It is possible to label a master thesis as ‘confidential’ when it contains confidential information and when the company or organisation itself explicitly requests it.


Your internship agreement contains a confidentiality clause.

If the company or organisation supplying data for the master thesis, considers this clause insufficient, they might request an additional confidentiality agreement (non-disclosure agreement or NDA). Usually, the company/organisation will want to use its own document or wording. In that case, please check with them first if the customised clause itself can be included in your internship agreement instead of in a separate document.

 IMPORTANT: If an NDA is requested (either through a modified clause or a separate document), you are not allowed to sign any documents until the UAntwerpen Legal Department has given its approval. The Faculty Education and Student Administration will contact with the UAntwerpen Legal Service for you. This means that you initially provide an unsigned document through

 The promoter of a thesis at the Faculty of Sciences is always connected to the faculty itself. In the case of confidential thesis, the promoter is bound to secrecy by professional ethics and does not sign an additional confidentiality agreement.



A confidential thesis can also mean that you have to additionally upload your thesis in SisA under Embargo. As a result, the thesis will not be made accessible by the library for consultation or lending.

An embargo interferes with communication on the master thesis, publication of results, competing for and awarding master thesis prizes, evaluation of the master thesis, etc. An embargo should therefore be avoided as much as possible. Check with the company/organisation and your supervisor whether there are no other solutions, such as a separate appendix with company-specific information that is not uploaded. If an embargo does prove necessary, it should always be thoroughly justified.



Also ask whether confidentiality applies to your defense. As a rule, the defense is public and accessible to all parties involved. Closed defenses are only allowed in exceptional cases. The fact that unpublished data will be presented is not a sufficient reason to organise a closed defense.


Exceptions may be made for students conducting their research in a location (e.g. company, research institution, etc.) where strict confidentiality must be observed also with regard to the results (e.g. in the context of a patent application). Only in this case is the defense closed to the public, and only in the presence of promoters and co-promoters, members of the jury and the ombuds (where appropriate and on request), all of whom must also observe a confidentiality agreement. The application for such a ‘closed’ defense must be submitted by the student to the Education Committee of the programme no later than 1 month before the deadline for submitting the final paper in SisA. The application is submitted via to the Education Committee of the programme.