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How to Choose a Dissertation Topic | 8 Steps to Follow
Published on November 11, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Tegan George. Revised on May 31, 2023.
Choosing your dissertation topic is the first step in making sure your research goes as smoothly as possible. When choosing a topic, it’s important to consider:
- Your institution and department’s requirements
- Your areas of knowledge and interest
- The scientific, social, or practical relevance
- The availability of data and resources
- The timeframe of your dissertation
- The relevance of your topic
You can follow these steps to begin narrowing down your ideas.
Table of contents
Step 1: check the requirements, step 2: choose a broad field of research, step 3: look for books and articles, step 4: find a niche, step 5: consider the type of research, step 6: determine the relevance, step 7: make sure it’s plausible, step 8: get your topic approved, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about dissertation topics.
The very first step is to check your program’s requirements. This determines the scope of what it is possible for you to research.
- Is there a minimum and maximum word count?
- When is the deadline?
- Should the research have an academic or a professional orientation?
- Are there any methodological conditions? Do you have to conduct fieldwork, or use specific types of sources?
Some programs have stricter requirements than others. You might be given nothing more than a word count and a deadline, or you might have a restricted list of topics and approaches to choose from. If in doubt about what is expected of you, always ask your supervisor or department coordinator.
Start by thinking about your areas of interest within the subject you’re studying. Examples of broad ideas include:
- Twentieth-century literature
- Economic history
- Health policy
To get a more specific sense of the current state of research on your potential topic, skim through a few recent issues of the top journals in your field. Be sure to check out their most-cited articles in particular. For inspiration, you can also search Google Scholar , subject-specific databases , and your university library’s resources.
As you read, note down any specific ideas that interest you and make a shortlist of possible topics. If you’ve written other papers, such as a 3rd-year paper or a conference paper, consider how those topics can be broadened into a dissertation.
After doing some initial reading, it’s time to start narrowing down options for your potential topic. This can be a gradual process, and should get more and more specific as you go. For example, from the ideas above, you might narrow it down like this:
- Twentieth-century literature Twentieth-century Irish literature Post-war Irish poetry
- Economic history European economic history German labor union history
- Health policy Reproductive health policy Reproductive rights in South America
All of these topics are still broad enough that you’ll find a huge amount of books and articles about them. Try to find a specific niche where you can make your mark, such as: something not many people have researched yet, a question that’s still being debated, or a very current practical issue.
At this stage, make sure you have a few backup ideas — there’s still time to change your focus. If your topic doesn’t make it through the next few steps, you can try a different one. Later, you will narrow your focus down even more in your problem statement and research questions .
There are many different types of research , so at this stage, it’s a good idea to start thinking about what kind of approach you’ll take to your topic. Will you mainly focus on:
- Collecting original data (e.g., experimental or field research)?
- Analyzing existing data (e.g., national statistics, public records, or archives)?
- Interpreting cultural objects (e.g., novels, films, or paintings)?
- Comparing scholarly approaches (e.g., theories, methods, or interpretations)?
Many dissertations will combine more than one of these. Sometimes the type of research is obvious: if your topic is post-war Irish poetry, you will probably mainly be interpreting poems. But in other cases, there are several possible approaches. If your topic is reproductive rights in South America, you could analyze public policy documents and media coverage, or you could gather original data through interviews and surveys .
You don’t have to finalize your research design and methods yet, but the type of research will influence which aspects of the topic it’s possible to address, so it’s wise to consider this as you narrow down your ideas.
It’s important that your topic is interesting to you, but you’ll also have to make sure it’s academically, socially or practically relevant to your field.
- Academic relevance means that the research can fill a gap in knowledge or contribute to a scholarly debate in your field.
- Social relevance means that the research can advance our understanding of society and inform social change.
- Practical relevance means that the research can be applied to solve concrete problems or improve real-life processes.
The easiest way to make sure your research is relevant is to choose a topic that is clearly connected to current issues or debates, either in society at large or in your academic discipline. The relevance must be clearly stated when you define your research problem .
Before you make a final decision on your topic, consider again the length of your dissertation, the timeframe in which you have to complete it, and the practicalities of conducting the research.
Will you have enough time to read all the most important academic literature on this topic? If there’s too much information to tackle, consider narrowing your focus even more.
Will you be able to find enough sources or gather enough data to fulfil the requirements of the dissertation? If you think you might struggle to find information, consider broadening or shifting your focus.
Do you have to go to a specific location to gather data on the topic? Make sure that you have enough funding and practical access.
Last but not least, will the topic hold your interest for the length of the research process? To stay motivated, it’s important to choose something you’re enthusiastic about!
Most programmes will require you to submit a brief description of your topic, called a research prospectus or proposal .
Remember, if you discover that your topic is not as strong as you thought it was, it’s usually acceptable to change your mind and switch focus early in the dissertation process. Just make sure you have enough time to start on a new topic, and always check with your supervisor or department.
If you want to know more about the research process , methodology , research bias , or statistics , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.
- Sampling methods
- Simple random sampling
- Stratified sampling
- Cluster sampling
- Likert scales
- Null hypothesis
- Statistical power
- Probability distribution
- Effect size
- Poisson distribution
- Optimism bias
- Cognitive bias
- Implicit bias
- Hawthorne effect
- Anchoring bias
- Explicit bias
Formulating a main research question can be a difficult task. Overall, your question should contribute to solving the problem that you have defined in your problem statement .
However, it should also fulfill criteria in three main areas:
- Feasibility and specificity
- Relevance and originality
All research questions should be:
- Focused on a single problem or issue
- Researchable using primary and/or secondary sources
- Feasible to answer within the timeframe and practical constraints
- Specific enough to answer thoroughly
- Complex enough to develop the answer over the space of a paper or thesis
- Relevant to your field of study and/or society more broadly
You can assess information and arguments critically by asking certain questions about the source. You can use the CRAAP test , focusing on the currency , relevance , authority , accuracy , and purpose of a source of information.
Ask questions such as:
- Who is the author? Are they an expert?
- Why did the author publish it? What is their motivation?
- How do they make their argument? Is it backed up by evidence?
A dissertation prospectus or proposal describes what or who you plan to research for your dissertation. It delves into why, when, where, and how you will do your research, as well as helps you choose a type of research to pursue. You should also determine whether you plan to pursue qualitative or quantitative methods and what your research design will look like.
It should outline all of the decisions you have taken about your project, from your dissertation topic to your hypotheses and research objectives , ready to be approved by your supervisor or committee.
Note that some departments require a defense component, where you present your prospectus to your committee orally.
The best way to remember the difference between a research plan and a research proposal is that they have fundamentally different audiences. A research plan helps you, the researcher, organize your thoughts. On the other hand, a dissertation proposal or research proposal aims to convince others (e.g., a supervisor, a funding body, or a dissertation committee) that your research topic is relevant and worthy of being conducted.
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How To Find A High-Quality Research Topic
6 steps to find & evaluate high-quality dissertation/thesis topics.
By: Caroline Osella (PhD, BA) and Derek Jansen (MBA) | July 2019
So, you’re finally nearing the end of your degree and it’s now time to find a suitable topic for your dissertation or thesis. Or perhaps you’re just starting out on your PhD research proposal and need to find a suitable area of research for your application proposal.
In this post, we’ll provide a straightforward 6-step process that you can follow to ensure you arrive at a high-quality research topic . Follow these steps and you will formulate a well-suited, well-defined core research question .
There’s a helpful clue already: your research ‘topic’ is best understood as a research question or a problem . Your aim is not to create an encyclopedia entry into your field, but rather to shed light on an acknowledged issue that’s being debated (or needs to be). Think research questions , not research topics (we’ll come back to this later).
Overview: How To Find & Choose A Research Topic
- Get an understanding of the research process
- Review previous dissertations from your university
- Review the academic literature to start the ideation process
- Identify your potential research questions (topics) and shortlist
- Narrow down, then evaluate your research topic shortlist
- Make the decision (and stick with it!)
Step 1: Understand the research process
It may sound horribly obvious, but it’s an extremely common mistake – students skip past the fundamentals straight to the ideation phase (and then pay dearly for it).
Start by looking at whatever handouts and instructions you’ve been given regarding what your university/department expects of a dissertation. For example, the course handbook, online information and verbal in-class instructions. I know it’s tempting to just dive into the ideation process, but it’s essential to start with the prescribed material first.
There are two important reasons for this:
First , you need to have a basic understanding of the research process , research methodologies , fieldwork options and analysis methods before you start the ideation process, or you will simply not be equipped to think about your own research adequately. If you don’t understand the basics of quantitative , qualitative and mixed methods BEFORE you start ideating, you’re wasting your time.
Second , your university/department will have specific requirements for your research – for example, requirements in terms of topic originality, word count, data requirements, ethical adherence, methodology, etc. If you are not aware of these from the outset, you will again end up wasting a lot of time on irrelevant ideas/topics.
So, the most important first step is to get your head around both the basics of research (especially methodologies), as well as your institution’s specific requirements . Don’t give in to the temptation to jump ahead before you do this. As a starting point, be sure to check out our free dissertation course.
Step 2: Review past dissertations/theses
Unless you’re undertaking a completely new course, there will be many, many students who have gone through the research process before and have produced successful dissertations, which you can use to orient yourself. This is hugely beneficial – imagine being able to see previous students’ assignments and essays when you were doing your coursework!
Take a look at some well-graded (65% and above) past dissertations from your course (ideally more recent ones, as university requirements may change over time). These are usually available in the university’s online library. Past dissertations will act as a helpful model for all kinds of things, from how long a bibliography needs to be, to what a good literature review looks like, through to what kinds of methods you can use – and how to leverage them to support your argument.
As you peruse past dissertations, ask yourself the following questions:
- What kinds of topics did these dissertations cover and how did they turn the topic into questions?
- How broad or narrow were the topics?
- How original were the topics? Were they truly groundbreaking or just a localised twist on well-established theory?
- How well justified were the topics? Did they seem important or just nice to know?
- How much literature did they draw on as a theoretical base? Was the literature more academic or applied in nature?
- What kinds of research methods did they use and what data did they draw on?
- How did they analyse that data and bring it into the discussion of the academic literature?
- Which of the dissertations are most readable to you – why? How were they presented?
- Can you see why these dissertations were successful? Can you relate what they’ve done back to the university’s instructions/brief?
Seeing a variety of dissertations (at least 5, ideally in your area of interest) will also help you understand whether your university has very rigid expectations in terms of structure and format , or whether they expect and allow variety in the number of chapters, chapter headings, order of content, style of presentation and so on.
Some departments accept graphic novels; some are willing to grade free-flow continental-philosophy style arguments; some want a highly rigid, standardised structure. Many offer a dissertation template , with information on how marks are split between sections. Check right away whether you have been given one of those templates – and if you do, then use it and don’t try to deviate or reinvent the wheel.
Step 3: Review the academic literature
Now that you (1) understand the research process, (2) understand your university’s specific requirements for your dissertation or thesis, and (3) have a feel for what a good dissertation looks like, you can start the ideation process. This is done by reviewing the current literature and looking for opportunities to add something original to the academic conversation.
