Diploma Thesis

In order to graduate from the Innsbruck University School of Management, you must successfully complete a diploma thesis. The thesis must show that you are familiar with and can use scientific methods. Below you will find important information regarding the requirements and procedures for diploma theses. You can find an updated list of theoretical topics at e-campus in the Marketing Basics and Development link. Practical topics can be found at the Innsbruck partnership models (PINN) at the SoWi-Holding website as well as on the “Practical Projects” section of our webpage.

Please contact the relevant contact person or office if you are interested in any of these topics. For further information regarding the Diplomanden-AG (required course for writing diploma theses) see the following link.



Research Topics

Theoretical topics are available at e-campus Marketing Basic and Advanced Courses, as well as at the Diplomanden-AG (the required course for writing a diploma thesis). Practical topics can be found at PINN. For more information about PINN, please see the SoWi-Holding website and our "Student Projects" website.


Requirements and Procedures

Acceptance for a diploma thesis:

In order to ensure the quality of support provided, while staying within the limits of our scarce resources, we use criteria to help select interested parties who are writing dissertations in the field of marketing. At our institute, the authors must prove themselves to be prepared and that their topics and aspirations are worthy. They must complete two BWL modules with grades of “very good” or “good.” One of the modules must be within the field of marketing (also possible at a foreign university). The courses and their results must be successfully completed and be made available latest upon presentation of the draft.

In a so-called hearing (during the Diplomanden-AG course) the students must present their dissertation draft before a panel of members from the institution. The panel will then decide if the draft can be accepted or if changes need to be made. When the students receive the necessary sanction, they are then approved to begin their dissertation work. If more students show interest in the same dissertation topic the DA-AG panel will decide which student is accepted. Each student may only present a topic a maximum of two times.

Defining the problem

In a diploma thesis, a concrete question within the field of marketing must be answered. This question can be theoretical (for example, how can …be explained?, what problems exist in the literature concerning… which have yet to be solved?, and what actions can be taken in order to fill the voids which the research has yet to include?), or practical (for example, how does choosing a provider take place within … by the group of customers xy and which consequences therefore arise in the cultivation of the market?, etc.).

Regardless of whether the thesis topic is answered in a theoretical or practical fashion, the frame of reference for the answer must originate from a scientific publication elaborating methods and content. For the most part, an empirical inquiry is required in order to reply to the selected question.


The following procedure pertains to both practical and theoretical works:

  • Initial Contact Students, questioners, and eventual mentors meet to agree upon and finalize the goal, the methods of questioning, the assignments, and the general conditions of the project (kept in the mentor’s handbook). The student will keep a protocol containing the signatures of the participants.
  • The philosophy of the dissertation is primarily concerned with the following questions: What is the problem? What is the goal of the dissertation project? Why is this project of importance (from a theoretical and/or a practical perspective)? How will the solution of the problem accomplish the goal and why? (Literature, Methods)
  • The hearing in the Diplmanden-AG will decide if the student is accepted and if they will receive sponsorship. The presentation should consist of a detailed and well thought-out concept for the dissertation and its’ intentions (the more precise the topic is, the better the starting point and composition of the work will be), a planned arrangement of the dissertation, and a timetable.
  • When the concept of the dissertation is accepted, an agreement with a mentor at the Diplomarbeits-Milestones will follow. The thesis should be written within 6 months after being accepted in the Diplomanden-AG.
  • Application of the dissertation topic to the examination office (completed form)
  • Composition of the thesis
  • If for some reason you cannot attend an appointment with your mentor, contact them ahead of time to let them know.
  • The type and extent of the support should be arranged between the student and the mentor. Please get yourself acquainted with the requirements of scientific work from the start. A helpful resource in this respect is: Bänsch, A. (1995). Wissenschaftliches Arbeiten: Seminar- und Diplomarbeiten. 4. verb. Aufl., München, Wien: Oldenbourg. As an introduction on citing academic work, the rules from the Journal of Consumer Research apply (download Endnote Style)
  • Submission of the work should be to the examination office (Prüfungsamt), inspection of the dissertation is done by the mentor, and the final judgement is made by Hans Mühlbacher, Andrea Hemetsberger or Eva Thelen. 
Appraisal criteria


  • Thoroughness and depth of understanding the topic
  • Approach and description (theoretical foundation, applicability, classification, auditability)
  • Development of own ideas
  • Use of suggestions from the mentor
  • Feasibility (in practice projects)
  • Literature used (extent, quality, topicality)

Formal layout:

  • Arrangement
  • Cited resources
  • Visual impression
  • Style of writing (clarity, reader friendliness)
  • It is presumed that the diploma thesis is grammatically and orthographically written.
  • For referencing, use the Reference Manager Endnote model which can be downloaded here (right mouse click and save). When using this "style", Endnote will automatically format the bibliography in accordance with JCR Style.


Diplomanden AG


Course: Diplomanden AG winter term 2010/11

Number: 436211
Lecturer: Hans Mühlbacher, Sylvia von Wallpach
Language: English
2 BWL-Modules with "Sehr gut" or "Gut", whereby one needs to be a Marketing course!
Dates: Lehrzielkatalog