MA dissertation in English (mémoire)

| Steps to follow | Mémoire Supervisors | The Proposal | Practical Matters | Submission and Discussion de Mémoire (viva) | Cake T-Days

Steps to follow

  • Discuss your chosen topic with the appropriate member of staff. Check the file below that contains a list of all supervisors and their interests that will help you to choose the staff member you want to work with.
  • To write a mémoire you should have attended at least one, preferably two seminars in your chosen area (i.e. Linguistics, Medieval, Modern/American/Comparative Literature) during your studies (or see your intended supervisor).
  • Formulate a thesis and produce a proposal (see below) and have it accepted by the member of staff concerned.
  • You are welcome to discuss your project with any member of staff although the final proposal must be approved by the member of staff who will direct your mémoire.
  • In cooperation with your mémoire director, you should submit a draft version of either the whole mémoire or of individual chapters as you go along for comments.
  • Submit the final version at least six weeks before the discussion de mémoire (viva).

Mémoire Supervisors

Read this before approaching a potential supervisor to make sure you have considered all possible options.

The Proposal

The proposal is a brief statement covering the following points:

1. Area and scope of study

  • Identification of subject-matter: period, author(s), work(s), theme, field of research in linguistics, etc.
  • Identification, for literature, of primary texts (including editions), or, for linguistics, of data collection or computer corpora, etc.
  • Brief annotated list of relevant secondary works (critical, historical,theoretical, methodological).

2. Critical intent

  • Statement of the argument or thesis, i.e. what is your point of view?
  • Statement of the method of argument, the kind of critical or theoretical approach.
  • As far as possible, a rough plan, chapter outline, list of subtopics and draft schedule.
  • The contribution your argument will make to the reader's knowledge or appreciation of the subject.

Practical Matters


Règlement d'études de la MA (Lettres)


Mémoires in the Faculté des lettres should be circa 100,000 signs long (i.e. approximately 50 pages medium spaced).


Be sure to check the Faculty deadlines for mémoires submissions.

Front page style

For more information about the layout of your mémoire, consult the following page on the Faculté des lettres site: Mémoire de fin d'études.

Submission and Discussion de Mémoire (viva)

You should submit two copies of your mémoire to the Secrétariat des étudiants and one each to your director and expert. You should also submit the Discussion de mémoire form and the "formulaire de déontologie" along with your mémoire to the Secrétariat. The date of the discussion will be agreed upon between you and your director. The discussion is public.

Please, contact the Secrétariat des étudiants regarding the two forms to be submitted.

Cake T-Days

Cake T-Days are organised as more informal form of support with mémoires. See more here.

Follow us:  
Offices #5065-70 - Anthropole - CH-1015 Lausanne
Tel. +41 21 692 29 13