Structuring your MSc

The Master programme Aerospace Engineering has a common outline for all tracks. Each track is composed of core, profile and elective courses, a literature study, an internship and the thesis project Information on when the courses are taught can be found in the study guide. In MyStudyPlanning you can submit your elective courses for review.

In this video, we explain how to use MyStudyPlanning.


The core courses consist of courses related to the department you are in. These are obligatory and cannot be swapped out for others. They enable you to develop a broad view over an identifiable field of aerospace engineering that spans across the expertise of the track and are essential for all the profiles of a track. The core courses form a solid package of approximately 15 EC.

Next to the core courses, every master student has to do two general common courses:

  • Ethics and Engineering for Aerospace Engineering (WM0324LR)
  • Research Methodologies (AE4010). As of September 2022 this course is no longer mandatory for new master students.

It is advised to combine the latter one (Research Methodologies) with your literature study. For the course Ethics (WM0324LR) timely enrolment on Brightspace is compulsory; deadline is two weeks prior to the start date of the course. In addition to a general enrolment in Brightspace you should also enroll in a specific tutorial group.

The profile courses are track specific and are essential for the field of expertise of the section and enable you to develop a thorough and detailed knowledge of that field. Profile courses can also be produced by other sections or faculties. The profile courses have a study load of approximately 15-20 EC, and are pre-defined.

The elective courses provide you the flexibility to specialize in a certain (sub-)field of expertise, add multi-disciplinary elements or extend your knowledge on courses you have some difficulties with. The elective courses are selected in consultation with the track coordinator. Every track has a list of preferred electives, which are related to the track, but it is also possible to choose other electives.

Literature study

The literature study is a preparatory research assignment for your thesis. The literature study has a fixed study load of 12 EC and is supervised, coached and assessed by your future thesis supervisor. The deliverable is a literature review that is assessed by your thesis supervisor on the content and by the instructor of the course Research Methodologies on the methodologies used. It is therefore advised to combine this course with Research Methodologies. You can find the method of assessment of the Rubrics here.

For the master students who start their studies on September 2022, the Literature Study is no longer part of their programme.


The internship exposes you to a real work environment for a period of twelve weeks on a fulltime basis (nominal study load of 18 EC). For more information on the internship, you can visit the internship gate and enroll yourself on Brightspace for the course AE5050.

For the master students who start their studies on September 2022, the Internship will have nominal study load of 15 EC. More information will be available on Brightspace for the course AE5051.


The master is concluded by a thesis project (42 EC). The thesis is always an individual in-depth research project or expert design project in the field of expertise of the Profile. Before you start your thesis, you should have finished all your courses, including Research Methodologies. Finishing the course Research Methodologies is essential, as this course helps you to set-up a good thesis proposal.

For the master students who start their studies on September 2022, the Thesis will have nominal study load of 45 EC.

Personal & Professional Development courses (PPD)

Master students that start their programme on September 2022 are required to select a minimum of 4 ECTS and a maximum of 12 ECTS on courses that relate to their awareness and development of transferable skills and abilities (Personal and Professional Development (or: PPD-courses). These courses must be in a context or application area that is broader than a single technological specialisation. It can be courses that are related on the quality of life (“personal element”) and/or courses that are more focussed on technical career related skills outside of the technical disciplines (“professional element”).

The courses in the list below will automatically be approved. For courses outside the Faculty Aerospace Engineering, you must ensure yourself that you can also participate in this course. If you want to choose other courses, you can think of courses that:

  • are related on the quality of life (“personal element”)
  • are more focused on technical career related skills outside of the technical disciplines (“professional element”).

You can think of, (and below is not exclusively):

  • Reflection on role as an engineer (e.g. sustainability, societal impact);
  • Design thinking;
  • Entrepreneurship;
  • Scientific communication;
  • Professional communication (this includes courses on natural languages, although limited to a maximum of 1 course for a course on which the students is a non-native speakers);
  • Leadership and cooperation;
  • Innovation;
  • Research methodologies;
  • Systems Engineering and Project management

The (online) course Research Methodologies (AE4010) is highly recommended to help you prepare your thesis work.

Taking an entrepreneurship elective as part of your aerospace Master's not only provides you with the insights and tools to build companies and identify new market opportunities based on technology, but also the opportunity to practice professional and personal development skills that help you to succeed in a corporate environment or startup. Electives from the Delft Centre for Entrepreneurship (DCE) are open to students from all faculties and are praised for being practical, creative and collaborative with a project-based approach to learning.

The courses from the DCE site that are approved to be selected as PPD course are:


Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation


Technology Entrepreneurship and Health


Technology Entrepreneurship and Sustainability


Technology Entrepreneurship and Global Development


Patent Law and Patent Policy


Corporate Entrepreneurship and Start-ups



Together with your track coordinator you can conduct a coherent Master programme consisting of the above components and you can take together a look at the optimal planning. When you compose your program it’s important to take into account the schedule of the different elective courses. Make sure you do not choose courses which overlap with core or profile courses.

Some of the aspects in the Master, especially the internship and thesis, will take time to prepare for. Be sure you start early with organising your internship, preferably around 9 months before the planned date of departure. We also advise you to think of a thesis project in advance to avoid any study delay. Useful information about the thesis process can be found here.