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Capstone Thesis and Thesis Defense (MBCPA01)

Course No.:

MBCPA01

Course Title:

Capstone Thesis and Thesis Defense

Hours Total:

450 h

Credit Points:

15 ECTS

Course Type: Pflicht

Course Availability: WS, SS

Course Duration: 1 Semester

Admission Requirements:

Capstone Thesis:
Completion of modules totaling a minimum of 30 ECTS
Capstone Thesis Defense:
Submitted Capstone Thesis

Course Coordinator / Instructor:

See current list of tutors in the Learning Management System

References to Other Modules:

Please see module description

Course Description:

Capstone Thesis:

The students independently prepare the written capstone thesis.

The aim of the Capstone Thesis is to effectively apply the knowledge acquired throughout the MBA course to an academic paper that has a thematic reference to the MBA course. The thesis can take the format of a business plan or a consulting report. The thesis is an independent piece of work, that, with the guidance of a supervisor, seeks to scientifically analyze and critically discuss a chosen issue, and suggest possible solutions. The chosen topic from the student’s area of specialization should demonstrate their acquired competence in the functional area, yet also enrich and round out the student’s scientific knowledge. This will optimally prepare the student for the needs of their future career path.

Capstone Thesis Defense:

The Thesis Defense is done after handing in the capstone thesis. This will take place at the invitation of the supervisor. A second examiner will also be present alongside the supervisor. The students have to prove that they have independently produced the content in the Capstone Thesis by providing a detailed presentation of their project.

The Thesis Defense presentation should consist of the most relevant information from the report (including methodology, research, project outcomes, and recommendations), and is followed by a question-and-answer round led by the supervisor.

Course Objectives and Outcome:

Capstone Thesis:

The students should demonstrate their skills in producing an academic paper transferring the competences acquired during their MBA studies, as well as their acquired knowledge of a practical problem and its solution.

The Capstone Thesis should follow the following criteria:

  • The Capstone Thesis has to reflect the current academic level of knowledge of the chosen topic.
  • The Capstone Thesis has to make use of respective theoretical knowledge specific to the chosen practical case, and should culminate in suggested practical courses of action.

Capstone Thesis Defense:

The main goal of the thesis defense is for students to provide evidence of their ability to transfer professional and methodical expertise to a practical case. In addition, the student should demonstrate that he/she can actively take part in a thematically oriented discussion with a subject area expert. Last but not least, the thesis defense serves to provide students with the opportunity to display presentation-specific communication techniques in the context of a goal-oriented, academic interaction.

Teaching Methods:

Individual support by the tutors and supervisors during the preparation of the capstone project.

The students need a laptop and will be provided with the appropriate technical means for their presentation.

Course Content:

Capstone Thesis:

The content of the Capstone Project shall be decided upon by the MBA students together with the supervisor. However, the supervisors have the right to recommend specific topics for students.

The Capstone Thesis can take the format of a business plan or of a consulting report.

A business plan should include at least the following points (however, this is not a compulsory structure):

  1. Summary
  2. Description of the planned product/the service offer
  3. Founding team
  4. Market analysis
  5. Marketing and sales planning
  6. Operations and organization
  7. Financial planning
  8. Literature

A consulting report should include at least the following points (however this is not a compulsory structure):

  1. Summary
  2. Problem description and circumstances
  3. Goal setting
  4. Method
  5. Analysis
  6. Recommendation
  7. Literature

Capstone Thesis Defense:

The Capstone Thesis Defense consists of a presentation of the most important results of the capstone project followed by the student answering questions from the examiners/experts.

Literature:

Capstone Thesis:
• Bailey, S.: Academic Writing for International Students of Business, 2011, Routledge, ISBN-13: 978415564700
• Bender, S.L.: Producing the Capstone Project, 2003, Kendall Hunt Publishing, ISBN 978-0757504515
• Swales, J.M./Feak, Chr. R.: Academic Writing for Graduate Students, Essential Tasks and Skills, 3rd ed., 2012, Michigan Series in English for Academic & Professional Purposes, ISBN-13: 9780472034758

Capstone Thesis Defense:
• Subject specific chosen by the student

Prerequisites to Qualify for Assessment:

none

Assessment:

Written Assessment: Capstone Thesis:
Written Capstone Thesis (approx. 40 A4 pages)

Oral Assessment: Capstone Thesis Defense:
• Presentation (15 minutes)
• Oral examination (30 minutes)

The examiners of the capstone thesis defense evaluate the quality of the examination results according to the following evaluation criteria:
• Understanding and application of scientifically sound analysis
• Structure and content of the presentation
• Successful transfer of knowledge from the MBA to the practical case selected in the capstone project
• Quality of answers to the examination questions

Student Workload (in hours): 450

Capstone Thesis:
Research/academic writing: 405 h

Capstone Thesis Defense:
Preparation: 44 h
Oral Exam: 1 h