skip to content

Theses

1. Admission requirements

The admission requirements and the time allotted to students to write their theses are set out in the examination regulations. In summary, they are as follows:

Bachelor in Business Administration
To be allowed to register to write the bachelor thesis, candidates must have acquired at least 100 credit points. On the Business Administration programme, the topic of the bachelor thesis must be taken from one of the specialisation modules. Students have a maximum of twelve weeks to write their bachelor thesis, beginning from when the topic is assigned.

The following regulations also apply to all Bachelor's theses in the Business Administration degree programme that are registered with the Examination Office after 1th April 2019: The topic of the Bachelor's thesis must be taken from one of the Areas Accounting and Taxation, Coroprate Development, Finance, Marketing or Supply Chain Management, from the field Interdisciplinary Business Administration, from the field General Business Administration or from a specialization module according to § 29 Para. 4 Nos. 8 to 23 of the examination regulation. The prerequisite for admission to a Bachelor's thesis in one of the Areas or in the field of Interdisciplinary Business Administration is the successful completion of a Bachelor's seminar in the corresponding Area or in the field of Interdisciplinary Business Administration.

Bachelor in Economics
To be allowed to register to write the bachelor thesis, candidates must have acquired at least 100 credit points. On the Economics programme, the topic of the bachelor thesis must reflect methods learned in the field of economics during the programme. Students have a maximum of twelve weeks to write their bachelor thesis, beginning from when the topic is assigned.

Bachelor in Economics with Social Sciences
To be allowed to register to write the bachelor thesis, candidates must have acquired at least 100 credit points. On the Economics with Social Sciences programme, the topic of the bachelor thesis must reflect methods learned in the field of economics or social sciences during the programme. Students have a maximum of twelve weeks to write their bachelor thesis, beginning from when the topic is assigned.

Bachelor in Social Sciences
To be allowed to register to write the bachelor thesis, candidates must have acquired at least 100 credit points. On the Social Sciences programme, the topic of the bachelor thesis must be taken from one of the groups in the supplementary and specialisation modules. Students have a maximum of twelve weeks to write their bachelor thesis, beginning from when the topic is assigned.

Bachelor in Health Economics
To be allowed to register to write the bachelor thesis, candidates must have acquired at least 100 credit points. The topic of the bachelor thesis must be taken from the Health Economics or Health Economics Methods groups in the core and advanced modules or the Business Management group in the supplementary or specialisation modules. Students have a maximum of twelve weeks to write their bachelor thesis, beginning from when the topic is assigned.

Bachelor in Information Systems
To be allowed to register to write the bachelor thesis, candidates must have acquired at least 100 credit points. The topic of the bachelor thesis must be clearly linked to the field of Information Systems. Students have a maximum of twelve weeks to write their bachelor thesis, beginning from when the topic is assigned.

Master in Business Administration
To be allowed to register to write the master thesis, candidates must have acquired at least 60 credit points. On the Business Administration programme, the topic of the master thesis must be taken from the specialisation modules or from the group that the candidate took in the supplementary modules. If it is taken from the supplementary modules, the candidate must already have acquired 18 credit points in the supplementary category. Students have a maximum of six months to write their master thesis, beginning from when the topic is assigned.

Master in Economics
To be allowed to register to write the master thesis, candidates must have acquired at least 60 credit points. The topic of the master thesis must reflect methods learned in the field of economics during the programme. Students have a maximum of six months to write their master thesis, beginning from when the topic is assigned.

Master in Health Economics
To be allowed to register to write the master thesis, candidates must have acquired at least 60 credit points. The topic of the master thesis must be taken from the core or advanced modules or the specialisation modules. Students have a maximum of six months to write their master thesis, beginning from when the topic is assigned.

Master in Information Systems
To be allowed to register to write the master thesis, candidates must have acquired at least 60 credit points. The topic of the master thesis must be clearly linked to the field of Information Systems. Students have a maximum of six months to write their master thesis, beginning from when the topic is assigned.

Master in Political Science
To be allowed to register to write the master thesis, candidates must have acquired at least 60 credit points. On the Political Science programme, the topic of the master thesis must be taken from the specialisation modules or from the group that the candidate took in the supplementary modules. Students have a maximum of six months to write their master thesis, beginning from when the topic is assigned.

