Master Thesis

For the completion of the MBA degree program at the University of Potsdam a thesis in the form of a master's thesis is required. The master's thesis is regulated in the general course and examination regulations (recasting of the general course and examination regulations for the non-teaching-related Bachelor and Master degree programs at the University of Potsdam (BAMA-O) from 30.01.2013) (see § 30 "Master's thesis").

According to § 30 Study and Examination Regulations, the master's thesis is supposed to be written during the fourth semester of the program. Prerequisite for the start of a master's thesis is the previous achievement of at least 40 credit points.

The master's thesis is to show that the candidate has advanced knowledge in the field that builds on the first professional degree studies and has acquired in-depth expertise, is able to combine theory and empiricism and is capable of a more research or more application-oriented problem on a professional scientific basis using multiple scientific methods within a prescribed period and present the results in formal, linguistically and factually convincing manner.

Procedure for selection of a supervisor and topic
The master's thesis is given by an auditor appointed by the Audit Committee and supervised during creation. For the choice of the supervisor and the choice of the topic the candidate has the right of nomination. This does not constitute a legal claim. The topic is assigned by the chairman of the Audit Committee by means of the administrative office of the study program. The date of issue is made there on record. The given topic should relate to the content of one or several of the successful completed candidate’s modules. The Master's thesis will be assessed by two reviewers.

Important: Please contact the two supervisors of your choice as soon as possible to discuss the topic with both of them! Your crucial partner is the first examiner.

Processing time and deadline
The processing time of the master thesis starts with the registration of the topic in the MBA study office. The processing time depends on the number of awarded credit points, which is set in the subject-specific regulation. If 30 credit points are awarded, the processing time is six months. The thesis is completed on time before the expiry of the processing period by handing it in to the MBA Study Office. If sending the thesis by mail to the office, it is considered as completed in time if the date of the postmark lies within the processing period. 

The topic of the Master's thesis and the effort necessary for the investigation should be manageable within the time limit. The topic can be returned once by written notice to the supervisor of the thesis. The corresponding declaration must be received by the end of the second month of the processing time in a processing period of six months. Failure to complete the thesis in time will result in having it marked as “insufficient” (5.0). If there is an important reason for missing the deadline, the Chair of the Audit Committee may, after consultation with the supervisor, grant an extension of up to one month. In case of illness, an extension may be given according to the duration of the sick leave.

The master thesis is a conclusion of the study program by the candidate. It has to be self-made and written in German or English. You must not have been yet presented the same or a similar form or parts of the work under any other examination. If the master thesis is prepared in English, it must include an appendix in German as a brief summary.

The master thesis is to be submitted with three copies and digitally. The copies must be provided with page numbers, a table of contents and a list of used sources and aids. The passages of the work that quote foreign works verbatim or content-related shall be marked, indicating the sources. The scope of work should generally not exceed 3 pages A4 per credit point. At the end of the work the candidate or the candidate has to assure that he or she has written the thesis independently and used no other sources or aids than those indicated.

Important: Talk to your supervisor/tutor about the scope and the formal requirements in detail, as they may be different!

The master's thesis must be examined by two examiners. The first examiner is basically the supervisor who has given you the topic of the thesis. The second examiner is appointed by the audit committee; the candidate has the right to propose him or her. The work is to be assessed and marked by the auditors within six weeks. The auditors examine the work in writing and give reasons for their evaluations in accordance with § 11 paragraph 2 and 3 of the study and examination regulations. If the difference in the marks is more than 2.0 or if one of the reviews is worse than "adequate", a third examiner is appointed by the audit committee. If two of the three examiners rate the work as “insufficient” (5.0), the final grade of the work is “insufficient” (5.0). Otherwise, the final grade of the work is calculated by taking the arithmetic mean of the two better grades (following the first decimal place, without rounding first).

In defense of the work a defense or a seminar is scheduled. The review of the defense or the colloquium is entered into the assessment of the overall performance of the master's thesis with a fifth (= 20%).

Group work
In exceptional cases, the master thesis can be approved as a team work of several students. The prerequisite is that the contribution of each student can be clearly identified.