Discipline related skills guidelines

Discipline related refers to any type of course that expands your technical knowledge during your PhD. They are different for each PhD student, therefore it is something you have discuss with your supervisory team, who will be responsible for both the content and the quality of the programme. They are two types of discipline related courses:

D.1 Scientific Knowledge: you acquire scientific knowledge in a related field of your PhD project.

D.2 Engineering and Design: you acquire the design and engineering skills to execute your PhD project.


There are different sources for obtaining discipline related skills:

Research Schools

Research schools combine cutting-edge research with education and training for PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers in a given field.

MSc courses

Courses from MSc programmes can also be used to acquire discipline related skills. If you participate in a regular MSc course and pass the exam, the ECTS of the course are converted to GS Credits (1 ECTS = 1 GS Credit)

Online courses

Online providers such as EdX and coursera can be a great source of discipline related skills. They offer, for instance, interesting software training courses for all levels. If you have a busy daily schedule, you are doing your PhD outside of Delft or you just like the time flexibility this can be a good option.

For your Doctoral Education programme you can obtain up to a maximum of 10 GS Credits via online learning (with a maximum of 5 GS Credits per course).

Other providers

It is also possible to participate in summer schools and courses at other institutions. Start your search from within the networks of your supervisors. If you have found an interesting summer school or course yourself, please let us know. This way we can check if the course is of sufficient quality and we can share it with the other PhD candidates.

Registering attended courses

In order for you to obtain credits for attending a course you have to get the course attendance form signed by the lecturer of the course (this also applies to MSc courses). If you receive an official certificate for the course you have followed, it is best to use this as your proof of participation.For online courses for which you don't receive a certificate you can use the online course attendance form. The attendance forms can be found on the central Graduate School page.

In order for you to obtain credits for the course, a proof of participation has to be uploaded in DMA. Once a year, the Graduate School looks at your Doctoral Education progress in DMA to check that all the courses you have followed are in conformance with the regulations, are in the right category, and have a certificate uploaded in DMA.

Frequently Asked Questions:

When doing MSc course, how do I calculate the equivalent amount of GS credits?

1 ECTS = 1 GS credit (exam must be passed)

When doing courses outside of TU Delft, how do I calculate the equivalent amount of GS credits?

1 day (8–12 hrs) = 1 GS credit

Can I get all 15 disciple related credits in one long course, e.g. , a summer school?

No, there is a limit of 5 GS credits for each course. This applies to all courses, even summer schools.

Can I get all 15 disciple related credits via online courses?

No, you can obtain a maximum of 10 GS credits via online learning.

Are workshops granted as disciple related credits?

Not every workshop fits in the description of discipline related skills, since sometimes small conferences are called workshops. Only workshops that have a course character and configuration are accepted. This means: a clear program of contents, supplied study material and a completion certificate. If such certificate does not exist, the course attendance form should be used and the awarding of the credits will be decided case by case. Always attach the program of the course!