how long is a thesis words

how long is a thesis words

How long is a thesis words
The thesis must not exceed a maximum word count of 100,000. There is no minimum word count. The word count of the thesis includes the main text, preface material, footnotes and references but does not include material in the appendices, bibliography, abstract or lay summary. In exceptional circumstances, on the recommendation of the supervisor, permission may be granted by the College to exceed the stated length on the ground that such extension is required for adequate treatment of the thesis topic.
The Postgraduate Degree Regulations stipulate the word count for research degrees.

If you need to exceed 100,000 words, you must submit a request to the Chair of the Higher Degrees Research Comittee via the Graduate Research Examinations Office before you submit your thesis. This must include:
You should aim to write a thesis of 80,000 words. The word limit is exclusive of words in tables, maps, bibliographies and appendices. Footnotes are included as part of the word limit.

A PhD thesis should not exceed a total of 100,000 words in length (or 70,000 for most professional doctorates), including scholarly apparatus such as footnotes or endnotes, essential appendices and bibliography. A doctoral thesis should however, be concise. Examiners often criticise excessive length, which frequently indicates poor judgement.
When you submit, you will be asked to certify that your thesis falls within the relevant word limit.

If your thesis is longer than the maximum word limit, you can request special consideration by emailing the Dean of the Graduate School at [email protected]

  • 80,000 words for a PhD thesis
  • 40,000 words for an MPhil thesis.


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