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Thesis and paper writing

When writing a thesis or paper you must make good use of the insights you have gained during your lectures and studies so far. You should also refer to relevant literature and carry out your own research on the topic.

One of the most important things you will learn during an academic study programme is how to write an interesting piece of work that meets the criteria of scientific quality, whilst also being accesible to the broader public.

Refer to our Study tips pages for more information on academic writing skills. 

Faculty of Archaeology guidelines

The papers and thesis have to be written according to the Faculty of Archaeology's standards.

BA, MA and RMA theses must comply with the new guidelines

The Board of Examiners will only pass a thesis when these guidelines have been used.

Practical information and support can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions website. Additionally, the Faculty Writing Lab organises online group meetings that help you with your writing process. Keep an eye out for the announcements in the student newsletter.

Assessment criteria

Here you will find the various documents that describe the criteria your BA, MA or RMA thesis should match.

Bachelor's thesis

Master's thesis

Master's graduation project (Applied Archaeology)

Research Master's thesis

Thesis deadlines for graduation in September

  • BA: 1 March: Submit your research plan to your supervisor.
    MA: 1 December: Submit your research plan to your supervisor

  • BA: 15 March: Upload the factsheet in Brightspace.

  • 1 May: upload the first draft of your thesis in Brightspace and inform your supervisor. 
  • 21 May: the first draft of the thesis is corrected by the thesis supervisor.  
  • 15 June (at the latest): upload the final version of your thesis in Brightspace. For the prodecure see below. 

Thesis deadlines for graduation in February

  • BA: 1 September: Submit your research plan to your supervisor.
    MA: 1 May: Submit your research plan to your supervisor.

  • BA: 15 September: Upload the factsheet in Brightspace.

  • 1 November: upload the first draft of your thesis in Brightspace and inform your supervisor. 
  • 21 November: the first draft of the thesis is corrected by the thesis supervisor.  
  • 15 December (at the latest): upload the final version of your thesis in Brightspace. For the prodecure see below. 

Submitting your thesis

Upload a PDF version of your thesis into Turnitin in the Brightspace module. The Turnitin submission date is the official submission date of your thesis.

  • BA students use the HS Bachelor Thesis module.
  • MA students Global Archaeology: HS MA thesis Global Archaeology
  • MA students Applied Archaeology: HS Graduation Project Applied Archaeology
  • MA students Heritage and Museum Studies: HS MA thesis Heritage and Museum Studies
  • MSc students Archaeological Science: HS MA thesis Archaeological Science
  • RMA/RMsc students: HS Research MA thesis in Archaeology 

HS means Whole Study Year.
No hard copy will be turned in.

Send an email to your supervisor(s) that you have submitted your thesis in Brightspace and include the full name of the Brightspace module.

Please fill out the Thesis Registration Form, indicating that you have uploaded your thesis into the Brightspace module. The Board of Examiners will then assign a second reader.

Is the thesis the final component of your studies to be completed and did you fill out the form under step 3? Then you can start the graduation procedure!

Thesis Repository

The Thesis Repository is an online archive of all Leiden University theses. All students are asked to hand in a digital copy of their thesis for the repository. This concerns a digital copy (in PDF) of the final, graded version of the thesis.

Theses can be marked as open to the public, or remain under embargo in the repository. For open publication, both the supervisor and the student need to give their permission. Do not forget to fill out the permission form, scan it, and send it to onderwijs@arch.leidenuniv.nl.
If only one of the parties chooses to publish the thesis under embargo, the thesis will always be placed under embargo.

Please note: the Thesis Repository only accepts one upload per student. Revised versions will not be accepted.

The thesis grade cannot be registered until the paper has been uploaded to the Thesis Repository, and the permission form has been submitted.

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