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Fi­nal Theses

Are you look­ing for an in­ter­est­ing topic in the fields of In­ter­act­ive Mar­ket­ing & So­cial Me­dia for your fi­nal thesis? Then this is the place to be!

Gen­eral in­form­a­tion

Dur­ing the course of the Mar­ket­ing mas­ter pro­gram, stu­dents must sub­mit a mas­ter thesis worth a total of 20 ECTS cred­its. The mas­ter thesis is an aca­demic pa­per, which demon­strates our stu­dents' ab­il­ity to inde­pend­ently cover a topic and answer spe­cific re­search ques­tions us­ing aca­demic meth­ods. In ad­di­tion to meet­ing aca­demic stand­ards, stu­dents have to demon­strate their ab­il­ity to trans­late the know­ledge they have ac­quired in the course of the MSc pro­gram to real-­world mar­ket­ing de­cision prob­lems.

The mas­ter thesis is re­quired to be em­pir­ical in nature. At IMSM, stu­dents will typ­ic­ally make use of primary (e.g., sur­vey or ex­per­i­mental) and/or sec­ond­ary data, and em­ploy quant­it­at­ive meth­ods to ana­lyze the ac­quired data­sets.

While ori­ginal em­pir­ical re­search is ex­pec­ted to be the norm for mas­ter theses, in very rare cases con­cep­tual work (such as the­or­et­ical syn­theses, novel the­or­ies, or ana­lyt­ical mod­els of pre­vi­ously un­ex­plored phenom­ena) might be ac­cep­ted as well. However, re­quired ef­forts and ex­pect­a­tions from stu­dents work­ing ex­clus­ively on con­cep­tual pa­pers are typ­ic­ally much higher than in the case of em­pir­ical re­search.

What we of­fer

We of­fer you the op­por­tun­ity to gain in­sights into cur­rent re­search in the field of In­ter­act­ive Mar­ket­ing & So­cial Me­dia. This often in­cludes the ap­plic­a­tion of quant­it­at­ive meth­ods to de­rive in­sights from data. Our aim is to of­fer top­ics with a high de­gree of prac­tical rel­ev­ance, which may in­clude a co­oper­a­tion with one of our many in­dustry part­ners. You will re­ceive in­tens­ive coach­ing dur­ing the time of your thesis and the op­por­tun­ity to act­ively par­ti­cip­ate in con­duct­ing State-of-the-Art re­search in a young and in­ter­dis­cip­lin­ary team.

Find­ing a topic that best matches your pref­er­ences

Pro­ced­ural Guidelines

In order to fin­ish the MSc in Mar­ket­ing pro­gram within two years, we strongly re­com­mend to meet the fol­low­ing guideline:

  1. In your second semester start look­ing for a topic sug­ges­ted by a fac­ulty mem­ber or start think­ing about your topic and look­ing for a su­per­visor for this topic. You have to choose a topic in agree­ment with your su­per­visor. In par­tic­u­lar, stu­dents who study abroad in their 3rd semester should get in touch with a po­ten­tial su­per­visor as early as possible!

  2. You have to hand in an ab­stract of your mas­ter's thesis pro­ject at the end of Novem­ber in your 3rd semester.

  3. Right after Christ­mas break in your 3rd semester, you have to present your mas­ter's thesis pro­ject.

  4. To­wards the end of your 4th semester you have to do a fi­nal present­a­tion of your thesis.

  5. There is the op­por­tun­ity of a gradu­ation ce­re­mony (com­mence­ment) to­gether with your class­mates mid-Oc­to­ber after your 4th semester. Apart from com­ple­tion of all re­quired courses, you have to sub­mit the final ver­sion of your mas­ter's thesis by the end of May of your 4th semester in order to par­ti­cip­ate in this ce­re­mony.

Be­fore you ap­ply

Please care­fully study the of­fi­cial WU guidelines of writ­ing a fi­nal thesis as part of the Mar­ket­ing mas­ter pro­gram. Be­fore you ap­ply, please be aware that, at our In­sti­tute, we ex­pect you to pro­act­ively man­age the re­search and writ­ing pro­cess (e.g., by schedul­ing meet­ings with your su­per­visor in ap­pro­pri­ate in­ter­vals).


