Below you will find specific information on the requirements of the VLAG educational programme.

The following breakdown is used to describe the requirements of the VLAG educational programme:Total > 30 ECTS credit points


Discipline specific activities (> 11 ECTS credit points)

Discipline specific activities can be divided into:

  • Courses: this can be VLAG courses but can also be courses organised by other graduate schools in The Netherlands and/or abroad. In case of a poster presentation at a course 0.5 extra ECTS credit points are awarded.
  • Courses followed online: Coursera and EdX offer an interesting panel of online courses for free. It is possible to include them in the TSP if -      Your supervisor approves you take this course-      The course is minimally at MSc level or preferably at graduate level. Please note you can get a maximum of 6 credits for courses at MSc level in the category Optionals-      You have to complete the course (take exams etc.) and proof this completion by a certificate.
  • Meetings: meetings of 'learned societies' (such as NWO-Nutrition, NWO-Chemistry and NWO Technology Foundation) also count as discipline specific activities.Project meetings of EU-projects can also be included under this heading.
  • Training periods at other laboratories: in case the training periods should have the specific aim to learn new techniques.In general 50% of the period spent at other laboratories will be honoured, up to a maximum of 6 ECTS.
  • Conferences: In case of a presentation at a congress (oral or poster) 1.0 extra ECTS credit points are awarded. For posters this only applies for new original posters.

General courses > 6 ECTS credit points

General courses deal with various issues relevant for the professional and personal development of PhD candidates. This category involves competence strengthening courses. Wageningen based graduate schools (WGS) have joined their efforts in coordinating and streamlining the course diversity and quality.

Examples of general courses organised by VLAG or WGS are: Career perspectives, Scientific writing, Supervision of undergraduates, Presentation techniques, Ethics, Didactics and the VLAG PhD week (introduction course for PhD candidates).

Further on a wide variety of courses is offered by other universities, as well as by other (inter)national graduate schools.

Other activities > 8 ECTS credit points

Examples of other activities are:

  • Preparation of research proposal (4 ECTS credits)
  • Scientific meetings, seminars, colloquia organised within a department/research group (max. 3 ECTS credits)
  • Literature study programmes: Credit points can be awarded to literature study programmes which are organised and supervised at departmental level. It is realized that not all departments do have such literature study programmes. (max. 3 ECTS credits)
  • MSc courses: Undergraduate courses can be included up to a maximum of 6 credit points. They should be of relevance to the PhD study and you have to pass the exam.
  • International PhD excursions
  • Organisation of international PhD excursions (1.0 ECTS credits)

Guidelines for following online courses

Online course (discipline specific and general courses) are a great way to learn a new skill or gain new knowledge from your own home. Online courses are in some cases available for free, but in order to receive a certificate and claim credits or you might need to pay a course fee. To be able to complete the course for free and still be able to add the credits to your TSP the following guidelines apply:

  • Courses need to be at postgraduate level (often communicated by the organizer of the course but in case this is not clear, your supervisor must state that this is the case)
  • The number of ECTS depends on the study load (# study hours) and will be determined by VLAG based on the guidelines which can be found here
  • VLAG needs an official certificate or an e-mail from your supervisor giving her/his approval and confirming that you have finished all parts of the course

You may also add Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to your TSP, but these are considered MSc level and can only be added to the Optional Category (C) in your TSP. Please be aware that the maximum number of credits for MSc courses is 6 ECTS. It is also possible to add online courses in the category of General courses. Next to that, the same guidelines apply, as mentioned above, for other online courses.