The structure and content of the master’s thesis

Title page

The master’s thesis begins with a title page, drawn up in accordance with applicable standards approved by the academic council of the university. The title page cannot have design deviations (font size, drawings, highlighting, underlining, etc.).

The title of the Master’s thesis cannot be formulated in the form “Study of the state …” – it is necessary “Condition…”, “Study of the content …” – it is necessary “Content …”, “Characterization of behavior …” – it is necessary “Behavior …”, “To the characterization of diversity …” – you need “diversity …” and so on. The same applies to the names of sections, subsections, paragraphs, tables and figures.

The number of words in the title of the work should not exceed 12. If necessary, a subheading can be formulated.

Thesis abstract

On the second page of the master’s thesis is an essay, up to 1000 characters in English and German, French languages. Resume should be a literal translation of the abstract of the master’s thesis.

Table of Contents

The third page of the master’s dissertation is “Contents”. It contains the names of all sections and subsections of the work, indicating the starting number of the page on which the chapter begins. Each section of the work begins with a new page. The last page of the section should be more than 1/3 full. It is not allowed to place the name of the subsection and paragraph at the bottom of the page, if only a line of text is after them. The content can be formatted according to the content of this methodology.


The introduction should not exceed 1-3 pages. Introduction conditionally consists of three parts. In the first, the studied object (phenomenon) is characterized, the relevance of the selected topic is accounted for. The second part illuminates the general state of knowledge of the object and leads to the third part of the introduction of the goal (1 sentence) and tasks (2-4 points).

The goal must match the title of the work. The aim of the work cannot be the formation of a connection between the object of study and the author of the work: the expressions “The purpose of the work is to investigate …”, “analyze …” or “study …” are inadmissible. The correct goal of the work is “to evaluate …”, “to reveal …”, “to characterize …”, “to find out …” and further the topic of the master’s thesis in the genitive case.

The tasks of the work must clearly correspond to the goal. Most often they are formulated as follows: “For the purposes of the research, the following tasks are set: to investigate …, to analyze …, to isolate …”.

Object, subject and research methods in the introduction of the master’s thesis is not necessary to determine. An incorrectly defined object (the system is investigated) and the subject of research (more often the phenomenon occurring with the object) are the basis for removing work from protection.

The section should be built in such a way that when viewing only the introduction and conclusions, a third-party reader will have a complete picture of what was studied in the work and why.

The current state of the problem

Usually this section of the master’s thesis has a clear name. Master’s theses in economics example:

  • “Strategic positioning of companies in US”;
  • “Network business models.”

This section provides the vast majority of references to literary sources. The section is necessarily structured into 3-6 sections of 1-5 pages. If necessary, in some subsections of the literature review, points can be made. The degree of structuredness of the section characterizes the degree to which the author has studied literary sources.

The section ends with a paragraph of text like “Thus, at the moment, the features are well studied …. Unclear remain … “- and further the names of two or three sections of the main material of the work. A literary review should actually confirm the need for the research described in the master’s thesis.

The volume of the section in the thesis should not exceed 10-15 pages.

Material and research methods

The description of objects (materials) should contain comprehensive information that will allow repeating similar studies and comparing their results. The section is usually divided into subsections: the field of research, the amount of material collected, research methods, methods for studying economic objects, the experimental method, mathematical or statistical processing of the obtained data. Depending on the topic of work, the number of subsections and points in each of them may fluctuate.

In characterizing the trivial methods of statistical data processing, it is not necessary to describe them in too much detail, just provide a link to a textbook (monograph) in which they are described in detail. Original methods of mathematical processing of the material should be thoroughly covered and justified. Primary, not statistically developed materials cannot be given in students’ works.

The main sections of the work

As a rule, the work contains 3-4 main sections, but in each case their number should clearly reflect all stages (aspects) of the study.

The main (practical) structure of the master’s thesis should not be less than 2/3 of the total amount of work (without applications). Unfortunately, this requirement is often violated in many works.

In the main part of the work, one must adhere to the general rule: the volume of tabular material or illustrations should not exceed the volume of the text devoted to the description of the materials received. Otherwise, the feasibility of flooding the tables (figures) in the main content of the work by the reviewer will be called into question.

Each section of the work should end with brief conclusions (1-2 sentences), which are allowed to be duplicated in the general conclusions for the whole work.

The main sections should have bibliographic references, which allows you to analyze your own data and compare them with data from other literary sources.


When familiarizing members of the state examination committee only with the introduction and conclusions, they should have a clear idea of the state of the problem, the purpose and methods of the study, as well as all the scientific and practical achievements of this work. The ability to draw the correct conclusions, clearly and concisely express them is a feature of the formed master.

No need to overload the conclusions with numerical data. The volume of conclusions should not exceed 1-2 pages. Conclusions usually consist of 3-7 points. Each item includes 1-3 sentences.

Each point of the conclusions must contain at least one statement (fact) new to science. The presence among the points of conclusions of at least one that is well known before the start of research (does not contain any information new to science) is the basis for withdrawing the work of defense.

It is unacceptable to give suggestions of the type before the first paragraph of the conclusions: “As a result of the thesis, the following conclusions can be drawn.”

List of sources used

For a master’s thesis – 80–120. With sufficient justification, the number of links can be increased.

All sources cited in this section must be analyzed in the text of the work (without unnecessary sources), and vice versa, all sources to which there are links must be indicated in the list of links. It is not allowed to bring one source in the list of references several times (for example, first as a collection of works, and then as independent work in this collection).

The names and initials of the authors or the first word of the name of the work (if there are more than three authors) are in italics.

Requirements for the design of bibliographic references in recent years have changed several times. It is possible that they will change more than once. Therefore, you need to use the design of the list of links as in the latest issues of professional journals in your scientific field.

Jennalyn Herring

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