From Sustainability Methods

Type Team Size
Me, Myself and I Group Collaboration The Academic System Software 1 2-10 11-30 30+


What, Why & When

At the beginning of the bachelor thesis it appears to be very overwhelming. That is why it is important to get an overview of everything that needs to be taken care of. This includes finding a supervisor and building a peer network. To make the bachelor thesis as relaxed as possible, it is essential to deal with time management. In this section you will find some tips that will help you to set up a suitable structure and work setting.

This table shows you an overview of the aspects you need to consider in the individual phases. To get more information about the individual phases, have a look at the respective sections in Moodle and ask questions in the lecture or tutorial. Some of these steps may happen at the same time for you, adapt these suggestions to your own needs.

Supervisor Communication

How to approach potential supervisors You can choose the topic of your Bachelor's thesis yourself. However, it is also possible to write your Bachelor's thesis on a given topic. In this case, members of the University of Lüneburg or another university that is authorised to teach can specify a topic. However, it is also possible to choose an external person as second supervisor, if this is done in agreement with the first supervisor, whereby the Bachelor's thesis can also be written at an institute or in a company. For suggestions of topics for your Bachelor's thesis, it is best to ask a professor at Leuphana University of Lüneburg

Here you will find a list of institutes and working groups that can be considered for your bachelor thesis.

Topic suggestions for the bachelor thesis of various working groups can be found here:

If you have your own topic ideas and want to find a supervisor, you can proceed the following way:

1.Find topic idea(s)

  • This can be rough and not completely narrowed down yet.
  • BUT: A first literature search has to be done beforehand.

2.Find suitable persons or institutes on the faculty website

3.Contact suitable supervisor(s) (select favourite)

  • The following information should be provided when contacting the supervisor
    • Topic and scope
    • Time period in which the bachelor's thesis is to be written
    • Possible ideas for the methodological design
  • Who could be a second supervisor?

The supervisor

Can you identify a specific gap in knowledge or contribution to existing research that resonated with you, and made you return to it again and again? Who from the faculty raised this to you, or may supervise it? Since not everybody can come up with a topic by themselves, maybe a suggestion of a potential supervisor might help. The more structured you approach your potential supervisor with your request, the happier they will be to help, at least in my experience. People are often inspired by projects that potential supervisors conduct, and would like to integrate their thesis into the large project. To this end, I would give some cautionary and sobering advise: Most projects that exist are already underway, and most of the time a thesis is an add-on, and not exactly a pivotal part of the project. This should not be a reason to feel that the work is irrelevant. More often than not additional questions arise through your contribution to a project. Yet, you might need to acknowledge that the project was designed a long time ago by someone who probably was not you. Hence the demand in such a project is often quite precise and the questions are already rather specific, and I would suggest that you are clear about what is expected from you. However, this may be a good opportunity to be under the wing of a PhD or somebody else in the project, and get a closer interaction that you would get with most supervisors. (https://sustainabilitymethods.org/index.php/How_to_write_a_thesis#The_supervisor)


What is Peer-to-Peer?

Peer learning is about creating an exchange that takes place at an equal level. In this way, students can support each other in the process of the bachelor thesis. The aim is to exchange perspectives on topics such as the writing process, self-organisation or formalities of the Bachelor thesis.

Why having a peer network is important

Assemble a team. How did previous students orientate themselves? Ask around in your peer-group, and start to engage early with people who write their thesis. The insights and experience that they already have may allow you to orientate yourself on a different level later. You need to find people that are either complementary to or aligned with your work style and ethics. This is the most important point since you need to exchange with peers on a very regular basis. This is not so much about the goals, but more about the way. Peers can become an important reflexive space, with more time than your supervisors, and more knowledge of your specific needs. In addition, your peers can help you to think out loud on the progressive track that you are ideally on and give you emotional support. This is what friends are for. Most people we know as scientific geniuses were embedded into a larger group, and exchanged frequently and regularly with their peers. Peers often share a similar set of goals (i.e. writing a thesis), and also a comparable rhythm (https://sustainabilitymethods.org/index.php/How_to_write_a_thesis#The_peers).

