Researching and Writing the MA EPA Thesis
Full course description
The EPA thesis starts at the beginning of the academic year with the course ‘Mastering Academic Research Skills and Methods’ (MARSAM), which runs from periods 1 to 3, with the whole of period 3 (January) devoted entirely to writing an extended thesis proposal. Completion of the MARSAM course is worth 3 ECTS. In periods 4-6 (February to June) students follow the course ‘Research and Writing the EPA Thesis’. Students work with a thesis supervisor mentor who meets with them on a regular basis to guide them in the research process, providing valuable feedback. The thesis should consist of about 9,000 words (excluding bibliography and annex; annexes are discouraged) and should contain a review of relevant academic literature; the use of relevant and appropriate concepts and theories; the application of appropriate analytical methods; a critical selection and processing of data; and the balanced and critical interpretation of results in comparison to existing knowledge. Furthermore, the thesis should be structured as an academic research project and contain a clear research question and analytical framework, which is then answered in a coherent and compelling manner through evidence-based argument and the collection and analysis of empirical data from primary sources. Students are encouraged to work on issues related to contemporary policy-making and legislative activity in the European Union, identifying the clear European public affairs and public policy relevance.