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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

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Overview of the 100 PhD theses awarded to ISS students