4.1 The range and structure of programs

In 2017-2018, TU/e will provide twelve Bachelor’s programs and 23 Master’s programs.

Bachelor’s programs

The Bachelor’s programs last three years (180 credits). They consist of a propaedeutic (first year) phase (60 credits) and a main phase lasting two years (120 credits), which concludes with the final examination (Bachelor’s examination). 

The new Bachelor’s programs, in accordance with the Bachelor College model, have a number of study components that are briefly explained below: major components, basic components, elective components and elective packages, and USE (User, Society and Enterprise) study components. All modules provided by the TU/e are listed in the digital course catalogue, which can be found at (OSIRIS course catalogue). 

The major study components comprise the discipline-specific part of the program and together account for 90 credits.

The six basic study components (together 30 credits) are compulsory for all students: Calculus, Natural Sciences, Data Analytics for Engineers, USE Basis, Design and Professional Skills. Professional Skills is not a separate study component but an integral part of the major. The skills it teaches, and how these are assessed and completed, are specified in the OER. The basic study components prepare students both for their own major and for their elective study components.

The electives account for 45 credits. Students can choose from the complete range of individual electives on offer, each worth 5 credits, or complete elective packages (mostly worth 15 credits). The requirements that a student’s choice of electives must fulfill are specified in the OER.

In addition to the basic USE study component, students must take a USE learning track: three study components and five Studium Generale activities earmarked as USE. A USE learning track consists of study components in which the discipline of the major is seen from the perspective of the user, society and/or enterprise. Students can choose from all USE packages on offer to fill in the USE learning track.

Further information on the new style Bachelor’s programs within the Bachelor College

Legislation and regulations:    - OERs

Policy:                                     - Bachelor College Guideline, approved on April 13, 2017

For more information:             - ESA  tel. +31 (0)40 247 47 47

Master’s programs

Master’s programs last two years (120 credits) and comprise compulsory study components worth up to 30 credits, a number of specialist elective study components, and Master’s-level free electives worth at least 15 credits, possibly including an internship (if this is not included in the compulsory or specialist study components) and a final internship worth 30 or 45 credits. The degree program must be structured in a way that students can earn 15 credits’ worth of experience abroad. This part of the Master’s programs is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged, unless a student has already gained international experience during the Bachelor’s program or completed previous training abroad. In addition, every student is assigned a mentor at the end of the second quartile, who will interview the student about the choice not to obtain any international experience.
On the recommendation of the mentor, the Examination Committee makes a decision regarding the student’s choice of specialist elective study components.
Students do not need to ask their mentor or thesis supervisor when choosing free electives. Homologation study components (which students take in order to rectify any deficiency) count as elective courses, but must not account for more than 15 credits within the full degree program. Within the Graduate School, it is also possible to allocate 15 credits to Bachelor’s study components on level 3, including possible homologation courses.

The OER for the program specifies the choices made by the Department Boards and how the program is structured within the frameworks of the Graduate School. Information on the structure of the program and specializations can be found in the digital education guide ( and on the TU/e website.

4.2 The right to a manageable study program

The OER is assessed on a regular basis, during which the emphasis will be on the time demanded by the study load. This is the Department Board’s responsibility. The OER text for each program is included in the appropriate digital study guide. The CvB will ensure that the following information included in the relevant digital study guide, which can be consulted online (

The CVB will ensure that the following information is published in good time before the academic year starts:

  • the programs on offer;
  • for which programs a reference can be made to graduation tracks and the rules that apply. The information must be published in such a way that prospective students can form a clear opinion of the content and structure of the program and the examinations.

Programs must be structured in such a way that students have a reasonable opportunity to meet the requirements for study progress laid down in Student Finance Act (Wet Studiefinanciering) WSF 2000).

4.3 Study load and credits

Each program has a number of study components. The number of components and their weight determine the program’s study load. The study load of the programs and the corresponding study components are defined by the Department Board as a number of credits. The study load of each program as a whole and of the separate study components is included in the OER.

In the provisions above and elsewhere in this statute, the term ‘credits’ will be used in accordance with the European Credit Transfer System. This is a credit system that is used in the European Union and that became law in the Netherlands with the introduction of the Bachelor-Master structure. Credits are calculated in this system as follows: the study load for an academic year is 60 credits, and one credit equals 28 study hours. Therefore, 60 credits equals 1,680 hours of study.   

