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03 November 2020

PhD-theses by Dutch universities

A PhD is concluded with a PhD-theses, also called a dissertation. On this page we show the number and development of the university output in terms of dissertations by cluster of scientific areas and by university.


From 2000 onwards, the total number of PhD-theses shows an increasing trend. 2017 shows a small decrease in the number of PhD-theses. This trend of positive growth is visible in every cluster. From 1997-2018, the share of the Medical cluster in the total number of PhD-theses has grown from 26% to 35%. The relative share PhD-theses of the Science & engineering cluster has decreased (from 44% to 39%), as has the share of the Humanities cluster (from 10% to 7%). The relative share of the Behavioural & social sciences has remained relatively stable, at 19%.

The number of dissertations is related to the size of a university. Utrecht University (UU), the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and Groningen University (RUG) constitute the top 3 with respect to the number of PhD-theses. The Open University (OU) produces the smallest number of PhD-theses.

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