Masters thesis

5 Steps to your Masters thesis

Generally, the master's thesis is written at the end of the degree programme. Please find all important information for the master's thesis on this website. 

1. Choice of topic/topic

The topic is proposed by the student and set by the first examiner, and must be approved by the examination board.

2. Choice of examiner/requirements for examiners

First examiner

First examiners for master's thesis on Leuphana Graduate School Masters that follow on from Bachelor programmes must hold at least a doctorate, be qualified in the field of the master's thesis and be full-time teachers on said masters programmes. Temporary lecturers with the same qualifications may also act as supervisors provided that they are employed at the University for the duration of the requested supervision period.

Please note
The examination board for the Management masters programmes has decided that the first examiner must be a professor (this includes assistant and temporary professors)

Exception: Dual degree with the University of Glasgow: “International Economic Law”
The master's thesis is to be written at the University of Glasgow in accordance with the examination regulations of the University of Glasgow. The first reviewer is to be an examiner from the University of Glasgow and the second reviewer an examiner from Leuphana University.

Second examiner

In general, the same quality criteria apply to second examiners as to first examiners. Internal and external second examiners who do not hold a doctorate must provide written evidence of their academic/scientific qualifications (to be submitted to the examination board with the application)

Please note
The examination board for the Management Masters programme has decided that the second examiner must hold at least a doctorate and be authorised to act as an examiner. Postdoctoral researchers who are teaching on masters programmes are eligible to supervise master's thesis together with the professor in their research field/institute.

Choice of Examiners for Management & Entrepreneurship and Management & Sustainable Accounting and Finance

Thesis supervisions for students of the Masters programmes Management & Entrepreneurship and Management & Sustainable Accounting and Finance, are allocated at Leuphana University of Lüneburg via an application procedure for a master's thesis in busines in myStudy.

For Management & Sustainable Accounting and Finance: The dissertation topic must be related to sustainable accounting or finance from a business administration perspective and should apply an empirical research method.

3. Application for Masters thesis

Applications and notification

The application form for admission to the Master's thesis can be found below as a fillable pdf document. Submit the completed application form with the confirmation of the examiners to the Student Services (Infoportal, building 8 ground floor). It is particularly important to provide a legible topic proposal in German and English. The approved title will appear on your certificate. Once the topic and the examiners have been confirmed by the Examination Board, you will receive written approval with the latest submission deadline.

From now on, the admission to the Master's thesis will appear in your myCampus account under the application "My achievements" and "My theses". Both examiners, the topic and the submission deadline are specified here.

When planning your schedule, please note that your application for admission to the Master's thesis must first be decided by the Examination Board. The processing time only begins with the approval of the examination board.

Please note:  A German title is not required for master's thesis to be written in English.

Returning the topic

The topic can only be returned without giving reasons on the first attempt within 14 days of the start of the processing period. The return of the topic must be declared in writing to the Examination Board and submitted to Student Services. After returning the topic, the student can take on a new topic. This new topic may not be closely related to the previously accepted topic. The entire processing time is again available to work on the new topic. The examiners do not have to be the same as those for the old topic. Working on the new topic is not a new attempt, but is still part of the attempt interrupted by the return of the topic.

4. Submission of the Masters thesis

You must upload your Master's thesis to your myCampus account under the application "My Theses" by the set submission deadline at the latest. You must upload a commentable PDF document including all attachments as well as an anonymized copy of your thesis for plagiarism checking. You can find click instructions on the myCampus homepage under "Instructions for students"

You must also make the following declarations when uploading your thesis:

Declaration 1

Hiermit erkläre ich, dass ich die vorliegende Arbeit - bei einer Gruppenarbeit der entsprechend gekennzeichnete Teil dieser Arbeit - selbstständig verfasst und keine anderen als die angegebenen Quellen und Hilfsmittel benutzt wurden, und - alle Stellen der Arbeit, die wortwörtlich oder sinngemäß aus anderen Quellen übernommen wurden, als solche kenntlich gemacht wurden. Die vorliegende Arbeit hat in gleicher oder ähnlicher Form noch keiner Prüfungsbehörde vorgelegen.