Kick start the ideation process
So, where should you start your literature hunt? The best starting point is to get back to your modules. Look at your coursework and the assignments you did. Using your coursework is the best theoretical base, as you are assured that (1) the literature is of a high enough calibre for your university and (2) the topics are relevant to your specific course.
Start by identifying the modules that interested you the most and that you understood well (i.e. earned good marks for). What were your strongest assignments, essays or reports? Which areas within these were particularly interesting to you? For example, within a marketing module, you may have found consumer decision making or organisation trust to be interesting. Create a shortlist of those areas that you were both interested in and academically strong at. It’s no use picking an area that does not genuinely interest you – you’ll run out of motivation if you’re not excited by a topic.
Understand the current state of knowledge
Once you’ve done that, you need to get an understanding of the current state of the literature for your chosen interest areas. What you’re aiming to understand is this: what is the academic conversation here and what critical questions are yet unanswered? These unanswered questions are prime opportunities for a unique, meaningful research topic . A quick review of the literature on your favourite topics will help you understand this.
Grab your reading list from the relevant section of the modules, or simply enter the topics into Google Scholar . Skim-read 3-5 journal articles from the past 5 years which have at least 5 citations each (Google Scholar or a citations index will show you how many citations any given article has – i.e., how many other people have referred to it in their own bibliography). Also, check to see if your discipline has an ‘annual review’ type of journal, which gathers together surveys of the state of knowledge on a chosen topic. This can be a great tool for fast-tracking your understanding of the current state of the knowledge in any given area.
Start from your course’s reading list and work outwards. At the end of every journal article, you’ll find a reference list. Scan this reference list for more relevant articles and read those. Then repeat the process (known as snowballing) until you’ve built up a base of 20-30 quality articles per area of interest.
Absorb, don’t hunt
At this stage, your objective is to read and understand the current state of the theory for your area(s) of interest – you don’t need to be in topic-hunting mode yet. Don’t jump the gun and try to identify research topics before you are well familiarised with the literature.
As you read, try to understand what kinds of questions people are asking and how they are trying to answer them. What matters do the researchers agree on, and more importantly, what are they in disagreement about? Disagreements are prime research territory. Can you identify different ‘schools of thought’ or different ‘approaches’? Do you know what your own approach or slant is? What kinds of articles appeal to you and which ones bore you or leave you feeling like you’ve not really grasped them? Which ones interest you and point towards directions you’d like to research and know more about?
Once you understand the fundamental fact that academic knowledge is a conversation, things get easier.
Think of it like a party. There are groups of people in the room, enjoying conversations about various things. Which group do you want to join? You don’t want to be that person in the corner, talking to themself. And you don’t want to be the hanger-on, laughing at the big-shot’s jokes and repeating everything they say.
Do you want to join a large group and try to make a small contribution to what’s going on, or are you drawn to a smaller group that’s having a more niche conversation, but where you feel you might more easily find something original to contribute? How many conversations can you identify? Which ones feel closer to you and more attractive? Which ones repel you or leave you cold? Are there some that, frankly, you just don’t understand?
Now, choose a couple of groups who are discussing something you feel interested in and where you feel like you might want to contribute. You want to make your entry into this group by asking a question – a question that will make the other people in the group turn around and look at you, listen to you, and think, “That’s interesting”.
Your dissertation will be the process of setting that question and then trying to find at least a partial answer to that question – but don’t worry about that now. Right now, you need to work out what conversations are going on, whether any of them are related or overlapping, and which ones you might be able to walk into. I’ll explain how you find that question in the next step.
Need a helping hand?
Step 4: Identify potential research questions
Now that you have a decent understanding of the state of the literature in your area(s) of interest, it’s time to start developing your list of possible research topics. There are (at least) three approaches you can follow here, and they are not mutually exclusive:
Approach 1: Leverage the FRIN
Towards the end of most quality journal articles, you will find a section labelled “ further research ” or something similar. Generally, researchers will clearly outline where they feel further research is needed (FRIN), following on from their own research. So, essentially, every journal article presents you with a list of potential research opportunities.
Of course, only a handful of these will be both practical and of interest to you, so it’s not a quick-fix solution to finding a research topic. However, the benefit of going this route is that you will be able to find a genuinely original and meaningful research topic (which is particularly important for PhD-level research).
The upside to this approach is originality, but the downside is that you might not find something that really interests you , or that you have the means to execute. If you do go this route, make sure that you pay attention to the journal article dates, as the FRIN may already have been “solved” by other researchers if the article is old.
Approach 2: Put a context-based spin on an existing topic
The second option is to consider whether a theory which is already well established is relevant within a local or industry-specific context. For example, a theory about the antecedents (drivers) of trust is very well established, but there may be unique or uniquely important drivers within a specific national context or industry (for example, within the financial services industry in an emerging market).
If that industry or national context has not yet been covered by researchers and there is a good reason to believe there may be meaningful differences within that context, then you have an opportunity to take a unique angle on well-established theory, which can make for a great piece of research. It is however imperative that you have a good reason to believe that the existing theory may not be wholly relevant within your chosen context, or your research will not be justified.
The upside to this approach is that you can potentially find a topic that is “closer to home” and more relevant and interesting to you , while still being able to draw on a well-established body of theory. However, the downside is that this approach will likely not produce the level of originality as approach #1.
Approach 3: Uncensored brainstorming
The third option is to skip the FRIN, as well as the local/industry-specific angle and simply engage in a freeform brainstorming or mind-mapping session, using your newfound knowledge of the theory to formulate potential research ideas. What’s important here is that you do not censor yourself . However crazy, unfeasible, or plain stupid your topic appears – write it down. All that matters right now is that you are interested in this thing.
Next, try to turn the topic(s) into a question or problem. For example:
- What is the relationship between X, Y & Z?
- What are the drivers/antecedents of X?
- What are the outcomes of Y?
- What are the key success factors for Z?
Re-word your list of topics or issues into a list of questions . You might find at this stage that one research topic throws up three questions (which then become sub-topics and even new separate topics in their own right) and in so doing, the list grows. Let it. Don’t hold back or try to start evaluating your ideas yet – just let them flow onto paper.
Once you’ve got a few topics and questions on paper, check the literature again to see whether any of these have been covered by the existing research. Since you came up with these from scratch, there is a possibility that your original literature search did not cover them, so it’s important to revisit that phase to ensure that you’re familiar with the relevant literature for each idea. You may also then find that approach #1 and #2 can be used to build on these ideas.
Try use all three approaches
As mentioned earlier, the three approaches discussed here are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the more, the merrier. Hopefully, you manage to utilise all three, as this will give you the best odds of producing a rich list of ideas, which you can then narrow down and evaluate, which is the next step.
Step 5: Narrow down, then evaluate
By this stage, you should have a healthy list of research topics. Step away from the ideation and thinking for a few days, clear your mind. The key is to get some distance from your ideas, so that you can sit down with your list and review it with a more objective view. The unbridled ideation phase is over and now it’s time to take a reality check .
Look at your list and see if any options can be crossed off right away . Maybe you don’t want to do that topic anymore. Maybe the topic turned out to be too broad and threw up 20 hard to answer questions. Maybe all the literature you found about it was 30 years old and you suspect it might not be a very engaging contemporary issue . Maybe this topic is so over-researched that you’ll struggle to find anything fresh to say. Also, after stepping back, it’s quite common to notice that 2 or 3 of your topics are really the same one, the same question, which you’ve written down in slightly different ways. You can try to amalgamate these into one succinct topic.
Narrow down to the top 5, then evaluate
Now, take your streamlined list and narrow it down to the ‘top 5’ that interest you the most. Personal interest is your key evaluation criterion at this stage. Got your ‘top 5’? Great! Now, with a cool head and your best analytical mind engaged, go systematically through each option and evaluate them against the following criteria:
Research questions – what is the main research question, and what are the supporting sub-questions? It’s critically important that you can define these questions clearly and concisely. If you cannot do this, it means you haven’t thought the topic through sufficiently.
Originality – is the topic sufficiently original, as per your university’s originality requirements? Are you able to add something unique to the existing conversation? As mentioned earlier, originality can come in many forms, and it doesn’t mean that you need to find a completely new, cutting-edge topic. However, your university’s requirements should guide your decision-making here.
Importance – is the topic of real significance, or is it just a “nice to know”? If it’s significant, why? Who will benefit from finding the answer to your desired questions and how will they benefit? Justifying your research will be a key requirement for your research proposal , so it’s really important to develop a convincing argument here.
Literature – is there a contemporary (current) body of academic literature around this issue? Is there enough literature for you to base your investigation on, but not too much that the topic is “overdone”? Will you be able to navigate this literature or is it overwhelming?
Data requirements – What kind of data would you need access to in order to answer your key questions? Would you need to adopt a qualitative, quantitative or mixed-methods approach to answer your questions? At this stage, you don’t need to be able to map out your exact research design, but you should be able to articulate how you would approach it in high-level terms. Will you use qual, quant or mixed methods? Why?
Feasibility – How feasible would it be to gather the data that would be needed in the time-frame that you have – and do you have the will power and the skills to do it? If you’re not confident with the theory, you don’t want something that’s going to draw you into a debate about the relative importance of epistemology and ontology. If you are shy, you won’t want to be doing ethnographic interviews. If you feel this question calls for a 100-person survey, do you have the time to plan, organise and conduct it and then analyse it? What will you do if you don’t get the response rate you expect? Be very realistic here and also ask advice from your supervisor and other experts – poor response rates are extremely common and can derail even the best research projects.
Personal attraction – On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about this topic? Will addressing it add value to your life and/or career? Will undertaking the project help you build a skill you’ve previously wanted to work on (for example, interview skills, statistical analysis skills, software skills, etc.)?
The last point is particularly important. You will have to engage with your dissertation in a very sustained and deep way, face challenges and difficulties, and get it to completion. If you don’t start out enthusiastic about it, you’re setting yourself up for problems like ‘writer’s block’ or ‘burnout’ down the line. This is the reason personal interest was the sole evaluation criterion when we chose the top 5. So, don’t underestimate the importance of personal attraction to a topic – at the same time, don’t let personal attraction lead you to choose a topic that is not relevant to your course or feasible given your resources.
Narrow down to 3, then get human feedback
We’re almost at the finishing line. The next step is to narrow down to 2 or 3 shortlisted topics. No more! Write a short paragraph about each topic, addressing the following:
Firstly, WHAT will this study be about? Frame the topic as a question or a problem. Write it as a dissertation title. No more than two clauses and no more than 15 words. Less than 15 is better (go back to good journal articles for inspiration on appropriate title styles).
Secondly, WHY this is interesting (original) and important – as proven by existing academic literature? Are people talking about this and is there an acknowledged problem, debate or gap in the literature?
Lastly, HOW do you plan to answer the question? What sub-questions will you use? What methods does this call for and how competent and confident are you in those methods? Do you have the time to gather the data this calls for?
