Proposal Guideline

Seminar - Practical - Bachelor thesis - Diploma/Master thesis - PhD thesis

At the beginning of a seminar, practical, bachelor, master, or PhD thesis project, a research proposal needs to be written (in English).


The following rough structure describes the required content elements of a proposal. For official submission to the dean of studies the order and captions of the sections printed in bold need to be exactly as shown below.

  • Cover Page (internal only -- for diploma/master, and PhD thesis only: use official guidelines, template, and forms for submission to dean of studies, see below)

    • Title
    • Date
    • Name, Matr. Nr., Kennzahl
    • Course Nr. and title (e.g., 188.414 PR - Informatikpraktikum 1) - not needed in case of Dissertation or  Diplomarbeit
    • Type of work (Dissertation, Diplomarbeit, Bakkalaureatsarbeit, Praktikum, Seminar)
    • Supervision and Assistance
  1. Abstract (for bachelor, diploma/master, and PhD thesis only)

    • approx. 200 words
  2. Problem Description (Why?)

    • Introduction
    • Context
    • Status Quo
    • What is the problem?
    • Why is it a problem?
    • What is unknown?
    • What could be improved?
    • What is the goal of the project?
    • Research questions/hypotheses (PhD, diploma/master, and bachelor thesis only)
      • What are the hypotheses that are to be investigated?
      • Main hypothesis & sub hypotheses
  3. Expected Results

    • Which results should be achieved with the project?
      • What will be known afterwards that is not known now?
      • What will be created that does not exist now?
  4. Method (How?)

    • How should the expected results be achieved?
    • What method(s) will be applied? (e.g., empirical study, user-centered design, prototype implementation,...)
    • What are the planned steps?
  5. State of the Art (for bachelor, diploma/master, and PhD thesis only)

    • What results and approaches have already been presented in this or related areas?
    • Description and critical discussion of related scientific work
  6. Topic Match (for diploma/master thesis only)

    • Explanatory statement describing why the chosen topic fits to the study program
  7. References

    • List of cited literature
      • PhD thesis: at least 10 relevant references
      • all others: at least 4 relevant references
  • Appendix

  1. Rough work plan
    • Work packages (title, goal, description, expected results)
    • Time plan including milestones
      • realistic estimation of dates
  2. Preliminary thesis structure (for PhD/diploma/MASTER/bachelor thesis only)
    • preliminary table of contents

Approximate length

  • Seminar, Practical: 2-5 pages
  • Bachelor thesis: 3-7 pages
  • Diploma/Master thesis: 4-15 pages
  • PhD thesis: 5-20 pages

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