Is there a difference between thesis and dissertation in a British academic context? I saw that thesis was more used at Masters level while dissertation at PhD level but would like a confirmation.

closed as general reference by simchona, aedia λ, Daniel, kiamlaluno, user2683 Sep 24 '11 at 19:18

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    In my region, we would use thesis for all levels, and dissertation specifically for doctoral work. I have never seen dissertation used for a BA degree. – Kit Z. Fox Sep 23 '11 at 14:40
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    'Thesis' has meanings that 'dissertation' doesn't have. A proposition, for one. – Barrie England Sep 23 '11 at 14:40
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    Interesting. I wrote a thesis, not a dissertation, for my Master's. Maybe it's a BrE/AmE split? – Kit Z. Fox Sep 23 '11 at 14:45
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    I really can't see why this has been closed as being able to "be definitively and permanently answered by a single link..." - my answer was accepted and I cannot find a definitive link, everything is contradictory (hence why I haven't expanded on my answer). – neil Oct 5 '11 at 20:54
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    Here in the UK they're interchangeable in common usage. I submitted dissertations for both my BA and MSc, though I always thought thesis has a more academic ring to it. – 5arx Aug 13 '12 at 11:03

As FumbleFingers says, the British usage is the opposite. I would see the difference being that a dissertation is the discussion of a subject, as would be appropriate for Bachelors, and possibly Masters whereas a thesis is a proposition based on new research as required for a Doctorate.

  • This is the usage with which I am familiar – Jodrell Sep 23 '11 at 16:55
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    Thanks, I would appreciate some authoritative usage examples, if any exists. For instance Cambridge engineering school uses both: www-h.eng.cam.ac.uk/help/tpl/textprocessing/ThesisStyle I will take this as an answer if no additional information though. – Vladtn Sep 23 '11 at 19:28

dissertation is normally for PhD only, and a thesis is used both for Masters and PhD.

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