You are ex­pec­ted to be fa­mil­iar with the gen­eral rules of writ­ing a scien­ti­fic pa­per. To en­sure that you are fa­mil­iar with the pe­culi­ar­it­ies of writ­ing a thesis in mar­ket­ing, we provide you with a sum­mary of the most im­port­ant aspects you will need to con­sider when writ­ing your thesis with us. However, you will still have to pro­act­ively ac­quire rel­ev­ant know­ledge be­fore you start writ­ing your thesis. These con­tents are, for in­stance, sum­mar­ized in the fol­low­ing read­ings:

  • Stick­el-­Wolf, C. and Wolf, J. (2006): Wis­senschaft­liches Arbeiten und Lern­tech­niken, 4. Aufl., Wies­baden. (Ger­man)

  • Tur­a­bian, K.L. (2013): A Manual for Writers of Re­search Pa­pers, Theses, and Dis­ser­ta­tions (Ch­icago Style for Stu­dents and Re­search­ers), 8th ed., Uni­versity of Ch­icago Press, Ch­icago. (Eng­lish)

  • Booth, W.C., Colomb, G.G., & Wil­li­ams, J.M. (2008): The Craft of Re­search, 3rd ed., Uni­versity of Ch­icago Press, Ch­icago. (Eng­lish)

Find­ing an in­ter­est­ing topic

Please con­sider the fol­low­ing op­tions to find a topic that you like and that you are will­ing to work on in­tens­ively:

  • Con­sult the list of cur­rently avail­able top­ics to find out if one of the open top­ics matches your pref­er­ences. In most cases, this will be the ap­pro­pri­ate way of find­ing a topic. 

In ad­di­tion, we en­cour­age our stu­dents to work on their mas­ter theses in co­oper­a­tion with a local, na­tional or in­ter­na­tional com­pany. In do­ing so, they may also be­ne­fit from our fac­ulty's con­nec­tions to the busi­ness world.

When work­ing to­gether with busi­ness part­ners, please re­spect the fol­low­ing note of cau­tion: The pro­cess of su­per­vising mas­ter theses at the De­part­ment of Mar­ket­ing in­volves nu­mer­ous in­ter­ac­tions with mul­tiple fac­ulty mem­bers and peers. In ad­di­tion, stu­dents are re­quired to present and dis­cuss their find­ings by the end of the fourth semester. While it will be possible to dis­guise some of the most sens­it­ive and/or in­ternal in­form­a­tion, com­plete con­ceal­ment of your ori­ginal re­search will not be feas­ible. Thus, when work­ing to­gether with com­pan­ies, please make sure be­fore the start of your thesis that all parties in­volved are fully aware of the fact that the thesis will be ex­posed to the "pub­lic" of the MSc in Mar­ket­ing pro­gram.

In case you can­not find an in­ter­est­ing topic among the ad­vert­ised top­ics, you may also con­sult our web­site to learn about the re­search fields of our team mem­bers. If you have an idea for an in­ter­est­ing topic that matches the re­search area of one of our team mem­bers, you may also pro­act­ively sug­gest a topic dir­ectly to this team mem­ber. However, please note that the su­per­vi­sion of top­ics pro­posed by stu­dents is only possible in ex­cep­tional cases and the de­cision to su­per­vise a sug­ges­ted topic is made by the po­ten­tial su­per­visor.

Ap­ply for a topic

You have found a topic that you like? Great!

Please ap­ply for the re­spect­ive topic by provid­ing us with: 

  1. A short CV (in­clud­ing po­ten­tially rel­ev­ant ex­per­i­ence re­lated to the topic), 

  2. A sum­mary of your grades (“tran­script of re­cords”)

  3. A short mo­tiv­a­tion let­ter out­lining why you are in­ter­ested in the topic.

Please dir­ect the ap­plic­a­tion to the su­per­visor of the topic.


Your po­ten­tial su­per­visor will con­tact you after assess­ing your ap­plic­a­tion and in­vite you to our In­sti­tute in order to ex­plain the topic in more de­tail. Shortly after the in­ter­view, the su­per­visor provides you with feed­back. If the feed­back from our side is pos­it­ive and you are still in­ter­ested in the topic you need to make your fi­nal de­cision to ac­cept the topic within one week.Note that we do not al­low for a topic to be re­served by a stu­dent for a very long time.

