Thesis theories

October 18, 1996

The United Kingdom Council for Graduate Education's conclusion that the traditional PhD thesis may be out of date (THES, September ) is surely fallacious. It does not follow that "differences in the composition of the candidate's thesis via the two routes [those of the traditional thesis and on the basis of published research] call into question the current relevance of a traditional thesis".

For most full-time PhD students, the writing of a thesis is a major task in which ideas, results and information collected over an extended period are brought together. In particular it ensures that where collaborative research has been undertaken, the contribution of the student can be distinguished and examined. This is not to deny that a substantial collection of published work should not be acceptable for the award of a doctorate. The two routes are not incompatible; they are just appropriate to different candidates.

K. B. Tanner Department of physics, University of Durham.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns