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Thesis Lab



In the thesis laboratory, students learn to prepare a thesis proposal step by step and to provide constructive feedback on thesis proposals prepared by their fellow students. Short lectures and in-class exercises in the first few weeks of the course will focus on formulating research questions, developing convincing concepts and theoretical frameworks, writing a literature review, different strategies to design the research, data collection and methods of analysis. The remaining time will be devoted to peer review and discussion of students’ proposals. Students are asked to prepare two essays, one on the research question, literature review, theory and hypotheses of their thesis, and the second on the research design, data collection and methods of analysis. Students will receive extensive feedback, both from their peers and the instructor, on their essays, which, taken together, will serve as the basis for the thesis proposal. The presentation of the thesis proposal in the final weeks of the course will provide students with another round of feedback before they submit their final draft. A satisfactory thesis proposal is expected from all students as the final result of the course.

Course objectives

  • Objective 1: To acquire the necessary skills to prepare a successful thesis proposal.

  • Objective 2: To provide effective and constructive feedback on fellow students’ proposals as part of a peer review process.


On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Blackboard.

Mode of instruction

Short lectures; in-class exercises; individual consultations; peer review; presentation of thesis proposals in class.

Course Load

5 EC.

Assessment method

Two short essays in preparation of the proposal and other short assignments (30%),
Peer reviews of two fellow students’ essays (20%),
Draft thesis proposal (30%),
Presentation of the thesis proposal in class (10%),
Peer review of a fellow student’s presentation (10%).

You can find more information about assessments and the timetable exams on the website.
Details for submitting papers (deadlines) are posted on Blackboard.
On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website, uSis and Blackboard.

Students will be permitted to resit an examination if they have taken the first sit and have a mark lower than 5.5 or with permission of the Board of Examiners.

Resit written exam
Students that want to take part in a resit for a written exam, are required to register via uSis. Use the activity number that can be found on the ‘timetable exams’.


Relevant information and examples of prior thesis proposals will be made available on the Blackboard course site.

Reading list

We will use the following textbook:
Halperin, Sandra, and Oliver Heath. 2012. Political Research, Methods and Practical Skills, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Additional readings will be assigned for individual sessions to prepare in-class exercises.


Use both uSis and Blackboard to register for every course.
Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results. Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.
Also register for every course in Blackboard. Important information about the course is posted here.


Dr. Corinna Jentzsch: