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Supervising a Master’s Thesis (online module)

Online access from October 2016

Dienst Onderwijsprofessionalisering en -ondersteuning
Contacts:  Rebecca Resseler

Target group

This online module is designed for junior teaching assistants or PhD students with little to no supervising experience, who are starting as supervisor and who are still looking for a way of approaching this. But also when you have already guided a student in his/her process of making a master’s thesis, this module can help you to optimise your supervisory skills.

Time investment

The entire module will take approximately 4 hours to complete. If you want to receive a certificate, you have to add an extra hour for the final assignment.


This module provides generic information about the different aspects of supervising a master’s thesis:

  • What are the difficulties that students encounter during their master’s thesis and how can you support them?
  • How do you prepare for the first meeting with your student?
  • What are the characteristics of a good supervisor?
  • The main challenges of a supervisory process and how you can deal with them.
  • The importance of feedback.

The module is a combination of information, tips & tricks, video testimonials and exercises. We will stimulate you to translate the input to your practice and to reflect upon that.

If the video doesn't start, click here.

Learning goals

  • You will be aware of the different stages a student will go through during his/her master’s thesis. You know the difficulties a student may encounter and you know how to anticipate.
  • You acknowledge the importance of being well prepared for the first meeting with the student. You understand that there are two important elements, namely ‘clarifying expectations’ and ‘establishing an effective working relationship’. You are able to work out a plan of action.
  • You are aware of your supervisory style and of the strengths and weaknesses that come along with that.
  • You know the different characteristics of what makes someone a good supervisor and you are able to reflect on those.
  • You are aware of the different challenges inherent to supervision. You know what strategies you can use in order to overcome those challenges.
  • You acknowledge the important role feedback plays in the supervisory process. You know what the different points of attention are in oral and written feedback formats.
  • You know the assessment criteria formulated by the faculty and you know how you can use them as a tool for feedback.


If you have gone through all topics of this module and submitted the final assignment, you are eligible for the Certificate of Completion. The final assignment is aligned with the learning objectives of this module. You will evaluate your role as a supervisor and design a plan to optimize your supervisory practice. The submitted final assignments will be assessed on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory (pass/fail) basis.


Interested? You can register here.

It’s an online module which means that you can go through this at your own pace. You don’t have to finish it at once, but you can spread your efforts to fit your schedule. This module will be closed at the end of each academic year. You will get a reminder and when you weren’t able to finish it, you can subscribe again in the next year.

More info

You may also be interested in our ‘Start to Teach’ blended module. As its title implies, it covers the basics of teaching with topics such as ‘how to prepare for class’, ‘how to interact with your students’ and ‘classroom management’. The online module ‘Activating Your Students’ is more advanced and focuses on different aspects of engaging (or ‘activating’) students.