PROM-3 Writing a Dissertation (T1.B3)

Course type

Workshop. The course is most suitable for PhD students in the third/fourth year of their project, who have started or are about to start writing their dissertation* 

Course load

app. 40 hours (3 credits)

Hours per meeting

2,5 hours (6 meetings)


Dr. Martijn Wackers – (course coordinator)
Dr. Aliza Glasbergen-Plas –
Dr. Karin van Nispen –
Dr. Nadia van Pelt –

*The course is most suitable for PhD candidates who have already written most of their dissertation’s core content, such as (draft) chapters or papers on which the chapters will be based. The course focuses on the coherence of the dissertation as a whole, and on dissertation elements such as the Introduction and Conclusion chapters, the Summary, Table of Contents and connecting texts to the chapters. Please note that Writing a Dissertation (PROM-3/T1.B2) is not an English language course. PhD students who wish to refine their writing skills in English are referred to PROM-4 (Writing a Scientific Article in English) and/or English language courses.


Course objectives

This course aims to:

  • allow PhD-students to get a better grip on the process of writing a dissertation,
  • provide insight into essential dissertation characteristics, resulting in a higher quality of the dissertation.
  • accelerate the dissertation writing process; participants hand in (drafts of) some essential dissertation elements, such as the Introduction chapter, Table of Contents and connecting texts to the core chapters (chapter introductions)

Organisation/teaching method

The course is highly interactive. Good and bad examples from recent (TU Delft) dissertations are analysed. By exchanging experiences, participants create a kind of support group. Participants apply the course content to their own dissertation and discuss the results with the group. They make a start with writing essential parts of their dissertation, , such as the Introduction chapter, Table of Contents and connecting texts to the core chapters (chapter introductions). Within a small review group, participants critically review each other’s work. Participants can arrange an individual feedback session with the teacher after the course to discuss revised work or other writing issues.

The course deals with the following topics:

  • thesis requirements: fulfilling the university regulations, your supervisor’s wishes and your own ambitions;
  • writing strategies and writing tips;
  • writing a readable, informative, and convincing introduction chapter;
  • how to describe the contribution of your work;
  • creating an effective outline (table of contents) and outline description;
  • planning on the basis of your outline;
  • obtaining useful feedback on your written work;
  • strategies to organize and structure the text (e.g. writing clear paragraphs);
  • writing convincing conclusions;
  • writing effective summaries and useful recommendations;
  • obtaining useful feedback on your written work;
  • scientific style and sentence clarity;
  • effectively integrating literature and references into your text;
  • effectively using figures, tables and lay-out;
  • writing clear and defendable propositions;
  • writing for a non-expert audience.


A course certificate will be presented provided that all course assignments have been satisfactorily completed and the participant has attended at least six out of seven meetings.

Course fee

If you are a PhD candidate at TU Delft, the Graduate School will pay your course fee. For participants who are not in the TU Delft Graduate School (e.g., lecturers, or researchers at IHE), the course fee is €640. If you are associated with the TU Delft, your department will pay with a baancode; external researchers will receive an invoice.

Registration & schedule

Registration for TU Delft PhD students is via Coachview.
Courses span 8 weeks (6 meetings) and usually start in September, November, February and April. Course dates for upcoming groups will be published in Coachview.
External participants can contact Ingrid Rensen, for more information about registration for the course and upcoming course dates.


Secretary ITAV tel. + 31 (0) 15 27 83646
Email: (for administrative questions)
Email: (for questions about the course content)