Course Content

The Honours Programme Master consists of one extra (collective) interdepartmental course per semester and a separate departmental programme, to be followed during the course of your Masters Programme. How many courses you are required to take within your departmental programme depends upon the programme you and your HPM coach have decided. These requirements can be obtained from the contact person of your faculty.

The interdepartmental courses are exclusively open to participants in the Honours Track and designed to gratify the participants’ curiosity rather than simply extend their regular course programmes. They provide you with the unique chance of developing yourself broadly and enable you to take interest in scientific, societal, cultural, philosophical and current themes. Inspiring professors and lecturers organize classes in which a theme will be approached from an interdisciplinary perspective. Next to this you will take part in small discussion groups with fellow students or you will conduct your own research.

The collective part is for all honours track students, from all faculties. It consists of two courses and it is mandatory to pick one, either Critical Reflection on Technology, or Business Leadership for Engineers.

Course content of Critical Reflection on Technology

During the first phase there will be 6 class meetings in which we discuss primary philosophical texts. These are provocative texts: they are engaging and (should) make you think. They have to be read in advance. Topics of the texts include humans nature, the way technology interacts with and changes humans, and the riddle of what it is that morality demands from us. The goal is to get acquainted with different styles of thinking and to discuss subject matters in class.

In the second phase, each student will be individually supervised by a tutor to develop a pitch presentation in which an argument in given on a challenging topic. The choice of this topic is in principle free but we advise to take a topic that is related to one's individual honours program or to technology in general. The best pitches will be presented and defended during a debate at the end of the second phase. At that debate there will be a jury of Delft University of Technology faculty for giving feedback and for handing out the best pitch award. A pitch consists of a five minutes presentation and a 900 to 1100 words paper (excluding references) in which the position and argumentation of the pitch is described in detail. Important in the assessment of the pitch is the quality of the described argument.

The second phase is structured as follows:
1. Individual pitch supervision (1 meetings per student with the tutor, and twice electronic feedback).
2. Presentation of selected pitches and discussion (final debate).

Study Goals
The ability to form an independent, well-argued position with regards to ethical or methodological problems (preferably concerning technology in general or the professional practice of engineers more in particular).

Education Method
PHASE 1: Workgroup discussions
PHASE 2: Tutorials = Individual supervision; Debate: presentation + defense.

Participation at the lectures and at the final debate is obligatory; in exceptional cases students are allowed to skip at most one lecture of the whole course.

The assessment will be based on the pitch and the participation in the discussions during the lectures. The final result will be either pass or not-pass.

This course is run twice: the first edition takes place in Q2+Q3 and the second edition in Q3+Q4.

Course content of Business Leadership for Engineers

This is a unique course specifically for ambitious honour students. The course has been developed by leadership-experts from TU Delft together with two successful TU Delft-alumni, with many years of experience in business. 

Students in science and engineering are analytical, comfortable with figures, tech-savvy and trained to solve problems. But there are more ingredients that shape good leaders: business skills, power and influence, negotiation style and behaviour. We have the ambition to help you explore these additional ingredients to prepare you for your first years of your career – in business or elsewhere.  

We’ll discuss a set of core business concepts with you and you’ll have the opportunity to meet CEO’s and discuss the key trade-offs that they have had to make in their careers.  Next, we will support you reflecting on who you are and we offer you an advanced skills program, facilitated by professional actors. 

But, why is it that business leadership is so important for you as an engineer? Many grand challenges of our time are technology dominated. Whether it is the energy transition or green transport, climate action or cyber security - future leaders will need thorough knowledge of business, economics and technology to deal with these challenges. In our interconnected, technology-driven world, organisations heavily depend on ‘leadership at all levels’ – meaning that leadership is not limited to those who have formal leadership positions, but that everyone is a leader. Everyone should be able to see the big strategic picture, to inspire and commit others, to seize business opportunities to accept responsibility for decisions made.