Writing thesis with the CCS department

Our research group supports student research in the overlapping areas of communication and computational science. If you are looking for a thesis topic, we would be glad to advise you and guide you in this process. We offer a number of topics that touch upon many subjects, including gender bias, conspiracy theories, social support and many other. The topics and respective supervisors are listed below. If you a particular interest in a certain topic that is not listed on this page, we are pleased to work on your own research idea together. You can write your thesis in English or in German.

Thesis writing in a nutshell

Here, we provide a brief overview of the thesis writing workflow. For more details, please see our group’s guide on thesis writing “How to write a thesis: guidelines for writing a graduation work” here.

  • 1. Decide on a topic
  • Pick a topic that you are interested in from the list below or come up with your own research idea. (Note: You do not have to have a finished idea yet. In collaboration with the supervising person, a topic can always be developed that is not explicitly on the list!)
  • 2. Contact the topic supervisor
  • Each topic in the list of topics below has a designated supervisor assigned to it. Contact this person (via email) and inform them about your interest.
  • 3. Exposé
  • After you decided on the topic of your thesis and informed the topic supervisor, you will need to write down your idea in a 7 to 10 page-long exposé (see more details in the guide here). This process should take you up to 6 weeks. When the exposé is written, send it to your supervisor (via email) and wait for their feedback. It may take several rounds of revisions to finalize your research idea and plan, so please factor this when you make a schedule for your thesis.
  • 4. Register the topic
  • After your research has been approved, register your topic with the Examination Office of the Faculty (they can be reached here). For that, you need to fill out and sign a form (registration forms can be found here) and collect the signature of your main supervisor via our team assistant Mrs. Anja Hofmann (contact details can be found here). After the Examination Office informed you about the successful registration, you have six months to conduct research, write it up, and submit the final thesis.
  • 5. Conduct research and write the thesis
  • During the given six months, you need to conduct the research you described in the exposé. Use the exposé as a starting point for writing the thesis. Always talk to your supervisor (write an email or request a consultation) about major decisions regarding your research.
  • 6. Present your progress
  • You will be asked to participate in the colloquium and present your progress at least once during a semester. All the information regarding the colloquiums are published in the dedicated Moodle page.
  • 7. Submit your 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 (.pdf) and possibly the digital appendix.
  • - Printed confirmation email from the university library concerning the upload of the abstract of the thesis (can be done here)
  • The remaining requirements for the submission are described in the guide to writing a thesis “How to write a thesis: guidelines for writing a graduation work” here.
  • 8. Defend your thesis
  • After the thesis was submitted, notify your supervisor about it. This will help the research group to schedule your defense in a timely manner. Your defense can be online or in-presence. If the defense is conducted online, you will need to sign a form that confirms your fitness for participating in your defense in front of the camera and send it to us right away. If the defense is conducted in presence, the form has to be signed in the presence of the examination commission.
  • Prepare a concise, 15 minute-long presentation of your thesis, including only main findings. About 15 to 30 minutes of the defense is dedicated to the discussion of your work (questions from the examination commission).
  • A week before the defense date, you will receive the reviews from your supervisor and your second reviewer. Carefully read the reviews and try to address the issues pointed out by the reviewers in your defense presentation. Responding to the critique is important, as it shows you thought about the disadvantages of your work and tried to explain and improve your work.
  • 9. Something went wrong
  • If you encounter any issues during your thesis/exposé writing, please contact your supervisor in a timely manner. For instance:
  • - you notice that you may be failing to meet the submission deadline,
  • - you are ill and this affects your work on the thesis,
  • - your research plan is too ambitious,
  • - you do not know what statistical test(s) to use for your data analysis,
  • - you need certain software/data but you do not have access to it, and
  • - any other issue that may slow down your process.
  • At any stage of your work, always keep in touch with your supervisor. You supervisor is there to support you and help you to find solutions to challenges related to your work.