The word Dissertation is used for a part of a Master’s or Bachelor’s course whereas the term PHD thesis is frequently applied to a doctorate programme. Both these terms i.e Thesis and Dissertation, however, are interchangeable and frequently used in the world of academia.
“Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as PhD, Ph.D., D.Phil., or DPhil in many countries, is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities.” But how different is it to write a PHD thesis or a PHD dissertation as compared to a graduate level dissertation. Of course, the PHD thesis is much more complex, demanding and challenging but there are certain requirements that all PHD students must fulfil for the PHD degree award.
Many students are concerned about the word count requirement of their thesis project. It should be noted that the word count requirement of a PHD thesis is generally determined by the area of research and the guidelines provided by the university. For example, Sydney College of the Arts suggests that a PHD thesis should be at least 80,000 words in length. Other universities and colleges have their own requirements. However, as a rule of thumb, the word count of a PHD dissertation should not be less than 50000 words or more than 1000,000 words.
Some PHD students may also want to know exactly how many pages their PHD should consist of. Again, this is largely influenced by the topic of research and guidelines/instructions provided by your department. A Master’s level dissertation is usually 50-80 pages long whilst a PHD dissertation can be around 200 pages in length. However, it is not the number of words or pages but the quality of your research and writing that would help you achieve your desired grade.
Lastly, it is important to maintain a healthy work relationship with your supervisor because it can be really stressful being a PHD supervisor, and whilst it might be a privilege, it takes a lot of effort to get PHD students to fulfill their course requirements. Being able to figure out exactly what your supervisor needs and why is he pushing you to adopt a certain path of research can substantially ease the pressure off
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