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General information

General profile of the programmes
Tutor protocol for Research Masters
Structure of the two-year research master's programmes starting in 2015/16
Tutor duties
Tutor meeting
Rules for elective courses
Research training individual programme in the third semester
Scholarly article and research proposal
Organisation of the programme
Academic year 2019-2020

The Faculty of Arts at Radboud University offers a wide range of bachelor's and master's programmes, including the Research Master in Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies, which includes three different tracks:
  • Historical Studies
  • Art and Visual Culture
  • Literary Studies

This Research Master Program is closely related to the Research Institute of Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies (HLCS). For detailed information on the research programmes and researchers of the faculty, please visit http://www.ru.nl/hlcs/

This study guide covers the three research master programmes offered by the HLCS. Each programme has a duration of two years, is a continuation of a bachelor's programme in a related discipline and is taught in English. They offer an advanced programme for highly qualified students interested in the relevant disciplines and train students as scientific researchers in one of these fields. The two-year research master programme prepares its students for a PhD trajectory or for positions outside the academic world for which a high degree of academic research competence is required. During their training, the students work under the individual supervision of a tutor. Admission is based on a selection procedure and an intake interview.

General profile of the programmes

The research master programmes of the HLCS cluster are designed to provide a disciplinary focus in historical, literary and art historical / visual studies respectively, and at the same time an interdisciplinary perspective of theories and methods of the Humanities. This aim has been realised by means of a parallel structure of the three curricula: a package of specific disciplinary courses in each programme, common theoretical and methodological courses of all three disciplines together and finally a programme of individual specialisation.

Each student develops an individual track to emphasise his / her personal research interests. To help achieve this, each student selects a tutor from the academic staff at the start of the programme. Throughout the programme this personal tutor plays an essential role in supervising the individual student and facilitating the direct contact between trainee researcher and experienced researcher. The tutor helps the student to make his / her choices, gives advice on approach and planning and offers consideration of content. The tutor - who often becomes the thesis supervisor as well - is responsible for advising the student.

The HLCS programmes have the ambition to instil in their students specific attitudes and skills.

1. The aim is to encourage students to contribute to important and topical scholarly debates. This applies in particular to the development of research lines in which Nijmegen researchers have specific expertise.

2. The research master distinguishes itself by training students in the 'Nijmegen' research disciplines and by highlighting methodological questions. In order to contribute to academic depth, interdisciplinarity and future flexibility that extends beyond the specialisation itself, the research master pays special attention to the theoretical and methodological aspects of the historical sciences and the humanities (historiography, theory, debate, methods and techniques).

3. In order to provide students with a general outlook in the field of humanities in addition to their chosen specialisation, all three programmes share an interdisciplinary and integrated cluster of courses. These courses include: Theory of Scientific Research within the Humanities; Methods and Approaches within the Humanities; Contemporary Debates on Changes in Culture and Society; and Key Texts for Humanities.

4. The programme trains students to do research in the field of historical studies, art and visual culture and literary studies, either in preparation for a PhD position or for a position that requires such skills outside of academia. The student must be capable of completing his or her doctoral research within the allotted timeframe and without additional training. English proficiency will be enhanced through the development of academic writing skills throughout the whole programme.

5. Finally, the programme aims to teach students how to design and execute a research project and to draft a research proposal.

Tutor protocol for research masters

The tutor has a crucial role as an individual coach of the research master student's learning performance and academic attitude.

Structure of the two-year research master's programmes starting in 2015/16

Year 1
First semester: HLCS courses (10 ECTS), disciplinary courses (5 ECTS) and individual programme (15 ECTS)
Second semester: HLCS courses (10 ECTS), disciplinary courses (10 ECTS) and individual programme (10 ECTS)

Year 2
Third semester: Research training (courses/internships) abroad (20 ECTS), scholarly article and research proposal (5 ECTS), individual programme (5 ECTS)
Fourth semester: Research Master Thesis (30 ECTS)

Tutor duties

As soon as possible each student must select one research staff member from his/her programme or discipline to serve as tutor. The student and tutor will discuss the student's academic planning and progress on a regular basis. The tutor may also invite the student to become involved in his/her research.

