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    Thesis in BA in English and American Studies

    (English and American Specialisation)

    Choice of Topic, Thesis Topic and Submission of Thesis Title

    Some Departments may require that you submit the topic of your Thesis before you submit the title. The topic is not recorded by the Registrar (TO) and serves the purpose of giving you some time for preliminary research before you narrow down your focus on a well-defined research area and formally submit the title to the Department and the Registrar. The title must be submitted in the 5th semester of your studies at the latest (see general deadlines; current deadlines are set by the Registrar every semester). We strongly advise you to start making enquiries about possible topics/titles with your would-be Supervisor in the 4th semester to have enough time for the submission of thesis title in the 5th semester.


    All Departments have a list of suggested topics for your consideration. Some may require that you take your pick from these. Some Departments leave the topic to be decided on by the Supervisor and the Student. Make enquiries with your Supervisor and/or Head of Department. The list of suggested topics may be revised annually (this is the responsibility of the Head of Department).


    The title must be approved by the Supervisor. Any full-time member of staff of SEAS can be a Supervisor. The choice of title and Supervisor must be approved by the Head of Department. A Supervisor can be in charge of 6 theses at most in an academic year.


    Students must regularly meet with their Supervisors and can also take a tutorial seminar.


    As of Spring 2016 there is a supervisor's commitment clause.


    When submitting the Thesis title submission form for approval to the Head of Department they will also decide on the main topic of the final examination and this will be recorded on the thesis title submission form. The main topic is the subject area from which the Student will draw a question at the final examination. The main topic depends on the title (and subject area) of the thesis. The main topic can only come from the Student’s specialisation (English or American). The choice of Supervisors (and topics) is not restricted to the Student's specialisation, but the choice of main topic at the final examination is. For example, if you are in the American specialisation and want to write a thesis in English linguistics, and your Supervisor belongs to DELG (Department of English Linguistics), your main topic at the final examination will be American Linguistics (not English Linguistics). In this case, your choice of topic has to be approved of and signed off by the Head of Department of American Studies (DAS) (not DELG). The Referee is likely to come from DAS in our example unless this is impossible, in which case DELG will have to provide for a Referee (should this happen American linguistics still remains as the main topic at the final examination).

    This practice is generally discouraged because the depth of topics covered in either specialisation is not identical. In the example above, a Student in the American specialisation writing a thesis in English linguistics will have to cover the subject matter of those courses that are not obligatory in the American specialisation (Advanced Phonology and Advanced Syntax) during the thesis writing period.


    Summary of administrative steps you have to take to be able to graduate:

    • find a tutor and submit your thesis proposal (ideally in the 4th semester)
    • requirements:


    • make enquiries about department internal deadlines. If you cannot find the information on this site, try the admin staff of the department on which you will be writing your thesis or just check the notice boards or publicity posted on door of the heads and/or secretaries of the department you need
    • have thesis title submission form signed by your tutor and head of department, and submit it to the Registrar (ideally in the 5th semester) by mid March/October (actual deadlines vary; allow time for enquiries)
    • You must regularly meet with your thesis Supervisor, who is authorised to determine the rules of procedure for consultations.
    Ensure that you have obtained the verbal permission of your Supervisor to include his/her name in your thesis. If your Supervisor does not agree to this, you CANNOT indicate his/her name on the title page. The Supervisor's name on the thesis means that you have received his/her express approval for the submission of your thesis.
    If you do not have your Supervisor's consent, you can still, however, submit the thesis without his/her name. Heads of department will run routine checks with Supervisors to ensure their names are legitimately included in the thesis.
    • fill in form to register for final examination in the Registrar by mid March/October (ideally in the 6th semester) (actual deadlines vary; allow time for enquiries)
    • submit thesis in the Registrar and upload it into seas (ideally in the 6th semester)
    • defend thesis at the final examination (ideally in the 6th semester)

    read about graduation

    Quality of Thesis

    Students must be able to demonstrate a high level of academic achievement in synthesising the knowledge acquired during their BA studies. They must also show that they have acquired the expertise in making the first steps towards writing a longer piece of scientific work in the field of their choice. All this must be achieved using the appropriate methodological and stylistic apparatus required in an English academic setting.


    Students must demonstrate the skills of referring to some major achievements in the academic field of their choice by using a minimum of 5 to 10 printed sources. Follow the guidelines of writing and documentation of research as specified in any of the major international manuals of academic style, such as APA (mainly with thesis topics related to the social sciences and the hard sciences) CMOS (a.k.a. Chicago Style, mainly with history) MLA/MHRA (mainly with modern languages and literatures). Ask your thesis supervisor to recommend a specific style, and follow the guidelines of your informed choice consistently. With technical problems, you can turn to your (former) instructor in academic writing, too.


    The grade for the Thesis is awarded by the Referee. Unless otherwise regulated by a given Department, the Supervisor and the Referee of the Thesis will be the same person. (To find out about the departmental regulation, consult your Supervisor and/or Head of Department.) If the Supervisor and the Referee are different persons, the Head of Department will decide on the Referee. 

    Generally, the grade is comprised of two independent grades: one awarded for academic achievement (A) and one for language competence (B). The final grade is a weighted average of the two according to the following formula: (A*2/3)+(B*1/3). If any of the two grades is a fail (‘1’) the final grade is a fail. The Thesis must then be resubmitted in the following semester at the earliest. The criteria for language competence have been worked out by DEAL. However, it is the Departments’ internal decision if these criteria are used in the assessment of the final grade. There may be other grading criteria or the grading may entirely rest with the Referee.

    The process of resubmitting a failed Thesis proceeds in accord with Faculty regulations. Make enquiries with the Registrar.


    The Thesis must be submitted in two copies: one hardbound and one ring-bound. It also has to be submitted as a PDF file into the School’s database (on which more below).


    Each submitted Thesis must contain the following certificate of research inserted before the title page (or use the one given on the Faculty page).


    The front cover (hard cover) and the title page should look like as shown below.

    Front cover (hard cover)


    Title page



    The thesis must be typed or printed, single or double sided. The required length is minimally 40000n (characters) including spaces, i.e. approximately 20 pages (+10%). The certificate of research, title page, abstract, table of contents, notes, references and appendices are not included in this length. The language of the Thesis is English. The technical apparatus should be consistent and should conform to the English or American norms, and to the conventions of the particular subject. The latter are to be discussed with the Supervisor. (For further details also consult the specific requirements of the Departments.)

    Font type: Times New Roman, font size: 12, spacing: double, margins: 2,5 cm (may be changed to 3 cm for the left margin and 2 cm for the right margin if required)

    The color of the hard cover is usually black, the colour of the writing on hard cover is usually gold.

    The hardcover layout is compulsory, being set by the Faculty.

    The title page is to be followed by the table of contents, and abstract (if required by host department).


    Do not enclose a CD/DVD with your thesis.

    Some Department may have internal requirements in addition to those above: DELP, DEAL, style guides for referencing/making footnotes (DES, DELG , DAS).

    Uploading your Thesis

    The Thesis must also be uploaded into SEAS's electronic database as a PDF file (soft copy). The deadline on electronic submission is identical to the one set by the Faculty for the hard copy. The database is world-readable but only the following data are accessible: author, supervisor, department, year. Only the staff of SEAS have access to your Thesis.

    Minor in English and American Studies

    There is no Thesis in the minor programme of SEAS.


    The Hungarian version is accessible from here.

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