Master’s by Thesis in Sociology

The thesis is an in-depth piece of research grounded in a rigorous research methodological approach. Your research proposal and its implementation will introduce you to the marvelous world of research by enabling you to design and conduct your own research project and to present your findings in a coherent research report. The scope and depth of the MA Thesis are greater than in a Major Research Paper. In practical terms, the Master’s thesis is generally 90 to 120 double-spaced pages, not including the bibliography and appendices. The thesis often involves collecting data from human participants, in which case ethics approval is required. It can also focus on conceptual and theoretical questions, statistical analysis, or a textual analysis of a corpus of documents. You will discuss all aspects of your thesis with your supervisor, including the most suitable research approach for your research question. Considering the demands and the scope of writing a thesis, students enrolled in the thesis option are only required to complete five graduate courses. *One course from another department can replace an elective.

Program Sequence for the MA by Thesis

Typically, the MA with Thesis is completed in 24 months. In order to complete the program within this period, a student’s academic progress should follow the following sequence:

Term 1

  • Enroll in program courses

Term 2

  • Complete the remaining program courses requirements
  • Find and confirm a Thesis Supervisor via a service request in uoZone
  • Enroll in SOC 7990 (Thesis Proposal)
  • In collaboration with your thesis supervisor, select thesis committee members

Term 3

  • Write, revise and complete the Thesis Proposal (SOC 7990)
  • Submit the Thesis proposal to supervisor and committee members (allowing two weeks for the committee to read the proposal and prepare for the defence)
  • Oral defence of the Thesis Proposal
  • The Thesis or Research Paper Proposal must be defended orally and approved by the student’s thesis or research paper committee before the research process can begin.

Term 4

  • Enroll in THM 7999 (Thesis)
  • If applicable, prepare and submit an ethics application to the Research Ethics Boards (4-6-week delay for the REB evaluation)
  • Begin any data collection which does not require ethics approval/ begin textual or documentary analysis
  • Following REB evaluation, revise and resubmit request for ethics approval and evaluation if required
  • If required, collect, transcribe, code, and/or run statistical models of data

Term 5

  • Analyze data
  • Write your research report, i.e., Thesis
  • Submit a draft of the Thesis to your supervisor
  • If applicable, ensure completion of any missing program requirements

Term 6

  • Nominate Thesis committee by submitting the Service Request, “List of Examiners for the evaluation of the thesis.”

The list of examiners is proposed by the student in consultation with his or her supervisor. The student must ensure that the nomination form of the examiners has been completed and forwarded using a Service request in his or her Candidate Center (uoZone) one month prior to submitting Thesis.

  • Review and revise Thesis
  • Finalize Thesis
  • Submission and evaluation of the thesis: submit an electronic copy of the Thesis for evaluation via a Service Request through uoZone.
  • Committee members have 4 weeks to evaluate the Thesis, submit a report and indicate whether the Thesis is ready for defence or not.
  • Students have a period of 5 days to choose whether to defend their Thesis.
  • After receiving the decision from the student to move to the oral defence, the supervisor, in consultation with the candidate and examiners, i.e., committee members, proposes dates for the defence.
  • Supervisor and student confirm the Oral Defence date
  • Oral Defence.

Following the Thesis Defence:

  • Following the verdict, the student must, if required, revise the Thesis and ensure that all corrections and revisions are made as requested by the jury within the deadline indicated by the verdict.
  • Once approved by supervisor, the student submit the final version of the Thesis via a service request: Approval of the final version of the thesis
  • Submit final version in uO Research

The Thesis is prepared under the guidance and supervision of a professor of the School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies (SSAS). The thesis committee is comprised of the thesis supervisor and a minimum of two professors. Of the two professors who evaluate the Thesis, at least one of whom must be a member of the SSAS; one can be from another department.

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