Show the shortlist and accompanying paragraphs to a couple of your peers from your course and also to an expert or two if at all possible (you’re welcome to reach out to us ), explaining what you will investigate, why this is original and important and how you will go about investigating it.
Once you’ve pitched your ideas, ask for the following thoughts :
- Which is most interesting and appealing to them?
- Why do they feel this way?
- What problems do they foresee with the execution of the research?
Take advice and feedback and sit on it for another day. Let it simmer in your mind overnight before you make the final decision.
Step 6: Make the decision (and stick with it!)
Then, make the commitment. Choose the one that you feel most confident about, having now considered both your opinion and the feedback from others.
Once you’ve made a decision, don’t doubt your judgement, don’t shift. Don’t be tempted by the ones you left behind. You’ve planned and thought things through, checked feasibility and now you can start. You have your research topic. Trust your own decision-making process and stick with it now. It’s time to get started on your research proposal!
In this post, I’ve proposed a straightforward 6-step plan to finding relevant research topic ideas and then narrowing them down to finally choose one winner. To recap:
- Understand the basics of academic research, as well as your university’s specific requirements for a dissertation, thesis or research project.
- Review previous dissertations for your course to get an idea of both topics and structure.
- Start the ideation process by familiarising yourself with the literature.
- Identify your potential research questions (topics).
- Narrow down your options, then evaluate systematically.
- Make your decision (and don’t look back!)
If you follow these steps, you’ll find that they also set you up for what’s coming next – both the proposal and the first three chapters of your dissertation. But that’s for future posts!
Psst… there’s more (for free)
This post is part of our dissertation mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project.
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- How to Choose a PhD Research Topic
- Finding a PhD
Whilst there are plenty of resources available to help prospective PhD students find doctoral programmes, deciding on a research topic is a process students often find more difficult.
Some advertised PhD programmes have predefined titles, so the exact topic is decided already. Generally, these programmes exist mainly in STEM, though other fields also have them. Funded projects are more likely to have defined titles, and structured aims and objectives.
Self funded projects, and those in fields such as arts and humanities, are less likely to have defined titles. The flexibility of topic selection means more scope exists for applicants to propose research ideas and suit the topic of research to their interests.
A middle ground also exists where Universities advertise funded PhD programmes in subjects without a defined scope, for example: “PhD Studentship in Biomechanics”. The applicant can then liaise with the project supervisor to choose a particular title such as “A study of fatigue and impact resistance of biodegradable knee implants”.
If a predefined programme is not right for you, then you need to propose your own research topic. There are several factors to consider when choosing a good research topic, which will be outlined in this article.
How to Choose a Research Topic
Our first piece of advice is to PhD candidates is to stop thinking about ‘finding’ a research topic, as it is unlikely that you will. Instead, think about developing a research topic (from research and conversations with advisors).
Consider several ideas and critically appraise them:
- You must be able to explain to others why your chosen topic is worth studying.
- You must be genuinely interested in the subject area.
- You must be competent and equipped to answer the research question.
- You must set achievable and measurable aims and objectives.
- You need to be able to achieve your objectives within a given timeframe.
- Your research question must be original and contribute to the field of study.
We have outlined the key considerations you should use when developing possible topics. We explore these below:
Focus on your interests and career aspirations
It is important to choose a topic of research that you are genuinely interested in. The decision you make will shape the rest of your career. Remember, a full-time programme lasts 3-4 years, and there will be unforeseen challenges during this time. If you are not passionate about the study, you will struggle to find motivation during these difficult periods.
You should also look to your academic and professional background. If there are any modules you undertook as part of your Undergraduate/Master degree that you particularly enjoyed or excelled in? These could form part of your PhD research topic. Similarly, if you have professional work experience, this could lead to you asking questions which can only be answered through research.
When deciding on a PhD research topic you should always consider your long-term career aspirations. For example, as a physicist, if you wish to become an astrophysicist, a research project studying black holes would be more relevant to you than a research project studying nuclear fission.
Read dissertations and published journals
Reading dissertations and published journals is a great way to identify potential PhD topics. When reviewing existing research ask yourself:
- What has been done and what do existing results show?
- What did previous projects involve (e.g. lab-work or fieldwork)?
- How often are papers published in the field?
- Are your research ideas original?
- Is there value in your research question?
- Could I expand on or put my own spin on this research?
Reading dissertations will also give you an insight into the practical aspects of doctoral study, such as what methodology the author used, how much data analysis was required and how was information presented.
You can also think of this process as a miniature literature review . You are searching for gaps in knowledge and developing a PhD project to address them. Focus on recent publications (e.g. in the last five years). In particular, the literature review of recent publications will give an excellent summary of the state of existing knowledge, and what research questions remain unanswered.
If you have the opportunity to attend an academic conference, go for it! This is often an excellent way to find out current theories in the industry and the research direction. This knowledge could reveal a possible research idea or topic for further study.
Finding a PhD has never been this easy – search for a PhD by keyword, location or academic area of interest.
Discuss research topic ideas with a PhD supervisor
Discuss your research topic ideas with a supervisor. This could be your current undergraduate/masters supervisor, or potential supervisors of advertised PhD programmes at different institutions. Come to these meetings prepared with initial PhD topic ideas, and your findings from reading published journals. PhD supervisors will be more receptive to your ideas if you can demonstrate you have thought about them and are committed to your research.
You should discuss your research interests, what you have found through reading publications, and what you are proposing to research. Supervisors who have expertise in your chosen field will have insight into the gaps in knowledge that exist, what is being done to address them, and if there is any overlap between your proposed research ideas and ongoing research projects.
Talking to an expert in the field can shape your research topic to something more tangible, which has clear aims and objectives. It can also find potential shortfalls of your PhD ideas.
It is important to remember, however, that although it is good to develop your research topic based on feedback, you should not let the supervisor decide a topic for you. An interesting topic for a supervisor may not be interesting to you, and a supervisor is more likely to advise on a topic title which lends itself to a career in academia.
Another tip is to talk to a PhD student or researcher who is involved in a similar research project. Alternatively, you can usually find a relevant research group within your University to talk to. They can explain in more detail their experiences and suggest what your PhD programme could involve with respect to daily routines and challenges.
Look at advertised PhD Programmes
Use our Search tool , or look on University PhD listing pages to identify advertised PhD programmes for ideas.
- What kind of PhD research topics are available?
- Are these similar to your ideas?
- Are you interested in any of these topics?
- What do these programmes entail?
The popularity of similar PhD programmes to your proposed topic is a good indicator that universities see value in the research area. The final bullet point is perhaps the most valuable takeaway from looking at advertised listings. Review what similar programmes involve, and whether this is something you would like to do. If so, a similar research topic would allow you to do this.
Writing a Research Proposal
As part of the PhD application process , you may be asked to summarise your proposed research topic in a research proposal. This is a document which summarises your intended research and will include the title of your proposed project, an Abstract, Background and Rationale, Research Aims and Objectives, Research Methodology, Timetable, and a Bibliography. If you are required to submit this document then read our guidance on how to write a research proposal for your PhD application.
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Choosing a Research Topic
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This article from the Chronicle of Higher Education discusses and offers advice on how to choose a dissertation topic that is compelling, manageable, and worthwhile. Although it is written for scientists, this article provides valuable insights that are applicable to other fields. Also available via the Tomorrow's Professor Archive.
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How to decide on a PhD topic
Study tips Published 5 Apr, 2022 · 4-minute read
Whether you’re diving right into your doctorate after a master’s degree or honours year, or you’re returning to study after a few years out in the field, working out how to choose a research topic for your PhD is an essential first step. We got some tips from two of our current PhD candidates, Sarah Kendall and Chelsea Janke.
Some Doctor of Philosophy candidates are lucky. They start a PhD having already discovered their niche interest area, which means they never need to wonder how to choose a PhD topic.
Does this mean there’s something wrong with you if you don’t already have your thesis locked in?
Not at all.
Many students start their PhD journey with just a pure passion for research – a love for testing theories and making new discoveries – and figure out their specific research topic while working on their proposal . If you’re in this camp, or if you haven’t refined your thesis just yet, these tips can help you get there.
Your PhD will take 3-4 years, so it's important that you choose something you're genuinely interested in.
How to choose a PhD topic
Sarah is the first to admit that choosing a PhD thesis topic is daunting. Her thesis examines lawyers’ approaches to prosecuting and defending domestic and family violence cases, but this topic didn’t come to her overnight.
“This can be really hard,” says Sarah.
“It took me years to decide on a PhD topic, and even then, it continued to change after starting my PhD.”
Chelsea, whose research explores ways to keep soil healthy while reducing environmental impact, agrees that your initial thesis may not necessarily stay the same throughout your PhD.
“Keep in mind that, as you progress through your PhD, your topic may change as you make new findings and discover some interesting things,” she says.
“This is fairly normal and is often why PhD topics aren’t always set in stone at the start.”
Remember this if you find yourself getting frustrated with how long it’s taking to pin down your research topic. You’ll be spending significant time ( at least 3 years ) researching this topic, so it’s reasonable to take a while on this decision. Make sure you land on a topic that truly inspires you, as you’ll need that inspiration to keep you motivated for the long haul.
With that said, though, there’s nothing wrong with picking a topic you’re 99% sure of and getting started sooner. As Sarah and Chelsea both say, adapting your thesis along the way is often part of the PhD journey.
Read, read, read
Identify the things that really spark your interest and where you can find research gaps – that is, where there are still things we don't know.
Chelsea believes choosing your research topic begins with, well, research .
“Read widely on the general field that you’re interested in,” she says.
“Identify the things that really spark your interest and where you can find research gaps – that is, where there are still things we don’t know.”
Sarah agrees and acknowledges that sometimes this prior research can even translate into a separate project or even a degree.
“Do some research into the areas that interest you – this could take the form of an honours or other research project, or even a mock project that you do in your spare time,” she says.
“This will help you to decide your level of interest in the topic.”
“Remember, your PhD will take 3-4 years, so it’s important that you choose something you’re genuinely interested in.”
Consider your subjects and speak with academics
Sarah recommends thinking about the courses from your current or previous program, as these can shine a light on what aspects of your field ignite your curiosity.
“Consider the subjects that you really enjoyed in your previous studies or those topics that you find really enjoyable to just learn about in your spare time,” she says.
“Narrow this down to a few areas, even if these are still pretty broad, then talk to as many academics as possible who do research in those areas. This is a really great way of finding out more about what’s topical in the area and what a potential project could look like.”
If you already know who you’d like to be your PhD supervisor, they are the obvious person to speak with first about refining your research topic. If not, learn how to find the right supervisor .
Check for openings on existing projects
Sometimes the best way to choose a PhD topic is to let the PhD topic choose you instead. Many academics keep open spots in their research projects for potential candidates to fill, providing opportunities for students to pursue their own thesis while assisting in a larger research team. We call these earmarked PhD projects .
In fact, this is what ended up helping Sarah select her thesis topic.
“Keep an eye out for projects that are being advertised by academics,” says Sarah.
