Home   Education   PhD programme   Structure

Structure of the PhD Programme

The PhD programme lasts an average four years and usually follows four distinct phases:

  • Laying the groundwork
    The programme begins with coursework and preparation for a research seminar, which normally held within 9 months after the registration date. On the basis of the seminar the researcher's performance is evaluated and a decision is taken about continuing the programme.
  • Collecting data
    Research data are collected during a fieldwork period of one year.
  • Producing results
    The candidate then returns to the Netherlands and continues work on his/her thesis. This phase of the programme consists of intensive thinking and writing in consultation with the candidate’s supervisors. This phase normally takes one and a half years.
  • Getting your PhD
    The thesis is assessed by a Thesis Committee in the final six months of the programme. On approval, the candidate will be given permission to defend his/her thesis publicly. If the public defence is successful, the candidate is awarded the PhD degree.





Download the prospectus

Download the Prospectus


Overview of the 100 PhD theses awarded to ISS students