STUDY PROCESS/Master theses



Format & structure

  • Paper format A4
  • Upper and lower margin 2cm
  • Measure 15cm
  • Left margin 4cm, right margin 2cm
  • Line space 18Pt (1,5 space) for the text area
  • Font size 12 Pt. Font: no Script, Symbol or similar
  • The master thesis has to be bound in one item


Please use the bounding machine in the POMOR office.


First page

The cover is the first page.

The cover may be designed individually. The following information must be included:

  • Title of the master thesis without “ “
  • Candidate's name (your name, e.g. Ivan Ivanov)
  • Study program (Master Program for Polar and Marine Sciences POMOR)
  • University (Saint Petersburg State University, Hamburg University)
  • Place of submission
  • Date of submission


The hard copies submitted at the SPbU must contain a signature of your Russian supervisor on the cover sheet.

Please find a cover sample here


Second page

The second page must contain information about your scientific supervisors:

  • Full name with academic degree

Please do not translate Russian academic degrees into English. Use Prof. & Dr.

  • Affiliation

Write the full name of the institution your supervisor is working for (Saint Petersburg State University, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel etc.)


Table of contents

  • Abstract in English
  • Abstract in Russian


Concise synopsis of the thesis' content, providing information about the scientific problem/aim, methods, material, results and the important conclusions.

The format is strictly defined.

Please find the required format sample here


  • Introduction

In the introduction, the motivation for the scientific paper is explained. That includes the information about the actual state of research (by means of literature) and, based on that, the derivation of a clearly defined scientific problem. Finally, the approach to the problem has to be mentioned. At the end of the introduction the reader should be aware about the following:

1. What is the scientific problem (the aim)?

2. Why is this scientific problem of interest?

3. How is this scientific problem approached ("strategy")?

If it is not mentioned somewhere else, name the working group which supported the thesis.

  • Material and methods

In this part, the methods applied (and possibly their selection criteria) and the material have to be described as concisely as necessary and as shortly as possible. Use flowcharts if applicable. You are not supposed to repeat textbook information for pages! (Volume: about 25% of the total.)

  • Results

Concise description of your own results, as far as they are relevant to the following discussion. Please avoid long-winded description of data and use diagrams, graphics and tables where applicable (raw data are documented in the appendix). Graphics should be self-explaining and of sufficient size. Every graphic and table has to be accompanied by a legend explaining the illustration. Mention the possible sources of error also. (Volume: about 25% of the total.)

  • Discussion

The discussion of the results is the vital part of the thesis! Your own results have to be assessed and discussed in the context of other works in relation to the scientific problem. (Volume: about 30% of the total.)

  • Conclusions

This part should begin with a summary of the discussion. After that, the conclusions arising from the scientific work should be stated clearly. Also appropriate is a specific outlook (not trivial ones like „more data" ...).

  • Literature/References

In the framework of a scientific paper it is fundamental to assess own results in the context of the existing literature. Part of that is the concise citation of the literature.

Examples how to cite:

Paper (one author):

Berger, A., 1992. Astronomical theory of paleoclimates and the last glacial-interglacial cycle. Quaternary Science Reviews, 11: 571-581.

Paper (several authors):

Hay, W.W., Shaw, C.A. und Wold, C.N., 1989. Mass-balanced paleogeographic reconstructions. Geologische Rundschau, 78: 207-242.

Chapter of a book:

Schreiber, B.C., 1986. Arid shorelines and evaporites. In: H.G. Reading (Ed.), Sedimentary environments and facies. Oxford, Blackwell Sci. Pub., 189-228.


Pettijohn, F.J., Potter, P.E. und Siever, R., 1987. Sand and sandstone. Berlin, Springer, 553 p.

Doctoral Thesis:

Altenbach, A.V., 1992. Verbreitungsmuster benthischer Foraminiferen im Arktischen Ozean und in glazialen und interglazialen Sedimenten des Europäischen Nordmeeres. PhD thesis, Univ. Kiel, 111 p.

  • Appendix

It is common practice to document your data in a way that other scientists can follow and reconstruct the results. You have to list the measured (raw) data, which constitutes the basis of derived quantities and graphics.

For an extensive amount of data an electronic appendix is advisable (e.g. CD). In this case please specify that the content of the appendix is written on a DVD enclosed to your thesis and add the list of the data folders/tables etc. in this chapter.

  • Acknowledgements

Please note that all your activities were/are funded by:

Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

Project OSL: Stipendienprogramm für das Otto-Schmidt-Labor für Polar- und Meeresforschung: Klimawandel im arktischen Raum (03PL043A)

Please feel free to mention other institutions, too, and the universities as well as people supporting you.

Acknowledgements might be placed between "Conclusions" and "Literature".


Last page

The last page of the thesis must include a statement on the thesis' originality, which has to be signed in handwriting. The candidate has to declare the following:

a) He/she wrote the thesis independently and did not use any other resources than those named in the bibliography,

b) And, in particular, did not use any internet resources except for those named in the bibliography;

c) The master’s thesis has not been used previously as part of an examination;

d) The master’s thesis has not been previously published.

Please find a sample of a statement on the thesis’ originality here


You can download the complete leaflet 2015 here

Please find the general requirements of the SPbU  2015 here