Universität Bielefeld

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The dissertation and its oral defense

As a rule, the dissertation is to be compiled as a monograph. A cumulative dissertation or an intra- or interdisciplinary teamwork is a possible alternative to individual work (for further details, see § 8 section 3 of the Ordinance for the Modification of the Doctoral Regulations of the Faculty of Health Sciences of 16.08.2010 resp. 10 RPO).

The dissertation should address a health sciences topic that lies within the expertise of the faculty of the Bielefeld School of Public Health. It should make innovative contributions from a theoretical, methodological and topical perspective.

As a rule, the following work steps are included in the dissertation:

  • Overview of the state of scientific knowledge in the selected topic area
  • A description of the public health relevance
  • Formulation of appropriate theoretical and conceptual foundations
  • Elaboration on research deficits and urgent research questions
  • The presentation of an independent research or development project that compensates for the research deficits
  • Documentation and discussion of the research methodology used
  • Presentation and discussion of the independent research findings
  • Discussion of perspectives for further theoretical and methodological work and for real-world applications

As a rule, the dissertation should be 200 pages in length (with 2,000 characters per page). In general, the dissertation is to be written in either German or English. Decisions regarding other languages will be decided by the doctoral committee.

After completion of the dissertation, the student will present and defend it in an oral exam. The exam takes approximately 90 minutes and is conducted by the examination committee. Each candidate is examined individually. In the case of candidates who have written a team dissertation, the oral examinations can be combined upon request.

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