YSS-31306 Thesis Path MDR


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)ir. M van Maanen-Nooij
Lecturer(s)drs. LFP Pijnenburg
dr. ir. GM Verschoor
dr. ir. CJM Almekinders
Examiner(s)dr. ir. GM Verschoor
dr. ir. CJM Almekinders

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Participants follow the courses below in parallel to Thesis Path:
YRM-20806 Research Design & Research Methods; CPT-21304 Introduction to Technology, Agro-ecology and Development M; CPT-23804 Introduction to Communication and Innovation Studies M; SDC-21804 Introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge and Development M.

Continuation courses:



This course is the link between all course elements and the thesis in the MDR programme. It pays attention to the epistemological and ontological issues of science and their consequences for the practice of social science research. During the course students acquire additional (study and research) skills with respect to the writing of their own research project (thesis), including research assessment skills. The students run through the successive stages of proposal writing: research problem statement development, the role of theory and the development of an appropriate conceptual framework, the design of an adequate set of research techniques, as well as budgeting and scheduling of all the research activities.

Learning outcomes:

After Thesis Path the students are expected to be able:
- to demonstrate proficiency in the following skills: writing, reading and information retrieval through the drafting of a research proposal;
- to demonstrate a critical understanding of the differences between the philosophy of the natural and the social sciences;
- to choose a research problem, discern its owners and clearly formulate the individual, academic and societal relevance by means of a research proposal;
- to position themselves in an academic debate by means of a clearly formulated theoretical state of the art related to the research problem;
- to formulate a clear research objective;
- to formulate, on the basis of a conceptual framework, a research question and its operationalization;
- to design a methodological framework that closely dovetails with the chosen conceptual framework and select the relevant methods and techniques;
- to make a presentation of both the research proposal and preliminary or final research results;
- to assess fellow students' presentations of research proposals and (preliminary) results;
- to critically reflect upon one's own knowledge generation and learning processes through a set of group evaluations.


- Interactive lecturing;
- group work;
- literature study;
- writing and public presentation of own (partial) research proposals and preliminary findings;
- essay writing.


- skills: compulsory assignments completed at a sufficient level ('pass or fail');
- presentations and peer reviews: must be completed at a sufficient level ('pass or fail') ;
- philosophy: group assignment and presentation (50%);
- 2-page concept note on research proposal (50%).
Each (marked) component has to be at least a 5.5. The final mark will only be acknowledged when compulsory assignments have been passed.


There will be a studyguide and hand-outs of articles.

Compulsory for: MDRDevelopment and Rural InnovationMSc1+2+3+4+5+6