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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 (60 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 25 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 15 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
KTA Alarm-Software fuer Gammastrahlungs-Transienten Greiner
BSC, KM, KTA, AEP Analysis of data from the DEAP-3600 dark matter detector Schönert
AEP Attosecond Electron Spectroscopy on Mg Mono- and Multilayers (topic is not available any more) Kienberger
KM Au Interkalation auf hBN - Entkopplung kovalenter Nanostrukturen (topic is not available any more) Auwärter
KTA Automatisiertes Modellieren von Gravitationslinsen (topic is not available any more) Suyu
KTA Baryon asymmetry as guiding principle for particle physics Harz
KM, AEP Bringing Solvent Structure to Implicit Solvation Reuter
AEP Cavity-enhanced field-resolved spectroscopy in the gas-phase (topic is not available any more) Finley
KM Chemical pressure tuning of a skyrmion lattice in Gd2PdSi3 (topic is not available any more) Pfleiderer
KTA, AEP Comparison of spatiotemporal turbulent structures measured with Doppler reflectometry in the tokamak ASDEX Upgrade with gyrokinetic simulations (topic is not available any more) Stroth
KTA Cosmic Flows Measured by Supernovae (topic is not available any more) Leibundgut
BSC, KM, KTA, AEP CRESST: freezing cold, deep underground, but illuminating the dark Schönert
KM, AEP Deep Neural Network methods to generate new Organic Semiconductors Reuter
KM, AEP Defekte für die Photokatalyse Brandt
KM De-Haas-van-Alphen Messungen bei ultratiefen Temperaturen in Chrom-Diborid (topic is not available any more) Pfleiderer
KTA, AEP Development of an Electron Backscattering Detector for PERC Märkisch
BIO Distinction between bunching or purely statistical positioning of nucleosomes (topic is not available any more) Gerland
KM, AEP Donatoren in Silizium Brandt
AEP Dynamical decoupling of interacting spin ensembles (topic is not available any more) Rempe
BSC, KM, KTA Dynamik im stark korrelierten Hubbard Modell Knap
BIO, AEP Einfluss der Kollagenmikrostruktur auf Organoidwachstum Bausch
AEP Ein Quantenmagnetometer basierend auf Stickstofffehlstellen (topic is not available any more) Finley
KM, AEP, BEMP, M2L Electron Spin Qubits in Quantum Dot Molecules - Towards a Quantum Repeater Finley
BSC, KTA Entwicklung eines autonomen Triggersystems für Myonkammern mit zylindrischen Driftrohren Kortner
AEP Entwicklung eines Hochleistungs-Frequenzkamms und eines Ionen-Detektionsaufbaus für He+ Spektroskopie (topic is not available any more) Kienberger
KM Entwicklung eines räumlichen Modulators zur hochauflösenden Addressierung von Strontiumatomen in optischen Gittern (topic is not available any more) Pollmann
KM Entwicklung neuer schneller Ausleseelektronik fuer Gasdetektoren bei hohen Zaehlraten Kroha
KM Entwicklung und Test neuer schneller Myontriggerdetektoren fuer das ATLAS-Experiment am LHC Kroha
AEP Entwicklung und Umsetzung eines XUV-Spektrometers an einer bestehenden Attosekunden Beamline (topic is not available any more) Kienberger
BIO Erforschung der Viel-Körper-Lokalisierung in einem ungeordneten Quantenmagneten (topic is not available any more) Pfleiderer
KM, AEP Experimentelle Realisierung eines Quantenschlüsseltauschs mit gequetschten Mikrowellenzuständen (topic is not available any more) Gross
KM, AEP Frequency-tuning of nano-photonic resonators for quantum networks with Erbium spins Rempe
XAEP Frequency-tuning of nano-photonic resonators for quantum networks with Erbium spins (topic is not available any more) Rempe
KM, AEP High frequency optomechanical devices for quantum optomechanics Poot
AEP Identification of active electrocatalytic surface sites by STM (topic is not available any more) Bandarenka
KTA, AEP In-situ-Videoanalyse des Blisterwachstums auf plasmaexponierten Metalloberflächen (topic is not available any more) Stroth
KTA In-situ video analysis of blister dynamics on plasma-exposed metal surfaces using machine learning techniques (topic is not available any more) Stroth
AEP Ionischer und elektronischer Strom in zweidimensionalen organischen Blei(II)halogenid Perowskiten (topic is not available any more) Sharp
AEP Kalibration und überwachung der Energieskala in KATRIN (topic is not available any more) Mertens
AEP Kernspinresonanz in hochreinem Silizium (topic is not available any more) Brandt
BSC, KM, KTA LEGEND: Are neutrinos their own anti-particles? Schönert
BSC, KM, KTA LEGEND: Deciphering the signal structure of novel germanium detectors Schönert
BSC, KM, KTA, AEP LEGEND: Visualize light from liquid argon scintillation Schönert
KM, AEP Machine learning for computational design of nanostructured catalysts Reuter
BSC, KM Machine Learning-Studien zur Suche nach supersymmetrischen stau-Leptonen mit dem ATLAS-Detektor am LHC Kroha
AEP Machine Learning zur Untersuchung der Bandlücke von 2D-Perovskiten (topic is not available any more) Bandarenka
