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I am a student of a M.Sc. in Economics.

For reasons that are really beyond my control, a week ago I was asked to write a one-page draft of my Master's thesis topic, so that I can be assigned to a supervisor. The draft must be handed in by July 31st. This notification came out of the blue for me (and my classmates), so we don't really have anything in mind so far.

Of course, I have thought about the potential topic of my Master's thesis before. However, I haven't been able to come up with a subject that is "satisfying" yet. So far, I have mostly encountered topics in which I don't feel like I could give a significant contribution.

On the other hand, I am still quite excited about the topic of my Bachelor's thesis (which I wrote about a year ago). I remember being kind of "proud" of this thesis, mostly because it stemmed from my original idea. I used a methodology that I found "creative" to investigate some classical questions related to International Economics. I recently read my thesis again and found that there is much room for improvement. With the experience I have gained in the last year of studies, I feel like I could research this topic in much more depth.

Do you think I could choose this topic (or a strictly related one) also for my Master's thesis? I fear this could be regarded as a "lazy" choice by someone who would review my academic curriculum in the future. Is it possible to write both your Bachelor's and your Master's thesis on similar topics?

Thank you in advance for your help.

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I don't see any problem studying the same subject. You could consider it an extension of your Bachelor's thesis. As a reviewer I would welcome such a proposal, as long as the one-pager is well written and has clear statements of the problems you want to solve.

I even suggest you think about what you could have done differently in your Bachelor thesis and include it in your proposal.

Remember that you are submitting a project proposal and, during the course of your masters research, you might change your mind and decide to pursue another direction.

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In the end staying in the same topic is neither a necessarily good nor bad choice. If there is still room for improvement or even better to answer alternative questions then continuing in the same area can be a decent choice: You already know parts of the literature, you know relevant outlets and researchers - and you feel happy and confident with the topic.

However, you should make sure that your thesis is substantially different from your Bachelor thesis. So ideally you do not try to fix the same issues or questions, but rather find something related to work on. Because in the end you want to avoid that people wonder whether you just "warmed up" something that worked before again and are not able to do something "novel". While this might be less relevant if you plan to leave academia after your Master's degree, it could come back to you if you plan to stay ...

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I don't, personally, have any problem with the concept provided that you can clearly explain how the future work goes beyond the past work in some meaningful way. At the MS level it may not need to be earth-shattering, but it should be "meaningful".

The problem, however, is that even if your professors agree with me, they will be the ones to decide whether what you say is meaningful enough to let you go ahead. So, a bit risky. But if it is all you've got then you can try it. But I'd suggest that you keep looking for alternatives in the time left to you.

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If the topic of both your bachelor's and master's thesis is the same, the master's thesis should be a far deeper exploration of the topic. My Master's thesis was a continuation of the same project that I began during my undergaduate degree with guidance from the same PI. At the end of my bachelor's degree, I felt I had only scratched the surface of the topic.

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