Licentiate thesis

Guidelines and examination regulations

The Cantonal regulations regarding intermediate exams for students studying at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Zurich (German only) and the Guidelines regarding the intermediate exams in Political Science at the University of Zurich (German only) are effective. Please read both documents thoroughly. The following guidance serves as further explanation.

1. Field of subject

Generally Licentiate theses are written in one of the subdomains of the Department of Political Sciences (International Relations or Internal/Comparative Politics) and are coached by a mentor of the department. The coaching of multidisciplinary papers can be carried out by several mentors.

For an overview of competency, click here(German only).

2. Verification of the qualifications for starting your Licentiate thesis

The following achievements must have been performed before students can start writing their thesis:

  • Successful attendance of all compulsory courses of the basic study period;
  • Successful completion of the intermediate exams;
  • Successful attendance of four (major), respectively two (first minor) Colloquia during the advanced study period;
  • Successful attendance of the Research seminar or Seminar in the subdomain the Licentiate thesis is to be written (major, first minor).

Before students can start writing their Licentiate thesis they have to go to Ursina Wälchli (Affolternstrasse 56, H316) and be issued an attestation there in order to prove that they fulfil all of the above mentioned conditions.

3. Contacting your future mentor

After having received the attestation proving they fulfilled all the obligate achievements, students are to contact a mentor of their choice. An overview of all the mentors, who are authorised to examine students in Political Science, may be found here.

Students are to agree upon a specific topic with their mentor and prepare a proposal for their thesis afterwards. This idea sketch will be discussed and adapted till the mentor accepts it. Once this is the case, students may submit the already completed form Anmeldung zur Lizenziatsarbeit to their mentor in order for her/him to sign it.

Coaching of Licentiate theses by Private lecturers (Privatdozent/in) or Titular professors (Titularprofessor/in) has to be approved of by the Deanery of the Faculty of Arts. For this purpose the form Bewilligung PDTP is to be used.

4. Registration to Licentiate thesis

Students have to register in written form with Ursina Wälchli (Afflolternstrasse 56, H316) before they start the Licentiate thesis. In order to enrol they have to hand in the signed application form there.

5. Attending the Research colloquium

After the formal registration students are obligated to attend a Research colloquium (usually the one taught by their mentor) in which they are to present their research plan.

Licentiate candidates who chose to write their paper coached by a Private lecturer, a Titular professor or a CIS-professor, attend one of the Research colloquia or an equivalent course offered by their mentor.

Licentiate candidates, who write their paper in Political Philosophy, are required to present their thesis in the Colloquium on Political Philosophy for advanced students.

6. Timeframe

The Licentiate thesis is to be completed within the course of a year.

7. Extent and formalities

The Licentiate thesis comprehends 70 to 100 pages (about 210’000 to 300’000 characters, inclusive blank characters). Any discrepancies must be discussed with your mentor beforehand. The Licentiate students hand a bound copy of their completed paper in to their mentor for revision. Furthermore a copy for the library of the department should be handed in at the secretariat (Affolternstrasse 56, H320).

When Licentiate candidates obtain the attestation that they fulfilled all the achievements required in order to enrol for the exams, they are due to sign an agreement that they consent in the publication of their Licentiate thesis. The admittance of the thesis into the departmental library can be declined by the mentor.

8. Handing your Licentiate thesis in

When students definitively enrol for their Licentiate exams at the Deanery of the Faculty of Arts they are also to hand in a bound copy of their thesis. This copy is to be designed for keeping at the Central library. Please consider the German leaflet regarding the Bindevorschriften Lizenziatsarbeit Zentralbibliothek (German only).

Furthermore the Licentiate candidate is to hand in a written declaration in affirming that the Licentiate thesis was written autonomously and without any unauthorised assistance. Please use the form Ehrenwort Lizenziat for that purpose.

9. Registration for the Licentiate exam

Further information concerning the Licentiate exam may be found in the Guidance to the Licentiate exam. Please consider the German leaflet Anmeldebedingungen zur Lizenziatsprüfung as well.