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Qualifikationsarbeiten / Theses

The thesis process

In order to earn your Bachelor in Applied Media and Communication Studies” or Master degree in “Media and Communication Science” at TU Ilmenau, you need to submit and defend a thesis, which needs to be approved by two supervisors (one of them must be a Professor or a Dr. habil.). The thesis consists of an exposé, the thesis itself and the defense. These three elements together correspond to 16 credit points in the case of the bachelor thesis, and 30 credit points in the case of the master thesis. 

If you are interested in writing your thesis in the Research Group of Empirical Research and Political Communication, please follow these steps:



1. Find a supervisor

1. Find a supervisor

If you have a topic in mind, try to elaborate research questions and draft your ideas. Send an email with your initial ideas to the lecturer that you think is a good match to your topic of interest. The lecturer will either schedule a meeting with you or advise you to contact another person/department that could be a better match to your proposal.


If you do not have a topic yet, consult here a list of theses topics suggested by our research group. After you find a topic of interest, contact the responsible lecturer as aforementioned.

2. Exposé

2. Exposé

After the initial talk with your potential supervisor, you need to structure your proposal. You find a guide to write the exposé here.

You have a period of six weeks to work on your proposal, i.e., specifying the topic, developing research questions/hypotheses, defining methods, and planning your timeline. During this period you are encouraged to exchange ideas with and get feedback from your potential supervisor. Possibly you will need to develop several drafts of your exposé until you and your supervisor agree on a final version. Thus, we advise you to hand in a first draft of your exposé soon after your first talk with your supervisor. At the end of six weeks, you are required to register your topic at the Examination Office. In case you fail to deliver a satisfactory proposal in six weeks, you will be requested either to find a new topic and/or to find another research group.

3. Register the topic

3. Register the topic

You must register your topic at the Examination Office. For that, you need to fill out and sign a form (please request it at the Examination Office) and collect the signature of your main supervisor.

From the day you register, you have six months to submit your thesis. You will receive an email from the Examination Office informing you about the deadline.

4. Write the thesis

4. Write the thesis

During the period you are conducting your research and writing your thesis, contact your supervisor in case of questions. We recommend discussing with your supervisor the main steps of your work, like the design of your instrument.

The maximum length for a bachelor thesis is 50 pages of content (from introduction to end of discussion/conclusion).

For a master thesis, the limit is 100 pages.

You find a guideline for the thesis structure here.

Besides this, we recommend that you participate in the candidates’ colloquia and present at least once your work during the six months. Enroll in the candidates´ course of our department on Moodle to get the scheduled appointments and other relevant information:

5. Submit the thesis

5. Submit the thesis

To complete your thesis submission, you need to deliver the following documents to the Examination Office:

  • Three printed copies of the thesis with hard cover
  • Signed declaration of autonomy in every copy
  • USB stick with the digital version of the thesis and possibly the digital appendix (pdf or word-Document)
  • Printed confirmation email from the university library concerning the upload of the abstract of the thesis

6. Defense

6. Defense

You will receive a letter from the Examination Office with an appointment for your defense.

One week before the defense, you will receive the reviews of your work from your supervisors via email. In the reviews, deficits of your work will be mentioned and improvements will be demanded. Responding to these critiques, e.g. providing additional analysis, information, theoretical thoughts etc., should be prioritized in the defense.

On the scheduled day and time, you should hold a 15-minute presentation about your work. Afterwards the supervisors will ask you additional questions related to your work and/or to your presentation.