MA Thesis

It is recommended that students choose this option only if they have a clear, researchable thesis topic in mind.

Once you have decided on an area of specialization, preferably by the end of first year (Year 1, Term 2), you will work to formulate a topic and find a second committee member At this time, also complete with your supervisor the MA Thesis Option form (available on the website MA Forms page).

The MA Thesis Prospectus

The MA Thesis prospectus offers a preliminary description of the proposed argument of the thesis and explains the relation of this argument to existing research on the topic. It also sets out the methodology and the major steps through which you plan to proceed in researching, writing, and structuring the thesis and explains why these steps have been selected. The prospectus seeks to convince readers who are specialists in the proposed research subject, as well as to explain the proposed research to non-specialist academic readers. The prospectus includes a bibliography, a comprehensive list of required primary sources for the research, and a list of the most relevant and most influential secondary readings on or around the topic, both at present and over a longer time frame. The text of the prospectus is typically 10 pages (2500 words) (not inclusive of bibliography/notes/appendices).

Research methods, ethical considerations and handling of data and authorship should be discussed with the supervisor in accordance with UBC Policy 85 and Policy 88. If your research includes human subjects / participants, you are required to apply for ethics review to the UBC behavioural research ethics board.

When approved, your supervisor should complete the MA Thesis Proposal Approval form and send it electronically to the Graduate Program Assistant along with a copy of the prospectus for your student record.

Supervision and Preparation of the Thesis

Students will work with a supervisor and a second committee member. The type and amount of thesis supervision will be dictated by the topic, the needs of the individual student, the type of research conducted and the preferred methods of the supervisor. Preliminary drafts, either of individual chapters or of the whole thesis, should be submitted to the supervisor as you proceed. You are encouraged to meet with both members of the committee several times during the preparation of the thesis. The committee members will not act as copy editors. The thesis is roughly 60 pages (not inclusive of bibliography/notes/appendices). The thesis will be assigned a Pass/Fail grade.

The final form of the thesis must be prepared in accordance with Faculty of Graduate Studies regulations:

An oral examination is not required.

Final MA Thesis Submission

Document Requirements:

Master’s forms: Mandatory

Formatting Instructions:

Final Submission Instructions:

Once the Faculty of Graduate Studies has approved your thesis, you will be e-mailed an official receipt.

Program Completion:

Final Step:  Apply to Graduate