What Is the Difference between a Masters’ and Undergraduate Dissertation?

By | February 19, 2018

Dissertation writing is difficult for all students either they are doing for the first time in their undergraduate studies of a second or further attempt in their master degree. It is not difficult because it is dissertation but it is difficult to even for the second attempt because now it has some additional requirements as well. So who thinks a dissertation if one has done a dissertation in his undergraduate studies would find really easy to do it again in master degree then no doubt there are some steps that he/she has done before but not the complete dissertation or dissertation writing process is same. There is a difference in a dissertation of each level either its undergraduate, master, doctorate or post-doctorate.

Difference of dissertation of each study level is going to be discussed in terms of key components of dissertation regardless of level of study;

  • Sections/Chapters of Dissertation
  • Undergraduate: There are almost same chapters required to write those are necessary to be part of a dissertation of almost level of education. List of chapters for a dissertation includes an abstract, an introduction, literature review, theoretical framework, methodology, data analysis, findings and interpretations, discussion, conclusion and recommendations, references list and appendixes.
  • Master: This level of dissertation also requires adding the same set of chapters with a few differences; here most of the students are required to add annotated bibliography that most of time undergraduate dissertation is not required.
  • Topic Selection
  • Undergraduate: criteria of topic remain almost same as it must be specific, realistic, relevant to your field of study and feasible to conduct research.
  • Master: at this level of dissertation writing teacher wants a student to be focused on the directly relevant research area to your field of study, more specific and significant research topic is required to be chosen for the dissertation.
  • Research Proposal Writing
  • Undergraduate: Sometimes it is not required for an undergraduate dissertation.
  • Master: dissertation writing process of master degree always requires you to write research proposal first. This is an overview of the complete research process with the description of in-depth information.
  • Research Requirements
  • Undergraduate: These remain same for the dissertation of any academic level but vary for the type of research one is conducting and also depends on the field of your study.
  • Master: Similar as was in undergraduate dissertation but it can be different upon the type of research you are conducting. You might have conducted a quantitative research in undergraduate degree and now you have chosen to go for a qualitative method then it would be different than before.
  • Word Length or Duration of Research Process
  • Undergraduate: This is the point of difference but it really depends on the institute you are studying. Almost every institute differentiates the length of their undergraduate dissertations and master dissertations but a length defined by one institute for undergraduate dissertation may be same for the master dissertation of another institute.
  • Master: Same is the situation as discussed in an undergraduate dissertation. So the length of dissertation would vary in the same institution for two different academic levels.