The tutor will advise the student on all the decisions and options he/she is presented with during the learning process. All optional modules will be chosen in agreement with the tutor and need the explicit approval of the Board of Examiners who will ultimately check if the weight of the proposed module meets the standards of the research master.

Although the tutor will guide the student through the entire thesis process, he/she will not automatically become the student's thesis supervisor. If the thesis topic so demands, the student may request that a different instructor serves as supervisor. The thesis supervisor must be a staff member of Radboud University. This does not apply to the second reviewer, who may be employed elsewhere.

The tutor will also advise on internships and funding opportunities to support the student in all possible areas. Further information can be requested from Maaike van Gerven (internationalrelations@let.ru.nl) at the International Office (room E. 7.21).

The coordinators expect the tutor and/or the student to first submit to them any plans for any study abroad as well as any changes to the implementation of the curriculum. The Board of Examiners must to approve the proposal.

Tutor meeting

All HLCS master's programmes start in September. Students should submit their applications in due terms in the previous spring to ensure admission to the programme. They will receive an official letter of acceptance requesting them to submit their tutor's name to the secretary. At the start of the academic year, the coordinator will organise a meeting for all tutors in order to provide information and to discuss actual problems. All tutors will receive the minutes of the previous meeting in advance.

Rules for elective courses

The elective component of the curriculum consists of courses of regular master programmes (20 EC) and courses offered by national research schools (10 EC). All optional modules will be chosen in agreement with the tutor. Language courses and transferable skill modules are excluded. The final assignments will have to be accomplished in English.

Research training individual programme in the third semester

In the third semester students widen their horizons of research practice and deepen their disciplinary knowledge abroad by means of a research training or course programme with a research component. The programme encourages taking the initial steps of the preparation for this research training in the first semester. In principle, all students are expected to spend a period of four months abroad. For foreign research master students similar training programmes in the Netherlands may be taken into account. Students in Dutch literature may be allowed a training period in the Netherlands, with the emphatic advice to put together a supplementary programme of conferences etc. abroad.

The host institutions must be recognised universities or research institutes abroad, and in specific circumstances, in the Netherlands outside Nijmegen. In all cases, the programme must strengthen the learning process in the student's specialisation and provide an in-depth preparation for the research project of the master thesis.

Scholarly article and research proposal

Both assignments must be written in English. In both cases the tutor acts as a supervisor. The article will be assessed by the tutor and a second reviewer. The aim is to have the article published in a scientific journal. More information about courses/internships and the thesis can be found in this study guide.

Organisation of the programme

general coordinator:  Prof. dr. M Monteiro (m.monteiro@let.ru.nl)
programme coordinator Historical Studies: Prof. dr. M Monteiro (m.monteiro@let.ru.nl)
programme coordinator Literary Studies: Prof. dr. M. Depourcq (m.depourcq@let.ru.nl)
programme coordinator Cultural Studies: Prof.dr. H. Grootenboer (a.grootenboer@let.ru.nl) study counselor: Lieneke Setton (hlcsmaster@let.ru.nl)
executive secretary: Cecilia Stutvoet (secr.researchmastershlcs@let.ru.nl)

Academic year 2019-2020

In Nijmegen the Academic Year 2019-2020 starts on 2 September 2019.

Students admitted to the research master Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies must be present at the start of the Academic Year.

For an overview of the Academic Year 2019-2020 at Radboud University, Faculty of Arts, https://www.ru.nl/facultyofarts/stip/english/study-information/annual-calendar-arts/

NOTE: Time periods in different universities and faculties are not harmonized. Therefore, if you are planning to take any courses offered by another university or faculty, you should always check the scheduling there.