“You might find one that fits with your area of interest, saving you much of the trouble of having to decide on your specific topic – this is how I came to be doing the project I’m currently doing!”
View available earmarked PhD projects at UQ
Ready to start researching your chosen topic? Discover the next steps for your PhD application.
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Dissertations 1: getting started: choosing a topic and researching.
- Starting Your Dissertation
- Choosing A Topic and Researching
- Devising An Approach/Method
- Thinking Of A Title
- Writing A Proposal
Choosing a Topic
The first step to take when writing a dissertation is to choose a topic. The following is a list of ideas that may help you to do this:
Consider something that interests you
Talk to academic staff
Create a mind map to generate ideas.
Draw on reading and knowledge from modules you have studied
Consider topical issues in news/media
Look through dissertations written by previous students
Search for academic articles and read around a topic
Consider limitations and future research discussed in journals
How about a topic that...
You can investigate in your own country or area?
Would help you find a job?
Mind Maps to Generate Ideas
Mind-mapping is a simple, practical tool for improving creative thinking, planning and problem-solving abilities. It can help you to generate more ideas and make new connections.
How to draw a mind map
Place a blank sheet in landscape position and write the topic you have in mind in the middle. Draw branches from the centre, The branches are possible ideas and topics to include in the dissertation. Add sub-topics (“leaves”) and connect ideas and evidence from your reading. You can use colours and images to stimulate your thinking.
Tips for choosing a good topic:
Choose a topic you will enjoy. Your dissertation is an opportunity to explore, in depth, a topic of interest. It will be challenging, so pick a topic that will sustain your interest. Doing the initial research in your areas of interest will help you choose a topic that will be both viable and enjoyable.
Consider the time and resources you will need to successfully complete your dissertation - be realistic! Research, particularly gathering primary data (such as interviews, experiments or archival research), takes time and may involve other challenges such as travel, language skills, ethical considerations etc. Make sure you speak to your supervisor/tutor early on to ensure that your project is achievable. Additionally, check out the Time Management Guide for tips on sticking to deadlines.
If your topic is too broad, try to narrow it down , perhaps focusing on a specific sector, country or case study.
If your topic is too narrow, you can broaden it by contextualising it within the literature.
Researching for your Dissertation
This presentation explores effective strategies for locating, evaluating, and organising sources to enable you to produce a comprehensive and well researched dissertation. It also covers where you can find further help, as and when you need it.
Link to video on Researching for Your Dissertation
- PPT slides on Researching for your Dissertation
Conducting a Literature Search
To find a suitable topic you will need to conduct a literature search to identify what has been done before, what information is available and what gaps there are in the research. To carry out a successful literature search, you can try the following steps:
Define your terms. Ask yourself what the key concepts of your research idea are. Then, compile a list of keywords with their synonyms to help you develop a research strategy. Google and Google Scholar are good places to start.
Identify relevant information sources . These may include libraries, indexes, archives, the internet (especially, Google Scholar ) and electronic databases.
Make use of the University library. If you require help with locating texts, you can book an appointment with an Academic Engagement Librarian. Also, the British Library has a copy of every book published in the UK, which is helpful to know if you cannot get hold of a particular text.
Use journals. Journals are the best place to find the most up to date research in any field. These are now mostly published online.
Ensure that you keep records of what you have read. You will need them to write a literature review. For more detailed information about this dissertation chapter, visit the Literature Review Guide.
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5 Tips for Choosing Your EdD Dissertation Topic
Faculty Insights Industry Advice Education
Associate teaching professor Corliss Thompson shares her top tips for choosing your EdD dissertation topic.
You’ve learned more about why you should earn your Doctor of Education ( EdD ), and now you’re ready to apply. As part of the Northeastern application process, however, you’re required to submit a problem of practice that you want to pursue throughout the course of your doctoral program.
But how do you arrive at that problem of practice and narrow your area of interest down into a specific dissertation topic? Here are some tips to keep in mind.
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Tips for Choosing a Dissertation Topic
1. pick a topic you’re passionate about..
A lot of work goes into your dissertation—from the literature review, where you’re conducting a critical analysis of what’s been published on your topic, to interviewing stakeholders and actually writing the dissertation itself. Each of those steps take time, so you want to choose a topic that will keep you engaged and hold your interest.
When trying to decide your area of focus, consider the challenges you’re motivated to address and the difference you want to make both during and at the end of your EdD program. The goal is that you will continuously build off your dissertation research and leverage the work in a way that positively impacts your organization and/or community.
2. Ensure your topic is manageable.
You want to select a topic you can complete during the duration of your EdD program that is also aligned with your budget. If you need to travel or perform longitudinal research, your idea might not be achievable. Find what available, attainable data you can, and use that to narrow down your research into a dissertation that’s more manageable.
3. Embrace the unknown.
Although you’re passionate about your topic and it’s manageable, there will still be lingering questions about your subject. Be prepared to explore what you don’t know and deepen what you already do know. Strong research typically results in more questions.
Be ready to ask questions of yourself, others, and the literature, and get comfortable with not knowing the answer. As you’re thinking about your dissertation, keep track of inquiries that emerge around different ideas. Those may help you hone in on a topic.
4. Leverage your peers.
One benefit of enrolling in an EdD program is the diversity of backgrounds and opinions you’ll find within your cohort. At Northeastern, EdD instruction is primarily online, which enables students to connect and collaborate with professionals from around the world.
Vasiliki Goudanas Mavroudhis, a recent graduate of Northeastern’s EdD program, emphasized this benefit in her piece on what it’s like to be in an online doctoral program , saying:
The ability to not only have a cohort-based network, but one that crossed cohorts and continents, allowed me to have a far richer and deeper experience. I learned from students with different perspectives who came from different industries across a number of countries.
When fleshing out your dissertation, use that global network to your advantage. Ask your peers for constructive feedback. It’s likely they’ll have suggestions on how you can approach your topic from different cultural perspectives.
5. Know it’s OK to change your topic.
It’s natural for your dissertation topic to evolve the more research you complete and experts you interview. Actually, it’s expected.
Switching topics halfway through the program might seem like more work, but you will have already gone through the research process once and laid the foundation for your dissertation. As you approach your topic from different perspectives, it’s understandable if your own viewpoint changes a bit.
If you’re in need of inspiration, here are some examples of doctoral research Northeastern students have recently conducted:
- “The Drop Out Decisions of Latino College Students”
- “Changing the Experiences of African Refugee Youth”
- “Supporting Students Through Mindful Mentoring”
- “The Transitioning Student Veteran: Finding Your Civilian Career Through Academic Success”
- “Bridging the Gap Between Training and Educating in Adult Learning”
- “Watch out for Shards from the Glass Ceiling: A Study of Women Higher Educational Administrators’ Leadership Development Experiences”
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How to Choose a Dissertation Topic – 9 Steps
Choosing a dissertation topic is really difficult.
When I had to choose dissertation topic I agonized for weeks.
And I’ve supervised over 50 students’ dissertations across undergraduate, masters and PhD levels. All of my students agonized over their topics, too.
So you’re not alone in your struggle.
The below tips for choosing a dissertation topic are the ones I wish I was given when I was in the process of looking for a suitable topic.
If only I’d known these points, I would have saved a lot of time and stress for myself. So if these tips only help one person out, I’ll be happy.
These tips really work for just about anybody. They’re particularly useful for undergraduate and Masters level students who are writing dissertations. But, I’m sure most doctoral students will also find these points relevant, too. Especially tips 1 – 3.
Here are my tips on how to choose a dissertation topic – I hope they come in handy, and good luck on your research journey!
Read Also: 25 Sociology Dissertation Ideas
1. It Doesn’t have to be Unique (Yet).
This is the one piece of advice I wish I had gotten when I was choosing my dissertation topic.
Many students feel like they need to find a unique topic that will blow their markers away.
I was this student.
I thought that I had to choose a topic and idea that was going to make a unique contribution to knowledge. I thought I had to discover something, or, at the very least, choose a topic that no one has ever done before.
So here’s what I wish someone had told me:
It doesn’t matter if other people have done the same topic as you.
Don’t even let it phase you for a moment if someone else has chosen your topic. Just choose whatever topic you want.
Well, because your unique contribution doesn’t come at the start. It comes at the end!
You’ll find a way to make a unique contribution after you have completed your literature review . There is always time and space to find a new angle or different way of doing the topic than other people.
So, don’t choose your topic because it’s unique or different.
Then … how should you choose your topic? Points 2 and 3 give you some tips…
2. Make it Relevant to your Career Goals.
The first thing I recommend to all my students is to consider how their topic can help progress their careers.
When giving guidance to my students, I ask them these three questions:
- a) What sort of specialization do you want in your career? If you’re studying teaching, your questions might be: do you want to be a specialized literacy teacher? do you want to be an expert on behavior management? Do you want to be specialized in play-based learning ?
- b) How do you want to differentiate yourself from your competition? Your dissertation topic is going to be the topic you ‘sell’ as your area of expertise in future job interviews. If you want to get a great job, choose a topic that really stands out in the marketplace. Have a think right now for yourself: what areas of your industry are booming? For example, would it be better to specialize in coal or solar panels? Which one would be best to talk about in a job interview in the 21 st Century?
- c) Do you want to be a research pro? Most of my students don’t want to be researchers as a career. They do their dissertations to prove mastery of their topic – that’s all. The research is a means to an end. But, if you think you want to go on to do the next level degree (a PhD one day?) then you’ll want to focus on having a high quality methodology, not just an interesting topic.
So, have a think now: is there a topic that will help you get to where you plan on going? What expert knowledge do you want to be able to ‘sell’ in a future interview?
3. Ensure it’s Interesting to You.
You’re going to be wedded to your chosen for a long time. And by the end of this journey you’re going to hate it.
To make your life easier, choose a topic you’re interested in.
Here’s two ways of approaching this:
Choose a Topic you Think About a Lot.
Choose a dissertation topic that you find yourself talking about, complaining about or raving about to your parents. Choose something that makes you angry, inspired or intrigued.
For the next week or so, I recommend taking notes whenever you find yourself thinking idly about something. Is that something you’ve thought about a lot?
Or, Choose a Topic by Looking over Past Assessment Tasks.
Another way of approaching the search for an interesting topic is to look over past assignments.
What assessment task have you done in the past few years that gripped you? Which one did you enjoy the most when you were studying it?
Zoom in on that topic and see if you can turn it into a dissertation.
Bonus tip: If you found a topic that was based on a previous assessment task, see if you can convince the person who taught that subject to be your dissertation supervisor.
4. Keep it Simple.
Too often, students want to choose a topic that is complex and complicated. They come up with a long, detailed research question (usually with the help of their professor) that, really, is hard to understand!
The best strategy is to come up with a topic that is really, really straightforward. At least, the topic should start as simple and straightforward.
Your topic is going to grow and expand into a monster. It’ll be hard to tame and control. You’ll be following random tangents down rabbit holes that end up being dead-ends. You’ll research aspects of the topic and realize it was a completely pointless exercise.
The way to minimize the crazy growth of your research project is to simplify it right from the start. Make it a really simple idea.
