Information on Thesis

The topic of the thesis is to be developed by the students independently (brief concept sketch, ca. one page) and should be reviewed by the supervisor. The research question should be clearly defined and feasible and is to be embedded in the independently researched literature. The literature used should go far beyond the readings provided in seminars with similar topics. The concept sketch should therefore contain suggestions on the topic, research question, possible structure and central literature.

Bachelor Thesis

For bachelor theses completed at the Chair for Political Science, Public Administration and Organization the „Richtlinien der Ordnung für das Bachelorstudium Politik und Verwaltung an der Universität Potsdam” apply:

§ 12 (1): "Die Bachelorarbeit ist eine Prüfungsarbeit, die in der Regel im letzten Fachsemester des Bachelorstudiums studienbegleitend erstellt und mit 12 LP bewertet wird. Der Umfang der Arbeit soll in der Regel 30 Seiten DIN A 4 nicht überschreiten." The BAMA-O of the University of Potsdam covers further details.

30 pages are equivalent to ca. 8.000 words using line spacing 1,5 (without cover page, table of contents, list of abbreviations (if applicable), appendix and bibliography). If more than 10% of the default is exceeded, points will be deducted.

A bachelor thesis is a first, independent scientific qualification work which has to meet the scientific standards in terms of contents and forms. These requirements can be summarized as follows:

  • Technical classification: The students prove that they know subject-specific contents of the BA study program “Politik und Verwaltung” and that they are able to categorize their research question in theoretical and conceptual terms.
  • State of the research: The students prepare the state of the research regarding their research topic and critically reflect on the central scientific literature.
  • Terms: In the bachelor thesis technical terms of the discipline are used correctly and central terms are defined.
  • Structure: The students prove that they are capable to develop a logical structure and line of argumentation based on political and administrative theories and concepts in order to examine a concrete research question.
  • Methods: The students prove that they know social-scientific methods and how to apply them. The methodological approach is usually described and explained in the introductory part of the bachelor thesis. 
  • Analysis: The students prove that they are able to analyze complex issues and identify precisely and according to clear criteria essential content-related aspects within a limited space.
  • Formalities: The students apply scientific techniques correctly in terms of formality (citation style, working with sources, bibliography, etc.). 


Master Thesis

For master theses in Public Policy and Management the „Richtlinien der Ordnung für das Masterstudium Verwaltungswissenschaft an der Universität Potsdam“ apply: 

§ 7 Masterarbeit

(1) „Die Masterarbeit umfasst inklusive Disputation 21 LP. Der Umfang der Masterarbeit soll 63 Seiten DIN A4 nicht überschreiten. Die Bearbeitungszeit umfasst 4 Monate. Im Übrigen gilt § 30 BAMA-O.“

63 pages are equivalent to ca. 16.000 words using line spacing 1,5 (without cover page, table of contents, list of abbreviation (if applicable), appendix and bibliography).  If more than 10% of the default is exceeded, points will be deducted.

(2) „Zur Masterarbeit kann sich anmelden, wer mindestens 78 LP in seinem Studium erreicht hat.“

For master theses in National and International Administration and Policy the “Richtlinien der Ordnung für das Masterstudium National and International Administration and Policy an der Universität Potsdam" apply:

§ 9 Master’s thesis

(1) “As soon as the student has completed at least 90 credit points, he or she must immediate propose a topic for his/her Master’s thesis. If there are delays in the university’s grading processes, it is sufficient if the student, after completing 60 credit points, furnishes proof of registration for examinations for an addition 30 credit points in accordance with Article 9 Para 4, 5 of BAMA-O.”

(2) “The Master’s thesis, including the oral examination, is equivalent to 24 credit points.”

For master theses, basically the same criteria apply as for bachelor theses. Furthermore, the following aspects should be considered:

  • Professional relevance of the research question must become apparent. The research question can be either empirically motivated or theoretically derived and must have a direct reference to the research foci of administrative studies. The question can also derive from a practical problem or interest or from a critical assessment of the current state of the research. 
  • The applied research method has to meet the current scientific standards of the social sciences.
  • The own empirical research finding has to be clearly recognizable and understandable in terms of intersubjectivity.