Educational Programme

PhD candidates should spend 15% of their PhD research time on their educational programme. A regular PhD research contract in the Netherlands lasts four years.

This results in a minimum of 30 ECTS credit points in total. See below for an explanation of ECTS credit points and detailed requirements of the VLAG educational programme.

ECTS credit points

The study load is defined according the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). One ECTS credit is approximately equivalent to a study load of 28 hours. Some organisers have defined the number of credits for their activities. If you have to calculate it yourself, divide the number of hours by 28, and round the number to one decimal. For example: 3 days = 24 hours. 24/28 = 0.86. This equals 0.9 ECTS.

Requirements educational programme

Discipline specific activities > 11 ECTS
General courses > 6 ECTS
Optional courses and activities > 8 ECTS
Total > 30 ECTS

Educational programme, TSP & finance

In the beginning of their research contract, PhD candidates should plan their educational programme. This educational planning will be formalised within a TSP, and should be formulated upon consultation with the thesis supervisor.

The TSP, especially the educational programme part, should be discussed with the supervisors every year during the results and personal development meeting (R&O gesprek).

PhD candidates who submit their TSP within 3 months following their appointment, are entitled to an educational budget of € 2.500. VLAG can offer additional financial support for the participation in (external) courses.

Educational programme & VLAG education certificate


To obtain the VLAG education certificate at your graduation, you have to send your list of educational activities to the VLAG secretariat (Yvonne.Smolders@wur.nl or Chantal.Doeswijk@wur.nl) as soon as your graduation date is fixed. The education coordinator can then judge whether the requirements for the VLAG certificate are met.

The format of this list is equal to the format used in the first part of the TSP, but instead of the planned educational activities, state the finished educational activities.


Educational programme & printed thesis

The Doctorate Conferral Regulations (Promotiereglement) state that the completed education activities must be reported on the next-to-last page preferably on a single page.

This list can be a simplified version of the version used to obtain the VLAG education certificate. It is sufficient to specify the kind of course (discipline specific activities, general courses, optional courses and activities), the organizer, country, and the year in which the course was attended. The heading of the list should be 'Overview of completed training activities'.