Research Phase and Master's Thesis

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.

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.

Module Description Credits (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
Sum 60  
*: 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 a (topic is not available any more) Schönert
KTA A new far-infrared view into the Galactic Center Eisenhauer
KTA Anpassung von Monte Carlo Generatoren in der Teilchenphysik mit BAT (topic is not available any more) Kluth
KM, AEP Attosekunden-Spektroskopie an photokatalytischen Proben Kienberger
KTA Aufbau und Inbetriebnahme einer Pulsed-DC Sputteranlage und Charakterisierung der gesputterten ZrN-Schichten (topic is not available any more) Petry
KTA Aufbau und Inbetriebnahme einer Pulsed-DC Sputteranlage und Charakterisierung der Gesputterten ZrN-Schichten (topic is not available any more) Petry
KTA Bau und Test neuer Myondetektoren für das ATLAS-Experiment am Large Hadron Collider Kroha
BSC, KTA, AEP Berechnung des Wasserstofftransports in der Wand eines zukünftigen Fusionsreaktors (topic is not available any more) Stroth
KTA Bestimmung der chiralen Anomalie (topic is not available any more) Friedrich
KTA Bestimmung der chiralen Anomalie in Pion-Nickel-Reaktionen (topic is not available any more) Friedrich
AEP Characterization of defects in ZnO-based diodes grown by PA-MBE by means of electrical and optical measurement techniques (topic is not available any more) Müller-Buschbaum
KTA, AEP Characterization of limit-cycle oscillations with small amplitudes in ASDEX Upgrade plasmas Stroth
KTA, AEP Charakterisierung der Entladung-Wahrscheinlichkeit einer Multi_GEM Detektors Fabbietti
AEP Charakterisierung und Optimierung eines neuartigen Röntgen Nano-Tomographie Aufbaus (topic is not available any more) Pfeiffer
KTA Collider Reach (topic is not available any more) Weiler
KM, KTA, AEP Concentration dependent interdiffusion of iron and tungsten Stroth
BIO Cryo EM of tight-fitting DNA mechanisms (topic is not available any more) Dietz
KTA Datenanalyse zum Double Chooz-Neutrinoexperiment (topic is not available any more) Oberauer
KTA Der Zeitbegriff in der Stringfeldtheorie (topic is not available any more) Ibarra
AEP Design of the LED driver for the Precision Optical CAlibration Module (topic is not available any more) Resconi
KTA, AEP Development and implementation of an average Zeff measurement for ASDEX Upgrade plasmas Stroth
AEP Differentielle elektrochemische Massenspektrometrie zur hochsensitiven Analyse von Produkten der photoelektrochemischen CO2 Reduktion (topic is not available any more) Krischer
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP Digital subraction angiography and K-edge imaging at the Munich Compact Light Source (topic is not available any more) Pfeiffer
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP Dual-energy microCT applications in material science and non-destructive testing Pfeiffer
KTA, AEP Dust injection into the Tokamak ASDEX Upgrade to study impurity transport Stroth
AEP Effects of proton bunch impact ionization on the AWAKE experiment at CERN (topic is not available any more) Caldwell
KM Electrocatalytic systems for alkaline water electrolysis based on amine additives (topic is not available any more) Bandarenka
KM, AEP Elektrisches Auslesen von NV-Zentren in Diamant Brandt
KM Elektronischer Transport in Hochspannungs-Isolationsschichten (topic is not available any more) Stutzmann
KM, AEP Engineering Magnetization Dynamics in a Magnetic Insulator Gönnenwein
KTA, AEP Entstehung von Plasmafilamenten am Plasmarand (topic is not available any more) Stroth
AEP Entwicklung chemischer Gassensoren für CO2 und Luftfeuchte (topic is not available any more) Müller-Buschbaum
AEP Entwicklung eines GHz Sampling ADC für das CALIFA Kalorimeter (topic is not available any more) Schönert
