University of Innsbruck

Master's Thesis

During the Master's programme in Philosophy, students are required to write a Master's thesis (see § 8 of the curriculum), which should be 24000 to 30000 words long, including bibliography (i.e. 80-100 pages if one page contains 300 words). It is expected that students themselves reflect on the area of philosophy or the topic on which they would like to write the master's thesis and, with this in mind, contact a member of the institute in whose field of work the topic falls. Interdisciplinary topics are possible. The exact topic is determined in an exchange between the student and the supervisor.

Once the topic of the Master's thesis has been determined, it must be registered with the examinations office. The corresponding form can be foundon this page together with the form for the module Preparation of the Master's Thesis. Both forms must be completed by the student and signed by the supervisor.

The module for the preparation of the Master's thesis includes the agreement of the topic and the form of the Master's thesis on the basis of a brief description of the content (exposé) as well as the planning of the work processes and the time frame. The module is assigned 7.5 ECTS, the master's thesis itself 20 ECTS.

The Master's thesis must be submitted in electronic form ( as well as in two bound copies to the examination office (together with the confirmation of the electronic submission and an affidavit). The assessment is based on the following criteria:

1. Clarity and comprehensibility of the topic, research question and objective.
2. Consideration and application of the current research situation
3. Appropriateness and application of the methodology
4. Stringency of the argumentation, gain in knowledge and innovative content
5. Appropriateness of form and quality of linguistic presentation.

Serious deficiencies in one of these points lead to a negative assessment. If the last point is unclear, we recommend the book Wissenschaftliches Arbeiten im Philosophiestudium (UTB) by Flatscher/Posselt/Weiberg in addition to the material from the SL "Einführung in die Philosophie".

After completion of all other modules and positive assessment of the Master's thesis, the defence of the Master's thesis (= Module 10 with 2.5 ECTS-AP), which lasts approximately one hour, must be completed in front of a three-member examination senate. This examination board consists of the supervisor, another examiner and a chairperson. It is the student's responsibility to obtain the consent of these persons, to coordinate the scheduling and to inform the examination office. As a rule, at least two months should be allowed between the submission of the Master's thesis and its defence. After consultation with the supervisor, this period can be shortened by up to one month.

In the defence of the Master's thesis, the candidate presents the results of the Master's thesis (approximately 20 minutes), which is followed by a discussion of the thesis, which serves, among other things, to position the thesis in the overall context of the Master's programme. If the candidate wishes, an examination focus can be agreed with both examiners.

Criteria that are used for the assessment of the module are: Clarity of presentation, stringency of argumentation, reflection on methods, networked specialist knowledge and linguistic competence. The defence of the Master's thesis is public, but only the examination senate has the right to ask questions.

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