For example, I had a student who wanted to research:
“How big is the gap in mathematics outcomes between children from middle-class and working-class backgrounds by age 16?”
I would think that this topic may be achievable by a top academic with a sizeable research grant, but my student was completing a 10,000 word dissertation for graduating her Bachelor of Arts with Honours.
After several agonizing research meetings, we peeled it back over and again until we ended up with something much simpler and more specific:
“What are teachers’ opinions of the impact of poverty on learning?”
Why is this simpler and more specific?
Well, with the second study, my student has a clear focus group (teachers) and an achievable methodology (interviews). This will be far simpler than somehow conducting tests on 16-year old children, getting a significant amount of children to participate in the study, and then dissecting their mathematics test results by income level.
Instead, we aimed small and simple to ensure the task itself was achievable.
We’re not here to win a Nobel prize. You can do that with your multi-million-dollar post-doctoral research grant. Get your degree first.
5. Ensure it’s Achievable.
This piece of advice builds on the previous advice, to “keep it simple”.
Keeping it simple means making sure you have a clear, small-scale focus.
Esuring the project is achievable means choosing a methodology that won’t break you.
Small Scale Qualitative Studies are Achievable for Anyone
I always suggest to my Undergraduate and Masters level students to aim for a small scale study with no more than 20 research participants.
Now, I know there will be many of you out there who want to do quantitative research studies. And in reality, you can do a quantitative study with a small group of students. These usually involve quantitative action research case studies.
If you’re set on a quantitative study, that’s fine. But find a supervisor with the right experience.
Personally, I usually recommend a qualitative focus group analysis for anyone doing their first dissertation.
The biggest mistake you can make is biting off more than you can chew.
Small scale qualitative studies are the easiest option . They can be achieved within your time frame. And you can certainly still get a very high grade.
So, let’s take the example of the previous research question, which we changed from:
For the first study, you will have to develop skills in quantitative data analysis , find a sizeable cohort of students, get permission from their parents, get special permission to study children you’re your university ethics committee, develop a quality testing mechanism, pilot the test, conduct the test, analyze the data, then interpret it.
For the second study, you will not have to develop complex mathematical skills, bother with getting permission to research children, or deal with the rigor of quantitative analysis.
In other words, you will be able to bypass many hurdles you may face.
That’s the benefit of a small-scale qualitative study. It’s a nice easy first dissertation methodology. You can do it and do it well.
I know my position is controversial, but hey … I’m here to tell you how to avoid problems, not to stand on a soapbox.
Consider Textual Analysis, Semiotic Analysis or Secondary Research
Finding people to interview, survey or participate in your study in any way at all can be intimidating.
I find it interesting and really fulfilling. But I understand if you think it’s too much for you at this point in time.
If you don’t want to have to go out and find research participants for your study, I recommend one of these types of study:
- Textual Analysis : you can look at policy documents or newspaper articles and analyze their ideological positioning , for example;
- Semiotic Analysis : The quintessential semiotic analysis is the analysis of advertising images or movies and the examination of the ways they depict people of different races, social classes or genders;
- Secondary Research: Look over other people’s research and try to identify themes across a range of research studies.
Now, these three different methodologies are far outside of the scope of this discussion, but consult with your dissertation supervisor if you’re overwhelmed by the idea of conducting research with real human beings. One of these three methodologies may help you bypass that process, and make the dissertation feel more achievable for you.
6. Search Online for Inspiration
If you’re still struggling to choose a dissertation topic, go online to get inspiration!
There’s a few ways you can do this. Here’s a few good ones:
a) Google Previous Dissertation Topics
Many universities upload their students’ dissertations onto an online repository. This means there are a ton of open, free to access databases of previous students’ dissertations all over the internet.
Simply google “Dissertation” + “pdf” + a topic you’re interested in. If you’re a masters student, you can do “masters dissertation” + “pdf” + the topic; and if you’re an undegrad, then simply do “undergraduate dissertation” + “pdf” + the topic;. Simple!
Up will pop a ton of dissertations that you can instantly download to check out previous students’ successful dissertation topics.
Another benefit of doing this is that you’ll be able to view and model the structure that previous students have used as well. This can be super beneficial for you early on!
b) Look at Recent Articles Published in Journals focused on your Topic
If you scroll through the recent issues of journals in your topic, you’ll find a range of research topic ideas.
To get access to top journals in your topic, simply google “Scholarly Journal” + your topic. For example, I am a professor in education. So I’d google “Scholarly journal” + “Education”.
The homepages for a ton of journals will pop up in the Google search. Quickly scan through the recent issues of those journals to see if any ideas will pop up that interest you!
c) If you’re Studying Education or Teaching, Check Here
Lastly, a quick plug for another post I’ve written for dissertation students:
- 51+ Dissertation Ideas for Education students .
Go check that out if you want to write a dissertation on the ‘education’ topic.
7. Trust your Dissertation Supervisor
Your dissertation supervisor will have walked many students just like you through the research process before.
Look, I know many dissertation supervisors can be disappointingly aloof and disconnected from your research. And relationships can get very frosty with your supervisors indeed.
Trust your supervisor. They make recommendations for a reason. They know how to navigate the dissertation writing process. If your supervisor makes a recommendation, strong – very strongly – consider it.
Your supervisor also has expertise in one area of research or another. Take advantage of their expertise. Be flexible and let them sway you down certain paths. You need a knowledgeable partner in the research process.
So, trust your supervisor. You need their expertise more than you know.
8. Come up with 3-5 Ideas and Bring them to your Supervisor for Feedback
Your initial dissertation topic ideas will probably need a lot of refinement.
The person who will help you to refine your topic will be your dissertation supervisor. Their main job, unfortunately, is to curb your enthusiasm. It’s to show you what problems you’ll face if you follow certain paths and recommend alterations to ensure your topic is achievable.
So, approach your supervisor with your 3-5 top ideas and watch them do their magic. They should advise you on how to turn your ideas into reality.
Your ideas can be specific or broad – really, it doesn’t matter because you’ll walk out of your supervision meeting with a lot of changed ideas. It doesn’t need to be set in stone.
You could, for example, go up to your supervisor and say something like:
- “I’m interested in Erikson’s theory of development. Do you have any suggestions of how I can use Erikson’s ideas for a dissertation?”
- “I’m really into conservative politics. What ideas do you have for an achievable topic?”
- Any other ideas…
They’ll help you shape and mold your topic into something achievable.
9. Lastly, Stick to your Choice
When I did my dissertation, I questioned my topic daily: I’d always be thinking up new, better ideas for my dissertation!
But once you’re locked in, it’s hard to change your mind. You’re going to get ethics permission to conduct your study, not anyone else’s!
So, my advice is simple:
Once you’ve chosen your topic, commit.
If you’re desperate to do another topic, fine, do another degree. If you’re doing your Master’s right now, bank those other ideas for a potential PhD down the track.
But once you’ve made your choice, really … you’ve got to commit, block out all your regrets and dig in.
Don’t worry about your friends who chose a dissertation topic that is better than yours. Stay in your lane, be content with your topic, and create a great product.
Writing a dissertation is an exercise in being practical more than anything. That start from the very first choice: choosing a dissertation topic that’s achievable and good for your career, and will also put you on the path for top marks.
Chris Drew (PhD)
Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 102 Examples of Social Norms (List)
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 15 Social Environment Examples
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 15 Selective Perception Examples
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ Field Observation (Research Method): Definition and Examples
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How to Choose a Good Research Topic for Your PhD
Choosing the right research topic is quite often a daunting task, especially for PhD students. However, developing a good research question has a positive impact on students’ research careers. Thesis advisors offer help during this initial stage. Later on, PhD students are expected to choose their own research topic for subsequent studies.
When navigating through several interesting research topics, it becomes necessary to strike the right balance between curiosity and societal needs. Moreover, funding agencies fund compelling research proposals based on meaningful and highly relevant research topics. Selecting a good research topic can, therefore, increase the odds of academic success.
PhD Research Topic and Your Career
Performing a meticulous literature survey helps researchers identify existing research gaps and devise novel strategies for addressing them. Once the research gap is identified, it becomes imperative to choose a meaningful research question. A well-chosen research question can lead to a compelling research proposal. In fact, doctoral researchers can positively shape their entire career by finalizing a good research proposal. Researchers are expected to choose topics that can potentially lead to impactful publications. Good publications fetch good citations. Well-published and well-cited researchers can easily find satisfying jobs in academia or industry. Choosing the right research topic, thus, can open doors to satisfying job opportunities worldwide.
Pathway to Success
There are several ways to ensure success in research. When in graduate school, students need to undertake several measures to identify a compelling research topic. Although conducting a thorough literature survey certainly facilitates this process, it is virtually impossible to choose the right research topic solely based on literature surveys. Students and early-stage researchers, therefore, need to brainstorm thoroughly with their advisor, talk to experts, and attend research seminars/conferences to listen to (and network with) established researchers. Quite often, taking up the relevant coursework (especially for interdisciplinary research areas) simplifies the process of research topic selection.
Choosing the right research question helps researchers stay focused and motivated throughout their career. Meaningful research questions eventually lead to meaningful discoveries and inventions. Robert Smith presented in Graduate Research: A Guide for Students in the Sciences (ISI Press, 1984) a list of 11 research questions to consider:
- Can you enthusiastically pursue it?
- Can you sustain your interest while pursuing it?
- Is the problem solvable?
- Is it worth pursuing?
- Will it lead to other research problems?
- Is it manageable in size?
- What is the potential for making an original contribution to the literature in the field?
- Will the scholars in your field receive the results well if you solve the problem?
- Are you (or will you become) competent to solve it?
- By solving it, will you have demonstrated independent skills in your discipline?
- Will the necessary research prepare you in an area of demand or promise for the future?
Keeping these questions in mind while developing a research question can set the stage for a productive and fulfilling career.
There are several mistakes that students and early-stage researchers commit during the process of research topic selection. Some of the most common mistakes include:
- Extending thesis work even after graduate school : If researchers choose topics that are direct extensions or clear derivatives of their thesis work, then they do not make significant value addition to the respective field of study. Choosing a radically new research topic, while still embarking on the broad area of specialization is indeed the key to success.
- Choosing an obscure, irrelevant, or non-compelling research topic : This can adversely affect the researcher’s motivation levels and can drastically decrease their odds of attaining success.
- Letting PhD advisors choose research topics for you : Although researchers often pursue work within the same field even after earning their PhD, they are less likely to conduct research on the same exact topic. For this reason, letting your advisor tell you what to study rather than you developing a question based on your own reading and experiences in the laboratory is another common mistake that can have lifelong consequences.
Finally, scientists should work in an environment that nurtures the natural chaos of developing a research direction. PhD advisors should also make it a point to thoroughly groom and mentor their PhD students. A good thesis advisor enables his/her students to choose good research topics.
Did your thesis advisor choose a research topic for you? Did he/she train and mentor you well? Were you able to choose your own research topic? Are you happy with your chosen research topic? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
Research topics for science or literature: Deep knowledge and a keen interest in any subject with a scholarly attitude are the prerequisites for any research work.
