Contemporary Studies Program students may fulfil the honours requirement (which gives them the 21st credit necessary to graduate with honours) in either of the two honours subjects. Usually, but not necessarily, this subject will be the one in which the student has taken more classes. The honours requirement in CSP is satisfied by writing an honours thesis, which is defended at an oral examination. Students intending to complete an honours thesis are required to have their honours applications approved and submitted to the Registrar’s Office and register in the non-credit Honours Thesis Seminar (CTMP0455X/Y.00) by September 18. They must contact the CSP Director, Dr. Dorota Glowacka, for permission to register in the seminar. The Seminar consists of three meetings, in which issues relevant to the honours requirements, graduation, etc. are addressed.
Students who are fulfilling their honours requirement in CSP must attend the honours seminar; students who are not fulfilling their honours requirement with CSP are welcome to attend these meetings but do not have to and should not register. Registered students who later decide not to write the thesis must withdraw by October 30. The honours seminar will be conducted by the Director, and will meet 11:30 – 1:00 p.m., October 2, November 20, and February 5 in the Senior Common Room. At the meeting on November 20, students will present a brief outline of their thesis proposal to their peers and the CSP teaching staff. A complete draft of your thesis must be submitted to your supervisor on Friday, March 1, 2019.
The honours thesis is a substantial piece of intellectual work on a subject chosen by the student and agreed to by the supervisor, who is a member of the CSP teaching staff. It is the responsibility of the student to approach potential supervisors, by e-mail or in person, and obtain their agreement to supervise the topic chosen. Should a student wish to work with a King’s or Dalhousie professor member who is not a member of the CSP teaching staff, arrangements must still be made with a primary supervisor who is. Students are required to meet with their supervisor at least twice each term. In the fall term, students must meet with their supervisor once between the 1st and 2nd seminar. The thesis may be a serious revision of an essay already submitted in one of the student’s courses. The quality of work is expected to approximate the requirements at the graduate level, and the emphasis will be on original, critical thinking. Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged. The minimum length is twenty pages, while thirty pages will be considered long. Students must use both primary and secondary sources, and provide a bibliography, an abstract and a list of key words. Topics must be developed and approved by a supervisor before the meeting on November 20. In practice, this means that students write a one-page proposal, supported by a short preliminary bibliography. At the meeting on November 20, students will be divided into small groups, and will orally present their topics to the group and two Faculty members, who will provide initial feedback and suggestions. Thereafter, individual schedules for producing the work will be established in consultation with the supervisor, although the general deadlines must be observed. The Honours Thesis Seminar also meets on February 5, 2019. The purpose of this session is to encourage progress and to provide an opportunity for peer editing. Preliminary drafts will be exchanged with peer editors. It is required that the completed work be submitted in hard copy to the CSP office and electronic copy on Brightspace on or before March 11, 2019, in order to meet examination schedules.
The Honours thesis will be evaluated according to a pass/fail standard by a committee of the supervisor and an external reader. Theses will be defended at a thirty-minute oral exam the week of March 18-22. During the exam, students will be expected to provide a five-minute summary and then answer questions about the substance and method of their work posed by the examining committee. Following the examination, students will be provided with a brief, written evaluation of the thesis, which will include an unofficial letter mark, agreed upon by the committee. Every year, a prize is awarded to the top ranked thesis.
2018/19 Schedule for Honours Thesis Seminar
Oct. 2 – 11:30 – 1:00
- Requirements for fulfilling the honours credit in Contemporary Studies.
- General procedures (selecting and working with your supervisor; revisions; oral examination; procedures for appeal).
- Other: applications to graduate schools (soliciting letters of reference) and scholarship.
Nov. 20 – 11:30 – 1:00
- An oral presentation of a tentative topic, one-page description of the project, and preliminary bibliography.
Feb. 5 – 11:30 – 1:00
- A peer editing session, please bring a preliminary draft.
- DUE: a complete draft of your thesis submitted to your supervisor.
All meetings will be held in the Senior Common Room, King’s A&A Building. The final copy of your thesis must be submitted in hard copy and electronically on or before March 11, 2019. Theses will be defended at a thirty-minute oral exam the week of March 18-22, 2019.