4.4 Study guidance

Students have the right to study guidance and the services of a student advisor and/or student counselor. In accordance with the Exceptional Care Act, special attention must be given to students who belong to an ethnic or cultural minority.

Each department has one or more academic advisors to support students. Individual student guidance must be regulated in the OER.

In addition to the support of an academic advisor from their own major and a student advisor/counselor from the ESA, students who study within the Bachelor College are also entitled to coaching by a study coach and – in the first semester after enrollment – the support of a student mentor (senior student from their own program). The OER specifies what the coaching and the various forms of support focus on. The tasks of the study coach, student mentor, academic advisor and student advisor are described below.

Tasks of the study coaches in het Bachelor programs

Each student is entitled to four meetings with the study coach, spread over the academic year.
The study coach, who may not be a program director or academic advisor, supports and coaches the student in:

  • the development of the student's professional identity as a future engineer;
  • the necessary selection process that this entails. This relates to choices such as selecting electives, including a USE package, whether to take part in an honors program, and selecting a Master’s program;
  • the managing and shaping his own choices, i.e. learning how to make study-related choices in the light of the ambitions he hopes to achieve;

The study coach can refer the student to the academic advisor (from his own major) if the student encounters problems that hamper his study progress. With permission of the Dean Bachelor College, the Department Board may elect to alter the role of the study coach.

Tasks of the student mentor in Bachelor's programs

The student mentor, who is appointed by the department and trained by the students advisors at ESA, supports students individually and in groups with regard to:

  • becoming a part of the program, the department and the university both socially and academically,
  • having contact with other students, being part of the program and studying,
  • learning by working with others, and developing study skills in consultation with the student advisors at ESA. The student mentor provides information and answers questions about the major, the department and the university, as well as information about whom to contact in case of questions or problems.

Tasks of the academic advisor (own major)/graduate program

The academic advisor:

  • advises the student, at the student’s request or on his own initiative, on all aspects of the student’s program;
  • conducts individual and group interviews with students about study progress, study planning, study progress resolution (pre-Master students) and the binding study recommendation (Bachelor's students).
  • maintains an overview of the coaching and support for students and is the contact person for all parties involved: the student, study coach (Bachelor’s programs), student mentor (Bachelor’s programs), mentor/thesis supervisor (graduate program) and student advisor;
  • provides (depending on his or her substantive expertise) information on the structure, sequence and coherence of the study components, elective options, possibilities after the Bachelor’s program, opportunities to transfer to other majors within the TU/e or other Bachelor’s programs outside the TU/e, possibilities for specialization in the graduation programs, and opportunities for studying abroad;
  • discusses, at the student’s request, any problems with the coaching or the study coach (Bachelor’s programs) or the mentor/thesis supervisor (graduate program) and takes action where necessary;
  • advises the student and the study coach (Bachelor’s programs) or the mentor/thesis supervisor (graduate program) on referral to a ESA student advisor/counselor if there are exceptional circumstances or problems relating to study skills, the selection process, or personal problems that affect the student’s ability to study.

Tasks of mentor (graduate program)

The mentor

  • is an assistant professor, associate professor or a full professor. In many cased, the mentor is the thesis supervisor, but this is not a requirement;
  • provides guidance at the student's request;

guides the student during the Master's program with regard to:

  • the student's chosen career path and the related choices within (and, where relevant, outside) the degree program;
  • the composition of the program (specializations, free electives, internship, main topic of graduation);
  • the student’s development of his own professional skills, in which the mentor involves the development plan for professional skills that the student designed at the beginning of the Master’s program.
  • should advise the student on the specializations he has chosen in his degree program; 
  • discusses the Code of conduct for academic practice with the student, who, in the presence of the mentor, signs a statement to the effect that he will comply with the rules of academic integrity. 

Tasks of the student advisor (ESA)

The student advisor advises and supports the student in:

  • (problems relating to) studying and study skills (including motivation, fear of failure, study attitude, study behavior, procrastination),
  • personal problems that affect the student’s ability to study (where necessary, the student advisor refers the student to external bodies;
  • overcoming a stagnating choice process: career guidance and preparation for the labor market (CareerCenter).