I am allowed to choose my research topic.
i want research topic for p.hd
Thank you for posting your query. Selecting a good research topic is the first step towards carrying out a successful and impactful research study. A good research topic can help you attract funding and also help you to successfully publish in a prestigious journal. Unfortunately we are not aware of your field of research and hence will not be able to suggest you research topics. However, we can share few tips that might be helpful in selecting an appropriate research topic for your PhD. While choosing a research topic, you must carry out a thorough literature survey in your field or genre of research and look for a research gap. Identifying the research gap makes it easy to select a research topic and an appropriate research question. Once you have selected a research topic, you can check through our checklist available here .
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How to Choose a Dissertation Topic
Published by steve tippins on january 16, 2019 january 16, 2019.
Last Updated on: 3rd June 2022, 04:38 am
“How do I choose a dissertation topic?” is a question most PhD students have fretted about. I’m glad you’re thinking about it, because your dissertation topic is an important decision. You will be in an intimate relationship with the topic you choose for at least a year, maybe longer. In fact, depending on your study’s results, your dissertation may become the basis for a lifetime of research, so giving the question a good deal of consideration is wise.
So, how do you choose one? The best answer is to choose an area you have a deep passion for. Short of that, find a topic that you are deeply interested in and that you suspect you will remain interested in for quite a while.
However, many people find that “follow your passion” isn’t specific enough advice, and it certainly doesn’t guide them through the more complex steps associated with choosing a dissertation topic.
These are steps I’ve outlined for students many times, and in my experience, they work. Read the infographic or scroll down for the complete article to find out how to choose a dissertation topic.
How to Choose a Dissertation Topic
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Step One: Read
When asked how to choose a dissertation topic, most of my colleagues say the same thing: read the literature of your field. If your field is education, then read all that you can on the area of education that interests you. If management is your field, then consume as much of the literature on your area of management as you can.
The more you discover, the more specific your interest will become. Instead of books about general education, you’ll start choosing articles about why students drop out of high school, for example. Instead of management texts, you’ll start looking for books specifically about leadership styles.
Immerse yourself in the literature, looking at your narrowing topic from as many angles as you can. Let yourself be led down one new path after another so that you become an expert on the past and current thinking on the topic. You’ll see how attrition in high school is linked to socio-economic status and note all the different initiatives that have been attempted to mitigate it. Or you’ll find out that the trends in leadership training have mirrored counter-cultural thinking.
By doing this reading and narrowing, you’ll get a good feeling of what has been done, what people think should be done, and where there are gaps. It is in the small gaps in collective thinking where the best research ideas are found.
Step Two: Come Up With a Question
Next, come up with a question. When you refine it, this will be the central research question for your dissertation. When coming up with a question, there are several things to keep in mind.
First, many people make the mistake of trying to solve a problem, rather than answering a question. An interest in drop-out rates may lead you to wonder about solutions to the problem of dropping out. Dig a little deeper for your question. You might be interested in the reasons students who’ve dropped out give for their decision. Or you might compare satisfaction levels of students who participate in a dropout prevention program to those who attend an alternative high school.
Also remember that your question should be open-ended, not a “yes” or “no” question. “Does this management style increase productivity?” is not an acceptable research question, but “To what degree, if any, does this management style impact productivity?” is. The former question is acceptable practical research, but your dissertation must be a more open-ended type of study.
Ultimately, your research question must be supported by the literature, meaning other researchers think it’s relevant. As you read and consider the state of the situation you want to study, ask yourself, “What is the next piece of information that society needs to decide how to should proceed in this area?”
Step Three: Find Out if it’s Doable
Before you go any further, you have to make sure you can actually conduct a study to answer your research question. By that I mean, can you get access to the data and can you collect the data in a reasonable time period?
For example, a study on the lifetime earnings impact of financial education in high schoo l would mean following a group of people from high school until death. It could take 75 plus years to get all of the data. Do you want to pay tuition for that long?
So, make sure that you limit the parameters of your study. Instead of lifetime earnings, perhaps you could look at the lived financial experience of college freshmen who have taken a particular high school personal finance course.
Step Four: Gain Committee Acceptance
You may have found the perfect dissertation committee , people who you respect and who will work hard to help you finish. However, if the members do not like your topic or have an opposing opinion on the matter, you may be in for a very long journey. Make sure that all committee members are on board at the beginning, open to whatever you might find in your study.
You can do this by asking questions that include them in your thought process, e.g., “I’ve recently discovered X about my topic, and to me, that indicates I should tweak my research question to Y; do you concur?”
Step Five: Listen to Your Committee’s Advice
This point might sound obvious, but it isn’t to everyone. It can be easy to get an idea in your head about what you want to study and how you want to do it, and that’s fantastic–it’s your project, and it should remain so.
However, your Chair and committee members have a lot of experience that can inform the way you conduct your research–and may even save you grief down the road. One of the greatest opportunities that comes along with writing your dissertation is the chance to work with experienced researchers to “learn the ropes” of conducting research.
Using this opportunity to its full potential will allow you to learn more and will set you up for an easier dissertation-writing process, since you and your committee will be on the same page.
Summary of How to Choose a Dissertation Topic
Seek to find the small area in your field of interest on which no one else has written before but is the next logical step for the field and develop that into your topic. Come up with your research question and find out if it’s doable. Gain committee acceptance, and take the time to listen to what your Chair and committee members have to say.
Your committee and Chair are invaluable, but many people appreciate outside help as well. I stand ready to assist you with choosing your dissertation topic and all other stages of your PhD journey.
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Steve Tippins, PhD, has thrived in academia for over thirty years. He continues to love teaching in addition to coaching recent PhD graduates as well as students writing their dissertations. Learn more about his dissertation coaching and career coaching services. Book a Free Consultation with Steve Tippins
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PhD Project 101: The Truth about choosing PhD Project Topics
A PhD requires distinct skill sets from a master’s and a bachelor’s. The biggest obstacle for PhD candidates is choosing a project subject or problem statement. This blog article aims to inform readers about how to select and complete their PhD projects. Your inner motivation and areas of interest should be the top considerations while selecting your specialization. Never start a PhD program without getting clarification on the research labs you should choose. For application alerts, while enrolled in your master’s program, register with PhD Portals. Select an interest-provoking subject, then read everything there is to know about it. A successful thesis requires adhering to the “Write, Rewrite, and Write” cycle.
Tips to Write your PhD Thesis
Start your journey to obtaining a phd.
Pursuing a PhD, unlike your master’s or bachelor’s program, demands altogether different skill sets. You have a fixed set of subjects with some open elective and core-elective to study in those programs. But in a PhD program , you are aware of your stream of study like computer science, management, finance, humanities, etc.
But the PhD project topics on which you carry out research are wide open. You are supposed to narrow down to a particular thesis topic idea or field of study. Selecting a PhD project topic or problem statement is the biggest challenge for PhD students. This blog post attempts to educate scholars on selecting a PhD project of their choice and completing it.
How Do I Choose a PhD Project?
Choosing a PhD project topic is the primary work in pursuing a PhD program. It is not like choosing an undergraduate or postgraduate program. It demands patience. So, take your time.
Next, you should be in a position to decide what type of PhD project you want to pursue. Broadly there are three types of PhD projects:
- Advertised PhD projects
- Self-proposed PhD projects
- Professional Doctorates
The Advertised Projects are common in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine (STEM) . Research groups and Well-established laboratories offer these programs.
The Self-proposed projects are common in the Humanities and Arts arena. Here, you are free to choose a thesis topic as long as it falls in the purview of a research topic.
Professional Doctorates in vocational subjects like Business and Management awarded to practitioners are not academic qualifications.
What Makes a good PhD Project?
A PhD project should, first of all, have a clear goal. So, it starts with a proposal. A PhD proposal is a clear and concise document illustrating the problem statement and the goals of your work. It should also highlight why it is worth pursuing?
A typical PhD project involves Five steps:
- Identifying a problem statement
- Carrying out a comprehensive literature review
- Conducting Original Research and finding out results
- Producing a Thesis that documents your results
- Writing the thesis and taking up Viva-Voce
Tips for choosing a PhD project and topics
Here you have two sets of Tips:
- Tips to Apply for a PhD project and choosing a PhD project topic
Tips to Apply for a PhD project
1. Be Aware of Your Niche
Just because you are a computer science postgraduate and AI or Data Science is the trend; You needn’t select these areas. What matters is your interest and inner drive that should be the priority in choosing your niche.
2. Your Comfort Level to Relocate to Another City
Once you have identified your niche and the University/Research Labs, you may have to relocate to a new city. Make up your mind to relocate and also be decisive in making your choice.
3. Identify the Departments and Research Labs Succinctly
You are supposed to conduct a lot of research before boiling it down to a particular Department or University. This is a necessity as it is crucial to identify your core interests and ideas.
4. Obtain Clarity from Your Research Supervisor
Never dive into a PhD program without seeking clarity about the Research labs you are supposed to join. If it is a funded project, get clarification about all facts that are not obvious. Have one to one discussion with your Research Supervisor over Skype or any messenger to seek clarity regarding questions like,
- How many people work in the lab?
- What are their designations?
- Are you supposed to collaborate with any of them?
5. Register with PhD Portals to Get Application Alerts
During your Master’s Program, register with online portals that provide information on PhD programs offered by various Labs and Universities. This helps you to be informed about itineraries of multiple institutes.
6. Seek Seniors and Teachers Help
Ignorance is the biggest culprit that sinks your career ship. Regardless of how small your doubt is, get it clarified from your professors and seniors. Discuss issues like how to formulate an email, cover letter, resume, and other application procedures.
7. Understand the Team Well
It is not only the project that should create enthusiasm; it is also the team you will be working with. The team is vital to complete a project. Before diving into a project, try to understand whether you can get along with your teammates.
8. Different Types of Funding Exists
When you apply for funded projects, you often come across various types. Some are not funded, while some are competition-funded also. Your enthusiasm for getting into the project plays a vital role in the supervisors picking you in competitive funding. So, Love your work to the core.
9. Always Apply for More than One University/Institute
Prepare as many applications as possible and shoot them to different institutes. This process provides a wide array of experience in how to draft an application and approach the institutes. Such skills will help you in the long term.
10. Failure is the Stepping Stone to Success
You might fail once or twice in getting shortlisted or fail to perform in the interview. The number of interviews you have faced will help nurture your interpersonal skills.
Below are the general tips any PhD scholar should follow to be successful.
- While choosing a PhD project topic most crucial parameter is to rely on a topic that is interesting for you.
- Thoroughly read everything about the topic.
- Find a theoretical basis to support your idea.
- Be prepared to shift gears as the research progresses and your presumptions about the outcomes change.
- Be open to taking inputs from others to fine-tune your views.
- Formulate a committee of researchers,
- Be diligent in gathering data.
