All students graduating from university are required to submit either a dissertation or a thesis to obtain a doctoral/ PhD Degree. On the whole, writing a thesis or dissertation is a daunting task, which requires good writing skills, deep research, and a lot of time to find correct references from academic sources.

If you are planning to get admission in a graduate school, you might be familiar with these terms. However, you are likely to wonder the difference between thesis and dissertation. There are noticeable dissimilarities between the two terms, still, they are used reciprocally and are often confused. Since both the papers have a similar structure, they include an introduction, literature review, body, conclusion, references, and appendix.  Let us explore thesis and dissertation difference in detail.


Basic Difference between Dissertation and Thesis

The key difference between dissertation and thesis can be seen after they are completed. A thesis is an assignment that marks the end of the master’s program, while the dissertation is conducted during the PhD program. In fact, the purpose of both is also very different. A thesis demonstrates a good understanding of the information you have learned during the graduate program. Whereas, a dissertation is an opportunity to introduce new knowledge, new theories or new practices into your field as part of a PhD program. The ultimate goal is to propose a new concept, develop it, and defend its value.

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Essential Differences between a Dissertation and Thesis

A thesis is very similar to the research work of students with whom you are aware of the undergrad level. You have to research the topic, and then analyse and comment on the data collected and define its relationship to the topic in question. The purpose of a dissertation paper is to demonstrate your ability to think critically and discuss in detail. In addition, with the help of documents, you will often use this opportunity to develop topics that are best suited to the area of ​​knowledge that you want to study professionally. In a dissertation, you use other people’s research and other sources to explain and prove your own unique assumptions, theories, or concepts.

Finally, the length of the two papers is also different. The master’s thesis must be written at least 100 pages long and maybe outside this range. In parallel, the doctoral dissertation should be longer because it involves a lot of basic information and research, as well as all the details of your proposal and how you got the information. Writing a dissertation paper is an extremely complicated task. This can be two or even three times the length of the paper. A teacher who will serve you as a dissertation consultant will guide you better. If you encounter difficulties, the consultant will guide you in the right direction and help you find resources to complete the paper.

Difference between Thesis and Dissertation in the UK

In Europe, especially in the UK, theses are getting more and more important than dissertations. A thesis paper requires only the original research, while the dissertation paper is usually presented by the students in the middle part of the postdoctoral research process. Therefore, compared with UK papers, the dissertation paper has certain requirements. Some experts also refer to UK academic papers as unpublished papers for researchers seeking doctoral or PhD degrees. However, there are also differences between doctoral thesis and master’s thesis and undergraduate thesis in the UK.

Difference between Thesis and Dissertation Writing

  • With the doctoral dissertation and thesis, students can acquire different degrees. In the UK, students must prepare a thesis for a master’s degree and write a thesis for a doctorate degree.
  • Both files have different lengths. A thesis must be written for at least 100 pages. Whereas, a dissertation length is longer.
  • If you are writing a thesis paper, it is significant to do some authentic research. In the dissertation, you can use existing research.
  • You must add thesis analysis to your existing literature. A dissertation is a part of an analysis of existing literature.
  • To write a dissertation paper, you need to do thorough work to develop research in a specific field, than in a thesis.
  • It is difficult to compare, but students find writing a dissertation more difficult. In fact, they have more questions and confusions.


To sum up, it is just a perspective that makes each more challenging than its counterpart. For the students, they need to read relevant researches to prepare their research as it helps in both types of tasks. The thesis or a dissertation is often used interchangeably because they are submitted at the end of your semester. If you find it difficult to write a dissertation or a thesis, comment below and we might cover that in our next blog.

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