis is a compulsory element of your MSc study programme and the culmination of your studies. This page provides information for students who are considering writing a MSc thesis under the supervision of GEO group.

Writing a MSc thesis allows you to become an expert in a specific area that is closely linked to your personal interest and future career. Writing a thesis is an individual process whereby a student takes a full responsibility for its outcome, being assisted and guided by an academic supervisor. Below you can see a flowchart to help you get started.

MSc Thesis Timeline.jpg

As illustrated in the flow chart, the thesis period consists of three phases: (1) the thesis preparation phase, (2) the research proposal phase and, (3) the thesis phase. Please do keep in mind that the order in which you write certain parts of your thesis are topic-dependent and can also differ per GEO supervisor.

During the preparation phase, you start thinking about a topic of your prospective research, both your study advisor and the GEO thesis coordinator can assist you with this. In order to get some inspiration, feel free to also consult the MSc thesis library, the GEO research page (which will give you an overview of what our staff is interested in) attend the annual GEO thesis café (usually in January or February) and, the GEO thesis booklet. As soon as you have an idea (or several) about what you would like to study, contact the GEO thesis coordinator who will help you find appropriate supervisor(s) within the chair group. After you have been appointed supervisor(s), you will have to discuss, fill in and, sign a learning agreement in which you agree on the regime of supervision and other practical matters.

The next step is to write a research proposal, which is a work-in-progress that eventually will become part of your final thesis (usually the first chapters). As such, you could elaborate in your proposal on the preliminary theoretical underpinnings of your research, research questions and objectives, the methodological choices and a work plan/time scheme. During the proposal presentation, you present your research ideas so that you can acquire feedback and suggestions for improvement. You can also receive and give peer feedback during (voluntary) thesis rings.

 The thesis phase starts with a progress evaluation, during which all aspects of the thesis period at that point (i.e. research proposal, supervision, performance) are discussed. After that, it is time to carry out fieldwork (collecting data) and start writing your thesis report. When you are close to finishing up, you can register for your final colloquium by sending an e-mail to the GEO administrator. You will have to submit the final version of your thesis report to your supervisor(s) and examiner no later than 10 working days before your final colloquium date. During your colloquium, you will present your thesis research and defend it. After that, your thesis and the presentation will be assessed by your supervisor and examiner. For more details and further steps of writing a MSc thesis, you can have a look at the GEO MSc Thesis Course Guide (right side of this page).