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General thoughts on what makes a “good” thesis topic

❶What are the main differences between undergraduate, master's, and doctoral theses?

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Undergraduate Dissertation Requirements
My tips for finding an undergraduate thesis topic:
Step Two: Start your research

You will at some point run out of steam and collapse in an exhausted, tear-stained heap. But unless there are serious flaws in your work unlikely and your supervisor recommends starting again highly unlikely , don't do it. It's just panic, it'll pass. The first few days in archives, I felt like everything I was unearthing was a gem, and when I sat down to write, it seemed as if it was all gold.

But a brutal editing down to the word count has left much of that early material at the wayside. If you're using a university or library printer, it will start to affect your weekly budget in a big way. If you're printing from your room, "paper jam" will come to be the most dreaded two words in the English language. Don't even try and give up biscuits for Lent, they'll basically become their own food group when you're too busy to cook and desperate for sugar.

Even if you're super-organised, plan your time down to the last hour and don't have a single moment of deadline panic, you'll still find that thoughts of your dissertation will creep up on you when you least expect it. You'll fall asleep thinking about it, dream about it and wake up thinking about. You'll feel guilty when you're not working on it, and mired in self-doubt when you are.

These are the principle differences I see, but of course its also depending on the specific student. A good Bachelor thesis can be better and include more independent work than a bad Master thesis. Undergraduate thesis demonstrates the capacity to apply basic research skills in an area of interest to you.

At this level, the focus is on gaining broad competencies akin to an overview of what research is all about. Masters thesis demonstrates the capacity to apply advanced research skills i. At this level, the focus is on developing critical thinking in a subject area.

PhD thesis demonstrates the capacity to apply specialised research skills i. At this level, the focus is on identifying a 'gap' in knowledge and addressing it, hence you advance knowledge in a field of study. These are are arbitrary descriptions as there are overlaps i. By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service , privacy policy and cookie policy , and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Second, since the thesis supervisor and the other members of the advisory committee will normally have reviewed the thesis extensively before recommending the student proceed to the defense, such an outcome would be regarded as a major failure not only on the part of the candidate but also by the candidate's supervisor who should have recognized the substandard quality of the dissertation long before the defense was allowed to take place.

It is also fairly rare for a thesis to be accepted without any revisions; the most common outcome of a defense is for the examiners to specify minor revisions which the candidate typically completes in a few days or weeks. At universities on the British pattern it is not uncommon for theses at the viva stage to be subject to major revisions in which a substantial rewrite is required, sometimes followed by a new viva.

Very rarely, the thesis may be awarded the lesser degree of M. Phil Master of Philosophy instead, preventing the candidate from resubmitting the thesis. In Australia, doctoral theses are usually examined by three examiners although some, like the Australian Catholic University and the University of New South Wales , have shifted to using only two examiners; without a live defense except in extremely rare exceptions.

In the case of a master's degree by research the thesis is usually examined by only two examiners. Typically one of these examiners will be from within the candidate's own department; the other s will usually be from other universities and often from overseas.

Following submission of the thesis, copies are sent by mail to examiners and then reports sent back to the institution. Similar to a master's degree by research thesis, a thesis for the research component of a master's degree by coursework is also usually examined by two examiners, one from the candidate's department and one from another university. For an Honours year, which is a fourth year in addition to the usual three-year bachelor's degree, the thesis is also examined by two examiners, though both are usually from the candidate's own department.

Honours and Master's theses sometimes require an oral defense before they are accepted. In Germany, a thesis is usually examined with an oral examination. This applies to almost all Diplom , Magister , master's and doctoral degrees as well as to most bachelor's degrees. However, a process that allows for revisions of the thesis is usually only implemented for doctoral degrees. There are several different kinds of oral examinations used in practice.

The Disputation , also called Verteidigung "defense" , is usually public at least to members of the university and is focused on the topic of the thesis. In contrast, the Rigorosum is not held in public and also encompasses fields in addition to the topic of the thesis. The Rigorosum is only common for doctoral degrees.

Another term for an oral examination is Kolloquium , which generally refers to a usually public scientific discussion and is often used synonymously with Verteidigung. In each case, what exactly is expected differs between universities and between faculties. Some universities also demand a combination of several of these forms. Like the British model, the PHD or MPhil student is required to submit their theses or dissertation for examination by two or three examiners.

The first examiner is from the university concerned, the second examiner is from another local university and the third examiner is from a suitable foreign university usually from Commonwealth countries. The choice of examiners must be approved by the university senate. In some public universities, a PhD or MPhil candidate may also have to show a number publications in peer reviewed academic journals as part of the requirement.

An oral viva is conducted after the examiners have submitted their reports to the university. The oral viva session is attended by the Oral Viva chairman, a rapporteur with a PhD qualification, the first examiner, the second examiner and sometimes the third examiner. Branch campuses of British, Australian and Middle East universities in Malaysia use the respective models of the home campuses to examine their PhD or MPhil candidates.

