The professorship of Public Finance offers both Bachelor and Master theses for all students interested in our fields of research. On this page you can find all relevant information about the application, methods of research, choice of topic, deadlines, etc. for the Bachelor thesis. In case you want to write a Master thesis with us, please feel free to send us an e-mail and we will provide you with all the necessary information.
First step in application is writing an e-mail to us where you declare your wish to write your thesis with us. It would be good if your e-mail could include some basic information regarding your research idea and your previous experience with writing (seminars).
Next, we will organize a meeting with you where we will further discuss the possible topic choice with you and familiarize you with the general process of writing the thesis. After that, you decide when do you want to officially start writing and then we begin with the official registration of the thesis in BOSS system. Make sure you reach us one semester before you want the official period of writing to begin. The application deadline is three months before the semester starts: 1st of January for the summer semester; 1st of July for the winter semester. If you can do it earlier – even better. This will give you more time to think about research method you want to use, topic of your thesis, and overall preparation.
You do not have to apply for the project seminar separately. It is done jointly with the thesis. Project seminar includes intermediate presentation of the progress of your thesis, as well as consultations you will have with your supervisor.
You can write your thesis in English or in German. Also, you can defend your thesis in English or in German. Nevertheless, we encourage you to do it in English, because this will be a unique opportunity to improve your English skills in academic setting. If you are uncomfortable with writing a thesis in English, you can choose to write it in German and only to present and defend your thesis in English. The language will not be graded, only the content, so you do not have to worry about making any small mistakes.
We also encourage you to write your thesis and prepare a defense presentation using LaTeX, a high-quality typesetting system frequently used by professionals in both academia and industry. If you are unfamiliar with this software we have a very successful teaching plan where you will learn the basic features of this program in a matter of hours. Moreover, writing a thesis using LaTeX is much easier than in any other word processor, because of its unique characteristics regarding literature organization.
You have three research methods on your disposal:
First, you can write an applied theory thesis. This means that you will either create a mathematical (decision-theoretic or game-theoretic model) or extend a current model, and use it as a tool to explain some economic or political phenomenon seen in real life. This type of thesis is a good choice for you if your strong sides are mathematics and microeconomics.
Second, you can write an empirical thesis, where you define a research question and corresponding hypotheses implying correlation (or causation) between certain variables. Then with the help of an existing data set (or by creating a brand new one) and by utilizing econometrics tools and software, you determine whether there is a correlation (or causation) between two variables, as suggested by the research question.
Third option is the profound literature review & case study thesis in which you run a detailed examination of the current literature on the topic you are interested in. This includes theoretical and empirical papers published in most relevant economic journals (as well as books, government reports, etc.). After that, you pick a case from the real world and analyse it through the lenses of results, concepts and theories that exist in theory. The point here is to demonstrate your analytical skills by extracting the most important contributions of the literature and then applying it to the analysis of a situation from the real world.
Choice of topic of your thesis is completely up to you. Of course, we can help with suggestions, but we will not give you a title and a subject, you must choose them. Make sure that your title is neither too wide, nor too narrow. This is important because in the first case you would have a problem to precisely define your research question and cover all important aspects of the topic, while in the second case you would have a problem with finding the good literature and possibly the relevance of the topic. Once you choose the title and it enters the system, it cannot be changed – so choose wisely. Running a preliminary literature research has proven to be very helpful in this regard.
Make sure you reach us one semester before you want the official period of writing to begin. The application deadline is three months before the semester starts: 1st of January for the summer semester; 1st of July for the winter semester. Be aware that the application requires at least two weeks to be processed.
Depending on the research method you want to use, there are two options regarding the submission deadline. In case you write an applied theory or empirical thesis you have 13 weeks from the official start of the writing. On the other hand, if you do a profound literature review & case study thesis the deadline for submission is 9 weeks from the official start of the writing.