- The Panache for Effective Thesis Writing is Follow ing the “Write, Rewrite, and Write” Cycle. It doesn’t matter if your writing is good or bad; take tips from professional writers online. Most importantly, Good writing is all about Editing again and again. So, never feel daunted by Thesis writing; enjoy every bit of it.
- Sit with your Research Supervisor and prepare well-structured content with a Table of Content adequately defined. Regardless of being an expert writer or novice, your first draft always needs tweaking. Never be disheartened by re-editing work patience is key here.
- Thesis Writing needn’t be boring and monotony work. Bring in flair to your writing by inserting adjectives, says, expert writers.
- A chronologically written thesis is a misconception. As soon as you complete a piece of experiment or research, document it neatly when it is fresh in your mind. Later it can be integrated into the Final Thesis as per the Table of Contents.
- Once you research and write a chapter, take a break and come back with a critical perspective to discover possible mistakes. This always helps. Do not write in a marathon-style take breaks.
- Plagiarism is the biggest enemy of any research document. Whenever you quote an existing work, paraphrase properly and provide references and citations.
- All universities have their Templates and Preferred Style of References . Religiously stick to the guidelines given by your university.
- Follow the same house style of spellings does not club “-ize” with “-ise” styles. If you prefer to use “improvize,” use it in all places, do not mix up with “improvise.”
- While quoting from other sources, ensure that you do not make spelling mistakes. Copy the quotes exactly.
- Your thesis is the window to showcase both your professionalism and research abilities to the outer world. Work with diligence and give it a professional appeal.
Taksha Smartlabz in association with the University of Central Nicaragua (TSL-UCN) provides various PhD programs with an advanced blended learning system that is designed with working professionals in mind. It provides the opportunity to study from anywhere and at any time.
Taking up a PhD project involves various steps. Initially, you have to identify the domain of your interest and apply for a university or research lab. On getting selected, get involved in the meticulous work of carrying out research, documenting your findings, publishing papers, coming up with thesis work, and defending your work in research gathering.
The process of selecting your PhD project is the most crucial step in the entire process. Understanding whether you are looking out for Advertised/Self Proposed PhD projects or Professional Doctorates is vital in the initial stages.
Enroll now, to reap the benefits of this program, and obtain a PhD in your niche.
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626 Dissertation Topics for Ph.D. and Thesis Ideas for Master Students
If you are about to go into the world of graduate school, then one of the first things you need to do is choose from all the possible dissertation topics available to you. This is no small task. You are likely to spend many years researching your Master’s or Ph.D. topic and writing the text. This means that choosing a dissertation topic should not be taken lightly.
Our specialists will write a custom essay on any topic for 13.00 10.40/page
No worries! Just read this article by our Custom Writing service , and you’ll find:
- a collection of great thesis topics on finance, education, management, law, etc.
- a range of tips on choosing a killing Ph.D. topic.
- 👍 Top 10 Dissertation Topics
- 🆚 Thesis vs Dissertation
- 🔝 Top 10 Thesis Topics
- 🎓 Thesis Topics List
- ✅ How to Choose a Topic
👍Top 10 Dissertation Topics
- Ethical alternatives to animal testing.
- What’s the future of the Dead Sea?
- Does accent affect singing ability?
- The importance of corporate values.
- Can we regulate influencer marketing?
- How does inflation affect small businesses?
- Is homeschooling the future of education?
- How does Tourette’s syndrome affect one’s daily life?
- How to conduct market analysis for e-commerce.
- Has globalization affected cultural appropriation?
🆚 Dissertation vs. Thesis: Is There a Difference?
People often consider a thesis and a dissertation to be the same thing. Yet, there is an important distinction between them. The key difference is that you need a thesis to complete a master’s degree, while a dissertation is necessary for obtaining a doctorate. Keep in mind that it’s vice versa in European higher education.
Here are some other differences:
Despite these differences, theses and dissertations have a lot in common:
- You need them to complete a degree.
- Both require certain levels of expertise and writing skills.
- You defend an argument in both of them.
- Plagiarism is prohibited in both theses and dissertations.
🔝 Top 10 Thesis Topics for 2023
- The consequences of obesity.
- The influence of social media .
- Economic development and happiness.
- Feminism in the United States.
- The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Racism in schools and colleges.
- Overeducation in the labor market.
- DNA evidence in criminal justice.
- Sales forecasting techniques.
- Wage difference among athletes.
🎓 Thesis Topics & Ideas
Below, you’ll find a collection of excellent topics for a thesis. To simplify the task, it’s not a bad idea to use a topic chooser . We’ve also prepared a checklist that will help you make the right choice. If you agree with the following statements, you’ve chosen a good thesis topic:
- You are interested in this subject. It will be easier for you to work on it if you like your area of research. Remember that you will have to spend long hours looking through various data. You need to stay motivated.
- The topic is helpful in your career path. Choose a topic that you can apply to further research if you plan to pursue your career in the academic field. Choose something that you can use in your CV if you decided to work in the industry.
- There is enough available research data. Don’t choose a topic that is too trivial or uncommon. It is essential to find enough relevant information. Consult your supervisor to understand if you can proceed with it.
- The topic isn’t too broad or too narrow. Otherwise, it will be harder for you to find credible sources and relevant data.
- You already have an understanding of it . Make a list of thesis topics that include the issues you have researched before. It will save you some time and allow you to evaluate your opportunities.
- Your topic is unique. Make sure there are no other papers that explore exactly the same issue. The value of your work is your original contribution to the research. If somebody has already investigated the topic, there is not much sense in proceeding with it.
Wondering where to find the most current topic for your research? We’ve collected them below.
Computer Science Thesis Topics
Computers surround us everywhere. From hospitals to home offices, it’s impossible to imagine life without them. A doctorate in computer science can allow you many career opportunities!
- The latest developments in AI use for healthcare services . Healthcare in the US is expensive for its citizens. One way to reduce the cost is using computer algorithms. This technology research topic lets you explore how AI helps physicians with their tasks.
- Computer security for public institutions. Several allegations about hackers stealing data from the US government emerged in recent years. With this dissertation idea, study public cybersecurity. Also, discuss ways to improve cybersecurity practices.
- Visual recognition system architecture: real-time object detection. Discuss a system based on neural networks capable of detecting objects. Focus on the virtual environment. You can alter this trending topic in computer science for real-life settings.
- Blockchain application outside financial technologies. Analyze and discuss the implications of using blockchain systems outside of the fintech sector. For example, study its use for public services and in government agencies. This topic allows exploring ways of applying established algorithms.
- Machine learning and text structures. Discuss ways of visualizing text categorization. Focus on complex hierarchical structures of texts. This topic is suitable for postgraduates.
- Encrypted search: security, performance, and usage. Discuss the use of encryptions to protect data. Say how we can improve it for effective information search.
- Use of computers in education . Study how algorithms can improve learning. This topic can be altered for other fields. For example, choose AI in business or agriculture.
- Graphics and visual computing: current state and the future. By now, CAD programs are an integral part of every engineer’s tool kit. Your thesis can analyze the potential of those programs. What would improve their performance? Is there a chance that they will become obsolete?
- Multimedia databases parsing and indexing. Netflix and YouTube require technology to search across their multimedia databases. This dissertation can be a survey on best practices. Or, add a company name to the title and focus your research on it.
- AI Marketing: the use of algorithms to improve advertising. In the previous list of research question examples, you can choose a narrow marketing theme. Then, discuss the implications of such algorithms.
- Study computation of models for virtual environments .
- Cybersecurity challenges for automated vehicles.
- AI and vehicle automation: potential safety gaps.
- Computer graphics : perspectives for medical imaging.
- Research the use of computer algorithms for medical analysis .
- Discuss the role of bioinformatics in healthcare improvement.
- How is a computer-aided design used in creating automobile parts?
- Review the best practices for System Level Testing of distributed systems.
- Agile project management for software engineers .
- Software development risks analysis for successful employment.
- Study the security mechanisms for WLAN networks .
- Malicious botnets and network worms: an overview.
- What are the best practices in ICT systems development?
- Web-based document management systems using XML.
- Best algorithms for cluster generation.
- Methods for improving Open Web Architecture.
- Analyze software solutions for the increased energy efficiency .
- Protection of systems against terror attacks : a case study and analysis.
- New methods of risk management during software development.
- Analyze how Web space requirements are changing.
- Analyze how e-publishing is affecting libraries.
- New methods for studying the behavior of malware, viruses, and worms with the use of secure programming and runtime environments.
- Analyze redundancy and fault recovery in the 4G wireless network .
- Analyze the implementation and analysis of the optimal algorithm vs the heuristic algorithm for the generation of clusters.
- Analyze how full-text databases affect search engines.
Humanities and Art History Thesis Topics
Do you want to put your passion into words? Would you like to share your ideas with the world? Then pursuing a Ph.D. in the arts or humanities is the right path for you.
- The history of cinema : past and present. With this history dissertation topic, focus on how cinema developed. Explore the period starting from the first short films by the Lumiere brothers. Finish the discussion with modern-day Hollywood examples.
- Art or commerce: a case study of Hollywood films. Discuss the intersection between artistic expression and profit. This exciting arts topic focuses on modern cinema. You can use examples of art-house movies and modern commercially successful ones.
- Hollywood vs. Bollywood . Compare the two distinct film production centers for this art thesis. Next, discuss how local cultures impact Hollywood and Bollywood movies’ direction, genres, and plots.
- The use of visual tools in interior design . This dissertation topic is an intersection between arts and computer science . The focus is on how visualization tools help to create design projects.
- Racism in the 21st-century literature. Focus on how the narratives about racism have changed. Include examples from poetry and prose of this era. Compare it to works published in the past.
- The cultural aesthetic of Afrofuturism in literature. This dissertation idea allows you to explore the intersection of arts. Specifically, see how culture, philosophy of science, and history manifest in Afrofuturism .
- The social value of ecopoetry. Analyze how literature that focuses on ecological problems. Discuss environmental consciousness and environmental issues .
- Graphic novels: the best examples and implications for the development of literature. What does it mean when literary classics are converted into graphic novels? Incorporate the question if graphic novels can become part of the literary canon.
- Theater of the Absurd in the 1950s and 1960s. Discuss this form of theatrical art. Examine how it emerged and why it became influential.
- Post World War II art : cinema and literature. Use examples of films and literary works. Discuss major works of the post-WWII era and their themes.
- Futurism and the Czech avant-garde : the artistic connection between Europe’s East and West.
- Study the phenomenon of the hero archetype.
- Assess dancing as a form of meditation .
- Review the common elements of various African dances.
- Folk dances across Western Europe.
- Discuss regional dances and dance as a ritual.
- Animation as a modern art form.
- Research the art of glass-making and its prospects for the future.
- Analyze the cultural impact of The Beatles beyond music.
- Literature censorship in the US.
- Examine the intersection of ecology and arts.
- Heidelberg Project: is it a model for creating art in urban areas?
- Study kinetic sculptures of the 20th century.
- What characterizes social activism in 20 th -century rock music?
- Jazz in the 21st century: a potential for revival.
- The history of design in various periods of human existence (the ancient times, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, etc.).
