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Research Phase and Master's Thesis in the Physics programs

During the last year of the Master's program you will have the unique opportunity to work on exciting research topics. During this so-called research phase, you can choose from an extensive number of research groups and current projects.

 Aliaksandr Bandarenka and a Master's student in his group discuss about their research. Foto: TUM.PH/Eckert. The research phase constitutes one thematic block, culminating in the dissertation of the Master's thesis.

Research Phase

The build-up of the research phase

To the scope of the one year research phase (59 ECTS) belong firstly, the development of the necessary special knowledge within a cutting-edge research line and secondly, the acquisition of the corresponding experimental or theoretical skills, that are necessary for the realization of the research project within the frame of the Master's thesis. Each of these steps conforms a module, the Master's seminar and the Master's training. Both modules belong intrinsically together and account in total for 24 ECTS. Subsequently, the independent research project can be carried out as part of the Master's thesis, which corresponding module comprises 30 ECTS. The research phase is completed with the Master's colloquium, the defense of the Master's thesis, for which 5 ECTS are given.

During the research phase, the fulfilment of an independent scientific work is tighly connected with the acquisition of additional skills, such as project management, team work as well as the depiction and presentation of scientific results.

ModuleDescriptionCredits (CP)PL/SL*
Master's seminar Literature research and specialization 10 S
Master's training Methodology and project planning 14 S
Master's thesis 30 P
Master's colloquium Master's thesis defense 5 P
*: P="Prüfungsleistung", graded exam,
S="Studienleistung", non graded exam (pass/fail)

Finding a topic

Students have to take contact by their own with the working groups and potential supervisors, in oder to agree on a topic for the research phase/master thesis. Additionally to this, supervisors have the option to announce topics in the section below (supervisors see "Access for supervisors" on the right). However this possibility is not used by all institutes and not all topics are listed. Therefore it is recommended to ask the professors or in the institutes for topics.

Furthermore, it is recommended to start early (at least one semester in advance) to search for an appropriate topic. Having face-to-face interaction with the group, you can see if you like the topic and if you feel comfortable in the group (you will be working one year there!). We discourage you from simple e-mail exchange, as it is usually not successful.

Filtering in the offers for possible theses

You can search through the offers of Master’s thesis topics at the Physics Department.

