The MA's project is an 'assessment of competence' completed towards the Master of Science degree. It is the culmination of an academic skills development process building upon research methods skills, theoretical knowledge of the field of Youth Studies, and interdisciplinary approaches to Youth Studies. In their MA thesis, students are able to develop an original empirical question in response to a societal problem introduced in one of the MA thesis projects, write an independent research proposal in form of an introduction to a scientific article, as well as to demonstrate the added value of Interdiisciplinary Social Science' interdisciplinary programme. The course is directed at further developing students' research skills and competencies. The learning goal is to prepare students for developing, designing and conducting an interdisciplinary research projrect.|
At the end of this course students will be able ..
- To understand various topics of the field of youth studies and scientific debates in this field
- To search, compare and analyze scientific literature on these subjects
- To approach these subjects from an interdisciplinary perspective, i.e. a combination of behavioral and social theories and concepts
- To develop innovative research questions and to provide empirical and theoretical support
- To report the results in an academic format
Students can choose between two variants (see the course catalogue details for the Interdisciplinary Social Science (ASW) Master's project):|
• A separate internship and thesis variant (practical internship and thesis on existing data; TED) with an internship report and a separate thesis on existing data provided by ASW or the internship organisation.
• A combined internship and thesis variant (research internship and thesis; RIT) combining the internship and thesis and developing and conducting research and collecting data within the framework of the internship organisation.
The difference between a separate internship/thesis (TED) and a combined internship/thesis (RIT) is that the latter involves the student collecting his or her own data (for and in cooperation with the internship organisation) to be used in writing the Master's thesis. A separate internship/thesis may also involve research activities (for and in cooperation with the internship organisation) but the data obtained will not necessarily be used to write the Master's thesis.
In the course ‘Youth studies: an interdisciplinary approach’ (period 1), a range of different themes are discussed. In the course ‘Key issues in the Study of Youth’ (period 2), a specific theme is being explored in greater detail. Students who opt for the TED variant can choose a theme related to the recent and ongoing lines of research of the Youth Studies staff and use available data from the research group's major recent and ongoing research projects (e.g., Digital Youth, TRAILS, HBSC, PAS and SNARE) / or students choose a related theme for which data are available at the internship institution. Students who opt for the RIT variant choose a theme that is related to their internship and they will collect their own data. The students examine their chosen theme and, based on existing theory and empirical research on the theme, formulate an innovative and interesting research question. A key academic skill learnt in this component of the programme is how to write the introduction of an empirical article according to APA standards, including the depiction of the research model. The course therefore gives students experience in developing a socially and scientifically relevant research question in the context of Youth Studies. Students following the TED variant may use their Introduction as the basis for their masterthesis in period 3 and 4.
Aspects of academic skills development:
Cooperating with others, working as part of a team, developing and providing scientific reasoning of one's own research project, reporting on one's own research project in writing and orally, academic writing and critical reflection.