Bachelor- and Mastertheses

Below, the process of deve­lo­ping a bachelor or a master­thesis is described consis­ting of four conse­cu­tive steps. While the follo­wing infor­ma­tion applies to both, Bache­lor- and Master­theses, the level of expec­ta­tions in terms of rigor and efforts will be higher in terms of the latter.

First Step: Iden­tify Topics and Poten­tial Super­vi­sors

We expect our students to show inte­rest in their suggested topics which need to fit the Insti­tute's current rese­arch and teaching areas. There­fore, the first step is to iden­tify the topic. Poten­tial super­vi­sors can be found when brow­sing through our online resources (FIDES, staff home­pages) or by contac­ting staff who are teaching related subjects. Once you have iden­ti­fied a poten­tial super­visor, you may apply by email or by arran­ging an appoint­ment. The topic in itself is, however, not suffi­cient. It is recom­mended to also think about an asso­ciated rese­arch problem based on personal rese­arch inte­rests and possible rese­arch ques­tions, which should be tackled by the thesis.

Second Step: Develop the Proposal

Once the candi­date and the super­visor have agreed on a broad topic, the candi­date needs to develop a thesis proposal. In most cases, a two-step approach is recom­mended, which includes a short initial proposal (one page) to be used for further feed­back to complete an effec­tive full rese­arch proposal (about 3-5 pages). This proposal is the base­line agree­ment for the thesis. However, it is not set in stone and can still be changed (e.g. regar­ding aims or methods) subject to approval by the super­visor.

The full proposal typi­cally includes:

  • A working title,

  • rese­arch problem,

  • rese­arch ques­tions and objec­tives,

  • intended metho­do­logy,

  • content over­view,

  • main work packages,

  • miles­tones and related risks, and

  • around 3-5 high quality refe­rences.

A syste­matic lite­ra­ture review (depen­ding on the amount of other rese­arch work, e.g. a survey or case studies) is usually a consti­tuent piece of a master thesis through which rese­arch gaps should be iden­ti­fied.

Third Step: Develop the Thesis

Once the full rese­arch proposal is approved by your super­visor, inde­pen­dent rese­arch work is expected. All further inter­ac­tions with the super­visor are non-­man­da­tory. It is, however, strongly suggested to include certain miles­tones in the proposal, which are likely to need further discus­sion and reflec­tion with the super­visor. Empi­rical fiel­d­work needs to be approved in any case once the instru­ments are fina­lized.

Fourth Step: Submit the Thesis

It is expected to submit a final draft version of your thesis elec­tro­ni­cally (by Email) to your super­visor to receive final feed­back and approval for uploa­ding your thesis via Learn@WU, where it is also checked for plagia­rism. The final draft version should be free of errors and careful proo­frea­ding is highly recom­mended before submit­ting the final draft. In addi­tion, you may be asked to present and defend your findings.

Once your Master­thesis is formally graded (!), one hard­copy version must be submitted to the WU library. The Insti­tute for Infor­ma­tion Manage­ment and Control does not require a hard­copy version. For a Bache­l­orthesis no hard­copy version is required.

Language Requi­re­ments

While the Master­thesis can only be written in English, the Bache­l­orthesis may also be written in German after consul­ting your super­visor.