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Research Phase and Master’s Thesis in the M.Sc. Quantum Science & Technology

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

Young researchers at Max-Planck-Institute for Quantum Optics (MPQ). Photo: MCQST.
Young researchers at Max-Planck-Institute for Quantum Optics (MPQ). Photo: MCQST.

Research Phase

The structure of the research phase

The one-year research phase (60 ECTS) involves three modules. The first module, called Master’s seminar, is devoted to gathering the specialized knowledge needed for a cutting-edge line of research through a detailed study of the relevant research literature. The second module, called Master’s work experience, focuses on acquiring the technical skills, experimental and/or theoretical, needed for conducting the research project of the Master’s thesis. The first two modules form an intrinsic unit and together account for 30 ECTS. The Master’s thesis forms the third module and accounts for 30 ECTS. It involves completing an independent research project, submitting a written Master’s thesis, and orally defending it in a Master’s colloquium.

During the research phase, the completion of an independent scientific project also involves the acquisition of additional skills such as project management, team-work, and the presentation of scientific results.

ModuleDescriptionCredits (CP)PL/SL*
Master’s seminar Literature research and specialization 15 S
Master’s work experience Methodology and project planning 15 S
Master’s thesis   30 P
*: P="Prüfungsleistung", graded exam,
S="Studienleistung", non-graded exam (pass/fail)

Finding a topic

For this program, the Examination Board has created a list of possible thesis supervisors; they are listed below. To find a topic, please contact the possible thesis supervisors yourself.

The thesis supervisors have the possibility to advertise topics (supervisors see "Access for supervisors" on the right). However, not all possible topics are advertised here, so it is advisable to ask the thesis supervisors directly

Furthermore, it is advisable to start searching for a suitable topic early, about one semester in advance. In a personal interview, you can quickly see whether a topic appeals to you and whether you feel comfortable in the group. 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 in our database.

Offers of Master’s thesis topics

A finite temperature quantum algorithm for the Hubbard model Knap
Emergent (non-linear) hydrodynamics in ultracold quantum gases Knap
Fractonic quantum matter at low temperatures Knap
Optomechanics with Single Photons Poot
Quantum Optics on a Chip Poot
Strong electrostatic effects in optomechanical devices Poot

Registration for the research phase

Registration for all three modules of the research phase is done simultaneously in the Dean's Office (Dekanat) of TUM Physics, usually at the beginning of the third Master’s semester. Registration requires a signed certificate of mentor counseling. After agreeing on a topic with the future supervisor, students can print out the registration form from the student access website.

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.

Submitting the thesis, obtaining a 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) at TUM Physics Department. 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 the official registration of the Master’s thesis).

The supervisor and the second examiner will also attend and assign a grade for the Master’s colloquium, which completes the research phase.

Re-enrollment during the research phase

To participate in any examination, you have to be enrolled as a student of TUM. Therefore, if you submit your Master’s thesis or give your Master’s colloquium after the end of the fourth semester, you have to re-enroll for one more semester.

For example, if the due date for your thesis or the scheduled date for your colloquium is in October, you should not forget to re-enroll for the winter semester. The regular deadline for re-enrollment in WS is August 15.

The Master’s colloquium

The advisor for the research project organizes the Master’s colloquium and grades it together with the second examiner. The Master’s colloquium takes approximately 60 minutes, consisting of an oral presentation and an examination of 30 minutes each. Naturally, the Master’s colloquium may be conducted in the context of a group seminar.

Completing your Master’s studies

At the end of the semester in which you reached the required 120 ECTS in your QST Master’s program and passed all required exams, 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 be completed to reach this point.

Taking further exams and final documents

In principle, you may take further exams after reaching the 120 ECTS, i. e., to improve your grades with different elective courses. For this reason, the final documents can generally not be generated before the date of your exmatriculation. In case you do need the final documents (or even preliminary documents) earlier, you have to request them explicitly. See the Remarks on end of studies and final documents for further information.

Computation of the final grade

The final grade is the ECTS-weighted average of all graded exams.

PH1009 QST Theory 10 12,5
PH1010 QST Experiment 10 12,5
Fokus area 30 37,5
Master’s Thesis 30 37,5
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