Master in Sociology and Social Research
To be allowed to register to write the master thesis, candidates must have acquired at least 60 credit points. On the Sociology and Social Research programme, the topic of the master thesis must be taken from the specialisation modules or from a group that the candidate took in the supplementary modules. To be allowed to register to write the master thesis, candidates must have successfully completed the research seminar. If the topic is taken from the supplementary modules, the candidate must already have acquired 18 credit points in the supplementary category. In addition, they must have successfully completed the group from which the topic of the master thesis is taken. Students have a maximum of six months to write their master thesis, beginning from when the topic is assigned.

Master in International Management
Students have a maximum of three months to write their master thesis, beginning from when the topic is assigned.

2. Procedure

Registering to write a thesis
To write your (bachelor/master) thesis, you must contact the supervisor you would like or the supervisor assigned to you by the Faculty. Please be aware that the Examination Office is not responsible for assigning supervisors and that you should contact the relevant body if you have any questions. Once the topic has been decided on, you and the supervisor complete a form, which the department/institute then immediately sends to the Examination Office. Please be aware that the time allotted for writing the thesis begins no later than the day on which you are given the topic of your thesis. Once the Examination Office receives the above-mentioned form, it checks whether you can be admitted to the thesis component. You will find the admission requirements for each programme listed above. The Examination Office then sends you a letter confirming your admission to the thesis component and the deadline for submission.

Submitting the thesis to the Examination Office
The thesis must be summited by the deadline specified by the Examination Office either by handing it in to the mailbox outside the WiSo Student Service Point. Alternatively, you can submit it during the opening hours of the WiSo Student Service Point or send it by post to the Examinations Office. In this case, the date of receipt is deemed to be the date of the postmark  (not a postage stamp). It is not possible to obtain written confirmation of receipt upon submission at the office. Only the supervisor or the student who wrote the thesis has access to the thesis once it has been submitted to the Examination Office and marked. There is therefore no need for a separate statement confirming that it will not be passed on to third parties. As the author, the student holds the usage rights for the thesis. However, no usage (e.g. publication, entry in a competition, forwarding to other persons or institutions) can take place until the student has been notified of his or her mark in writing. Candidates are also strongly recommended to consult their supervisors, even if the examination procedure has been completed, since publication might also affect examiners’ rights.

In what form should the thesis be submitted?
One hard-bound copy of the thesis must be submitted. Ring, loose-leaf and other similar forms of binding are not permitted. Theses that are not submitted on time or in the correct form will be awarded a fail (“nicht ausreichend”) mark. Unless otherwise specified by the supervisor, you can use this template for the cover of your thesis or as the basis for an English cover text.
Only one printed, hardback copy must be submitted. An electronic copy of the thesis, on CD or DVD, must be enclosed with the hard copy. The electronic version must be submitted in Portable Document Format (pdf) or in a word processing format (doc or docx). Please place the CD/DVD in a paper or plastic pouch/case and stick it directly into the paper version of your thesis. Some supervisors may specify different provisions for this. Your full name and candidate number must be clearly marked on the CD/DVD or the pouch/case. Other data storage media, such as USB flash drives, are not permitted.
In addition, each thesis must include a bibliography that lists, in particular, the literature cited. There is no need to include a CV.

Each thesis must include a sworn declaration.
For the declaration, please use the form available here. Sign on the first page and then insert it in your thesis (do not bind it). The second page is for your information.
Please note that this declaration must be given in German even if the rest of the thesis is in English.
Since it is a criminal offence to make a false declaration under penalty of perjury, the legal department of the University of Cologne is compelled to bring charges against persons who are suspected of cheating or fraudulent action. To ensure you are not guilty of such actions, it is imperative that you adhere to the rules specified by the department/institute/supervisor regarding the writing of academic papers.

Once the thesis has been submitted to the Examination Office and forwarded to the supervisor, you can see this information in KLIPS 2 under the application 'Student Files' (and there Degrees -> Theses) and in the Transcript of Records.

Release of the grading of the thesis
The grade of a thesis will be released in KLIPS 2 in a timely manner after receipt of the report and will be accessible for you as of this date. In general, the grading of a thesis has to be completed within eight weeks of the date of submission.