AEP Entwicklung eines großen zusammengesetzten modularen Detektormoduls aus SiPMs für MAGIC (topic is not available any more) Resconi
KM Entwicklung eines optischen Fernfeld-basierten Verfahrens zur Nanometer-genauen Positionierung eines NV-Quantenensensors (topic is not available any more) Reinhard
AEP Entwicklung und Anwendung einer Hochtemperaturheizeinheit für thermale Desorptionsmessungen von He in W (topic is not available any more) Neu
BSC, KM, AEP Fabrication and investigation of enhanced organic light emitting diode devices (OLEDs) Müller-Buschbaum
KTA Fluss Studien für ALICE am LHC (topic is not available any more) Fabbietti
KM Fortgeschrittene optische Spektroskopie an Halbleiter-Nanodraht-Laser (topic is not available any more) Finley
KM, AEP Germanium Interkalation von Graphene auf Siliziumkarbid: Verstehen wir die Grenzfläche? Reuter
KM Herstellung und Charakterisierung vertikaler InAs Nanowire Transistoren (topic is not available any more) Finley
KM Herstellung und Charakterisierung von dünnen SrCoO_x Schichten (topic is not available any more) Wuttke
KM, AEP High-field magnetoresistance probing the electronic state of an organic superconductor in the vicinity of the Mott-insulating transition (topic is not available any more) Gross
KTA Imaging a black hole Eisenhauer
AEP Impedanzspektroskopische (EIS) Untersuchungen an Batteriezellen (topic is not available any more) Bandarenka
KM In-Situ Messungen von organischen und hybriden Solarzellen (topic is not available any more) Müller-Buschbaum
KTA, AEP Investigation of the detached divertor operation at the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak Stroth
BIO Investigations of the molecular chaperone BiP and its co-factors (topic is not available any more) Rief
AEP Kohärenzeigenschaften von Exzitonen in 2D van der Waals Heterostrukturen (topic is not available any more) Holleitner
KM, AEP Kohärenztransfer auf langlebige Spinspeicher Brandt
BIO Kontrollierbarkeit der Musterbildung bei der Zelldifferenzierung (topic is not available any more) Gerland
AEP Kopplung von 2D Materialien zu elektrisch kontrollierbaren nanoplasmonischen Wellenleitern (topic is not available any more) Finley
KTA Littlest Higgs Modell mit T-Parität (topic is not available any more) Weiler
AEP Lochspin-Dynamik einzelner Halbleiter-Quantenpunkte (topic is not available any more) Finley
KM Magnetismusfluktuationen und Supraleitung in FeSe (topic is not available any more) Hackl
KM, AEP Magnetization Dynamics and Damping at mK Temperatures (topic is not available any more) Gross
KM, AEP Magnetoelastic surface acoustic wave resonators (topic is not available any more) Gross
AEP Measurement of the top quark mass using pp collision data at sqrt(s) = 13 TeV with the ATLAS detector (topic is not available any more) Kluth
KM, AEP Membrane Technologies for Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries Müller-Buschbaum
AEP Messung schwacher Wechselfelder mittels Quantenkontrolltechniken (topic is not available any more) Reinhard
AEP Messung und Modellierung des Wärmetransports in epitaktisch gewachsenen Mehrschichtstrukturen (topic is not available any more) Amann
BSC, KTA, AEP Methodenentwicklung zur Messung von Geschwindigkeitsprofilen am Plasmarand (topic is not available any more) Stroth
AEP Microwave assisted synthesis of TV (topic is not available any more) Bandarenka
AEP Microwave assisted synthesis of TV2O4(T=Co,Cu,Fe) for supercapacitors (topic is not available any more) Bandarenka
AEP Modellierung von Kathoden-Katalysatorschichten von Polymerelektrolytbrennstoffzellen und deren Validierung mittels elektrochemischer Impedanzspektroskopie (topic is not available any more) Bandarenka
AEP Modellreduktion von Nichtgleichgewichtssystemen (topic is not available any more) Zacharias