(Translation is only for understanding: I hereby declare that I have written this thesis - in the case of a group thesis, the part of this thesis marked accordingly - independently and that no sources and aids other than those specified have been used, and that all passages in the thesis that have been taken verbatim or in spirit from other sources have been identified as such. This thesis has not yet been submitted in the same or a similar form to any examination authority.)

Declaration 2

Die elektronische Fassung dieser Arbeit sowie die zusätzliche elektronische Fassung in anonymisierter Form gem. §7 Abs. 10 RPO stimmen inhaltlich überein.

(Translation is only for understanding: The electronic version of this thesis and the additional electronic version in anonymized form according to §7 para. 10 RPO are identical in content.)

The title page should contain the following information:
Leuphana University
Title of the thesis in German and English (exact wording as on the application)
Surname, first name of the examinee
Matriculation No.
Current e-mail address
Current postal address
First examiner
Second examiner (for external examiners current contact details (postal address))
Date of submission

Please note
In the case of a Master's thesis written in English, a German declaration must be included.

5. Oral-Examination (Previously Colloquium) and Thesis Grading

Admission to the oral examination
For admission to the oral examination, both examiners must send the graded report to Student Services or upload it to myCampus. The student then receives written notification that he or she has been admitted to the oral examination. The student is responsible for arranging a date and time for the oral examination with the examiners. The examination confirmation sheet (issued when you submit the master's thesis) is to be submitted to Student Services no later than one week before the start of the examination. Students do not receive confirmation of receipt of the examination confirmation sheet. 

Oral examination
The purpose of the oral examination is to elucidate the thesis. The oral examination is not open to the public. Only the first and second examiner, the student and members of the examination board may attend. Oral examinations generally last 30 minutes. The time per candidate is to be reduced accordingly for group examinations. The form of the oral examination is decided by the examiners in consultation with the student. The examiners must draw up a written record of the oral examination.

Evaluation of thesis with oral examination
The examiners grade the oral examination. The arithmetic mean of the two grades is the grade for the supplementary oral examination, and that grade is worth one fifth (5 CP) of the overall grade for the master's thesis. The arithmetic mean of the grades from the assessment reports is weighted at four fifths (20 CP) of the overall grade.

Evaluation of thesis without oral examination
Each examiner issues a written report on the thesis. The overall grade for your master's thesis is the arithmetic mean of the two grades.

Please note
In the event that the grading by the two examiners differs by two grades or more, another expert reviewer must be appointed by the competent examination board before the grade is announced. In such cases, the overall grade is the arithmetic mean of all individual grades

Repeating Masters thesis

The master's thesis may only be repeated once. Students may only repeat the thesis if their first attempt is graded as a “fail”. Students may not resit assessments that they have passed. If the first attempt has been graded as a “fail”, a second and final attempt with a new topic is permitted. The new topic cannot be closely related to a previous topic. The time defined in the Subject-Specific Schedule is then allocated for completion. The examiners do not need to be the same as for the previous topic.


Illness during the master's thesis period shall only be taken into account if a medical certificate is provided. The certificate must be submitted to the Student Services immediately after it has been established that the student is unable to take the examination. The medical certificate (incapacity form) must explicitly certify that the student in question was unable to work on his or her master's thesis. The standard forms for incapacity for work are not sufficient in this case. The time allocated for the thesis shall be suspended for the duration of the incapacity. The submission deadline shall be extended by the number of days for which the student was ill.

Further Information

Group work

The master's thesis may be a piece of group work. The contribution of the individual candidate to be assessed must be clearly identifiable on the basis of sections, page numbers and other objective criteria. It must be possible to assess said contribution on its own merits.

Masters Forum

The Masters Forum is a separate module in which an assessment must be completed. The form of each Masters Forum depends on the requirements of the given major.

Time allocated and length

Five months are allowed for the master's thesis, with the exception of thesis on the International Economic Law Major, for which three months are allowed. A period of 20 weeks is set for the Management & Entrepreneurship Masters programme; differing rules apply for the length (see table in the information sheet).