The Master's Thesis Project is an individual in-depth research or expert design assignment in the specific field of expertise chosen by the student. The nominal duration of a thesis project is approximate 30 weeks (42 Ects). Below you can find a short description on the different steps during the thesis.

  1.       Orientation
  2.       Kick-off meeting
  3.       Midterm meeting
  4.       Green-light review
  5.       Graduation Day (Defence, Assessment and Graduation ceremony)

For the exact procedure in your track please contact your Track Coordinator.

Note that a student is expected to have finished all the MSc courses. A student may not start the final graduation phase (thesis project) before having successfully completed the BSc programme and the first year of the MSc programme. Deviation from the second requirement is possible, but only if approved by the thesis supervisor (article 10.2 Implementation Regulations).

Combining the Literature Study with the course Research Methodologies is essential (time-wise and contents-wise), as the course helps you to set-up a good thesis proposal.

If you want to do your Thesis at a company, check the guidelines on the Thesis Brigthspace page: Master Thesis AE.

Note that the results of the Graduation Project (as set out in the thesis) should be publicly accessible. In case you are doing your thesis at a company and the research is confidential the confidentiality agreement of Aerospace Engineering should be used! The rules of confidentiality can be found on the Brightspace page (Master Thesis AE).

1. Orientation
Already start thinking about your Thesis Project early in your studies and begin gathering information as soon as possible!

  • Talk with your Master Track Coordinator, Profile Coordinator, theme supervisor or Section Head of the department about what you want and the possibilities.
  • Talk with fellow students and lectures of your research group about topics and their possibilities.
  • Agree with the Track Coordinator or theme supervisor on a suitable supervisor

Note that students who wish to gain knowledge in sensitive areas related to nuclear proliferation must apply for exemption for the relevant areas of knowledge.

For Aerospace Engineering the knowledge areas in question are the following: 

  • Hypersonic aerodynamics: experimental and theoretical research;
  • Guidance Navigation & Control systems, software and simulations;
  • Re-entry technology;
  • Stratos project run by DARE (Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering) student association.

The exemption form and procedure can be found here.

For extra information see.

2. Kick-off meeting
At the start of your thesis, you should plan a kick-off meeting with your supervisor(s). During this meeting, you present and discuss the research question, research methodology and planning that you came up with. Is what you propose feasible in the amount of time you have for the thesis?

The thesis is 42 ECTS (1 ECTS = 28 hrs) and 54 ECTS including Literature Study.

This means that you are expected to complete your thesis in approximately 30 weeks or 38 week when you combine the Literature Study with your thesis. The 30/38 weeks are based on a full-time basis and thus excludes holidays, illness, work, etc. Tip: take your holidays into account in your planning!

Send your thesis proposal to your supervisor(s) prior to the meeting.

The most important thing of a kick-off meeting is the formal approval of your thesis proposal from your supervisor. If your supervisor approves your proposal, you should fill out the Thesis Kick-off form including your planning. This Form must be send to The SSC-E&SA will check if the courses are completed and will sent an e-mail to the student (cc. First Supervisor and track coordinator). In case a student does not meet the criteria in article 10.2. Implementation Regulations you need to discuss this with your supervisor and Track Coordinator.

It is advised to plan a meeting every 2 weeks with your supervisor. Supervisors often have busy schedules, plan the meetings in advance!

3. Mid-term meeting
At the mid-term meeting, after about 3-4 months,  you show your supervisor(s) all your work performed so far. On the basis of the work done it is decided whether your goals, formulated in the project proposal, are still feasible. If not, it might be wise to reconsider your goals. After the mid-term meeting, you should have a clear idea of how to proceed in order to finish your thesis in time.

4. Green-light review
In the final phase of your thesis project, you have a green-light review. Since you will receive your Master diploma immediately after your Thesis defence this meeting is important. During this meeting it is decided whether you are ready to proceed to your thesis defence: you get a go/no-go. This is an important meeting and all members of the assessment committee should be present at the meeting.

It is compulsory to have a draft thesis ready for the green-light review. To avoid plagiarism you are required to upload your draft thesis in the Turnitin assignment page “Thesis plagiarism Checker” in the Brightspace page Master Thesis AE and provide the daily supervisor with a pdf print out of the Turnitin original report.

If you get a ‘go’ from your supervisor, you should fill out the form AE-3a permission to defend and email this form to no later than 20 working days prior to your defence date. The SSC-E&SA will check the application (completion courses). In case the student does not comply with the requirements, the student will be informed by email.

Note: you should also fill out the forms AE-3bMsc diploma application form and the AE-3c Room reservation form no later than 20 working days prior to your defence date.

More information about completing your MSc (e.g. information about applying for your diploma and unenrollment).

5. The Graduation Day
The final step of your graduation process is the defence. Your defence consists of two parts. The first is a presentation of your work for your committee, family, friends, fellow students. After the presentation, you have the oral defence of your thesis. The defence is only with the committee and yourself.

After the defense the graduation committee determines the assessment and the grade for the Master Thesis using the assessment form MSc Thesis and Rubrics MSc AE. When the graduation committee is ready the diploma ceremony starts. You will be handed out your Diploma before family and friends.

All relevant forms and an overview of the complete procedure can be found here

Your thesis will be assessed based on the learning objectives of the thesis. Assessment is performed by the thesis exam committee, based on the execution of the thesis work, final report, public presentation, and closed defence session. The items assessed in the final grading are:

  • Content & scientific approach
  • Report
  • Presentation & Defence
  • Creativity & Initiative
  • Planning & Project Management

Below are some documents so you can fully inform and prepare yourself. These include themethod of assessment, an explanation of the criteria, and an example of an evaluation:

For more information about the Master Thesis please refer to Brightspace → organization Master Thesis AE.