Get feedback from others

Getting feedback from your peers can help to gain a new perspective on the bachelor thesis. It can also be useful if you are stuck on a certain aspect. As many students have gone through similar problems, it is good to get feedback from time to time throughout the process and not only at the end of the Bachelor thesis. New ideas can be incorporated directly into the process and solutions to problems can be found more quickly. This may concern, for example, the following issues: Narrowing down the topic and the question/hypotheses, methodological design, presentation of your results.

Feedback towards the end of your Bachelor thesis

When you are ready to have written and revised parts of your thesis, it is time to get feedback from other people. It is important to allow enough time for the proofreading and it can be done by different people at the same time. Here are some general tips on how to get feedback. Make

  • a list → who could revise your work?
  • Distribute sections to different people
  • Give each person an individual "work order" so that corrections do not overlap
  • set deadlines for when you need them back to incorporate the feedback

To help you receive feedback that is useful to you, here are a few guiding questions in preparation for feedback.

  • What is the overall topic of the text and where does the text excerpt fit in?
  • In which editing phase is the text? (Raw version, already revised,...)
  • What do you want feedback on? (e.g. structure, argumentation, reader orientation)

While giving feedback you could focus on some of these questions:

  • What are the main messages?
  • What is particularly successful?
  • Which passages are unclear?
  • What additional information would the reader like to have?
  • Is it clear where own positions are presented and where those of the research?
  • Is a structure recognizable?
  • Is the argumentation comprehensible?
  • Are there too many repetitions?
  • Is the paragraphing coherent?
  • Is the language understandable?
  • Is a specific passage understandable?

Time Management and Motivation (TIMAMO)

A typical workday as a bachelor thesis writer Keeping the ball rolling and staying on top of things during the entire Bachelor thesis is not an easy task. However, there are some tips and tricks that can help. An outline and a matching schedule can be useful to keep you on track. Of course, the schedule will change over time, but it still makes sense to create a flexible schedule so that you can get through the bachelor thesis in a more relaxed manner. Each person has different ways of motivating and managing themselves. It also makes sense to think about how you have worked so far during your studies and which techniques have already helped you there.

Techniques (daily - monthly) It can be useful to learn techniques that will help you structure your thesis. There are tools that can be helpful for different time periods - daily, weekly, monthly. Not every technique is suitable for every person. Therefore, just try out several things until you find the right techniques. Here are a few tools that helped us stay motivated and move forward during the Bachelor and Master

Daily and Weekly: To-Do, To-Done list with prioritization (and time goals) I think every person knows to-do lists. As simple as it sounds, to-do lists can quickly become overwhelming. For me, it is important to set realistic goals (rather few than too many). I also try to break larger tasks into smaller parts and because I sometimes can't estimate how long I need for a task, I set myself time goals. This helps me to stay motivated. Now the question remains: where do I start? I try to divide the tasks into three categories - must be done today, can be done tomorrow, not important at the moment. This way I can better assess which tasks I want to focus an. I write down on my to-do lists all the things (not only university-related) that need to be done. I also have a To-Done list, which contains things that are completed additionally. That way I realize how much more I have actually already finished. Monthly: Plan backwards You are facing the next month and don't know at all what and how you want to get everything done? In such moments it helped me to plan my month backwards. First of all you choose your goal for the month. In the next step you think about what has to happen before and work your way back to the current state of the work. The developed intermediate goals can then be set as weekly goals, for example. Be careful how much time you have in the respective weeks and include buffers. Most of the time I was a bit more motivated while planning than in reality. This technique really helped me to get a better overview and stay a little more relaxed.

