thesis vs dissertation
The masters thesis and doctoral dissertation are written documents that describe the graduate student’s research. The subject of the thesis/dissertation is chosen by mutual agreement between the student and major adviser, and must be approved by the student’s Supervisory Committee. There is no fixed length for the thesis/dissertation, although the Supervisory Committee should provide guidance on format and content.
Masters theses should reveal a capacity to carry on independent study or research and should demonstrate the student’s ability to use the techniques employed in their field of investigation. Doctoral dissertations should demonstrate technical mastery of the student’s field and advance or modify current knowledge. Dissertations should treat new material, find new results, or draw new conclusions; or it should interpret old material in a new light. It is expected that the research contained in the thesis/dissertation will be worthy of publication in appropriate peer-reviewed journals. Students are expected to prepare the manuscript(s) for publication prior to, or soon after, completion of their graduate program.
This article explores the extent to which published advice on the organisation and structure of theses and dissertations concurs with what happens in actual practice. The study examines guides and handbooks which focus on thesis and dissertation writing and postgraduate research. The sample texts examined were master’s and doctoral theses written in a number of different study areas at a major research university. The study found that only a few of the books examined devoted a substantial amount of space to this topic. It also found a wider range of thesis types than the guides and handbooks would suggest occurs. The study identified four main kinds of thesis: ‘traditional: simple’, ‘traditional: complex’, ‘topic-based’ and ‘compilations of research articles’. The article argues for teaching materials which show students the range of thesis options they might have, highlight the kind of variation that occurs in actual texts, and consider the rationale for the various choices they might make.
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The 60 points master’s dissertation will be around 20,000 words and expected to follow the Level 9 CUAP guidelines for a master’s dissertation. It is part of a 180 point MCom, which will be available from 2017, subject to CUAP approval.
The 120 points masters thesis is usually around 35,000-40,000 words including an abstract of about 350 words. It generally follows a BCom (Hons) as part of a 120 point Master of Commerce (MCom).
OATD.org aims to be the best possible resource for finding open access graduate theses and dissertations published around the world. Metadata (information about the theses) comes from over 1100 colleges, universities, and research institutions. OATD currently indexes 5,153,410 theses and dissertations.
We’re happy to present several data visualizations to give an overall sense of the OATD.org collection by county of publication, language, and field of study.
For all doctoral candidates and many master’s candidates, the creation of the dissertation or thesis is the capstone of their graduate career and signifies the completion of the requirements for graduation. The Graduate School will help students in this process to keep it as smooth and worry-free as possible. The Thesis/Dissertation Consultant is available to assist in many areas:
- to show students resources for research approval and understanding of copyright
- to demonstrate how to use iThenticate to validate the work
- to outline the approval process
- to ensure that theses and dissertations conform to the formatting requirements of the University of Tennessee
- to provide guidance in submitting the work to Trace
- to simplify the completion of the Survey of Earned Doctorates
- to explain the policies around the public availability of theses and dissertations
These guidelines provide students at Vanderbilt University with essential information about how to prepare and submit theses and dissertations in a format acceptable to the Graduate School. You can either explore the guidelines by topic below or review the complete Format Guidelines document.
The Vanderbilt Libraries have recently implemented VIREO, an Electronic Thesis & Dissertation review and submission system for the Graduate School. The Graduate School requires electronic submission of all theses and dissertations through this new platform. Format reviews now occur within the VIREO submission process. If you have questions or would like an in-person format review, contact administrators.
The Northern Arizona University Graduate College has partnered with Cline Library, and all NAU theses and dissertations are also available in our Institutional Repository.
All NAU theses and dissertations are published electronically through ProQuest. Through active partnerships with more than 700 universities, ProQuest disseminates and archives more than 90,000 new graduate works each year. These works are available through library subscription databases and for easy and convenient ordering.
Our website provides many resources for students, such as templates, copyright information, official policies, deadlines, and more.
The Thesis and Dissertation Office assists graduate students in the formatting, editing, and depositing of their theses. Our staff will consult with you to ensure that your thesis is ready for defense.
Deadlines for the submission of dissertations and theses for graduate qualifications are prescribed in section 12 of the Personal Programmes of Study Regulations.
General information about the submission of MPhil and doctoral theses is published on the Higher Research Degrees website.
The Thesis and Dissertation Office guides students through the processes of submission and revision by offering various online and in-person* resources including:
- Formatting resources
- Citation guides and links
- In-person consultations