SBL-81836 MSc Thesis Soil Biology


Studiepunten 36.00

Course coordinator(s)dr. RGM de Goede
Examiner(s)prof. dr. E Hoffland
dr. ir. JW van Groenigen
prof. dr. TW Kuyper
prof. dr. RE Creamer
Prof. dr. ir. GB De Deyn
dr. RGM de Goede
dr. MM Pulleman

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

One of out the following BSc courses is compulsory: Soil Quality [SBL21806] or Soil Pollution and Soil Protection (SOC21306) or Soil Plant Interactions (CSA20306) or Biological Interactions in Soils [SBL32806] or comparable knowledge.
Plus one of the following MSc courses: 
Integrated Natural Resource Management in Organic Agriculture [PPS31806] or Nutrient Management [SBL31806] or Carbon Dilemma [SBL35306]) or Ecological Aspects of Bio-interactions [ENT30306]).


The MSc thesis enables the student to put their acquired knowledge and skills into practice by individually and independently conducting a research project in the field of the programme.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- develop a research plan, including the wider scientific context, identification of the knowledge gap, formulation of research questions, aims and objectives, and design of the project including approach, methods and tools;
- collect, select and process data, using the approach, methods and tools described in the research plan;
- analyse and synthesize the data, in order to answer the research questions;
- formulate answers to the research questions that are supported by the research outcomes, pay attention to potential limitations, and relate the outcomes to the wider scientific context;
- report on the research both in writing and in oral presentation;
- work in compliance with academic codes of conduct, and with proper management of time and resources;
- make use of input and feedback for executing the research project as well as provide feedback to others.


- research proposal/planning: the student should prepare by reading literature related to the project, formulating research question/hypothesis and proposing approaches and methods;
- carrying out the research project: the student should execute research activities and document findings and sources carefully;
- feedback: the student should deal with feedback from students and staff on proposal, research results and report and provide other students with feedback;
- report: the research should result in a comprehensive, consistent and concise report. In principle the report should contain all the elements of a full scientific paper in the discipline of the chair group;
- colloquium: the student is required to present major research findings to other MSc students and staff members of the chair group;
- oral examination: the final oral examination is a discussion with the examiner a second reviewer and in some cases, a supervisor outside the chair group.


For the assessment, reviewers/examiners use the MSc Thesis Assessment Form. The average grade for each category (research competence, thesis report, colloquium, examination) should be at least 5.5 for a pass.

Keuze voor: MBIBiologyMScD: Spec. D - Ecology1,2,3,4,5,6
MOAOrganic AgricultureMScA: Spec. A - Agroecology1,2,3,4,5,6
MEEEarth and EnvironmentMScC: Spec. C - Biology and Chemistry of Soil and Water1,2,3,4,5,6
MESEnvironmental SciencesMScA: Spec. A - Environmental Quality1,2,3,4,5,6
MPSPlant SciencesMScC: Spec. C - Natural Resource Management1,2,3,4,5,6
MCLClimate StudiesMScC: Spec. C - Ecological and Agroecological Systems1,2,3,4,5,6