Comparing Dissertation and Doctoral Thesis

For students that are researching into a doctorate; it is noticed that virtually all the Ph.D. programs will require the inclusion of a dissertation. When we take a look at some professorial doctorates, it requires to do my thesis to get a degree.

There is a difference between the two. What are these major differences? The answer to that is what you are about reading now. Let us go straight into the points.

The parts involved

Dissertation: When we take a look at what is obtained with the dissertation, it is a traditional 5 chapter written document. Each of the chapters goes to address a particular reference point. 

Thesis: The cultural thesis has two major parts as against the five with the other. They are:

Derivable: This could come in the form of a portfolio or a paper that requires a certain length. It might be based on a particular product.

Final report: This part will detail the creation of the derivable and g all out to present the learning that is in support of it. 

It can be seen that the parts involved in the two differ.


Let us take a look at the focus involved in each of the topics under discussion. There is a marked difference in the line of focus involved in the two. Let us take a look at it on an individual basis:


This is the original contribution in theory to the body of any academic literature. The gap in existing research or a problem is addressed. The results obtained will go all the way into contributing to the knowledge base of the discipline involved. It involves a quest for new knowledge that is intended to solve a real-world problem.  

Doctorate thesis

The focus of this research is targeted at delivering an immediate solution to the problem at hand. This is the reason why the method adopted here can take several dimensions. 

It might take the form of software that is targeted at solving a specific technical problem. It might be a curriculum that is designed to solve a specific educational problem. 

Project focus


It is the search for new knowledge that will be used to solve a real-world problem. It is used to address a research problem in a particular field of specialization. It involves any quantitative or qualitative research problems.

Doctorate thesis  

The approach here extends the research to solving real-world problems. The solutions to the problems are provided within a specific organizational setting. The report is presented in a deliverable format that can take the form of either portfolio; paper or product.

Time frame

Doctorate thesis 

The expected deadline is a function of the program involved. The range is between 2-8 quarters. No matter the length of the paper; all the details are expected to be completed within the time frame stated.


In the case of a dissertation, the shortest cannot be completed in less than two quarters as is the case with a thesis. The range here varies between 4-8 quarters. 

Project deliverable/details

Doctorate thesis 

Paper: This consists of Clinical research; action research and evaluation. The paper is expected to take any of the forms described above. 

Product: It consists of a program curriculum; change management plan. 


There are five chapters involved here. The five chapters must follow the ordered sequence that is a list below:

Chapter one: This involves details on the introduction and stating the problem that is to be addressed.

Chapter two: This chapter is devoted to the literature review that will be used to resolve the problem

Chapter three: Deals with the methodology that is expected to be used.

Chapter four: This chapter is devoted to data analysis as well as the results

Chapter five: deals with the concluding chapter as well as the recommendations involved. 

Final thoughts

The major differences between the doctorate thesis and dissertation have been fully analyzed above. It can be seen that there is a line of difference between the two.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *