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Thesis Preparation Course (MSc IE)


Admission requirements

This course is obligatory for students of the MSc Industrial Ecology (joint degree TU Delft and Leiden University).
This course is only open for students that are enrolled in the MSc Industrial Ecology.


In this course students will conduct a guided approach towards acquiring the tools for developing and writing a thesis proposal. Students will orient themselves on a (thesis) subject; conduct a literature research; critically review scientific papers to assess and explore a suitable academic knowledge gap. Students aquire the key ingeredient for formulating and selecting i) suitable research questions, ii) a scientific introduction, iii) an argumentation and description of a suitable research approach and related methods. Students will further develop a logical structure of a proposal, which is given by 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 (parts of) drafted research proposals by fellow students.

Course objectives

After completing this course, students are able to conduct all required steps for planning a successful scientific publication. They are capable of

  • Designing, writing and refining a research proposal, that demonstrates and includes: o societal relevance; o scientific relevance; o a initial state of the art literature review; o coherent and consistent scientific argumentation; o program specific research(able) features and characteristics that suits the MSc Industrial ecology; o a do-able research plan including; o a conscious and justifiable choice of research methods; o an accompanying time schedule;

  • Do serious peer-reviewing that meets the programme standards


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 or receive a downgrade.

Intended time allocation (140h in total):

  • Lectures, Workshops & Sessions 20h

  • Peer-review process participation 20h

  • Self-tuition, including working on and writing the single chaptures and the final deliverable 100h

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.


The scientific staff of TU Delft and Leiden University will assess the final research proposals according to the assessment scheme that is available on BS. In addition, the course instructors will assess single peer-review moments and check if a sufficient and successful participation has been the case for each student. In case of more than one successful participation a bonus of up to 0,5 can be granted.


The final research proposal will account for 100% of the final grade, excluding the potential bonus. A bonus can only be granted if the grade for the final proposal is >=5,5. The course can only be passed if students participated at least once successfully in the peer-review activity. Bonuses are not transferable to the proceeding TPC course.


There will be one resit moment in Q2 and a resit moment in Q4. The format of the assessment is identical to the original test.

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.


  • For substantive questions, contact the course coordinator listed in the right information bar.


MSc Industrial Ecology students can register for the course and exam via MystudyMap.
There will be several workshops during the course. Most communication and feedback will go via Brightspace.