The MSc thesis is an important part of your master programme. Students from the programmes MDR, MID, MLE, MLP and MOA can do their thesis with SDC if they meet the course requirements. The majority of the students that execute their thesis at SDC go abroad.

Course requirements for SDC thesis

  • Master International Development Studies (MID), Specialisation Sociology of Development, Specialisation Politics and Governance of Development
  • Master Development and Rural Innovation (MDR)
  • Master International Land and Water Management (MIL)
  • Master Leisure, Tourism and Environment (MLE), Specialisation Tourism and development, Specialisation Tourism and natural resources, Specialisation Tourism and global mobilities
  • Master Organic Agriculture (MOA), Specialization Sustainable Food Systems








Thesis topics

Have a look at our overview of thesis topics per supervisor. This overview gives information on the field of expertise of all SDC supervisors. Students can use this overview get inspiration on their topic or to see which supervisors fit best their research. Sometimes, specific thesis opportunities pop up. Like our Facebook page to get the latest updates on these thesis possibilities.


There are different requirements for each Master programme to do a thesis with SDC. Check with your study advisor first to make sure you are eligible for a master thesis with SDC.

Risk assessment

A large part of MSc thesis research takes place abroad. Before deciding on topic and country, students should check the security situation and the risk involved in doing a Master thesis research in a particular country. All students travelling to an area of risk are required to fill in the risk assessment (see Important Documents).

By means of our courses we aim to inspire students with our critical constructive approach, our core research themes and ongoing research projects of our staff members. The students are encouraged to choose their own research topic in relation to these themes and projects.  Though students are allowed to choose their research topic within the confines of their study programme and specialisation (‘study track’).

Sometimes, there is also the possibility to participate in ongoing (thesis) projects. These are advertised on our website, Facebook page and at the bulletin board at the chair group. In order to have a good overview of our research interests, we invite students to take a good look at our staff profiles and research topics.

The Education Coordinator will assist the student in a first delineation of the topic of research, will layout the thesis procedure  and helps to find the most appropriate supervisor. Each new BSc and MSc student is expected to have a first intake with our Education Coordinator in order to facilitate this process. Before the intake we ask you to already come up with some ideas for your thesis in order to make the intake as fruitful as possible.


As soon as students have a more or less fixed idea of what they want to do for their master research, they need to plan a meeting with the education coordinator Jessica de Koning. She will direct you to a supervisor for your thesis.