KM Molekulardynamiksimulationen ungeordneter Materialien (topic is not available any more) Götze
KM Molekulardynamiksimulationen ungeordneter Materialien (topic is not available any more) Götze
AEP Multistability in the Oscillatory Electrodissolution of Silicon (topic is not available any more) Krischer
KM Nano-fabrication of ferromagnetic insulator / normal metal hybrids (topic is not available any more) Gross
KM, AEP Nanomechanics with a Spin (topic is not available any more) Gross
KM Neutronenreflektometrie an dünnen Schichten (topic is not available any more) Böni
KTA, AEP Non-local turbulent plasma transport in fusion plasmas Stroth
AEP Novel nanostructured thermoelectric hybrid materials (topic is not available any more) Müller-Buschbaum
KM, AEP Novel nanostructured thermoelectric hybrid materials Müller-Buschbaum
KM, AEP Novel pathways to hybrid solar cells Müller-Buschbaum
KTA, AEP Numerical study of plasma transport in the edge of the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak plasma Stroth
KTA, AEP Optimierung von Glimmentladungen zur Oberflächenkonditionierung in ASDEX Upgrade (topic is not available any more) Stroth
KM Optische Charakterisierung von GaAs-basierten Nanodraht-Lasern (topic is not available any more) Finley
KM Optische Eigenschaften von Halbleiter-Nanodraht-Laser Integriegt auf Silizium Wellenleiterstrukturen (topic is not available any more) Finley
KM Optische Eigenschaften von Halbleiter-Nanodraht-Lasern Integriert auf Silizium Wellenleiterstrukturen (topic is not available any more) Finley
KM Optische und Elektrische Eigenschaften von AlGaAs/GaAs Hülle/Kern Nanodrähten (topic is not available any more) Finley
AEP Orbital Engineering of Nano-Particles (topic is not available any more) Böni
AEP Ortsaufgelöste in-situ Defektspektroskopie mit Positronen im Zugversuch (topic is not available any more) Hugenschmidt
BSC, KM Ortsauflösende Defektspektroskopie an Schweißnähten Hugenschmidt
KM Phasenverhalten responsiver Polymer unter Hochdruck (topic is not available any more) Papadakis
KTA, AEP Phase velocities of turbulent fluctuations in the plasma edge Stroth
BSC, KM, AEP Pressure sensitive adhesives applied to fibers Müller-Buschbaum
KM, KTA Prethermalisierung im Bose-Hubbard Modell Knap
KM, AEP Printed polymer-based thin film batteries Müller-Buschbaum
KM, AEP Pure spin currents in metals and insulators (topic is not available any more) Gross
AEP Pyridinkatalysierte Reduktion von CO2 auf Siliziumoberflächen (topic is not available any more) Krischer
KTA Quanteninformationsverarbeitung in Schwarzen Löchern (topic is not available any more) Ibarra
KM Quantenoptik mit Halbleiterquantenpunkten (topic is not available any more) Finley
BSC, KTA, AEP Quantification of filamentary plasma transport in ASDEX Upgrade (topic is not available any more) Stroth
KM, AEP Quantum simulations of many-body systems with superconducting devices (topic is not available any more) Gross
BIO Regulation des molekularen Chaperone BiP durch seine Cofaktoren (topic is not available any more) Rief
KM, AEP Remote state preparation with quantum microwaves Gross
AEP Schnelle Streukorrektur für Röntgen Computertomografie innerhalb einer iterativen Rekonstruktionsumgebung (topic is not available any more) Pfeiffer
KTA Sensitivitätserhöhung der optischen Nachweisregion für kollineare Laserspektroskopie von kurzlebigen Radionukliden (topic is not available any more) Fierlinger
KTA, BIO, AEP Silicon PIN Diodes as Detectors for secondary neutrons at proton therapy facilities Wilkens
BSC, KTA Simulation und Test eines neuen Myontriggerkonzepts für das ATLAS-Experiment bei sehr hohen Triggerraten Kroha
KTA SO(7)/SO(6) Composite Higgs Modell (topic is not available any more) Weiler
KTA Spectator Effects in Leptogenesis (topic is not available any more) Garbrecht
