BA & MA Theses

These pages are dedicated to students considering to start or preparing their Bachelors and Masters thesis. Here you find the basic information on how to find a topic, select the supervisors and register with ASPA. You are also informed about the process of mentoring your thesis, you can retrieve the necessary documents and get information about grading and the award ceremony. Furthermore, we have compiled the topics of the Bachelors and Masters theses of the last three years in order to give you some ideas of the range of topics possible. Theses can be written in German or English at our Institute.

Examples from past semesters

MA thesis

  • New Perspectives in International Relations: Postcolonial Theory in the Analysis of External Political Change 
  • National influences on European security policy: The emergence of the European security strategy 
  • The Paris Agreement and Neoliberal Forces: An Analysis to Advance Research on Civil Society's Influence on Biosphere Conservation

BA thesis 

  • Making sense of the glorious past: A comparison of Ukrainian and Russian national narratives in the history textbooks issued after 2013 (2017) 
  • National influences on European security policy. The emergence of the European security strategy
  • Media in foreign policy. Der Spiegel's agenda-setting in the case of Wikileaks and Edward Snowden

Requirements and Guidelines for Theses (BA and MA) at the Chair for International Relations

1. Research topic 

The research topic should clearly fall within the discipline of International Relations. Furthermore, the thesis should empirically answer a concrete research question. The topic should have a good fit with the research focus and expertise of the supervisor. You will find the respective research foci of the staff at the Chair for IR on our webpage : Any stay abroad for the purposes of thesis research will be expressly supported by the Chair! You will find information about the PROMOS scholarships here. de

2. Choosing your supervisor and second reader

The supervision agreement can only be signed after participation in the supervisors seminar. This process may include multiple revisions of the research proposal please leave enough time for such an eventuality (at least one month or a semester)!

  Bachelor theses Master theses
supervisor Prof. Biermann is only available in exceptional circumstances to act as supervisor for a Bachelors thesis. Please contact the usual staff members of the Chair instead. BA theses can be supervised by a staff member with a Masters degree, although the second reader must have a doctorate. One of the supervisors must be an employee of the International Relations Chair with a PhD.
second assessor Staff of the Chair for IR are available as second readers if there is a thematic fit. Staff of other chairs may also act as second readers. Usually, the assessment of the thesis is only done after submission via the second reader. The second reader may also act in an advisory capacity when specific technical expertise is required. Staff of the Chair for IR (including those with Masters degrees) are available as second readers if there is a thematic fit.

In cases where the supervisor is a staff member of this Chair, there is no automatic expectation that the second reader will also come from this Chair. It is strongly encouraged that students visit one of the seminars of the supervisor.

3. Registration with ASPA

Bachelor's theses Master's theses
Consultation with potential supervisor at least 1 month before registration Consultation with potential supervisor at least 1 semester before registration
A meaningful supervision is not possible without adherence to the given timelines. Supervision agreements will only be signed once the research proposal has been completed.
winter semester/ summer semester



Respectively, until the 10th of each month

Until 10.10. / Until 10.4.
Until 10.11. / Until 10.5.
Until 10.12. / Until 10.6.
You will find the registration form here.pdf, 127 kb · de You will find the registration form here.pdf, 127 kb · de

4. The supervision process

All staff members of the Chair offer a seminar (BA) or research colloquium (MA) for supervision. During these sessions, you will jointly develop and discuss the research topics, research design, and methods. Furthermore, you will present your research proposal, receive tips and suggestions for the research process, and receive feedback on your topic.

Participation in this event is mandatory!

Bachelor theses Master theses
Professor Biermann Professor Biermann
Please participate in his research colloquium in the same semester which you would like to register your thesis. The colloquium is usually offered every semester (look out for any announcements). If you are planning a semester abroad, it may be worth participating in an earlier colloquium. Please participate in the research colloquium in the semester preceding the one in which you would like to register your thesis. (For example, if you want to write your thesis in the winter semester, you will have to take part in the research colloquium in the summer semester.) Exceptions (due to a stay abroad etc) are possible but must be agreed in advance.
Staff of the chair Staff of the chair
Following individual consultation with the supervisor about the topic, please participate in the BA seminar, which will be jointly organized by the staff. Participation in the research colloquium organized by Prof. Biermann is mandatory even if the thesis is not being supervised by Prof. Biermann himself. The respective supervisor will be present and lead the discussion of the proposal. Individual supervision will also be arranged with the supervisor. Contact your supervisor in good time to arrange this.

5. Individual development of the thesis

When completing your thesis, please refer to the  Guide for Completing Political Science Assignments at the Institute and the Guide on the Grading of Political Science Assignments and ThesesExternal link . Plagiarism will not be tolerated.

6. Work Duration and Submission

Bachelor theses Master theses

From date of admission:

12 weeks (The exact date of issue is determined by the ASPA)

From date of admission:

24 weeks  (The exact date of issue is determined by the ASPA)

7. Assessment

Since we read your work thoroughly and also have a high workload, it is not possible to guarantee a swift assessment process. We recommend that you subsequently view your report in ASPA, particularly if you are looking to complete a further degree.

8. Graduation Ceremony

The ceremonial completion of your studies constitutes the Day of Political Science, which takes place every year in June. We look forward to seeing you, your family, and friends there. You can stay in touch in the long term by joining the Institutes alumni association.

Print:  Regulations BA and MA IB final thesespdf, 59 kb · de