Writ­ing an ex­posé

Con­grat­u­la­tions - at this point you have found an in­ter­est­ing topic to work on. Now your primary im­port­ant task is to write an ex­posé to cla­rify the topic of your thesis and the way you plan to ap­proach the re­search prob­lem. The ex­posé is also in­ten­ded to help you struc­ture your thesis and should cover the fol­low­ing:

  • Work­ing title of your thesis

  • Mo­tiv­a­tion of the re­search prob­lem and iden­ti­fic­a­tion of the “re­search gap” 

  • Ap­proach to solve the prob­lem and pro­posed re­search method §  Short out­line of the thesis

  • Pre­lim­in­ary lit­er­at­ure list

  • A plan of your work stages in­clud­ing bi­weekly mile­stones.

We will provide you with two examples of ex­posés writ­ten by former stu­dents of ours to help you un­der­stand the re­quire­ments for a very good ex­posé. Please note that draft­ing the ex­posé is an it­er­at­ive pro­cess, which may re­quire some time. Over­all, your su­per­visor will provide feed­back on three dif­fer­ent ver­sions of your ex­posé. After each round you will have the op­por­tun­ity to re­vise the ex­posé. We ex­pect you to sub­mit your ex­posé within four weeks.

Writ­ing your Thesis

Do not post­pone writ­ing your thesis as you don’t have more than about 6 months in total (com­puter crashed or “do­g-ate-my-thesis” are no valid ex­cuses and do not lead to an ex­ten­sion).

Dur­ing the writ­ing pro­cess, please re­port to your su­per­visor on the pro­gress of your work at least every 2 to 3 weeks. Note that you have to pro­act­ively ar­range the meet­ings with your su­per­visor to re­ceive feed­back and check on the agreed mile­stones. Fur­ther­more, we ex­pect you to provide your su­per­visor with meet­ing minutes after con­sulta­tions via email on the same day.

It is im­port­ant that you strictly ad­here to the format­ting and writ­ing guidelines as sum­mar­ized in our in­struc­tion sheet for con­duct­ing scien­ti­fic work. In ad­di­tion, we provide you with a tem­plate for your theses here.

Hand­ing in your Thesis

You must sub­mit your thesis no later than 6 months after hav­ing re­ceived your topic.

The sub­mis­sion pro­cess in­cludes the fol­low­ing steps:

  • Sub­mit your thesis elec­tron­ic­ally via Learn@WU and send your su­per­visor a copy of the thesis via email. Please fill out the cover elec­tron­ic­ally and place it at the be­gin­ning of your thesis.

  • Be­sides your writ­ten thesis, you have to hand in a short present­a­tion of your res­ults. Please send this present­a­tion to your su­per­visor by email. 

  • If you are work­ing on an em­pir­ical topic, you also have to provide the raw data, which you used for es­tim­a­tion (e.g., on CD or USB). In this case, all steps of your ana­lyses have to be trans­par­ent (e.g., by provid­ing the code that you have used) so that your su­per­visor is able to rep­lic­ate your res­ults.   

  • The fi­nal ver­sion of the work is sub­jec­ted to pla­gi­ar­ism de­tec­tion. The res­ults of this ex­am­in­a­tion are auto­mat­ic­ally for­war­ded to the thesis su­per­visor.


Gen­er­ally, we will try to cor­rect and grade your thesis as fast as possible. However, you should plan in 8 weeks after sub­mis­sion (up­load­ing the thesis to Learn@WU) for the cor­rec­tion time on our side in case you need the grade on your stu­dent re­cord by a spe­cific date (e.g., for job ap­plic­a­tions).

Your thesis will be graded ac­cord­ing to a stand­ard­ized grad­ing scheme, which you can down­load here. Note that the weights of the dif­fer­ent grad­ing com­pon­ents de­pend on the type of your thesis (i.e., em­pir­ical vs. non-em­pir­ical).

Once your thesis has been graded, you will re­ceive a writ­ten grad­ing re­port from us that de­tails the reas­ons for your grade.

Fi­nally, we will grade you elec­tron­ic­ally via Bach and also send you a writ­ten re­viewer re­port via email which de­tails the reas­ons for your grade.

Note that your fi­nal grade can only be entered into the sys­tem if you provide your su­per­visor with the filled out doc­u­ments ac­cord­ing to the guidelines described here 


The fi­nal thesis pro­cess from the ini­tial con­tact to the fi­nal feed­back:

In case you have any ques­tions please con­tact Nils Wlömert.