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP Spectral X-ray microCT for non-destructive testing applications Pfeiffer
KTA Spektroskopische Suche nach AGN hinter der SMC (topic is not available any more) Greiner
KTA Staub, der dort nicht sein sollte: Klassische Be Sterne, eingebettet in Staub (topic is not available any more) Greiner
KM, AEP Structural analysis of hybrid polymer–solid thin films Müller-Buschbaum
BSC, BIO, AEP Strukturbildung und Regulation von Keratin-Netzwerken (topic is not available any more) Bausch
KM, AEP Study of Al2O3 deposited by ALD Stutzmann
KTA Suche nach an das Higgs-Boson koppelnder Dunkler Materie mit dem ATLAS-Detektor am Large Hadron Collider Kroha
KTA Suche nach CP-verletzenden Kopplungen des Higgs-Bosons an Vektorbosonen Kroha
BSC, KTA Suche nach dem Higgs-Boson in Zerfaellen in bottom-Quarkpaare mit dem ATLAS-Detektor am Large Hadron Collider Kroha
KTA Suche nach dem neutrinolsoen Doppelbetazerfall: Charakterisierung des radioaktiven Untergrundes im GERDA Experiment Majorovits
KTA Suche nach die R-Paritaet verletzenden Zerfaellen supersymmetrischer Teilchen mit langer Lebensdauer mit dem ATLAS-Detektor am LHC Kroha
KTA Suche nach Dunkler Materie in Monojet-Ereignissen mit dem ATLAS-Detektor am Large Hadron Collider Kroha
KTA Suche nach supersymmetrische Partnern des top-Quarks mit dem ATLAS-Detektor beiden hoechsten LHC-Energien Kroha
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP Synchrotron-based high-resolution micro-CT investigation of staining methods for tissue samples Pfeiffer
AEP Szintillatoren mit SiPM-Auslese für Kalorimetrie und Inbetriebnahme des SuperKEKB Beschleunigers (topic is not available any more) Caldwell
KM, AEP Tackling complexity in multiscale kinetic simulations: Kinetic Monte Carlo software performance analysis Reuter
BSC, KTA Test neuer schneller Ausleseelektronik für Myondetektoren im ATLAS-Experiment bei hohen Untergrundzählraten Kroha
KTA The nature of the flares from the supermassive black hole in the Galactic center Eisenhauer
BSC, KM, KTA Thermalisierung und Relaxation von Quantensystemen Knap
KM Thermische Leitfähigkeit und Thermoelektrik von GaAs-Nanodrähten mittels Ramanspektroskopie (topic is not available any more) Finley
KM, AEP Thermographische Charakterisierung energierelevanter Materialien Brandt
KTA The structure and dynamics of gas near supermassive black holes Eisenhauer
KTA The structure of the X-ray corona of luminous black holes Eisenhauer
KM, AEP Thin Film Samples for Spin Caloritronics (topic is not available any more) Gross
KM, AEP Tunneling Spectroscopy in Conductive Ferromagnets (topic is not available any more) Gross
BSC, KM Ungeordnete Quantensysteme: Vielteilchenlokalisierung Knap
KTA Untersuchung der In-Medium Eigenschaften der Hadronen Fabbietti
KTA Untersuchung des Hochratenverhaltens neuer Driftrohrdetektoren mit schneller Ausleseelektronik fuer Super-LHC Kroha
AEP Verbesserung der Bildqualität von industrieller Computertomographie durch Verwendung von photonenzählenden Detektoren (topic is not available any more) Böni
BSC, KM, AEP Wachstum und katalytische Aktivität organischer Monolagen auf Silizium-Substraten Schindler
KM, AEP Wenn Moleküle auf Oberflächen treffen: Wohin geht die Energie? Reuter
KTA, AEP X-point Effect on Plasma Filament Dynamics Stroth
KM, AEP Zeitliche Beschleunigung von kinetischen Monte Carlo Simulationen Reuter

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. To make this happen, you have to have passed at least 40 ECTS of the graded examinations (special courses, non-physics courses and the theory course) as well as the advanced lab course. If these requirements are fulfilled, 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. Module Credits (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
  Sum 83 100