Msc Thesis
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleSOW-SCS201
Credits (ECTS)36
CategoryMA (Master)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Social Sciences; Social and Cultural Sciences;
prof. dr. J. Tolsma
Other course modules lecturer
dr. M. Visser
Other course modules lecturer
dr. M. Visser
Other course modules lecturer
dr. M. Visser
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. M. Visser
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2020
JAAR  (01/09/2020 to 27/08/2021)
Starting block
Course mode
Please note: if you do not yet have a master's registration, you are not yet registered for the tests for this course.
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
Upon successful completion of this course, you have obtained:
• theoretical and methodological knowledge and insight into a socially and scientifically relevant issue by autonomously addressing a comparative social science research question from beginning to end;
• the skills to independently conduct a comparative empirical social science study;
• the skills to present the results of a comparative empirical social science study in a thesis (in the form of a peer-reviewed scientific journal paper);
• the skills to orally present a comparative empirical social science study;
• the skills to provide feedback on presentations of a comparative empirical social science study;
• the attitude to autonomously address any issues that may arise in comparative social science research;
• the attitude to critically assess theories, methods and findings of previous research;
• the attitude to reflect on the societal significance of research questions and research in general.
The purpose of the MSc thesis is to demonstrate that students are able to address socially and scientifically relevant research questions, to critically assess theories and previous studies, to independently conduct empirical research using established quantitative and/or qualitative methods and to present their results in an academic way (e.g., through oral presentations and in the form of a peer-reviewed scientific journal article). The MSc thesis should additionally demonstrate that students are able to communicate their research and findings to a lay audience.

The MSc thesis has a substantial research component and offers students the opportunity to display the expertise they acquired in empirical social science research. Students select a topic for their thesis at the beginning of period 2 in the second year of the Research Master Social and Cultural Science (RMSCS), commonly in November/December. Students should seek at least one supervisor affiliated with the research institute Radboud Social Cultural Research (RSCR: For external supervisors, so outside of RSCR, students need to first contact the course coordinator.

In a series of 5 seminars, students present parts of their MSc thesis and discuss their progress with fellow students, staff of RSCR and, if applicable, external supervisors. Being present at these seminars is obligatory. The schedule is as follows:
• Seminar 1: Thesis proposal and research question(s)
• Seminar 2: Theory and hypotheses/expectations
• Seminar 3: Data and methods
• Seminar 4: Analysis and (preliminary) results
• Seminar 5: Full thesis, with a focus on the findings

Presumed foreknowledge

Test information
Thesis (100%)

The final MSc thesis must be of such quality that it can be submitted to a peer-reviewed scientific journal and that it is considered for publication (getting published is not necessary). This implies that the thesis must be an original contribution that is well-organized and written in clear and correct English language. The thesis is graded with a standardized grading scheme by the supervisor and a second reader. Additional information on the preparation and completion of the thesis will be provided in Brightspace.

Instructional modes
Attendance MandatoryYes

Individual supervision with regular meetings, and thesis seminars in which students present their progress and thesis

Test weight1
Test typeThesis
OpportunitiesBlock JAAR