Thesis Proposal Seminar
Full course description
The thesis trajectory of the Master SSP programme consists of two phases: first, the Thesis Research Proposal (SSP3011) and second, the Thesis Research, Writing, and Presenting period (SSP3021).
Delivering a Master’s thesis is a demanding task. It may be your first experience in developing crucial generic research skills. These skills concern, in particular, identifying a relevant research topic, studying the literature to identify knowledge gaps, formulating research questions, selecting a suitable research strategy and methods, planning your research and organizing time, collecting and analysing data, reporting your research in a thesis, and presenting it to your supervisors.
From a students’ perspective, the thesis trajectory is above all an individual process where you have to prove that you can organize and implement a piece of scientific research completely on your own. The experience at Maastricht University and elsewhere is that slow progress in the thesis process is a common cause for study delay. Preventing slow progress in the development and completion of the thesis is a top priority for the programme. Therefore, the course introduction and thesis market will already be held in December.
In the Thesis Research Proposal (TRP) course, which will run for several months, you will work on your research proposal. The course aims to be a learning community of students under guidance of the course coordinators and supported by the thesis supervisors. In the course specific attention is given to formulating scientific research questions and selecting suitable research methods. During tutorials students present their research questions, research methods, and TRP outline, and provide feedback to others. At the end of the course each student should have a final TRP, which is the entry point for the Thesis Research, Writing and Presenting period (SSP3021).
In the TRP course we use Martyn Denscombe’s book Research Proposals – A Practical Guide (2012), 178 pages, Open University Press.