The final stage of the Master's programme is dedicated to the execution of an individual research
project. Each student works independently on an approved research topic (see module 14-15)
connected to one of the research themes of ITC (see http://www.itc.nl/research-themes ). In this
final block of the course, the students further develop their research skills, interact with their
fellow students, PhD researchers and staff members and, finally, demonstrate that they have
achieved the learning outcomes of the Master's programme by research, on a satisfactory
- The student must be able to:
- Address a well-formulated relevant research problem of sufficient scope and depth linked to relevant literature;
- Undertake research with a clear and transparent methodology with proper use of concepts, methods and techniques;
- Write a well-structured and readable thesis report with a clear layout;
- Orally present and defend the research and use proper argumentation in the discussion about the research;
- Work in a structured and rather independent way, while making adequate use of the guidance of the supervisor.
Based on the pre-proposal handed in before module 11, and the final accepted research proposal
prepared in module 15, the student will carry out the planned activities. The students will be
provided with guidelines for the thesis early in the course (specifically in module 11). Regular
individual progress meetings with the supervisors will be held to monitor the progress on the
research and thesis writing, and
records of the progress will be kept. The supervisors keep the course director informed about the
The activities normally include:
- Describe and define a problem statement and research topic and its research margins;
- In-depth literature review, including assessment of the usability of literature and previous research;
- Collection of relevant online - and archived data;
- If appropriate, preparation and execution of fieldwork to collect primary data required for the research;
- Data processing and analysis and, if deemed necessary, adjustment of the research plan in consultation with the supervisors (based on sound arguments);
- Active participation in seminars and capita selecta of the research theme under which the MSc research resorts;
- Mid-term presentation;
- Preparation of the final manuscript of the MSc thesis (=hardcopy thesis and digital files with thesis, appendices and full dataset including the original data and results);
- A critical review of the quality, use and usefulness of the data and results, as well as the learning process;
- Oral presentation and defence of the MSc thesis before the Thesis Assessment Board, all in accordance with the relevant paragraphs of the MSc regulations.
During the MSc research phase a number of follow-up lectures of module 11 (Research Skills)
will be given to support the MSC research:
- Preparing for the midterm and MSc Research exam;
- Research quality and thesis assessment;
- Structuring results, discussion and conclusions;
- Graphic presentation in a MSc thesis.
Allocated time per teaching and learning method
Teaching / learning method
The MSc Research exam consists of the assessment of the Thesis and the oral test that includes a presentation and defence. A Thesis Assessment Board will assess the Thesis and oral test on scientific scope and depth, scientific method, reporting, presentation and defence, and research process, and will decide on the mark.
- Successful completion of Master's programme modules 1-15
- Proven ability to undertake independent research through an accepted MSc research proposal in module 15 For details see Education and examination Regulations and Rules and Regulations of the Faculty ITC Examination Board.