Students conduct their thesis research and write their thesis during the first and second semester of the second year. The thesis should be a) embedded in previous research and literature on the topic of the thesis, b) include a theoretical elaboration of the research problem, and c) include an empirical test of some implications of the applied theories. The thesis is written in the form of a manuscript that meets the formal requirements for submission to a peer-reviewed journal (whether this is subsequently done depends on the quality of the end result).
At the end of this thesis, students will:
1. Obtaining and synthesizing in-depth knowledge of the literature pertaining to their project;
2. Applying this knowledge to formulate original research questions and derive novel hypotheses;
3. Setting up a research design that is adequate to address the research question and that can be replicated by other researchers;
4. Following relevant protocols (e.g., pertaining to ethics, pre-registration) before data collection;
5. Analyzing results using the most adequate/advanced statistical techniques and in a replicable fashion, as evidenced by the sharing of data and/or scripts (if applicable);
6. Critically reflecting on theoretical/practical implications and shortcomings of their findings;
7. Independent writing up their research in the form an English-language manuscript that is formatted according to disciplinary standards (e.g., APA) and can be submitted for publication (in very good cases).
8. Professionally presenting and critically discussing the research with a multi-disciplinary and international scientific audience
The Master's Thesis will be graded by the supervisor (50%) and an independent second reader (50%). They evaluate the following aspects using a standardized evaluation form: (1) Research problem, research question and theory; (2) Methods and findings (3) Conclusions and recommendations (4) Discussion and reflection (critical thinking); and (5) Form and style (as outlined in the APA publication manual).