Tasks of the student counselor (ESA)

The student counselor advises and supports the student in:

  • personal circumstances (including functional impairments such as dyslexia, autism, or chronic illness):
  • administrative matters, such as admission, study grants, the scheme for top-level sport.

4.5 Studying with a functional impairment

Students with a functional impairment or chronic illness (referred to below as ‘functional impairment’) often suffer delays to their study. This is because, as a result of the impairment, they cannot devote as much time and energy to their program as the average student or must devote more time and energy to their program than the average student. The TU/e must take reasonable measures to make it possible for students with a functional impairment to take part in the program and in examinations.

Students wishing to take advantage of these facilities should submit a written request for the program, interim examinations or practical exercise to be adjusted accordingly, or for extra facilities to be provided. The request can be submitted to the Examination Committee or the Department Board, if possible three months before taking part in the program, examinations or practical exercises. The request should be accompanied by any documents that could reasonably be considered necessary to for assessing the request. This should in any case include a recent statement from a medical doctor or psychologist, or from a testing bureau registered with the BIG, NIP or NVO. If a student wishes to make use of the provisions mentioned above, this is usually arranged through the student counselor, who submits a request to the Examination Committee on behalf of the student.

Further information on the supply and structure of programs, study load, study guidance, studying with a functional impairment, etc.

Legislation and regulations:    

  • Articles 7.3, 7.3a, 7.4, 7.4a, 7.7, 7.8, 7.13, 7.15, 7.34 of the WHW;
  • OERs


  •  TU/e policy memorandum on studying with a functional impairment, established by decision of the CvB on June 27, 2006



For more information:     

  • ESA, tel. +31 (0)40 247 47 47
  • Departmental academic advisors

4.6 Study progress and study grants

For further information, visit and

Further information on study progress and study grants


  • Articles 7.4, 7.9a, 7.9c, 7.9d of the WHW
  • Study Advance Act (Wet Studievoorschot)


  • Various DUO brochures
  • DUO information newsletter; sent directly to students.

For more information:  

4.7 Recommendation on the continuation of studies at the end of the first academic year

As stated above, the TU/e uses a system of binding study advice (BSA: bindend studieadvies) for students enrolled in a Bachelor’s program.

After the first semester of the propaedeutic year, the student will be issued with a provisional positive or negative study recommendation, known as a pre-recommendation. If a student receives a nedative provisional study recommendation, this gives him a reasonable amount of time in which to meet the BSA standard. Students who obtain fewer than 45 credits at the end of the first year are issued with a negative binding recommendation on the continuation of studies. Those who obtain 45 credits or more receive a positive binding recommendation. 

The Examination Committee sets an adapted BSA standard of 40 credits if a student has obtained 40 credits at the end of an academic year but has an insufficient for a study component for which there is not resit in the running academic year, while the final test was sufficient (6.0 or higher). Furthermore, the Examination Committee shall set a standard in the following instances:

  1. a student has been granted exemptions within the propaedeutical phase and he/she is starting the program on September 1, or
  2. a student who has or has not been granted exemptions within the propaedeutical phase and starts the program after September 1 but before February 1 (third quartile), or
  3. a student transfers to a different program after the first quartile but before the fourth quartile, or
  4. the student meets the requirements of a top-level athlete, as defined within the Financial Support Regulations 2017 of the TU/e.

Credits obtained through exemptions do not count towards the standard that must be met for the BSA.

The propaedeutic year has three statutory functions: orientation, selection and referral. The first year of study should therefore make it clear whether the student and the program suit each other and whether the student can be expected, under normal circumstances, to complete the program within a reasonable period of time.

The total study counseling system has an important role to play in respect of these functions. The advice given to students is provided in phases and with care. It employs categories that distinguish between students who, according to the standards for study progress set by the program, can be expected to complete the program with either no or almost no delay and those who cannot be expected to do so.

