What is the difference between a bachelor thesis and a master thesis?

Whether form, content or research requirements: we show where the Bachelor thesis and Master thesis work differ.

Difference between Bachelor thesis and Master thesis

The difference between bachelor thesis and master thesis is only the scope? Wrong thought! Although a bachelor’s thesis and a master’s thesis are both prerequisites for obtaining an academic degree, they differ in terms of form and content. The difference between bachelor thesis and master thesis is explained here.

General information about the bachelor thesis

A bachelor thesis is for many the first scientific work. Here you can prove that you are able to independently work on a problem from your area of expertise within a given deadline. In the process, literature is collated on a specific area of expertise and a question is worked out. This shows that you have the necessary expertise and can write a scientific paper with the help of specialist literature. In a bachelor thesis, relevant knowledge is reproduced, less produced. You should know and apply the basics of scientific work in your field. Nevertheless, the evaluation of your first scientific work is not so strict, here, in contrast to the master’s thesis often less stringent scientific claims are made.

General information about the master thesis

During your Master’s thesis, you will prove your highly specialized and highly-qualified knowledge, which you acquired during your master’s program. More important than in the bachelor thesis are sound scientific methods and scientific literature research. The scientific approach to the Master’s thesis is more demanding and in-depth than in the Bachelor’s thesis. The focus is not so much on secondary literature, but your own investigations come to the fore. Less knowledge is reproduced here, but in some cases new knowledge is generated through own measurements, research or data series. So you make an active contribution to science, so your master’s thesis is already a serious contribution to research.

Formal difference between Bachelor’s and Master’s thesis

The Master’s thesis is therefore not only evaluated according to stricter scientific criteria, there is also a formal difference between the Bachelor’s thesis and the Master’s thesis. The scope, the time frame, the evaluation and the care are different. The Master’s thesis requires more time, has more scope and is awarded more credit points than the Bachelor’s thesis.


The first significant difference between a Bachelor’s thesis and a Master’s thesis is first of all the extent. Depending on the study regulations and examination subject, there are differences, but the scope of a bachelor thesis generally amounts to 30 to 40 pages. By contrast, the volume of a master’s thesis can amount to between 80 and 120 pages. However, you should familiarize yourself with the exam regulations of your university before you start to write to know the amount of your thesis required.


Logically, since the Master’s thesis is much more comprehensive than the Bachelor’s thesis, you also need more time to write it. For a bachelor thesis you should expect at least three to four months of time, and for the master’s thesis you need on average six months, so a whole semester. Of course, if you write your thesis in a company, the whole thing can look very different again. Again, you should take a look at the examination regulations, so you missed no registration and deadlines. Normally, fixed deadlines for your thesis are given, even if you can extend the deadline in exceptional cases.


Another difference between the bachelor thesis and the master thesis is the evaluation. While the bachelor’s thesis is only a small part of your overall rating, which is usually 10 CP of 180 credit points, there may be as many as 30 credit points out of 120 for the master’s thesis. Here, however, there are differences between subjects. The Master’s thesis is thus much more important for your final grade than the Bachelor’s thesis, because it accounts for a quarter of the entire study! You should keep in mind that the Master’s thesis thus requires more time and diligence than the Bachelor’s thesis.

care, support

Likewise, when selecting the supervision of your thesis, there is a difference between the Bachelor’s thesis and the Master’s thesis. While it is often sufficient for your bachelor thesis, if your supervisor is a lecturer at the university or university, your supervisor for your master’s thesis must be a professor or private lecturer at the university or university. You should therefore look after your child as early as possible for a suitable supervision. Again, there may be deviations depending on the study site.

Content difference between Bachelor thesis and Master thesis

Not only formal differences, in terms of content there is also a difference between the bachelor thesis and the master thesis. As we already know, the Master’s thesis is evaluated according to stricter scientific criteria than the Bachelor’s thesis. But what does it exactly mean?

Scientific methodology

In a bachelor thesis, subject-relevant literature should be used, scientific methods and findings applied and relevant knowledge reproduced. The bachelor thesis should definitely be scientifically clean, but the scientific standards are not set so high.

A master’s thesis, on the other hand, requires a more demanding, in-depth scientific approach to an academic subject. This means, among other things, that you are able to perform a specialized literature search. You should be knowledgeable in your field, be able to carry out systematic research in scientific databases and have access to current studies and specialist articles. You should know the theories in your field and be able to integrate them into a scientific context. A master’s student should also be able to handle scientific methods accurately and to undertake elaborate studies such as carry out quantitative surveys or extensive statistical or documentary analyzes. In the master thesis, you should prove that you can work independently and get your own scientific knowledge.

An important part of scientific work is also scientific writing and correct citation. In your master thesis, your research results should finally be properly documented and analyzed. You can get help for your thesis with academic services for the editing of a bachelor thesis or master thesis, formatting and layout, plagiarism check and translation.

Own investigations

A difference between the bachelor thesis and the master thesis can also be found in the proportion of the practical part. A Bachelor’s thesis is mainly about the reproduction of learned knowledge, the evaluation of own interpretations or own research is not so strict. The master’s thesis, on the other hand, focuses less on secondary literature, but requires a secure approach to primary literature and one’s own research studies.

Even if your master’s thesis requires an extensive literature base, instead of relying on the interpretations of other authors, you should get your own scientific raw material. But that’s harder than it sounds. You need to know where to find and collect data, how to document it, how to sort, sort, filter, weigh and evaluate it, all scientifically. You should be able to apply the scientific methods used in your subject. Independent work as well as the interpretation of facts and the conclusion of scientific findings are essential.

How much new work was produced in the Master’s thesis depends on your degree program and the expectations of your supervisor. This should be clarified in any case in advance. Many master’s theses require the production of new knowledge. But there are also master’s theses, which process old knowledge to new questions or enter uncharted territory, but are pure literary works. Nonetheless, every master thesis should deal with a problem from the subject with the help of scientific research tools and new answers should be found.

Conclusion: In summary, the difference between bachelor thesis and master thesis is the higher scientific standard. In addition, the proportion of independent research is usually greater in the master’s thesis. A bachelor’s thesis is often the icing on the cake, but it’s still not as important as a master’s thesis and not necessarily a professional one. A successful Master’s thesis, on the other hand, can shape the professional and academic profile, even if it is not required to close a relevant research gap.

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