Offers of Master’s thesis topics

Study areaTopicSupervisor
KM, AEP Anomaler Hall Torque in voll epitaktischen Heterostrukturen Back
BSC, KTA Aufbau eines Triggersdetektors Fabbietti
KM, AEP Beeinflußung der Spin-Bahn-Wechselwirkung durch die elektronische Zustandsdichte Back
KM, BIO, AEP, BEMP, M2L, TMP Biophysik der Nahrungsaufnahme im Darm Alim
KM, AEP, QST Breitbandiges dispersives Auslesen von supraleitenden Qubits Gross
KTA Calculation the neutron transport from the fuel element to the instrument and probably to the detector Petry
KTA, AEP Confinement of charged nanoparticles: Quadrupole Ion Trap - particle detection Eisenhauer
KM, AEP Controlling magnon transport in antiferromagnetic insulators Gross
BSC, KTA, AEP Deep neural networks applied to multimessenger astronomy: real-time neutrino astronomy. Resconi
KTA Die Physik unterschiedlicher Gammastrahlungs-Transienten Greiner
BSC, KM, AEP, QST Durchstimmung der Amplitude des Spin-Hall-Magnetwiderstands (topic is not available any more) Gross
BSC, KM, KTA Dynamik im stark korrelierten Hubbard Modell Knap
KM, AEP, QST Elektronenspindynamik in einer stark koppelnden Umgebung Hübl
BSC, KTA Entwicklung und Test neuer schneller Ausleselektronik fuer kuenftige Beschleunigerexperimente Kroha
KM, AEP Exploring renewable energy systems with laser induced current transient thechnique Bandarenka
BSC, KTA Exploring the properties of Quark-Gluon Plasma with anisotropic flow measurements at the Large Hadron Collider Fabbietti
KM, AEP Fabrication and characterization of high-efficiency printed perovskite solar cells Müller-Buschbaum
KM, AEP Femtosecond Sum Frequency Generation (SFG) setup for studying water-solid interfaces during CO2 reduction Iglev
KM, AEP, QST FPGA-basiertes Rückkopplungsverfahren für die Mikrowellen-basierte Quantenkommunikation Gross
KTA, TMP Galactic cosmic rays and their interaction with astrophysical objects Eisenhauer
BIO, TMP Growing shapes: Kinetics of integrating cell wall material into the envelope of a growing cell Gerland
BSC, KM, AEP, QST Herstellung von verlustarmen Josephson-Kontakten für Quanten-Bauelemente Deppe
KM, AEP High-field magnetotransport in an organic superconductor in proximity to the spin-liquid state Gross
KM, AEP, QST High frequency optomechanical devices for quantum optomechanics Poot
KTA High resolution molecular spectroscopy in the laboratory and in space Eisenhauer
BSC, KTA, AEP Hot Spot Population Analysis: indirect search for cosmic accelerators within the IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory. Resconi
KM, AEP, QST Imaging magnetic phases in 2D-materials Finley
KM, AEP Interaction between magnetic and conducting layers in molecular antiferromagnetic superconductors Gross
KM, AEP Interface control via plasma etching Müller-Buschbaum
BSC, KTA, AEP Investigating effects of gas humidity on electrical discharge formation in MPGDs Fabbietti
BSC, KTA Investigating the three-body strong interaction using correlation techniques at the LHC Fabbietti
KM, AEP, QST Kalibrierung von Frequenz und Nichtlinearität in einem Bose-Hubbard-System Gross
KM, AEP Magnetische und optische Eigenschaften von mit Übergangsmetallen dotierten hybriden Perowskiten Deschler
BSC, KTA Measurement of the ΛΦ interaction with femtoscopy studies in pp collisions at ALICE Fabbietti
BSC, KTA Modernes Rechnen, Statistik und Maschinelles Lernen Caldwell
KTA Neuronale Netze in Gamma Spektren Petry
KM, AEP Novel measurement setup to investigate thermoelectric materials Müller-Buschbaum
KM, AEP Optomechanics of coupled micro-drums Poot
KM, AEP, QST Optomechanics with Single Photons Poot
KM, AEP, QST Oxidische Heterostrukturen für Experimente mit reinen Spinströmen (topic is not available any more) Gross
BSC, KM, KTA Qualifizierung von Piezo Motoren by kryogenen Temperaturen für das MADMAX Experiment zur Suche nach dunkle Materie Axionen Majorovits
KM, AEP, QST Quantum acoustics in the giant atom limit Hübl
KM, AEP, QST Quantum Optics on a Chip Poot
KM, AEP, QST Quantum Photonics with 2D materials Finley
BSC, KTA, AEP Search for high energy neutrino emission from blazars: stacking gamma-ray bright sources. Resconi
BSC, KM, AEP, QST Simulation und Aufbau einer Überhöhungskavität für hohe optische Leistungen Kienberger
KM, AEP, QST Spectroscopy on atomically thin materials in high pulsed magnetic fields Finley
KM, AEP, QST Spin-dynamics in magnetic 2D-materials Finley
KM, AEP, QST Strong electrostatic effects in optomechanical devices Poot
KTA Studien zur Suche nach dem Protonzerfall im zukünftigen JUNO Experiment (topic is not available any more) Oberauer
KTA Studying the chemical signature of protostellar binary interactions through simulations Eisenhauer
KM, AEP, QST Study of the electromagnetically induced transparency in the rare-earth spin ensembles in the microwave regime Gross
BSC, KTA Study the absorption of antihelium-4 in ALICE experiment at CERN LHC Fabbietti
BSC, KTA, AEP Study the energy dependence of the grain orientation dependent sputtering yields of tungsten and copper Stroth
BSC, KTA Suche nach CP-Verletzung in Produktion und Zerfall des Higgs-Bosons mit dem ATLAS-Detektor am LHC Kroha
BSC, KTA Suche nach doppelt geladenen Higgs-Bosonen mit dem ATLAS- Detector am LHC Kroha
BSC, KTA Suche nach geladenen Higgs-Bosonen mit dem ATLAS-Detektor am LHC Kroha
KM, AEP Superconducting devices based on superconductor/ferromagnet heterostructures Gross
KM, AEP Synchronization and nonlinear dynamics of nanomechanical oscillators Poot
BSC, KTA Test neuer Myondetektoren fuer den Ausbau des ATLAS-Detektors am Super-LHC Kroha
KTA The dynamics of dwarf elliptical galaxies (topic is not available any more) Eisenhauer
KM, AEP Thermophysical Modeling of Laser Structuring of Battery Electrodes Kienberger
KM, AEP, QST Time-domain study of the dynamics of microwave spectral holes in the rare-earth spin ensembles Gross
BSC, KTA Training des neuronalen Netzwerks für einen Spurauslöser beim Belle II Experiment Caldwell
KM, KTA, AEP, QST Tunable interlayer excitons in 2D heterostructures Finley
BSC, KM, KTA Ungeordnete Quantensysteme: Vielteilchenlokalisierung Knap
KM, KTA, AEP Untersuchung der Signalantwort des MADMAX Experiments zur Suche nach Axionen als dunkler Materie Majorovits
BSC, KM, KTA, TMP Vielteilchensysteme mit Zwangsbedingungen Knap
KM, AEP Wirkungsquerschnitte von 3He Ionen mit leichten Elementen für Kernreaktionsanalysen Stroth
KM, AEP Zeitaufgelöste Messung des Umschaltprozesses für in der Ebene magnetisierte mikrostrukturierte Elemente Back

