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Thesis Lab


Admission requirements

MSc International Relations and Diplomacy students.


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. Most of class 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 discussion of the draft thesis proposal in the final week 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.


See the link at the front page of this programme

Mode of instruction

Short lectures; individual consultations; peer review.

Course Load

5 EC

Assessment method

Assignments on pass/fail basis:
Two short essays in preparation of the proposal and a draft proposal (pass/fail),
peer reviews of a fellow student’s essays/draft proposal (pass/fail).

Graded assignments:
Thesis proposal (100%).


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

Reading list

Each student is responsible for reading up on necessary methods and techniques. A recommended reading list will be included in the syllabus. To prepare, you can consult the following textbooks:

  • Halperin, Sandra, and Oliver Heath. 2012. Political Research, Methods and Practical Skills, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Toshkov, Dimiter. 2016. Research Design in Political Science, Palgrave: New York, NY.

  • Baglione, Lisa A. 2015. Writing a Research Paper in Political Science: A Practical Guide to Inquiry, Structure, and Methods. Third ed. Los Angeles, CA: CQ Press.


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: