Judit Peter / PEXELS

Master's Thesis

The master's thesis is prepared as the final thesis of the master's degree and concludes with a final presentation. The master's thesis should show that the examinee is able to independently work on a problem in Computer Science or an application area using Computer Science methods within six months. The formal details of the master's examination are regulated by the examination regulations for the master's degree in Data and Computer Science in sections 17 ff (from page 13). The master's thesis covers 30 CP, and the final master's colloquium where you present the result of your thesis covers 4 CP.

Topic and Advisor

During your studies you will certainly develop an interest in certain areas of Computer Science. You should therefore plan your master's thesis early on (ideally from the 2nd semester) and take appropriate (in-depth) lectures, seminars or practicals in your area of ​​interest. The various working groups in Computer Science offer a wide range of courses. Approach an advisor early on and discuss possible topics, orientations and requirements for a master's thesis in the respective field; Of course, you can also make suggestions for a topic yourself. Please note that only lecturers from Computer Science (as listed in the working groups) are authorized to formally serve as advisor for a master's thesis in Computer Science! 

External theses in a company or non-university institution require an advisor in Computer Science to supervise the work. So before you accept an external master's thesis, you should first clarify the supervision from the Computer Science side, i.e., look for a advisor in Computer Science!

Overall, you should start planning your master's thesis early and not only when you have completed all other academic work.


Application Form for Master's Thesis

Start and Registration of Master's Thesis

As noted above, you should deal with a topic and supervision for the master's thesis at an early stage. The basis for registering the thesis are the admission requirements as described in § 15 of the examination regulations. It is also advisable to clarify with the examination office when registering the final thesis whether the admission requirements have been met or whether all achievements have been entered correctly in the LSF.

The official registration of your master's thesis requires to fill out a form that can be found here, and that needs to be signed by you and your advisor and then is submitted to the examination office. You then have six month to complete and submit your thesis.

The period for writing the master's thesis can be extended once by a maximum of three months upon a justified application (e.g., illness) to the examination board. The application (Word document) must be approved by the supervisor and submitted to the examination office. The examination board will then review the application and inform you of the decision.

Structure of the Thesis

The structure of a master's thesis naturally varies from working group to working group. In any case, you should ask your supervisor for (good) example thesis from the working group so that you can get an impression of the structure, style, and scope. Many working groups also offer further information ("dos and don'ts") for writing master's theses. The following scheme serves as a guide for structuring a master's thesis:

  • Title page with the following elements (centered in the upper part):
    • Heidelberg University (not University of Heidelberg!)
    • <name of the institute>
    • <name of the working group>
    • Bachelor's Thesis
    • <Title of the thesis>
  • Bottom of the title page (left-aligned):
    • Name: <your name>
    • Matriculation number: <matriculation number>
    • Supervisor: <name>
    • [optional] Second supervisor: <name>
    • Date of submission: <date>
  • No logos are allowed on the front page, not even that of the university!
  • The signed declaration of independence on a new page
  • Summary in German and English (each on a separate page)
  • Table of Contents
  • Chapter of the work with final bibliography and optional appendices.

Thesis Submission and Presentation

The completed master's thesis must be submitted to the examination office by the deadline in the form of a PDF file (via email to sekretariat@informatik.uni-heidelberg.de) and three printed copies (no ring binding; double-sided if preferred). For the formal details, see also § 18 of the examination regulations.

The master's thesis is presented as part of the master's colloquium. The colloquium should show that the person to be examined has sufficient knowledge of the basics of the topic of the thesis and related areas. As a rule, it must be completed no later than four weeks after submission of the thesis. Details on the bachelor's colloquium are regulated by § 19 of the examination regulations and must be discussed with your supervisor.

Please note that the master's colloquium will be made known to all students and lecturers in Computer Science. The announcement is made by the supervisor of the work at least one week before the presentation via the appropriate mailing lists.

As a rule, a certificate in German and English should be issued within two weeks after the evaluation of the last examination, i.e. the presentation, and receipt of the review by the thesis' advisor.