Registering the research phase

The registration to all modules belonging to the research phase is done at once in the Dean's Office (Dekanat), normally at the beginning of the third Master's semester. When doing this, the certificate of mentor counseling has to be included. After agreeing on a topic with the future supervisor, students can print out the registration form in the student access.

After six months the Master's thesis should begin. Passing the Master's seminar and the Master's training will be recorded in TUMonline and you are officially alowed to start the thesis.

Handing in the thesis and getting the grade

Before handing in the Master's thesis, you need to update the final titel of the thesis in the database (student access) and upload an electronic copy (PDF-file). Afterwards, you have to hand in two printed versions in the Dean's Office (Dekanat). Alternatively you may hand in the rpinted copies via postal mail – use the submission letter you may generate on the status page after uploading the thesis PDF for this. The submission letter (as well as the submission form at the Dean’s Office) especially contains the required statement according to §18 paragraph 9 APSO.

You have to hand in the thesis at the latest on the deadline, please keep this on mind. The thesis is not handed in until the two paper copies and the signed submission form (or the signed submission letter for postal submission) physically arrived at the Dean’s Office! If the two copies and the submission letter are given into the mail without any delay we can interpret the date of uploading the PDF file as submission date retroactively.

Extension of the deadline is only possible for good reasons. See FAQ on Thesis extension.

The Master's thesis will be evaluated by the supervisor and a second examiner. The second examiner is appointed by the examination board on suggestion of the supervisor (after official registration of Master’s thesis).

The supervisor and the second examiner will also grade the Master's colloquium, which completes the research phase.

Re-enrollment during the research phase

For any examination you must be enrolled as a student of TUM. Hence you need to re-enroll for one semester more e.g. if you hand in your Master’s thesis or your Master’s colloquium takes place after the current semester ends. According to APSO, coursework and examinations until the first week of the lectures of the next semester are counted for the current semester – but for the Master's Thesis the rule is: you must be enrolled at the date you hand in your thesis (meaning handing in after 1st of April or 1st of October is impossible if your are not re-enrolled in summer or winter semester respectively)

With a due date for your thesis e.g. in October, you should not forget to re-enroll for the winter semester and the corresponding deadline would be August 15.

Organization of the colloquium

The Master’s colloquium is organised and conducted by the supervisor together with the second examiner. The Master’s colloquium takes approximately 60 minutes, consisting of a 30 minutes talk and 30 minutes examination. Naturally, the inclusion of the colloquium in a group seminar is possible.

Completing your Master studies

At the end of the semester in which you reach the necessary 120 ECTS in your Master's degree program you will be exmatriculated (according to §13(1) enrolment rules of TUM). In most cases the Master's colloquium will be the last exam to reach this point.

Taking further exams and final documents

You are principally allowed to take further exams after reaching the 120 ECTS, i.e. to replace previous results in the catalog of special courses or non-physics courses with better results. Therefore it is generally not possible that the final documents are generated before you are exmatriculated. In case you need the final documents (or even preliminary documents) earlier, you have to request for it explicitly. See the Remarks on end of studies and final documents for further information.

Deriving the final grade

The final grade is the ECTS-weighted average of the graded exams, which are used to fulfill the 120 ECTS. These are the elective course in theoretical physics, the special courses, the non-physics courses, the Master's thesis and colloquium.

If you have taken more than 30 ECTS in the special courses or more than 8 ECTS in the non-physics elective courses, then TUMonline will try to find the combination, which results in the best final grade. Redundant courses will be listed as "additional courses" in your transcript. If you want a different combination than the one TUMonline is suggesting, please contact the coordinator of the Master's degree program before the final documents are printed.

Nr.ModuleCredits (CP)ca. %
1 Theoretical physics 10 12
2 Special courses 30 36
3 Non-Physics courses 8 10
4 Master's thesis 30 36
5 Master's colloquium 5 6
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