Exams and Theses

Guidelines – Bachelor and Master Theses at the Chair of Comparative Politics

If you plan to write your Bachelor thesis at the Chair of Comparative Politics, we recommend participation in our advanced seminars (Vertiefungsseminare). If you plan to write your Master thesis at our Chair you should attend at least one seminar at the Chair of Comparative Politics and possibly a methods seminar. Beyond, we strongly recommend to attend the Kolloquium für Abschlussarbeiten at the Chair. It will be possible to develop your research question during the colloquium if you attend the colloquium during the semester prior to the semester in which you want to register for your Bachelor or Master thesis. However, participation in the colloquium does not guarantee the supervision of your Bachelor or Master thesis at our Chair.

Ideally you will find your question in one of our seminars. This increases the chance that you will have read the fundamental literature, that the topic suits the portfolio of the Chair and that your supervisor can advise you well. From time to time, the Chair is also looking for students to deal with specific research questions. If you are interested in this opportunity please contact us.

Due to the lack of capacity the Chair of Comparative Politics can only supervise a certain number of Bachelor and Master theses. The selection is based on the following selection procedure:

Selection Procedure

  1. Proposal, Deadline, and Seminars:

If you wish to write a Bachelor or Master thesis at the Chair of Comparative Politics, please send an email with the following information to sekretariat-vergleichuni-potsdamde :

  • Proposal of your project (max. 500 words) that contains the main idea/research question of your final thesis, its links to the literature and your further course of action. You should show that you are well informed about this topic and that you know the fundamental literature.
  • The date by which you want to register your thesis at the examination office.
  • All seminars and lectures that you attended at the Chair of Comparative Politics

Deadline: Six weeks prior to the deadline of the examination office.

2.  Synopsis

The acceptance of your proposal does not automatically guarantee a supervision of your thesis at our Chair. If your proposal is accepted, you will be requested to write a synopsis of your work. Here, you will render your idea more precisely. This synopsis serves as a means both to facilitate your own orientation and to guarantee good communication with your supervisor.

The synopsis should contain:

  • The title of your project
  • The main problem of your work
  • An overview of the literature and where you locate your thesis within it
  • The theoretical (inter)relations and first hypotheses
  • Considerations about your methodological approach and the data you are going to use
  • Preliminary structure and schedule
  • Bibliography

The more precise your synopsis is the easier your own process will be and your supervisor will be able to support more adequately. For formal orientation of your synopsis please check the guidelines for term papers (in German). Regarding content, you may gear yourself towards this Musterexposé, although it was written for a more comprehensive Diploma thesis: Musterexposé 1 (in German)

Please send your synopsis to sekretariat-vergleich@uni-potsdam.de 

Deadline: Three weeks prior to the deadline of the examination office.

We will let you know within approximately one week whether we accept your synopsis and who of our staff members will be able to superivse your Bachelor or Master thesis.

Literature

We would like to recommend three books for your thesis (in German):

  • Plümper, Thomas, 2003: Effizient Schreiben. Ein Leitfaden zum Verfassen von Qualifizierungsarbeiten und wissenschaftlichen Texten. München: Oldenbourg.
  • Ganghof, Steffen, 2019: Forschungsdesign in der Politikwissenschaft. Eine theorieorientierte Perspektive mit Anwendungsbeispielen. Wiesbaden: Springer.
  • Thomas Gschwend/Frank Schimmelfennig (Hrsg.), 2007: Forschungsdesign in der Politikwissenschaft: Probleme – Strategien – Anwendungen. Frankfurt /New York: Campus.