Work-life balance

It is clear that not all of your time can be spent on the bachelor thesis. It is also a learning process during the bachelor thesis to organize yourself and to put the appropriate amount of work into the bachelor thesis. To avoid fluctuating between doing nothing at all and just doing university stuff, it helps to schedule fixed times for the Bachelor thesis and leisure activities such as sports. But to be honest, there will probably be a short final phase in which you will do a lot more for the Bachelor thesis than have leisure time. You have to be aware that this is a limited period of time and not a permanent state. Two further aspects are relevant in the orientation phase. While designing your workspace and establishing your peer-network is crucial for any given endeavour, it is also relevant to consider the location where you work. Being for instance in another town or even country may seem appealing, also given the huge debates on work-life balance. For many people it seems however more appropriate to be at university to exchange with others and gain motivation. Universities are places of culture, and it is this culture that can help many to propel themselves through a Bachelor thesis phase. Consider writing at Leuphana, and because work life balance means not only to have great off-work options, but also to work concretely somewhere, and often best with others who share the same challenges and goals. Another vital part to keep your motivation up is to divide the huge endeavour that is a thesis into smaller parts. If you manage to have one tangible goal each day, and revise these in the morning and revisit them in the afternoon, you ideally get a reward structure that helps you to get a system underway that structures your day, and keeps the motivation up. After all, any given thesis is nothing but a huge box, with smaller boxes in there (e.g. introduction, methods, results), which contain even smaller packages, and each package contains three sentences. If you break your work down into such small chunks, you can develop an adaptive timeline and climb the highest intellectual mountains, step by step.

Work Settings

During the process of your thesis you will spend a lot of time at your desk. Of course this varies from person to person, maybe you are someone who works mainly at the library. But still, having a designated workplace at home, organized in a way that fits you, will help you a lot to stay focused and on track. We can not tell you how to organize your workspace or structure your day, but below you can find some examples and tips from us. You need to find out what works for you, ideally before or right when starting your thesis.

How to set up your work space

Here are some key tips for organizing your workspace to improve focus, reduce stress, and increase productivity:

  • Remove clutter and unnecessary items from your desk. Only keep essential supplies within reach.
  • Use desk organizers, trays, and containers to keep supplies neat and easily accessible.
  • Label folders, files, and storage areas with a clear, color-coded system so you can quickly locate documents.
  • Designate specific areas for different activities - your desk for work, shelves for supplies, filing cabinets for reference materials.
  • Organize your computer desktop and create a logical folder structure for digital files. Remove unused icons.
  • Tackle your email inbox - delete unimportant messages, sort others into folders, unsubscribe from irrelevant lists.
  • Add some simple décor like a potted plant or good lighting to make your workspace inspiring and energizing
  • Use an online calendar or task management app to organize your schedule and to-do lists.
  • Make it a habit to tidy up your workspace at the end of each day so you can start fresh the next morning.


Notion is a platform that can be used to plan and document a project, take notes, coordinate tasks, among other things. We highly recommend using Notion, as you can individually design your digital workspace with it. This is not only useful for the bachelor thesis, but can also be helpful afterwards in your job or master. Here you can find a template for structuring the bachelor thesis. It includes separate pages for the general organization and the documentation of notes and the corresponding literature. To use the template, simply click on "Duplicate" and add it to your own workspace. It is easier if you first create a workspace and then add the template. To get started, we recommend the article about Notion. Below you find an introductory video.

Research diary

When conducting research, being reflexive and writing down your own progress can be very helpful. If you procrastinate, then this is for you. So basically, it is for everybody. As an active researcher, it is not only important to track your progress, you also have to note it, and ideally reflect about it. This can be of specific importance for early career scientists who face their first large challenge, like writing a thesis or publishing a paper. See the wiki entry Research Diary for more information on how to get started with a research diary and the different goals that can be pursued with it. Below you will find a template for a writing journal that you can use when working on your bachelor thesis.

An approach to generate accountability and reflexive capacity is to team up in Notion. Concretely, you invite, just as in a learning group, a set of other students that share your goals and are good friends, and revisit within such a learning group your thesis goals regularly. It has proven beneficial if these people know us with all our strengths and challenges, and serve as a gentle safety net. Notion is ideal to this end, because it generates tangible goals that can be checked frequently. Another form of accountability is a whiteboard. These can not only be used to discuss things or create some sort of a graphical overview of specifics, but you can also always have a small section with some sort of a mid-term goal representation. By putting our smaller tasks into a mid-term perspective one can keep not only the motivation up, but also be supported in taking decisions. Procrastination is after all mostly about the inability to decide, not about a lack of hard work. Get a whiteboard, and track your decision making.

Links & Further reading

The author of this entry is Sergey Belomestnykh.