The Master's thesis (MA) is part of the specialisation and is therefore usually started from the 3rd MSc semester onwards. However, it is possible to start it earlier or later without any problems. To register, you need at least 28 credit points (see below). The registration forms are available in the IB or can be obtained here... If you have any questions regarding registration, please contact the examination office. Manuscript guidelines for the design of written papers as well as the Master's thesis can be found in this template (PDF) by Joachim Funke, Carolin Berude & Bernd Reuschenbach (status SS 2010). Further information on these guidelines can be found here. According to a decision of the professorial board, a Master's thesis should comprise at least 50 pages. In principle, it is also possible to design the Master's thesis as a publishable journal article; in this case, the Master's thesis should also comprise at least 50 pages so that the theoretical background can be adequately presented.
Information on topic selection
The individual work units (AEs) each offer different topics for Master's theses. However, these are not always explicitly announced (you can find some offers under "Current offers"). If you are interested in the work of an AE, or if you have a topic idea and could imagine that someone from a particular AE might be interested in looking into it, then feel free to approach the lecturers on your own initiative and make suggestions or ask them if they currently have any worthwhile topics for an MA. Please also bear in mind that it is basically possible to build your MA on the content of your BA!
By the way, it is also worthwhile to browse the homepages of other institutions (external) and, if you are interested, simply contact the relevant project staff. It is easily possible to write the MA outside the Psychological Institute (e.g. Psychiatry) or even the University of Heidelberg, as long as a "formal" supervisor from the PI can be found.
Information on project supervision ("Project Seminar" / "Research Seminar" / "PSQ" / "Project Organisation").
The event for supervising the Master's thesis ideally takes place in the work unit (AE) in which the Master's thesis is also written. However, this is not necessary, i.e. you can also attend the project support seminar in another work unit without further ado. If, at the beginning of the semester in which the Master's thesis is to be written, it is not yet clear in which AE this will be, then you should register for the seminar of the AE where you can most easily imagine this. This can also be a way to help you decide! In case of doubt, it is also possible to change to the project seminar of another AE at a later date. If you want to attend two project seminars in one semester (for example, because of a stay abroad), you can also register for two different seminars.
Registration for the Master's thesis
The forms for registering the Master's thesis are available in the Institute's library or can be downloaded here:
(2) Assignment Topic Master's Thesis (on this form the first and second supervisor have to sign as well as delegating and delegated supervisors, if applicable). After registration of the Master's thesis, you have six months until submission. In exceptional cases, the deadline can be extended by up to two months by the examination board in agreement with the supervisor. Three copies of the thesis must be handed in to the examination office.
Drafting the Master's thesis
Suggestions for the design and preparation of a Master's thesis can be found:
- On the pages of General Psychology on Topic Manuscript Design (PDF file)
- On the pages of Clinical Psychology under D Criteria for preparing and evaluating the thesis
- On the pages of Developmental Psychology under Assessment of standard papers from the empirical field
In the file Richtlinien zur Gestaltung von schriftlichen Referaten, Hausarbeiten und Praktikumsberichten you will also find guidance on the correct use of citations. Instructions according to the guidelines of the American Psychological Association (APA) can be found on these pages of Saarland University. When using citations and compiling your bibliography, keep in mind that adherence to form is an important indication of clean work for the reviewer! Regardless of whether it is important to adhere to a certain form, the reviewer can assume that if work here is unclean, the calculations (which are often difficult to verify) may also be faulty. The form is therefore your "business card" with regard to your work!
Notes on the supervision and assessment of the Master's thesis (MA).
Two examiners are required for the assessment of the MA. Please note the following: Both supervisors must have an examination authorisation at the psychology institute. A person with examination authorisation can delegate one (and only one) other person to supervise who does not have examination authorisation at the psychology institute. (In extreme cases, therefore, four people may be involved in the supervision: Two official assessors, who each delegate a different person for first and second supervision). The two to four people involved in supervision must sign the application form. Further information on the supervision and review of MSc theses can be found in §13, §16 and §17 of the Master Examination Regulations (MSc-PO), among others:
§ 13 Admission requirements for the Master's examination.
(2) For admission to the Master's thesis, certificates must also be submitted on the successfully passed courses of all modules of the basic education spanning the specialisations (with the exception of the credit points for the external internship) to the extent of 28 credit points.
§ 16 Master's thesis
(1) The Master's thesis shall demonstrate that the candidate is able to independently work on a problem from an area of the specialisation in psychology chosen by him/her within a specified period of time using scientific methods. (2) The Master's thesis may be issued and supervised by any person authorised to conduct examinations pursuant to § 6, Para. 1, Sentence 1 of the subject Psychology. The issue and supervision by an authorised examiner from another subject area at Heidelberg University requires the prior approval of the examination board. The Master's thesis may be written at an institution outside Heidelberg University with the approval of the examination board if it is supervised by an authorised examiner in accordance with sentence 1. (3) The topic of the Master's thesis is determined by the supervisor. Upon application, the chairperson of the examination committee shall ensure that the candidate receives a topic for the Master's thesis in good time. The candidate shall be given the opportunity to make suggestions for the topic; this does not constitute a legal claim. The topic shall be issued by the chairperson of the examination committee. The time of issue shall be recorded. (4) The time from the issue of the topic to its submission is six months. In exceptional cases, the time limit may be extended by up to two months by the examination committee in consultation with the supervisor. If the deadline is not met, the work shall be deemed to have been assessed as "insufficient" (5.0), unless the candidate is not responsible for exceeding the deadline. (5) The topic, assignment and scope of the Master's thesis shall be limited in such a way that the deadline for completion can be met. The topic may only be returned once and only within the first month of the processing period. (6) The Master's thesis may be written in German or English.
§ 17 Submission and Assessment of the Master's Thesis (1) Three copies of the Master's thesis shall be submitted to the examination board in due time; the date of submission shall be recorded. The thesis shall contain a summary. (2) When submitting the Master's thesis, the candidate shall certify in writing that he/she has written the thesis him/herself and has not used any sources and aids other than those specified. (3) The Master's thesis shall be assessed by two examiners, one of whom must be a university lecturer. The first examiner shall be the supervisor of the thesis. The second examiner shall be determined by the examination board; the candidate shall have a right of proposal, which, however, shall not constitute a legal claim. The assessment procedure shall not exceed six weeks. (4) The grade shall be the arithmetic mean of both grades; § 12 shall apply accordingly. In the event of discrepancies of more than one grade, the examination board shall determine the grade of the Master's thesis after hearing both examiners. In such cases, it may consult a third examiner.
**Registration and submission
Two forms must be completed. The forms for registering the Master's thesis are available in the Institute's library or can be downloaded here: (1) Registration for Master's thesis (2) Assignment of Master's thesis topic There, the supervising persons must sign and the form must be handed in at the Examination Office. After registering the Master's thesis, you have six months until submission. In exceptional cases, the deadline can be extended by up to two months by the examination board in agreement with the supervisor. Three copies of the thesis must be handed in at the examination office.