The BSA is compulsory for both the student and the university: it is compulsory for the student because he is obliged to make sufficient progress in the first year of the Bachelor’s program so there is a good chance of his completing the program within a reasonable time (under penalty of not being permitted to enroll for the same program a second time); and it is compulsory for the university, because it has a duty to provide the conditions under which students can make good study progress and optimal support so that students can fulfill the standards for study progress (under penalty of losing appeals and suffering damage to its reputation).

Further information on study advice


  • Article 7.8b of the WHW

For more information:   

  • OER for the Bachelor’s program
  • departmental academic advisors
  • ESA, tel. +31 (0) 40 - 247 47 47

4.8 The ‘harde knip’ or Bachelor-before-Master rule

Students must have obtained their Bachelor’s degree before starting a Master’s program (this is known in Dutch as the ‘harde knip’, or Bachelor-before-Master rule).

The ‘harde knip’ applies to all students, including those starting a corresponding Master’s program after completing their Bachelor’s program, and transfer students. The Bachelor-before-Master rule also applies to pre-Master’s students: they will have to complete their pre-Master’s program before they can enroll in a Master’s program. All students are affected by the new system, irrespective of how they are enrolled (full-time, part-time, main or secondary).

The ‘harde knip’ system does not apply to students who enrolled in a Master’s program before September 1st, 2012 (and who may not yet have completed their Bachelor’s program – this is known as the ‘zachte knip’). They enrolled under the ‘zachte knip’, and retain those rights. 

Starting dates for Master’s programs

All Master’s degree programs at the TU/e have at least two starting dates: in September and in February (beginning of quartiles 1 and 3).

The Department Board is responsible for ensuring that, with sufficient effort, it is possible to complete the Master’s program within two years of enrolling. Students who have completed their Bachelor’s degree at the TU/e may join the Master’s program on the first day of the month following successful completion of the Bachelor’s degree exam. In other words: they do not have to wait until one of the formal starting dates. However, if these students start their Master’s program at a time other than the formal starting dates, the department cannot guarantee that it will be able to offer a study program that will enable the student to complete the Master’s program within two years. Requests to enrol in the Master’s program are approved according to the TU/e 2016 Regulations for registration,Career check, enrollment, and termination of enrollment.

Separation of Bachelor’s and Master’s program study components

At the start of the study program, all students are provided with a program of examinations containing the study components their study program consists of. Students add their own electives via the Planapp. The conditions that apply are recorded in the OER. As regards the choic of electives, Bachelor’s students can select from earmarked courses in the course catalogue. In this way, the Bachelor’s and Master’s programs are separated. 

Bachelor’s students must register for the study components they will be taking (including practicals and components that are examined in other ways than with a written test). This is necessary for organization and administration, and desirable for monitoring and control. If a student does not register for a study component, he cannot take the examination (interim and final test). If the student has not registered on time for one or more study components from the same quartile and the quartile has not yet begun, he can still do so, within the given term, by making a payment of €20 per component. This system, in which later registration is possible on payment of an administration fee, does not apply to study components in Master’s programs.

The law prescribes that students may only take and be examined in study components that are a part of their study program. If a student wishes to take a study component outside his program and sit the relevant interim examination, this is of course possible, but these shall only be recognezed as part of the curricular program of examinations upon the approval of the Examination Committee. 

Pre-Master’s programs

The ‘harde knip’ also applies to students taking a pre-Master’s program.

The main rule is that students must complete 100% of the program within set term (a maximum of two semesters). Students who fail to do so are not permitted to continue with the pre-Master’s program. The Examination Committee can approve exceptions to this rule in exceptional cases. The rules for this are laid down in the OER of the Masters' program. 

Extra examination opportunity in relation to the Bachelor-before-Master rule (hardship clause)

There is a hardship clause for urgent cases of students who are disproportionately affected by the introduction of the ‘harde knip’ system. The hardship clause is implemented by the Examination Committees on the basis of centrally determined guidelines.

The hardship clause is included in the OER for the Bachelor’s program. The Departmental Examination Committees are responsible for implementing the clause. They are supported by the Central Committee for Personal Circumstances (the same committee that assesses personal circumstances in relation to the binding recommendation on the continuation of studies).