3. Extensions and returning topics for theses

The writing period for a thesis can be extended by up to four weeks (bachelor thesis) or two months (master thesis) in justified exceptional cases. Such a case could be, for example, a prolonged illness or prolonged, unforeseeable, major difficulties in obtaining data on the part of the companies involved in the thesis.
Applications to return a topic due to hardship must be filed as soon as the hardship occurs.
Irrespective of why an extension is being sought or the topic is to be returned, the application must be filed with the Examination Office as only the Chair of the Examinations Board, not the supervisor, can decide these matters. It is therefore not necessary to contact your supervisor beforehand – in fact, doing so might cause you to miss the deadline for filing your application.
Applications for extensions or to return a topic must be filed as soon as the reason for them occurs. You should therefore not, under any circumstances, wait to see whether you manage to make up for time lost and then file your application towards the end of the thesis-writing period. The application to return a topic must be submitted at the latest on the last day of the (already extended) deadline.
If you wish to claim a prolonged illness as the reason for your application, please follow the procedure described here.

4. Access to examiniation papers and revision of marks

All examination candidates at the WiSo Faculty are entitled to be granted access to their written examination papers concerning their theses. The binding regulations adopted by the Examianation Committee, which also apply to these kind of examinations, have been published here.

5. Elektronische Überprüfung von schriftlichen Prüfungsleistungen nach § 23 Abs. 5 PO 2015

Auf seiner Sitzung vom 15.10.2015 beschloss der Gemeinsame Prüfungsausschuss folgende Regelung:

Schriftliche Prüfungsleistungen können auf nicht gekennzeichnete Textübernahmen elektronisch überprüft werden. Dies schließt auch die Verwendung von schriftlichen Prüfungsleistungen zum Zweck des Abgleichs mit schriftlichen Prüfungsleistungen Dritter ein, sofern zwischen den Prü-fungsleistungen ein sachlicher Zusammenhang besteht.


Diese Regelung gilt für jede Bachelor- bzw. Masterarbeit, sowie für jede schriftliche Prüfung in der Ausprägung Hausarbeit. Die für Hausarbeiten durch die jeweilige Prüfungsordnung geforderte Erklärung der Prüfungskandidatin bzw. des Prüfungskandidaten über die Einhaltung wissenschaftlicher Standards, deren Wortlaut sich in den jeweiligen Prüfungsordnungen findet, muss um die folgende Passage ergänzt werden: „Ich versichere, dass die eingereichte elektronische Fassung der eingereichten Druckfassung vollständig entspricht.“


Neben öffentlich zugänglichen Internet-Suchmaschinen können sich die Prüferinnen bzw. Prüfer über das Gemeinsame Prüfungsamt der von der Fakultät bereit gestellten Software Turnitin bedienen.


Die elektronischen Fassungen müssen auf einer Daten-CD in einem Portable Document Format (pdf) bzw im Format einer Textsoftware (doc bzw. docx ) eingereicht werden. Sofern Prüferinnen bzw. Prüfer von dieser Regelung abweichen möchten, muss dies mindestens 14 Tage vor dem Ende der Anmeldefrist für die jeweilige Prüfung bzw. vor der Mitteilung des Themas einer Bachelor- bzw. Masterabeit geschehen. Ebenso ist es möglich, diese Abweichung durch einen generellen Hinweis für alle Hausarbeiten bzw. Bachlor- oder Masterarbeiten, die von der jeweiligen Prüferin bzw. dem jeweiligen Prüfer betreut werden, auf den Internet-Seiten des jeweiligen Lehrstuhls bzw. Seminars bekannt zu machen. Die Daten-CD bzw. die Hülle, in der sie sich befindet, ist deutlich mit dem Namen, Vornamen und der Matrikelnummer der Prüfungskandidatin bzw. des Prüfungskandi-daten zu beschriften und der schriftlichen Ausarbeitung beizufügen.


Der Einsatz der Plagiatssoftware darf nicht willkürlich erfolgen. Es kommen nur folgende Kriterien in Betracht:

  • Es werden nur Arbeiten elektronisch überprüft, bei denen ein Täuschungsverdacht besteht. Das Verdachtsmoment muss dokumentiert werden.
  • Es werden nur zufällig ermittelte Stichproben sowie Verdachtsfälle elektronisch überprüft. Die Art der Stichprobenermittlung muss dokumentiert werden.
  • Jede Arbeit wird überprüft.

Die elektronischen Texte dürfen längstens fünf Jahr genutzt werden und werden dann gelöscht.