Steps to Finalise your MA Studies

The formal finalisation of your EcoS graduation might take up to 3 weeks after your defensio. When your documents are ready, you will be contacted by the StudiesServiceCenter (SSC) through your University of Vienna (unet) email address.


  • Step 1: Find a supervisor and discuss your MA topic

    Your supervisor will usually be Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Rüdiger Frank. You should have prepared a thesis proposal (exposé) for registration with the SSC in the M5 Research Seminar and Monitoring Class for the Master's and PhD Thesis. If you have not completed your proposal, please contact your supervisor.

  • Step 2: Register your MA thesis with the SSC

    How, when, and where should I register my MA thesis? Which documents do I need?

    How: If you have not already, write an exposé (click hyperlink for an overview) of your planned MA thesis and discuss it with your supervisor. To formally register your MA thesis, you must complete the following two forms:

    When: The SSC advises you to register your MA thesis six months before your planned date of graduation. It is strongly recommended that you have at least finished some work on the theoretical part before officially registering your topic. In any case, please make sure to register your topic at least 2 months before the planned submission date.

    Please note the changes in deadlines for master exams and defenses in the following announcement.

    Where: Send both documents together with your exposé to the StudiesServiceCenter Philological and Cultural Studies (SSC).

    Note: Make sure that the form "Ansuchen um Thema und Betreuung" has your signature and your supervisor’s on it (scanned). The SSC is in charge of procuring the SPL's signature.

  • Step 3: Write your MA thesis

    Make sure to use the official University of Vienna cover page for the Master Thesis (download the template and see instructions on how to fill out the document).

    When filling out your cover page, remember to write the correct information of EcoS MA Program:

    • Degree Code [Studienkennzahl] = 066 864
    • Official Degree Program [Studienrichtung] = East Asian Economy and Society;

    Please review the EcoS Guidelines - How to Format your MA Thesis, where you will find all necessary information on format, length and citation. You are also encouraged to review the steps to write your MA Thesis for EcoS.

  • Step 4: Submission of your MA Thesis

    How and where should I submit my MA thesis?

    • Before submitting your Master thesis, send your supervisor the final version of your thesis via email. You will be then informed whether the thesis is likely to be graded with at least a “4”. If that is the case, no further information will be provided, and no further consultation will be held at this point. The actual grade will be determined through the official grading process. However, if you are told that the thesis is unlikely to be graded positively, you should consult again with your supervisor to discuss how the thesis can be improved. If you get a “yes”, you can proceed with the submission.
    • In order to submit your Master Thesis and comply with the requirements to obtain your degree, you must have passed all the module courses and examinations defined in the EcoS Curriculum.
    • Submission of your MA thesis: The StudiesServiceCenter provides instructions concerning the electronic submission of your thesis and the required hard copies (the EcoS staff has created an unofficial(!) translation of the formal requirements, which you can access HERE). Remember that you also need to submit your Record of Examination (Prüfungspass) in order to hand in your master’s thesis. To request the Record of Examination, please consult Stefanie Yu (SSS Sinology & EcoS) via e-mail (stefanie.yu[at] If your credits for the module M4 (East Asian Society) exceed 20 ECTS, please inform Ms. Yu of the courses you wish to be credited towards the M4 module. Any remaining credits will be added to the Module of Interest. Keep in mind that issuing the Record of Examination can take up to 8 weeks.
    • How long does it take? Realistically, you will have to consider a time span of about 4 months between the formal submission of your MA Thesis and your actual graduation.

    Since none of the official copies will remain with your supervisor and/or EcoS, please consider Prof. Frank's request to also receive a personal copy of your thesis.

  • Step 5: Register for your oral examination

    Your MA studies at EcoS will be finalised by an oral examination (defensio). After having received a grade for your MA thesis, you can register for your defense.

    The examination committee at your defensio will consist of three people:

    • examination chairperson [Vorsitzende/er]
    • primary examiner (your main supervisor)
    • secondary examiner

    Upon receiving your grade, you must contact the Vice Director of Studies (Vice-SPL), currently Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jerome De Wit, MA, to coordinate a date for your defensio. As of now, the primary and secondary examiners will be Prof. Rüdiger Frank and Dr. Steven Denney, unless otherwise arranged.

    Once the date and time is confirmed with all members of your examination committee, you can complete and submit per e-mail the form "SL/P4 Anmeldung zur Defensio" ("Registration of Defensio") to the SSC ( at least 14 days prior to your actual examination date.

  • Step 6: Prepare for your oral examination

    What kind of exam is my oral MA examination? What do I have to prepare? What is the exact procedure of the oral examination?

    At the very end of your EcoS studies, you will defend your MA thesis in front of an examination committee composed of three people.

    Your examination will be a defensio type of exam (see EcoS Curriculum), i.e. a public defence of your MA thesis. The defensio gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise in your MA topic by answering complex questions.


    • Prepare your MA Poster and send it to ecos[at], together with a scanned copy of the signed Declaration of Consent.
    • Please note: You must submit the pdf version of your MA poster at least one week in advance. Expect to receive feedback (orthography and layout, not content) on your poster (download the instructions for the MA Poster).

    • You are expected to be able to elaborate on each of your exam questions in a detailed manner. You will only receieve the questions from your main examiner in advance (your supervisor). In your own interest, be prepared to discuss each bloc of questions (questions from your supervisor and questions from the second examiner) for about 20 minutes each.
    • Prepare handouts for the entire examination committee (at least one A4 copy of your MA poster for each person, and one A3 colour print).
    • You may prepare notes for your presentation as well as the ensuing Q&A sessions. However, make sure not to read out a manuscript during your examination.
    • Please view the following video of Prof. Rüdiger Frank for more details on the actual structure and purpose of the MA examination.
  • Step 7: Present your oral examination

    The examination will be a defensio type of exam (see EcoS Curriculum), i.e. a public defence of your MA thesis. It will take approximately 1 hour. First, you explain the main points of your thesis in a 20 minute presentation. After your presentation, each examiner will question you for 20 minutes. You will only receive the questions from your supervisor in advance. The second examiner will ask the questions related to your MA thesis directly on the examination day.

    In general, the defensio takes place at the department. However, if necessary due to Coronavirus measures, the defensio might also take place virtually, using the Moodle tool BigBlueButton. (In this case, you will be given a date before the official oral examination, to test the platform (video and audio required)). Before the date of the defensio, please send your final version of the MA Poster to all the parties involved.

    Please note: The date of your final examination is also the day of your graduation.