The hardship clause was drawn up on the basis of the following basic principles:

  • students with exceptional personal circumstances or who have (almost) completed their programs within the nominal period (three – three and a half years) and still need to obtain a maximum of ten credits;
  • in the case of students who have (almost) completed their programs within the nominal period, the Examination Committee can take account of administrative activities within the student associations; In these cases students can request an extra resit for the Bachelor's study components they still need to pass

The procedure regarding exceptional personal circumstances is the same as that for the BSA. Students who qualify under the hardship clause but who do not know their grades for all the Bachelor’s study components at the start of the Master’s program in the first or second semester, may take Master’s study components for which they have sufficient prior knowledge, with the permission of the Examination Committee. However, they may not yet enroll in the Master’s program. The students should not begin work on projects during a Master’s program. If a student has not passed his Bachelor’s degree, he is not permitted to continue with the Master’s study component he was taking.

Further information on the ‘harde knip’ system

4.9 Teaching in a language other than Dutch

The law assumes that teaching is given in Dutch. In derogation of this another language may be used:

  • if the program is given in another language;
  • if a foreign teacher gives a guest lecture;
  • if the specific nature, structure or quality of the education, or the nationality of the students justifies this, in accordance with the code of conduct determined by the institute's board.

The CvB has established the 2016 TU/e Code of Conduct for languages, which makes it possible to use English – as the only foreign language – during teaching and examinations. Based on this code of conduct, the Department Board may decide that the program and examinations will be given in English if:

  • the internationalization of the program justifies this
  • the quality of the program and specific expertise on the subject require the involvement of non-Dutch teachers
  • the teaching is aimed wholly or partially at non-Dutch students.

Such Department Board decisions must state which part of the teaching will be given in English, and must be included in the OER and announced in good time.

For students in the Bachelor College's programs, the majors will be taught in Dutch, with the exception of the majors Automotive; Architecture, Building & Planning; Data Science; Electrical Engineering; Industrial Design; Psychology and Technology; Computer Science and Engineering; Sustainable Innovation; Chemical Engineering; Software Science (being discontinued); Applied Physics; Applied Mathematics and Web Science (being discontinued), which will be given in English. Students are expected to take the study components as they are given in their program. In other words, students who are taking an English-language program are expected to take English-language study components. The Master’s programs at the TU/e are given in English, with the exception of Science Education and Communication. The placement and the clinical modules in the Medical Engineering program at the Academisch Ziekenhuis Maastricht are given in Dutch. 

Requirements for the level of English

The Executive Board has decided to alter the language requirements for the level of English as of the academic year 2017-2018, because departments have indicated the some students with foreign previous training are not performing sufficiently concerning written and spoken English. By only demanding an average final score, students with a low score (5 or 5.5) for written and/or spoken English can attain an acceptable average and be admitted to a TU/e program. This later results in problems for the students during their studies at the TU/e. 

For this reason, the requirements are as follows as of the academic year 2017-2018: 

Language proficiency of students

For programs that are given in English or programs that are partly given in English, students are expected to have sufficient language proficiency at the start of the program to complete it successfully. The required level is equal to the pre-university (VWO-level) requirement. 

The admission requirements for foreign students concerning the level of English is announced in the Program and Examination Regulations (OER) of each program. The same applies to exemptions for these admission requirements.  

Language proficiency of teachers

All teachers who use English to perform their educational duties must have the required proficiency level to correctly perform the given educational duty. The required level is proven by means of a language assessment that has to be taken. 


Information about Dutch programs is provided in Dutch even if such a program is partly given in English. Information about programs given in English is provided in English or orally in Dutch if the audience is Dutch. 

Further information on teaching in Dutch

Legislation and regulations:  

  • Article 7.2 of the WHW;
  • 2016 TU/e Code of Conduct for language
  • Resolution of the Executive Board in connection with the alteration in admission requirements regarding the English language, dated August 25, 2016

For more information:

  • ESA, tel. +31 (0)40 247 47 47

4.10 Studying abroad as part of a program at TU/e

The TU/e considers it important to give its students the opportunity to become acquainted with the education offered by and culture at foreign educational institutes during their program. A period abroad means that students can acquire knowledge and experience that is not available at TU/e, enriching and expanding the program provided in Eindhoven.

This is possible through internships abroad or by taking elective subjects at a foreign higher education institute, with the Examination Committee’s approval. In this connext, various cooperative agreements have been made with foreign institutes.

