Supervising BSc & MSc thesis students

Course schedule

Dates Start time End time Location Coordinator registrations
23 and 24 January 2023 09:00 17:00 Wageningen Kroon, Hubertie 12 / 12 Registration ended at 23/12/2022
9 and 10 February 2023 09:00 17:00 Wageningen Kroon, Hubertie 12 / 12 Registration ended at 03/02/2023
27 and 28 March 2023 09:00 17:00 Wageningen Schaik, Marieke van 12 / 12 Add to waiting list
20 and 21 April 2023 09:00 17:00 Wageningen Schaik, Marieke van 7 / 12 Apply
11 and 12 May 2023 09:00 17:00 Wageningen Schaik, Marieke van 8 / 12 Apply
15 and 16 June 2023 09:00 17:00 Wageningen Meg Hayne 5 / 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.

As a supervisor it is 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 when you 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 (having supervised at least two students, preferably in a WUR-context) to experienced supervisors. 

At the lastest one week 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.

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 Start to supervise BSc & MSc thesis students.


On this page you will find some basic information in relation to supervising thesis student. You will receive course notes before the start of the course.


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


18 hours – 0.64 ECTS


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


Apply at least 3 months in advance since this course is fully booked rapidly.