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Theses: How to find theses: Home

How to find printed and electronic theses at the University of Strathclyde and other universities

Thesis or dissertation - what's the difference?

In general in the UK a dissertation is a piece of independent research carried out at undergraduate or taught postgraduate level. The term thesis refers to a piece of work undertaken for a research degree for example a PhD, MLitt, MRes. Dissertations are generally shorter than a thesis. However, in many cases and in many countries the terms thesis and dissertation are used interchangeably. Before requesting or consulting a thesis or dissertation it is advisable to check the level of degree for which it was submitted. 

Finding dissertations in the library

Dissertations undertaken as part of a taught postgraduate or undergraduate degree programme are not held in the library. You should contact the department/s concerned directly, to arrange consultation.

Practical information about submitting a Strathclyde research thesis

Obtaining theses - Inter-Library Service

If you wish to consult a thesis from another library, which is not available electronically, you should use the Inter-Library Service. This service is available to 4th year undergraduates, postgraduates and staff. Please be aware that it may take some time to obtain a thesis from another library, particularly if the library is based overseas. 

New books about writing a thesis or dissertation

Related Guides

Finding Strathclyde theses

All of the theses available from the library are listed in SUPrimo. You can either:

  • Search for a subject or topic of interest, e.g. photonic devices, and then limit your results to theses using the Collection > Strathclyde theses filters:


Suprimo searcj






  • Just search the Strathclyde research tab, e.g. photonic devices





Multiple versions of this record exist indicates that there may be both print and electronic versions of the thesis. To access theses available in electronic format: click the Online access - view it link. You may need to enter your DS username and password to view the thesis.

Other theses will be in printed format. Sign in to SUPrimo and click on the wording Request. Library staff will retrieve the thesis from our store and you will be sent an email when it is available. The thesis will be brought to the Level 3 Enquiry Desk for you. You can borrow a thesis from the Library, if there is more than one copy listed in SUPrimo. If you are not able to make use of the request option in SUPrimo please email with details of the thesis you would like to consult. 

Finding non Strathclyde theses and dissertations

Many of the Library's databases will search for theses as well as journal articles and book chapters. The following databases are particularly useful for finding theses: 

Another useful source is Jisc Library Hub Discover a combined catalogue of the largest research libraries in the UK and Ireland. Searching Jisc Library Hub Discover will help you identify theses available from other universities. To limit your results to theses use the Main Search, then limit results to Theses in the Material Type menu. 

Why should I consult other people's theses?

  • They contain research that may not have been published in any other format
  • They can help you avoid duplicating research and identify areas for further research
  • You can see examples of how to layout a thesis
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