03b Supervising BSc & MSc thesis students

Course schedule

Dates Start time End time Location Coordinator registrations
2 & 3 May 2019 09:00 17:00 Wageningen Schaik, Marieke van 22 / 12 Registration ended at 09/03/2019
17 & 18 June 2019 09:00 17:00 Wageningen Kroon, Hubertie 20 / 12 Course is fully booked
25 & 26 June 2019 EXTRA 09:00 17:00 Wageningen WUR Schaik, Marieke van 13 / 12 Course is fully booked
19 & 20 Sep 2019 09:00 17:00 WUR campus - Atlas 1 Kroon, Hubertie 15 / 12 Apply
28 and 29 October 2019 09:00 17:00 Wageningen Vreekamp, Marloes 0 / 12 Apply
7 and 8 November 2019 09:00 17:00 Wageningen Schaik, Marieke van 3 / 12 Apply

Course description

Course Description

The thesis is the final subject of the BSc and MSc programme; and in most cases the most important individual project of a student. Due to the importance and size of the project, the meetings between supervisor and student are more intense and personal compared to those contacts in courses. The relationship between supervisor and student is therefore very important. Students expect certain behaviour of their supervisor, but the supervisor also has expectations of his/her student. Questions about responsibilities for supervisor and student arise. Therefore, as a supervisor it is very important to be aware of the Wageningen requirements, your own vision about effective supervising, your expectations of your student and the different phases in a thesis project. On the other hand, you should be able to adapt your supervision to the needs of the student when asking questions and giving feedback. In this course we will on the one hand exchange experiences, theory and models about effective supervising thesis students. On the other hand we will practice a lot and you will develop a vision on supervision that fits Wageningen University and an awareness of your own expectations and preferred supervision style. You will discuss or play different situations and you will practice  several skills, like giving feedback, switching communication levels and asking open questions. All these elements come together in the last afternoon of the course: you will then apply everything you learned in a real life case simulation with an actor as your student.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, you are able to:

  • formulate your own perspective about the thesis’ function and the supervisors role
  • offer an effective and motivating supervision
  • distinguish possible phases of a thesis
  • explain different supervision styles and argue how you can use different styles to adapt your supervision to the needs of the student
  • apply the basic communication skills like giving feedback, listening, summarizing, asking questions and switching between communication levels

Target group & Prerequisites

The course is meant for teachers and PhD ‘s who are already supervising thesis-students in Wageningen University. So the course is only open for beginning (some supervisions done) or experienced supervisors. Three weeks before the start of the course you will receive more information about the course, background material and some preparation assignments. It is a two day course, with drinks and bites at the end of the first day.

This course can be chosen as elective course in the UTQ. It is also suitable as part of an Orientation on Teaching and Supervision (Pre-UTQ).  If you are not supervising yet sign up for the short workshop '3a Start to supervise'.


You will receive course notes before the start of the course.


You will be awarded your certificate at the end of day 2.


Participation is free for Wageningen University & Research staff involved in teaching WU courses.