TU/e students who go abroad in connection with their program are in many cases eligible for financial support to help cover the additional costs incurred. This does not apply to international students.

Financial assistance and studying abroad

If a student studies abroad, his study grant continues as long as he fulfills certain conditions. This applies if he goes abroad to study for a limited period or do an internship. A student retains his right to a study grant during a temporary period of study or placement abroad if he remains enrolled in a Dutch program and his study or placement abroad is part of that program.

Students can receive a study grant not only for a temporary study or internship, but also for a full program of study abroad. The application form and brochure for a study grant while following a higher education program abroad can be requested from DUO. This form should also be used if a student is already receiving a study grant while studying abroad and wishes to report a change of circumstances. 
The length of a comparable Dutch program is important in determining the right to a study grant - contact DUO for more information.
Tuition fee credit can also be requested for a program of study abroad.

Further information on studying abroad

For more information:

  • departmental internationalization coordinators
  • departmental academic advisors
  • DUO (+31) (0) (50) 599 7755  
  • ESA/Internatiional Office, tel. +31 (0)40 - 247 47 47  
  • Going Abroad website

4.11 Code of Conduct for international students in Dutch higher education

The Code of conduct for international students in Dutch higher education came into force on May 1st, 2006. It was reviewed on December 4th, 2009, March 1st, 2013 and August 1st, 2014. If foreign students register for a study program at an educational institute that has signed the code, the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst, IND) can accelerate the processing of their application for a residence permit. The TU/e has signed this code. This means that the TU/e undertakes to provide foreign students with good supervision and guidance. The code contains agreements on the minimum level of English that foreign students must possess before they are permitted to come and study in the Netherlands. It also contains guidelines for recruiting students abroad. Signing the code of conduct also means that TU/e can make use of the official Netherlands Education Support Offices (NESOs) in other countries, as well as the Short Study Help Desk. Students from non-EEA countries can apply for a student visa and/or residence permit via the help desk. The amended code contains a number of positive elements, including the exception for exchange students and students with a qualification in English. In the most recent amendment, a list of qualifications was added to the code.

Regulations:Code of Conduct for international students in Dutch higher education of February 28th, 2006 (revised version August 1, 2014)

4.12 Quality assurance in education

The TU/e regards achieving high quality, measured by external national and international standards, as an essential precondition for all of its activities, including the education it provides. To guarantee the quality of its education, the TU/e has established a central committee for quality assurance (centrale commissie kwaliteitszorg onderwijs, CCKO). Among other things, the CCKO monitors compliance with the conditions relating to the binding recommendation on the continuation of studies.

The TU/e will keep working on improving the quality and manageability of its programs. Within the ESA (and also in the departments), the quality-assurance officer focuses on matters including conducting internal program evaluations and providing education-related support for projects to improve quality and manageability. The TU/e considers external evaluations indispensable to ensure that the quality of the education provided is adequately safeguarded and stimulated. The didactic training and certification of teachers is the responsibility of the Personnel and Organization Department.

Quality assurance within the Bachelor College

In connection with the start of the Bachelor College and the implementation of a number of design rules aimed at attracting a larger and more diverse group of students (increasing and widening intake), increasing returns and throughput, better preparing students for subsequent (Master’s) tracks and future work – i.e. training the engineers of the future – and increasing their commitment (especially teaching them to study independently and consider it normal to manage that process effectively), the Bachelor College will work together with the quality assurance officers in the departments to monitor the quality of the education provided, through management reports of evaluation results, and discuss it with the stakeholders within the departments. In addition, the Bachelor College, in collaboration with the Bachelor College monitor group (comprising mainly the education commissioners of the study associations) shall be responsible for additional qualitative feedback on the basic subjects and the USE tracks. The information from the monitor-group meetings will be communicated immediately to the lecturers responsible for the basic study components and to the coordinator of the USE tracks.    

For more information:

  • Central committee for educational quality assurance: drs. H.M. Peters, secretary, phone no. +31 (0) 40 - 247 3011
  • Bachelor College: Dr G.A. van de Watering, policy officer, phone no. +31 (0) 40 - 247 2003