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Bachelor's thesis in Biology

The Bachelor’s Thesis in Biology must be in one of the four academic specialty areas Marine Biology or Molecular Biosciences or Neurobiology or Ecology. Full-major students write their thesis in their chosen specialty area and should contact their respective professors and research groups.

Students on teacher education programs must inquire about their thesis topic from the research groups and professors representing the subject they wish to write on (see Research).

It is also to complete a thesis in cooperation with external institutes (see below).

(1) Students are awarded 12 ECTS for the Bachelor’s thesis with viva. The respective module is Th1 and is weighted as follows

  • FULL MAJOR: 25% of the final grade awarded for the bachelor’s degree and
  • Teacher education option: 25% of the subject grade Biology of the final grade awarded for the bachelor’s degree

(2) Full-major students preparing their Bachelor’s thesis must attend an accompanying seminar (3 CP) that ends with a presentation in front of the supervising professor. This module Th2 is NOT part of the Bachelor’s thesis (module Th1), but an independent module.

(3) In order to register for the Bachelor’s thesis, students must already have been awarded a certain number of CPs (credit points).

  • Full-major: 120 CP
  • Teacher education: 45 CP in Biology

(4) Students are allowed 12 weeks to complete their Bachelor’s thesis. The thesis is assessed by two referees. As an exception and upon reasoned request, the examining board may grant a one-time prolongation of maximum four weeks.

(5) The Bachelor’s thesis may be an individual effort or a group effort of up to 5 persons. In the case of group work, the contribution made by each individual member of the group must be clearly identifiable, definable, and appraisable.

(6) Students may choose either German or English as the language of their Bachelor’s Thesis and viva. On request, and always provided the functions of supervision and assessment are not impaired, the examining board may permit another language.

(7) Candidates must take part in a viva on the Bachelor’s thesis. The viva encompasses a short presentation of the results of the Bachelor’s thesis followed by a short discussion. The Bachelor’s thesis and viva are awarded an overall grade, whereby the grade awarded for the thesis is weighted with 75 % and the grade awarded for the viva with 25 % of the overall grade awarded for the module “Bachelor’s thesis Th1”.

(8) The viva cannot take place until both referees’ assessments have been submitted to the Examinations Office. Each of the two referees must have assessed the thesis as being at least satisfactory.

(9) On application, a Bachelor’s thesis assessed to be “insufficient/failed” can be repeated once only with a new topic. The application must be filed with the examining board within two weeks of the results being made known.

The Bachelor’s thesis is assessed by two referees, one of whom is the supervisor and first referee. As a rule, the function of supervisor is performed by the first referee, but not always: This means that “supervisor” and “referee” are not always the same person.

As a rule, at least one of the two referees of the Bachelor’s thesis is a professor or Privatdozent [associate professor] of the University of Bremen or professor/Privatdozent of one of its non-university partner institutes.

Upon application to the Biology Examination Board, it is possible that a research associate with at least three years post-doctoral experience in research and academic teaching at the abovementioned institutions or at external institutes or scientific institutions may act as referee, provided the other referee is a professor.

In the event you wish to choose a referee belonging to an external institute or the University of Bremen who is not a professor or associate professor, please include with your registration for the Bachelor’s Examination board an informal application to allow this person to act as referee. Furthermore, in the event the person you name is not already known to the Examinations Office, please attach their curriculum vitae together with a list of publications.

Especially in the case of a Bachelor’s thesis completed outside the University or one of the University’s formal partner institutes, you must provide written confirmation on the part of a professor that the Bachelor’s thesis is technically feasible.

Please note that in the event of external referees coming from abroad the University of Bremen is not able to cover any travel or associated costs connected with the referee taking part in the viva. In such cases, when submitting your thesis you must name a third referee who is a member of the University of Bremen and is prepared to act on behalf of the colleague abroad and co-assess the viva. In such cases, you must submit four copies of the Bachelor’s thesis.

Candidates in all four of the specialty areas must register for the Bachelor’s thesis in Biology with Ms Köhler in the Biology Examinations Office.

To be able to complete studies within the standard period of 6 semesters and have all necessary documentation done before the start of the following master’s program, the Bachelor’s thesis must be registered by May 15 latest and subsequently submitted at the beginning or mid August.

The assessments of the Bachelor’s thesis should be received 3 weeks after it is submitted, and the viva should take place within two weeks of receiving the assessments. An appointment for the viva should be agreed with the referees as early as possible.

Should the registration and submission of the Bachelor’s thesis take place at a later time, it may among other things not be possible to arrive at a final calculation of the final overall grade until the end of the 6th semester, when admittance to a following master’s program may no longer be possible.

A printed form has to be used to register for the Bachelor’s thesis. Registration for the accompanying seminar is also by printed form. The accompanying seminar is an independent module. It is one of the compulsory modules in bachelor’s studies and NOT a sub-module of the Bachelor’s thesis!

  • Agree on the theme of the Bachelor’s thesis with the first supervisor
  • The Bachelor’s thesis is assessed by two referees who are chosen by the candidate. Fill in the registration forms, and have them signed by both referees
  • Submit the signed forms to the Examinations Office Biology, where they will be duly processed and passed on to the chairperson of the Bachelor’s Examination board. If everything is in order, notice of admission and hand-in deadlines will be sent to the examination candidate.
  • Personally hand in three bound copies of your Bachelor’s thesis in due time to the Examinations Office Biology together with a digital copy for the first referee. In the case of a referee abroad, four copies must be handed in. To avoid any possible confusion regarding the hand-in deadline, you should submit the copies in person and only as an absolute exception via surface mail.
  • Submit in person the copies duly stamped by the Examinations Office to the referees. The referees then receive an email instructing them to return their assessments to the Examinations Office within the following three weeks. The viva should then take place 14 days after receipt of the assessments. The candidate(s) should then in good time agree on an appointment for the viva, which should be as early as possible.
  • As soon as all the examination results of bachelor studies are available, a transcript of records will be issued so that the graduate can be admitted to a following master’s program. Certificates, academic records, and Diploma Supplement must be issued by December 31 of same year. Graduates will be informed when the documents are ready to be picked up from the Examinations Office. The date of the examination certificate is the date of the final part of the examination.
  • On application, a Bachelor’s thesis assessed to be “insufficient/failed” can be repeated once only with a new topic. The Bachelor’s thesis will be deemed failed definitively in the event the second Bachelor’s thesis is also assessed as “insufficient/failed”.
  • On successful completion of bachelor’s studies, the Office of Student Affairs will be notified and the student will be deregistered.
  • Students on the Master of Education program or on another master’s program at the University of Bremen who move from a BA to a consecutive master’s program have 14 days time after the start of the winter semester to submit any documents that may still be missing.


Bachelor’s Examination – what does it involve?

The Guideline for the completion of a Bachelor's thesis in the Faculty of Biology / Chemistry [PDF] (232 KB) gives general information and support for the writing of a Bachelor's thesis.

Please note that this is a guideline and that members of the teaching faculty / research groups may have other requirements and procedures.

Additional information:

Further guidelines are available for the profile areas marine biology [PDF] (190 KB) and ecology [PDF] (473 KB).

Registration for the Bachelor’s Thesis

Bachelor's thesis Th1 [PDF] (436 KB)
Accompanying seminar Th2 [PDF] (422 KB)