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 starts with an online application, in which you indicate your broader topic of interest. You will prioritize the different divisions of the department based on your research interests. The department will then distribute all applicants among the divisions. Based on your prioritization, you will be enrolled in the Thesis Preparation Course (TPC) of the Digital Health Communication Division. For formal requirements please check out the forms and info sheets here:



Application in Digital Health Communication

Students interested in writing their thesis with us, ideally choose a topic from the Divisions topic list or choose a topic with a clear focus on digital health communication. Topics from the list can surely be managed in time and you will get the best level of expertise from the Digital Health Communication team. Please indicate a listed topic during the General Application Process.



Writing a Thesis in Digital Health Communication

Kickoff Meeting


After the Department of Communication confirms that you will write your final thesis in Digital Health Communication, you will receive an email in which we schedule the first kickoff meeting with everyone. The kickoff meeting is a blocked (online) class that takes place at the end of the semester preceding the one in which you officially write your thesis. For example, if you plan to write your thesis in the Fall, the TPC kickoff will be during the last weeks of the previous spring semester.


The goal of the kickoff meeting is to get to know each other and learn about individual research interests, topics, and the general planned approach for your thesis. We will discuss your initial ideas about topics, narrow them down, and streamline your thoughts to find an angle that you can handle in your thesis. You will receive immediate specific feedback and recommendations on your topic and methodology, as well as initial suggestions for relevant literature. Everyone should be prepared to freely discuss their personal motivations for choosing their topic and present these ideas in class. A short powerpoint pitch presentation (5 min) is usually a good idea.



Preparation Phase


A week after the first kickoff meeting, students must submit an extended abstract. The extended abstract should be at least 500 words long and include a minimum of 10 references following the most recent APA style guide. In the extended abstract, students should elaborate on the specific angle they plan to apply within a given topic and provide an academic rationale for their chosen approach, explaining why they have chosen it over other alternatives. It is important to support arguments with peer-reviewed, scientific evidence from the field of Communication and to cite this work in line with the most recent APA style guide. Be as specific as possible and avoid relying on opinion or using commonplace phrases. If multiple candidates are interested in working on the same topic, each candidate should include an additional rationale of 300 words for 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 one PDF to healthcom[at] (filename: last name, topic #, [extended abstract]) no later than 7 days after first TPC class (= kickoff meeting). Note: This is the end of the semester before you officially start writing your thesis. 


You will receive detailed feedback from your adviser about your proposal, so that you know how to move forward. This feedback is also your confirmation that you will write your thesis in Digital Health Communication.


Finally, remember to officially register your thesis with the “Prüfungsamt” using the official university forms (BA or MA), and check deadlines regularly. 



Regular TPC


The regular TPC will start at the beginning of the semester, in which you actually write your thesis. In the TPC you will update your knowledge and skills about how to identify literature, good scientific data bases, and how to write a research paper. You will regularly present and discuss your research in class and you will receive formative feedback about your work, future expectations, and your individual progress. Check the syllabus for dates, deadlines, links and everything you need to know about the class.