Information on registering for your thesis

Please take the following into account when registering for your Bachelor's or Master's thesis

  • To register for your thesis, you must fill in an application for admission. Application forms can be found on you account on the TUHH portal. Please print out the relevant form, fill in the details and sign the form. Then send the form to the Examination Office (you do not have to hand it in in person).
  • For Bachelor's theses only:
    In line with the subject-specific provisions for the course and examination regulations, the thesis should be written within a period of nine weeks. If you are attending classes at the same time as writing your thesis, you must agree the period for writing the thesis with your first examiner when registering for the thesis. In this case, the period for writing the thesis must not exceed six months. Please indicate on your form whether you are attending classes while writing your thesis. Only classes that form part of your Bachelor's course may be counted.
  • The Examination Office will review the application, grant its approval and send the form on to your first examiner. As soon as you see in the self-service function that you have been registered for the thesis, please contact your first examiner to discuss and decide the subject of and period for writing your thesis.
  • Your first examiner will fill in the third part of the form and then return it to the Examination Office.
  • You can find your thesis submission date on the TUHH portal.
  • If you want to complete your thesis at an establishment outside the university, you must submit a corresponding application. The relevant form for this can be found on your account on the TUHH portal. Please open and print the form, fill in the details, sign it, obtain a statement from the first examiner and send your application to the Examination Office. The decision of the Chair of the Examination Board must be available to the examination office by the time you submit your application for admission to the thesis.

Submitting your thesis

Please take the following into account when submitting your Bachelor's or Master's thesis:

  • You are required to submit two bound copies of yor thesis (for the first and second examinar) to the Examination Office by the submission deadline at the latest. Both copies will be stamped. you will receive the thesis marking record, which will state that the thesis was submitted on time. You are responsible for promptly presenting this paper, along with one copy of your thesis, to your first examiner. Then do likewise with the second copy and give that to the second examiner without delay.
  • Theses must be soft-bound. Wire binding will not be accepted.
  • The thesis must contain an affidavit (see section 21 (6) ASPO). Your first examiner will help you with the wording of the affidavit.
  • Please bring a copy of the cover sheet when submitting your thesis.
  • Theses can only be submitted during consultaion hours if such are offered by the Examination Office (Actually there are no consultation hours offered due to the COVID-19 pandemic). You can find your thesis submission date on the TUHH portal. If your submission date is on a day when the Examination Office is closed, please submit your thesis during their next consultation hours. In concrete terms, this means:
    1. If your given submission date is a Wednesday, your new submission date is the Thursday immediately after.
    2. If your given submission date is a Friday or at the weekend, your new submission date is the Monday immediately after.
  • For Bachelor's and Master's Theses, you must submit at least one electronic copy in addition to the printed copies (see section 21 (6) ASPO). For this, you would ideally attach a copy of your dissertation on CD at least to the paper copy of your thesis that will be given to your first examiner.


Rights related to your thesis


1. Theses - copyright

The authors of works in the literary, scientific and artistic domain enjoy protection for their works in accordance with the German Act on Copyright and Related Rights (section 1 UrhG). Protected works include works of language, computer programmes and illustrations of a scientific or technical nature, such as drawings, plans, maps, sketches, tables and three-dimensional representations (section 2 UrhG). Bachelor’s and Master’s dissertations are scientific works and thus protected by the German Act on Copyright and Related Rights. It is not necessary to apply or register for copyright as you get copyright protection automatically.

In line with section 7 UrhG, the author is the creator of the work. Students are thus the authors of their own dissertations. They alone hold the rights outlined in the UrhG, such as the exclusive right to publication and exploitation of their dissertations.

Where several persons have jointly created a work, they are joint authors of the work (section 8 UrhG). The work may only be published and used with the consent of all joint authors. Joint authorship of dissertations is routinely precluded as university examination regulations require examination candidates to submit independent work (see section 59 Hamburg Higher Education Act (HmbHG)).

Supervisors do not gain copyright through the supervision of a student’s dissertation. This is also the case where the supervisor provides inspiration or ideas for the dissertation. Copyright does not protect ideas or concepts in their own right, but only the presentation of said ideas or concepts, whether in words, images or sound. The inclusion of third parties’ information and ideas in academic works is nonetheless still subject to the rules of good academic practice, meaning, among other things, that such content must be clearly referenced with sources cited.

2. Inventions and patents associated with theses

Inventions are not protected by the German Act on Copyright and Related Rights (UrhG) but by the German Patent Act (PatG). Patents shall be granted for any inventions, in all fields of technology, provided that they are new, involve an inventive step and are susceptible of industrial application (section 1 PatG) The proprietor of the patent is entitled to refuse others use of the invention.

If several persons have jointly created an invention, the right to the patent shall belong to them jointly (section 6 PatG). A patentable invention that is made in the course of a dissertation thus belongs to the persons on whose ideas and intellectual abilities the invention is based. The (sole) copyright of the student therefore does not exclude that a supervisor, for example, is the (joint) inventor of the technical invention that was made in the course of the dissertation.

As dissertations are not written in the context of an employment relationship with the university, the university cannot claim inventions linked to dissertations as job-related inventions. See the German Act on Employees’ Inventions.

3. Granting right of use of intellectual property

Authors and inventors can grant third parties the right to use their copyrighted works or grant them rights associated with their inventions, e.g. via a licence contract or sale of rights.

Students are not obligated to grant the university any rights. As such, making the supervision or correction of a dissertation dependent on the student granting such rights to the university is not permitted.

The TUHH has an interest in using content from selected dissertations with the author’s permission for research or teaching purposes, for example, during classes or when developing software. A template for granting rights of use has been made available for this purpose. The TUHH generally does not intend to make use of dissertation content for purposes other than research and teaching. The right to use the dissertation content for any other purposes remains with the author/s.

It is recommended that supervisors point examination candidates to this information sheet when supervision commences. The signed declaration of consent should be kept at the institute in which the dissertation was supervised.

Confidentiality Agreement

A sample draft for a confidentiality agreement between the TUHH and an external company is available to the supervising TUHH employees in the internal document section (login required).