Organisation of lectures


Due to the huge thematic flexibilty, a careful organization of lectures and research is required.

The following page explains the organisation of lecutures and gives advice on how to organise the schedule.


Organisation of lectures

Areas of Specialization
There are four different field of specifications, which go along with the Universit'ys main research fields.

Out of the four fields, two have to be chosen.

SYN - Bioactive compounds and synthetic methods
CAT - Catalysis
MES - materials and mesoscopic systems: solids, polymers and nanostructures
COS - computational chemistry and spectroscopy

In each field, three modules and one research internship have to be completed.

Furthermore, there have to be:

Note: Each lecture can only be recognized once, even if it is offered in different specializations! The time and sequence of the lectures is left to the students. In order to be able to keep to the standard period of study, there are nevertheless logical sequences. In general, there are no admission requirements or restrictions for the lectures.

All compulsory lectures and almost all elective lectures are free of scheduling overlaps, so that the choice of one lecture does not exclude another. The compulsory lectures of a specialization always take place on a single weekday, so that weekdays without lectures, e. g. for research internships, are possible.

A lecture with credit points is usually credited with 3 credit points (CP).

Summary of an ideal schedule


During semester 1 to 3

  • 6+6 compulsory lectures of both specializationn fields
  • 3+3 non-compulsory lecture of both specialization fields
  • 1 lecture out of any specialization field
  • 1 not chemistry-related lecture  of the University's curriculum
  • 1+1 research internship and report in the chosen specialization fields
  • 1 research internship and report in a non-chosen specialization field or compulsory exercise module COS

Semester 4


Explanation of terms


Lecture Module

A module contains two compulsory lectures and one elective lecture. In this case, an elective lecture is a lecture that is free to chose from the offers within the respective specification field.


Freely Electable Lecture

One lecture from the Master's program in chemistry is taken. This can be chosen from the elective courses of either of the chosen specializations, or from a field of speciallization that was not chosen.


Research internships

One research internship is completed for each specialization, which provides specific practical knowledge for this specialization. A research report must be written for each research internship. There is no fixed duration of the research internship, and the working hours are agreed upon with the respective supervisors. Usually, 6 weeks of full-time or 10 weeks of part-time work are required. In case of part-time work, lectures can still be attended. Dynamically switching between full- and part-time work is also possible, and depends on the flexibility of the working group. The research internship can also be completed in industry or at another university by arrangement. In total, the research internship including the research report may not exceed 300 academic working hours.

Research internships can also be conducted abroad. More information can be found under External Study Performances.


Freely-electable Research Internship / Exercise Module COS

In addition to the research internships of the two chosen specializations, one additional research internship is to be completed which may thematically stem from any of the four fields of specialization. The freely-electable research internship can also be carried out outside of the Department of Chemistry, e.g. during a stay abroad. Students who have chosen the specialization COS must complete the exercise module COS instead of the freely selectable research internship. Exercises are offered for all compulsory lectures of the specialization COS in the semesters 1-3, which are all components of the exercise module COS.


Elective Area

In the elective area, students will attend a course outside the course catalog of the bachelor's or master's degree program in chemistry. These can be e.g. courses from the interdisciplinary teaching program of the RWTH. Other courses can be recognized after consultation with the respective lecturer.


Master's Thesis

To obtain the Master's degree, a total of 120 credit points (CP) must have been achieved.
The master's thesis is usually completed in the fourth semester of the master's program in chemistry and is scheduled to be completed within 6 months.
The master's thesis represents 30 of the 120 CP. For the remaining 90 CP, the courses described in the previous sections must have been completed. Prerequisite for the registration and thus the beginning of the master's thesis is 84 of the 90 CPs to be achieved by courses. Furthermore, students who started their master's program after the summer semester 2020 must have successfully completed the module "Scientific Integrity" to be able to register a master's thesis.


External Study Achievenemts

Some of the courses (lectures and research internships) can also be completed externally on request, i.e. in industry, research institutes or other universities in Germany and abroad.
It is also possible to complete the Master's thesis externally, i.e. in other departments, in industry, abroad or at another research institution. The applications for this can also be found in the Download Center Chemistry in the category External Services.

Download-Center Chemistry: Applications for external services

A research internship abroad has an impact on the attendable lectures and is best scheduled for the third semester.
This is due to the fact that the necessary expertise is still lacking in the first master's semester and because most lectures are only held on an annual basis. If you plan to study abroad in the second semester, please note that the one-year compulsory lectures can only be attended in the fourth semester, which means that the Master's thesis can only be started in the fifth semester due to the lack of CPs.

A research internship in industry is usually associated with full-time work, which means that the same restrictions apply as for a stay abroad.


Steps to organise the schedule

1. Choice of Specialization

The first important decision is the choice of two out of the four specializations. This usually arises individually from the preferred lectures and interests. If you are unsure, the descriptions of the respective lectures will help you.

By choosing the specialization, the compulsory lectures are clearly defined.

2. Electable Lectures

In the second step, you should think about the electable events. Of course, your preferences and interests are the main focus here. Furthermore, please note that some electable courses are only held every two years. Compulsory courses, on the other hand, are always held once every year.
If there are uncertainties regarding the choice of a course, it is possible to register for a course and participate in some lectures. If there are reasons against the course, you can withdraw from the examination in RWTHonline.

3. Semester Planning

Since the nature and duration of research internships may limit your ability to attend lectures, you should consider your semester planning in the third step. The following guiding questions will help you to do this:

  •     When and where do I want to complete my research internships?

It is possible to complete the research internships during the lecture period or during the semester break.

Furthermore, the research internship should be arranged with the research group in good time to avoid delays. In the case of external research internships, for example in industry, a lot of time should allocated for organization.

  •     Is a stay abroad planned?

This is due to the fact that the necessary expertise is still lacking in the first master's semester and because most lectures are only held on an annual basis. If you plan to study abroad in the second semester, please note that the one-year compulsory lectures can only be attended in the fourth semester, which means that the Master's thesis can only be started in the fifth semester due to the lack of CPs.