KM, AEP Magnetization dynamics in chiral magnets Gross
KM, AEP Magnetokalorische Effekte in TmB4 Hackl
AEP Metal-Organic Frameworks abgeleitete Elektrokatalysatoren für die Energieumwandlung (topic is not available any more) Bandarenka
KTA Modelle des zusammengesetzten Higgs (topic is not available any more) Weiler
BIO Musterbildung in einem künstlichen bakteriellen Kommunikationsnetzwerk (topic is not available any more) Simmel
KM, AEP Nano-strings excited by magnetic torques Gross
KTA Nichtperturbative Effekte im Kontext Dunkler Materie Harz
KM, AEP Optimized geometry for a compact 3D quantum memory (topic is not available any more) Deppe
AEP Optoelektronischer Transport in Van-der-Waals Heterostrukturen aus topologischen Weyl-Halbmetallen (topic is not available any more) Holleitner
KM, AEP Optomechanics with Single Photons Poot
KM, AEP Origin of the open circuit voltage in ternary organic solar cells, a study based on a semi-empirical Monte Carlo simulation approach Reuter
KTA Particle Identification for a Radiation Monitor based on Neural Networks (topic is not available any more) Paul
KM Plasmonische Effekte in Elektrochemischen Systemen (topic is not available any more) Krischer
AEP Pt nanoparticles supported on functionalized carbon materials as ORR electrocatalysts (topic is not available any more) Bandarenka
KM, AEP Quantenlimitierte Josephson Parametrische Verstärker für das Ku-Band Gross
AEP Quantenoszillationsmessungen mittels Temperaturmodulation (topic is not available any more) Pfleiderer
AEP Quantification of data acquired by a multispectral serial sectioning imaging system from biomedical applications. (topic is not available any more) Herzen
KM, KTA, AEP Quantum Emitters in 2D Materials Finley
KM, AEP Quantum Optics on a Chip Poot
KM, KTA, AEP, BEMP, M2L Quantum optics on coupled quantum dots Finley
KM, AEP Qubits in Diamant elektrisch auslesen Brandt
KTA Rechnergestützte Analyse niederenergetischer Zustände von Bimetallnanopartikeln (topic is not available any more) Reuter
AEP Rein elektrisch getriebener und manipulierter Magnonentransport in magnetisch geordneten Isolatoren (topic is not available any more) Gross
BIO Rekunstruktion von nicht kanonischen DNA Origami Nanostrukturen (topic is not available any more) Dietz
KTA Renormalization of SCET at NLP, calculation of the B-type current matching coefficient (topic is not available any more) Beneke
AEP Researches of active electrocatalytic sites with STM (topic is not available any more) Bandarenka
AEP Search For Active Electrocatalyst Sites Via STM (topic is not available any more) Bandarenka
KM, AEP Searching for lasing in hexagonal SiGe nanowires Finley
BSC, KM, KTA, AEP Sensitive Tests der Eigenschaften von Wellenlängenschieber für dunkle Materie und neutrinolose Doppel-Beta-Zerfallsdetektoren Schönert
KM, AEP Spinabhängige Prozesse in der Elektrochemie Brandt
KM, AEP Spin- und Gitter-Dynamik in EuFe2As2 Einkristallen Hackl
KM, AEP Strong electrostatic effects in optomechanical devices Poot
BSC, KM Suche nach Dunkler Materie in Proton-Proton-Kollisionen bei 13 TeV Schwerpunktsenergie mit dem ATLAS-Detektor Kroha
KM Suche nach neuen schweren Resonanzen mit dem ATLAS-Detektor am LHC Kroha
BSC, KM Suche nach unsichtbaren Higgs-Bosonzerfaellen am LHC mit Hilfe von Machine Learning-Methoden Kroha
KM, AEP Synchronization and nonlinear dynamics of nanomechanical oscillators Poot
BSC, KM Test neuer Myondetektoren fuer das ATLAS-Experiment am LHC bei hohen Strahlintensitaeten Kroha
AEP Thermoelektrische Eigenschaften von III-V Halbleiter Nanodrähten (topic is not available any more) Koblmüller
KM, AEP Tunnel- und Raman-Spektroskopie an Kuprat-Supraleitern Hackl
BSC, KM, KTA Ungeordnete Quantensysteme: Vielteilchenlokalisierung Knap
BSC, KM Untersuchung der mechanischen Eigenschaften von Praezisionsmyondetektoren für das ATLAS-Experiment Kroha
BSC, KM Untersuchung der Nachweiseffizienz der Praezionsmyondetektoren des ATLAS-Experiments Kroha
BSC, KM Untersuchung der Ortsaufloesung der Praezisionsmyondetektoren des ATLAS-Experiments Kroha
KTA Untersuchungen von Neutronensternmaterie unter Verwendung funktioneller Renormierungsgruppenmethoden (topic is not available any more) Kaiser
KM Variational and High-Order Coupled Cluster Methods in the Limit of Strong Correlation (topic is not available any more) Reuter
AEP Vergleich von mit Doppler-Reflektometrie gemessenen raumzeitlichen turbulenten Strukturen im Tokamak ASDEX Upgrade mit gyrokinetischen Simmulationen (topic is not available any more) Stroth
BSC, KM, KTA, TMP Vielteilchensysteme mit Zwangsbedingungen Knap

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 must fill in 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). You have to hand in the thesis at the latest on the deadline, please keep this on mind.

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 compulsory optional subject 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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