What is a masters thesis?
The master’s thesis is a scientific piece of work that you write at the end of your master’s degree. It is also known as the master’s thesis.
When you pass your master’s thesis, you will receive the academic degree of the master’s.
During your master’s thesis, you will deal with an academically relevant topic and gain new knowledge through research.
The length of an average master’s thesis is 66 pages or 16,500 words, with a processing time of 22 weeks. As a rule, you will receive 20–30 ECTS points for your master’s thesis.
Difference to your bachelor thesis
Compared to your bachelor thesis, the requirements for your master thesis are much higher. Not only is the scope of the master’s thesis larger, but the objectives of the two final theses also differ.
Your master’s thesis’s central goal is to gain new knowledge and thereby contribute to current research.
|Bachelor thesis and master thesis in comparison|
|bachelor thesis||master thesis|
|target||· Processing of a technically relevant topic.
· Examination of specialist literature.
· Analyze existing knowledge or generate new knowledge.
|· Independent and scientific further development of an interdisciplinary topic.
· Gain new knowledge and contribute to current research.
|length||40 pages or 10,000 words||66 pages or 16,500 words|
|Duration||11 weeks||22 weeks|
|ECTS points||between 10 and 15||between 20 and 30|
The 4 phases of a master’s thesis
The processing of your master’s thesis is divided into four essential phases.
|An overview of the phases of your master’s thesis|
|1. Preparation||2. Research phase|
|· Look at examples
· Choose a topic
· find company if necessary
· Create a schedule
· Literature research
· Choose methodology
· Write an exposé
· Create an outline
|· Finalize methodology, e.g., B.
· Preparation of data collection
· Collection of the data
· evaluation of the data
|3. writing phase||4. Follow-up|
|· Choose how to cite
· Develop the theoretical framework
· Write methodology part
· Present research results
· Write a discussion
· Write an introduction
· Write a conclusion
|· Create bibliography
· write an abstract if necessary
· Sign the affidavit
· write thanks if necessary
· Editing of the master’s thesis
· Check for plagiarism
· Check layout
· Printing & Binding
Use examples of your master’s thesis correctly.
Master thesis examples can be helpful to get a first impression of what to expect.
As you look at examples, ask yourself the following questions:
- How can I orient myself to the structure of the example?
- How does the research question inspire me?
- Were any interesting methods used?
- What is the writing style like at work?
Find the perfect topic.
To find the perfect topic for your master’s thesis, you should look for a research gap that you can fill with the findings of your master’s thesis.
Use our roadmap to find the right topic for you. Choose between a scientific or personal approach.
Convince with the synopsis of your master’s thesis
Your master’s thesis’s synopsis is about 5–10 pages long and serves as a framework.
It helps you maintain an overview and serves as a basis for your supervisor or a company.
The synopsis begins with a cover sheet, introduction, and objective. Besides, you will present the research status and concept. Finally, you add a preliminary outline, a schedule for your master’s thesis, and a bibliography.
Create a schedule
The average processing time for a master’s thesis is 22 weeks or around 5.5 months.
Use our schedule template for your master’s thesis to plan the individual phases and to start your master’s thesis well prepared.
When planning your masters thesis, pay attention to:
- Be realistic and honest.
- Plan backward from the submission date and include buffers.
- Don’t forget to schedule other appointments, such as part-time jobs or vacations.
Structure of your masters thesis
Your master’s thesis consists of an introduction, the main part, and a conclusion.
The main part is divided into the theoretical framework and the empirical part, in which methods are used.
Besides, there is formal content such as the cover page of your master’s thesis, directories, or attachments.
The structure of your master’s thesis is roughly based on the following structure. Click on the respective chapters to find out more.
|Structure of your masters thesis|
|cover sheet||The cover sheet contains information about your master’s thesis and your university, as well as your data.
Use our cover sheet templates to create the cover sheet for your master’s thesis.
|Abstract||In the abstract of your master’s thesis, you describe your master’s thesis’s central points.
The abstract is max. 1 page long.
|thanksgiving||In thanks for your master’s thesis, you can thank the people who helped you prepare the master’s thesis.
It is not a necessary part of your master’s thesis.
|Table of Contents||The table of contents lists all elements of your master’s thesis and gives an overview of your master’s thesis structure.|
|List of figures and tables||Here you list all the figures and tables that you used in your master’s thesis.
You can easily create a list of figures and tables in Word.
|List of abbreviations||Make an alphabetical list of all abbreviations that you use in your master’s thesis.|
|introduction||In the introduction to your master’s thesis, you describe your motivation, the objectives, and the structure of your master’s thesis.
Write your introduction in the present tense. Background information can be written in the past or perfect tense.
|Bulk||The main part is the largest part of your master’s thesis and is divided into:
1. Theoretical Basics
2. Presentation of the literature and theories to create a research base.
4. Gaining new knowledge through methods such as surveys, interviews, observation, etc.
6. Presentation of the research results.
8. Interpret the results of your methods by linking them to the theory.
|Conclusion||Summarize the most important results of your master’s thesis and answer your research question (s).|
|bibliography||List all sources used in your bibliography. Use a consistent citation style for this.|
|attachment||Include additional information, such as interview transcripts or tables.|
|Statutory declaration||Affirm in your affidavit that you wrote your master’s thesis yourself.|
Find the right methodology for your masters thesis.
A central part of your master’s thesis is the use of research methods.
Depending on the research question, quantitative or qualitative approaches are suitable.
|· Expert interviews
· Qualitative content analysis
· Case study
· Group discussion
· Literary work
· Systematic observation
Also, you have to determine whether you want to argue inductively.
Finally, ensure that you have met the quality criteria of validity, reliability, and objectivity in your research.
The defense of your masters thesis
After you have submitted your master’s thesis, you may have to present your results to an examination committee. This is called the defense or colloquium of your master’s thesis.
It consists of a presentation of the master’s thesis and a discussion of the results. Prepare yourself adequately for this final exam.