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Thesis Preparation Course


Admission requirements

This course is obligatory for students of the MSc Industrial Ecology (joint degree TU Delft and Leiden University).


In this course students will conduct a guided approach towards a thesis proposal. Students will orient themselves on a (thesis) subject; do a literature research; critically review scientific papers in order to explore a suitable academic knowledge gap. Based on this, students will write a research proposal, formulate research questions, select a suitable research approach and methods, develop a research flow diagram and conduct thesis project planning. During the course the student will read and analyze at least 15 scientific articles, and peer-review all elements/assignments of draft research proposals.

Course objectives

After completing this course, students are able to:

  • design and write a research proposal, that demonstrates:

    • societal relevance;
    • scientific relevance;
    • based on state of the art literature review;
    • coherent and consistent scientific argumentation;
    • program specific research(able) questions and research approach;
    • a do-able research plan including a conscious and justifiable choice of research methods and an accompanying time schedule and design research typical for the MSc Industrial Ecology
  • do serious and high quality peer reviewing


You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

Online learning in combination with several workshops. Peer review is an important learning activity in this course. It is obligatory to meet the deadlines: if not, students can be excluded to continue the course.

Intended time allocation (140h in total):

  • Lectures & Workshops 16h

  • Q&A sessions 4h

  • Peer-review process participation 10h

  • Self-tuition, including working on and writing of the final deliverable 110h

Assessment method

All assignments need to be fulfilled. The grade will be based on the final versions of

  • a research proposal - ~3500 words (grade)

  • peer assessment of reviews of formative assignments (a bonus of up to 0,5, which can be gained if the research proposal itself is sufficient (>5,5))
    Final grades are expressed by means of a figure between 1 and 10, rounded to the nearest half. The grade 5,5 cannot be granted. Grades between 5,01 and 5,49 are rounded to 5,0 and grades between 5,50 and 5,99 are rounded to 6,0.

Peer-review process
Students will participate in peer review rounds where students review deliverables of fellow students. The software ‘Feedback Fruits’ will be used. It is mandatory to successfully participate in at least one review round to pass the course.

Reading list

Relevant literature will be made available via Brightspace.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Coordinator(s): Dr. L.M. Kamp and Dr. H. Ward


This course is only open for students of the MSc Industrial Ecology (joint degree TU Delft and Leiden University). These students can register for the course and exam via uSis.
There will be several workshops during the course. Most communication and feedback will go via Brightspace.