Early Modern Studies Program students may fulfil the honours requirement in either of the two honours subjects. Usually this subject will be the one in which the student has taken more classes. In the Early Modern Studies Program, with the approval of the director, an honours thesis (in conjunction with EMSP 4551.03 and EMSP 4552.03) fulfils the requirement of the honours qualifying examination. Both the Honours Thesis and Honours Seminar are full-year classes. They are normally taken as part of a regular (30 credit-hour) course load. The Honours Seminar will not be offered in the 2024/25 academic year.

Honours thesis

The honours thesis is a substantial piece of intellectual work on a subject chosen by the student and agreed to by the supervisor, normally a member of the EMSP teaching staff. It is the responsibility of the student to approach potential supervisors and obtain their agreement to supervise the topic chosen. The thesis should normally be between 50 and 70 standard pages in length (between 15,000 and 21,000 words). The following deadlines must be met by students writing honours theses (all work must be submitted to the Brightspace page for EMSP 4551/52):

October 15: Submission of a one-paragraph topic with a preliminary annotated bibliography

November 18: Submission of a first chapter

January 6: Submission of a second chapter

March 3: Submission of a complete draft

April 4: Submission of the finished thesis

Failure to meet any of these deadlines will result in a reduction of a third of a grade to the final mark for the thesis, unless the student can provide documented proof that the delay was unavoidable. The finished thesis should be both submitted to Brightspace and emailed to Sharon Brown. The honours thesis will be examined by a committee of the supervisor and two other members of the EMSP teaching staff. Theses will be defended at a half-hour oral exam the week of April 14-17. Students will be expected to answer the examining committee’s questions about the substance and methodology of their work.

Honours colloquium / thesis meetings

Students must meet regularly with their supervisors. A fourth-year honours colloquium for graduating students addresses issues relevant to the honours requirement, graduation, etc. Students in the colloquium meet with the teaching staff and supervisors three times a term. Attendance at the honours colloquium will be required of students who are fulfilling their honours requirement in EMSP by writing an honours thesis; students who are not fulfilling their honours requirement with EMSP are welcome to attend these meetings but do not have to. There is no need to register for the honours colloquium; it does not count as an ordinary class. The colloquium will meet on the following dates (all meetings will be held in the Scotiabank Room, 3rd floor, New Academic Building):

Thursday, September 12 (11:30 a.m.): Discussion of honours requirement and graduate school applications

Thursday, October 17 (11:30 a.m.): Discussion of thesis topic proposals

Thursday, November 28 (11:30 a.m.): Discussion of first chapter drafts

Thursday, January 16 (11:30 a.m.): Discussion of second chapter drafts

Thursday, February 6 (11:30 a.m.): Discussion of drafts in progress

Thursday, March 13 (11:30 a.m.): Discussion of completed drafts and thesis defence process



Plagiarism is the presentation of the work of another author in such a way as to give one’s reader reason to think it to be one’s own, and includes self-plagiarism.  A student who is in any doubt as to what constitutes plagiarism is urged to discuss the matter with the thesis supervisor.  Plagiarism may constitute grounds for failure, suspension, or expulsion – see the statement on discipline in the University Calendar (University Regulations, particularly Academic Dishonesty).