Final Thesis in Digital Health Communication

What’s in it for me?

Writing a thesis in Digital Health Communication (DHC) is not only a great way to consolidate your knowledge in your program but also helps you to develop and expand your own research ideas. It provides an opportunity to enhance your skills in communicating scientific research. Additionally, writing a thesis serves as a valuable experience for early career researchers, preparing them for future academic or non-academic careers.



Application Process

There is a general application process for writing a final thesis in the Department of Media, Knowledge, and Communication (imwk) and a specific application for doing so in Digital Health Communication.



General Application Process

The general application process begins with your online application where you specify your broader topic of interest. You will rank the different divisions of the department according to your research interests. The department will then allocate applicants to the different divisions based on these preferences. Depending on your ranking, you will be enrolled in the Thesis Preparation Course (TPC) in Digital Health Communication. For formal requirements, please refer to the forms and information sheets available here:



Application in Digital Health Communication

Students interested in writing their thesis with us are encouraged to select a topic from the Division's topic list or opt for a topic with a strong focus on digital health communication. Topics listed are manageable within the allotted time and ensure that you receive the highest level of expertise from the Digital Health Communication team. Please specify a listed topic during the General Application Process.



Writing a Thesis in Digital Health Communication

Kickoff Meeting


After the Department of Communication confirms your preference to write your final thesis in Digital Health Communication, you will receive an email scheduling the first kickoff meeting. This meeting is a blocked (online) class at the end of the semester preceding the one in which you officially begin your thesis. For instance, if you will start your thesis in the Fall, the TPC kickoff will occur during the final weeks of the preceding spring semester. The class language is English.


The goal of the kickoff meeting is to get to know each other and to learn about individual research interests, topics, and the planned approach for your thesis. We will discuss your initial topic ideas, help you narrow them down, and refine your thoughts to identify a manageable thesis angle. You will receive immediate, specific feedback and recommendations on your topic and methodology, along with initial suggestions for relevant literature.


Students should come prepared to freely discuss their personal motivations for selecting their topics and to present their ideas in class. A concise PowerPoint pitch presentation (5 minutes, 3 slides: topic relevance, main theory, planned method) in English must be prepared by everyone to facilitate the meeting.



Preparation Phase


6 days after the kickoff meeting, students are required to submit an extended abstract. This abstract should be a minimum of 500 words (excluding references) long and include at least 10 references adhering to the most recent APA style guide. In the extended abstract, students must elaborate on the specific angle they intend to pursue within their chosen topic and provide an academic rationale for their selected approach, explaining why they have opted for it over other alternatives. It is crucial to support arguments with peer-reviewed scientific evidence from the field of communication and cite this work following the latest APA style guidelines. Aim for specificity and avoid relying on personal opinion or using clichéd phrases. In cases where multiple candidates express interest in the same topic, each candidate should additionally provide a 300-word rationale outlining their unique perspective. Extended abstracts will be reviewed, and final topics will be assigned based on the motivations and priorities indicated by all candidates.


Submit your extended abstract as a single PDF to healthcom[at] (filename format: last name_topic number_extended abstract) no later than 6 days after the first TPC class (kickoff meeting). 


Following submission, you will receive detailed feedback from your advisor on your proposal, which will confirm your participation in writing your thesis in Digital Health Communication. You will also receive comprehensive instructions on how to officially register your thesis in Digital Health Communication with the "Prüfungsamt." This will include all necessary university forms (BA or MA) and a timeline for completion. Nonetheless, please ensure to regularly monitor deadlines and do your due diligence.

Regular TPC


The regular Thesis Preparation Course (TPC) will begin at the start of the semester during which you actually submit your final thesis. In this course, you will enhance your proficiency and abilities in identifying relevant literature using reliable scientific databases, and effectively writing a research paper. Through regular class sessions, you will have the opportunity to present and discuss your research, receiving formative feedback on your work, future prospects, and your individual progress.

Please refer to the TPC syllabus for comprehensive details regarding dates, deadlines, relevant links, and all necessary information pertaining to the course.