In the Philippines, a thesis is followed by an oral defense. In most universities, this applies to all bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees. However, the oral defense is held in once per semester usually in the middle or by the end with a presentation of revisions so-called "plenary presentation" at the end of each semester.

The oral defense is typically not held in public for bachelor and master oral defenses, however a colloquium is held for doctorate degrees. Typical duration for the total exam is 1 hour 30 minutes for the MSc and 3 hours for the PhD. In North America, the thesis defense or oral defense is the final examination for doctoral candidates, and sometimes for master's candidates. The examining committee normally consists of the thesis committee, usually a given number of professors mainly from the student's university plus his or her primary supervisor, an external examiner someone not otherwise connected to the university , and a chair person.

Each committee member will have been given a completed copy of the dissertation prior to the defense, and will come prepared to ask questions about the thesis itself and the subject matter. In many schools, master's thesis defenses are restricted to the examinee and the examiners, but doctoral defenses are open to the public.

The typical format will see the candidate giving a short 20—minute presentation of his or her research, followed by one to two hours of questions. A student in Ukraine or Russia has to complete a thesis and then defend it in front of their department. Sometimes the defense meeting is made up of the learning institute's professionals and sometimes the students peers are allowed to view or join in.

After the presentation and defense of the thesis, the final conclusion of the department should be that none of them have reservations on the content and quality of the thesis. A conclusion on the thesis has to be approved by the rector of the educational institute. The Diploma de estudios avanzados DEA can last two years and candidates must complete coursework and demonstrate their ability to research the specific topics they have studied. After completing this part of the PhD, students begin a dissertation on a set topic.

The dissertation must reach a minimum length depending on the subject and it is valued more highly if it contains field research. Once candidates have finished their written dissertations, they must present them before a committee. Following this presentation, the examiners will ask questions. In Hong Kong, Ireland and the United Kingdom, the thesis defense is called a viva voce Latin for "by live voice" examination viva for short.

A typical viva lasts for approximately 3 hours, though there is no formal time limit. Usually, one examiner is an academic from the candidate's own university department but not one of the candidate's supervisors and the other is an external examiner from a different university. Increasingly, the examination may involve a third academic, the 'chair'; this person, from the candidate's institution, acts as an impartial observer with oversight of the examination process to ensure that the examination is fair.

The 'chair' does not ask academic questions of the candidate. In the United Kingdom, there are only two or at most three examiners, and in many universities the examination is held in private.

The candidate's primary supervisor is not permitted to ask or answer questions during the viva, and their presence is not necessary. However, some universities permit members of the faculty or the university to attend. At the University of Oxford, for instance, any member of the University may attend a DPhil viva the University's regulations require that details of the examination and its time and place be published formally in advance provided he or she attends in full academic dress.

A submission of the thesis is the last formal requirement for most students after the defense. By the final deadline , the student must submit a complete copy of the thesis to the appropriate body within the accepting institution, along with the appropriate forms, bearing the signatures of the primary supervisor, the examiners, and, in some cases, the head of the student's department. Other required forms may include library authorizations giving the university library permission to make the thesis available as part of its collection and copyright permissions in the event that the student has incorporated copyrighted materials in the thesis.

Many large scientific publishing houses e. Failure to submit the thesis by the deadline may result in graduation and granting of the degree being delayed. Once all the paperwork is in order, copies of the thesis may be made available in one or more university libraries. Specialist abstracting services exist to publicize the content of these beyond the institutions in which they are produced.

Many institutions now insist on submission of digitized as well as printed copies of theses; the digitized versions of successful theses are often made available online. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 12 September For other uses, see Thesis disambiguation. For the novel, see The Dissertation.

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An undergraduate dissertation (or Bachelors dissertation) is essentially an extended piece of research and writing on a single subject. It is typically completed in the final year of a degree programme and the topic is chosen based on a student’s own area of interest.

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Luckily for me, my D-Day (dissertation hand-in day) has already been and gone. But I remember it well. The 10,word spiral-bound paper squatted on my desk in various forms of completion was my Allied forces; the history department in .

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Traditionally, an undergraduate degree in the social sciences and humanities uses a dissertation for a final piece of study. The degree might also offer other alternatives such as the option of an extended essay, or an independent learning project, or a senior paper. When I did my undergraduate thesis, my adviser was expected big on students expecting them working really hard, so it ended up as a reduced master's thesis (most of the reviewers said that it was an overkill for a B.E).

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Dissertation Examples. Remember, you should not hand in any of these dissertations as your own work, as we do not condone plagiarism! If you use any of these free dissertations as source material for your own work, . Writing a good Undergraduate dissertations students should perform almost the same steps as for writing a PhD dissertation, that is a great practice for them. Follow our writing tips to complete your writing successfully.