- Design as art .
- Philosophy of design.
- Separate branches of design ( interior design , car design, toy design, etc.).
- Stylistic peculiarities of a certain designer.
- Web design as a modern quintessence of design.
- Social significance of design.
- The birth of Communism as it relates to Stendhal.
- The relationship between politics and literature in the 19 th century.
- An analysis and case study of artists and art during times of war.
- How contemporary art is related to American suffering.
- Analyze of how racism relates to the family unit.
List of Science Topics for Your Thesis
A dissertation in science will probably require you to run numerous experiments. Many of them will probably go wrong. But the one that does work might be the next big breakthrough! Find a suitable research theme in the following list of topics:
- Bacterial injections for the treatment of cancer tumors. Injecting bacteria into tumors is a fairly new approach to treating cancer . Review the mechanism of action and evaluate the potential of this method for curing cancer.
- Computer imagining and AI for cancer detection . Examine how AI-assisted cancer screening improves accuracy. Include early detection implications and usage in hospitals.
- Ethics of organ donations and transplantation. With this dissertation topic in science, examine the ethics of encouraging people to donate their organs. Include the implications for medical research and practice.
- An epidemiological and molecular approach to cancer prevention . This topic idea suggests assessing the current understanding of how cancer develops as well as potential prevention strategies.
- Ways of speeding up vaccine development and testing. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the process of vaccine development is relatively slow. It takes a long time to ensure proper testing. You may discuss these issues in your biochemistry dissertation.
- The current state of research into ultra-fast rechargeable batteries. The topic of batteries and energy attracts lots of attention. With this topic, you can examine how to improve the design of aluminum-ion batteries. Include ways to decrease their charging time.
- Nanotechnologies in drug delivery: electrospraying. Current research shows the great potential of nanotechnologies. In particular, the electrospraying technique makes nanoparticle delivery more efficient.
- Prevalence of various Helicobacter Pylori virulence in a population. Conduct quantitative research and examine a sample of patients to determine the number infected with Helicobacter Pylori.
- The relationship between gut microbiota and the person’s appetite . Your research can explore the theory that the gut microbiome has varied effects on the person’s body. Review the implications for obesity treatment for different gut microbiomes.
- The age of antibiotics: is it over? Examine the use of antibiotics and the reasons for its decline. Discuss the evolving nature of bacteria that require remedies other than antibiotics. Include quantitative data in this dissertation for a specific type of disease.
- CRISPR method for studying human DNA.
- The study of human evolution : latest discoveries.
- Denisovans from Siberia: a new type of hominid discovered.
- Study the use of AI in archeology .
- Conduct a study of the Neanderthal genome sequence.
- What are the ways of improving solar cell efficiency?
- The carbon footprint of modern production: how do companies damage the environment?
- Research the use of cesium in solar panels .
- The era of supercapacitors: are we ending the use of batteries?
- Assess the efficiency of Robot Suits for people with permanent paralysis.
- Microscale medial robots: potential applications.
- Look into stem cell mobilization and its mechanisms.
- Discuss the ethics of automated cars .
- Space robotics: can we design robots capable of exploring space?
- Evaluate the efficiency and potential of lithium-based rechargeable batteries.
- Morality and ethics of stem cell research .
- Is behavior controlled or affected by genetics and to what level.
- A look at methods of improving risk factors post-stroke.
- Analyze of Chinese herbal practice and its relevance to conventional medicine.
- Analyze the effect schools have on childhood obesity .
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- New methods of using existing data to gather information that is useful.
- An in-depth look at the factors affecting the decline of the immune system with age.
- Analyze of the potential effect of nanotechnology on health and the environment.
- Analyze of toxicity levels of inhaled nanoparticles.
- The usefulness of nanotechnology in curing some types of cancer .
- An analysis and case study of the treatment of patients who have experienced a loss of memory.
- Analyze the use of DNA typing of remains to identify missing people and the victims of crime.
- The response of immune deficiency diseases to the activation of T-cell subsets.
- The influence and importance of IT in the field of biomedicine.
Architecture Thesis Topics
Architecture is more than just aesthetics. That’s become especially clear ever since the doctrine “form follows function” gained traction. Whether you’re into baroque or Bauhaus, there’s plenty to discover about architecture.
- Religious architecture in the British Empire. Research the transformation of religious buildings and how it affected architecture in general.
- Modernist architecture in the USSR at the beginning of the 20th century. Compare modernist architecture in the USSR with other countries.
- Urban greening and its influence on buildings’ design . The dissertation proposal can include green roofs as the main point of research.
- Brutalism and its history in New York . Provide historical research of brutalism in New York and discuss how it affects modern architecture.
- Modern-day aboriginal settlements in Australia. Using examples from media and research, indicate how aboriginal settlements are perceived and handled today.
- Transformation of the urban design in the 21st century. Using London, Hong-Kong, and New York as examples, provide an in-depth discussion of changes in the urban design.
- The architectural history of Seattle. Conduct research and write a proposal that will compare different architectural styles seen in Seattle.
- Integration of culture in environmental design. In this proposal, you can use large cities in Asia as primary examples of the synergy between culture and architecture.
- The architecture of residential buildings during the second half of the 20th century. Choose one or several large cities (e.g., Berlin, Miami, Kyoto) as the basis for your research.
- The history of Moscow Avant-Garde . Use both Soviet and modern Russian research on Avant-Garde to present the topic accurately.
- Use of computer visuals in architecture.
- Review the trends in modern furniture design.
- Ecology and architecture: integration of green technologies.
- Discuss the multiculturalism of contemporary urban architecture.
- The history of architecture in urban areas of the US: the study of New York.
- Modern city design case study.
- Research ways of using wood in modern architecture.
- Commercial architecture: aesthetics and usability.
- Evaluate the design of municipal buildings in the US.
- Creativity in postmodernist architecture.
- How do we integrate smart home technology into architecture?
- Small scale homes: a study of growing interest in small housing.
- Discuss the use of lighting in building design.
- Study innovations in structural design in the digital age.
- What are the implications of inclusive architecture?
- Sustainable architecture: recycling spaces and materials.
- Renewable energy in home design.
- Assess open concept homes for American families.
- Conduct a study of family homes design.
- Research architecture suitable for middle-class families.
Thesis Topics in English Literature & World Literature
Was your New Year’s Resolution to re-read the 100 most influential classical works? Then you might want to consider writing a thesis in advanced higher English. Check out these engaging prompts:
- In-depth stylistic analysis of The Trial by Franz Kafka . Explain what stylistic devices Kafka used in his story.
- The influence of The Hound of the Baskervilles on the development of modern detective stories. Prepare several comparisons of The Hound with modern detective stories to pinpoint its influence.
- The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum : women characters in Heinrich Böll’s fiction. Using the book mentioned in the topic, examine how the German writer depicted women in his prose.
- Analysis of the terrorism portrayal in modern journalism : The New York Times case study. Pick several articles related to terrorism published in NYT and describe in detail how it is portrayed (keywords, images, etc.).
- A formalist approach to Dostoevsky: analysis of The Brothers Karamazov . Provide the reader with an explanation of the formalist approach and use it to analyze the novel.
- The depiction of sexual violence in young adult literature. Pick several YA novels published in the 2010s for your research.
- The use of repetition in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot . Analyze how repetition is used for emphasis and other effects in the play.
- Feminism and gender in Margaret Atwood’s Cats’ Eye . Review the book from a feminist point of view and discuss how gender issues are presented in the book.
- How does Phillip K. Dick use intertextuality in The Man in the High Castle ? Find as many references to other literary and historical sources as you can and elaborate how Dick uses them and for what aims.
- The influence of Steppenwolf on postmodern American literature: the contribution of Herman Hesse. Using Steppenwolf as the primary source, discuss what characteristics common for postmodern literature Hesse uses in this novel.
- How does racism manifest itself in classical literature?
- Discuss the oppression of women in The Handmaid’s Tale.
- Gender roles in The Miniaturist and A Doll’s House : a comparison.
- Moral ambiguity in David Harrower’s works.
- Literary techniques in the Perks of Being a Wallflower.
- The setting in The Murder in the Rue Morgue and its influence on the detective genre.
- Review the tropes first introduced in The Moonstone .
- Study the depictions of police’s work in Skinner’s Rule .
- Assess the influence of Victorian Gothic horror on popular culture.
- Social criticism in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
- Analyze cyberpunk elements in Gibson’s Neuromancer .
- Themes of social equality in modern literature.
- Research the views on Native American writers in Nature’s Poem.
- Critique of contemporary children’s literature .
- Gothic elements in Charlotte Bronte’s works .
- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Dracula : a comparative analysis.
- Terror in The Picture of Dorian Gray .
- Examine the connection of mental health and society in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye .
- Magical realism and romanticism in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.
- How does the cut-up technique contribute to the narration in William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch?
Criminal Justice Thesis Topics
Are you a forensic science student who prefers research to actual police work? In that case, a dissertation in criminology is a great idea. This way, you can work on preventing crime from the comfort of your desk.
- Recidivism rates among underage Latino first-time offenders: a quantitative study. Research a group of first-time offenders of a particular age (e.g., 18 to 25 years old).
- A comparative analysis of the incidents of gun violence in the USA during the 2010s. Choose several prominent examples and compare them to each other.
- Troublesome statements: the role of witnesses in potentially false accusations. In this dissertation, you can write about the unreliability of statements, using documented examples.
- The patterns of drug trafficking in Germany’s largest cities: a case study of Berlin and Hamburg. Analyze the changes in these patterns in the 2010s.
- Money laundering and corruption in the United States in the 21st century. Using media reports, create dissertation research about corruption schemes.
- Mental health and self-perception of second-time sex offenders . Determine if their self-perception changes.
- School shootings in the USA: causes and risk factors . Using recent and historical data, analyze the cases of mass shootings.
- The influence of cyberbullying on suicide rates among Australian adolescents (13-17 years old). You can base your dissertation report on various research on cyberbullying published in Australian scholarly journals.
- Child abuse and its influence on serial killer’s perception of victims. Discuss interconnections between abuse and potential sadistic behavior.
- The history of forensic interviewing in the USA. Present research and practices that contributed to its development.
- Use of artificial intelligence for forensic investigations.
- Criminal behavior at a young age and its implications for the future.
- Drug use: pattern of recurring arrests among American youth.
- Incarcerated parents: the impact on the child’s perception of crime.
- Research the reforms of the US criminal justice system.
- Propose strategies for improving the juvenile detention system.
- Police officer’s abuse of power: analysis of reports.
- Race and criminal justice: the case of War on Drugs .
- What are the possible alternative forms of incarceration?
- A study of public perception of modern serial killers .
- Training of sniffer dogs.
- The implications of eyewitness testimony.
- Abuse in Hollywood: a case study of Harvey Weinstein.
- Bias against African Americans during investigations.
- A study of college violence.
- Legal implications of medical marijuana legalization .
- Ethics of criminal justice : the problem of confidentiality.
- Review the challenges linked with domestic violence investigations.
- Suggest ways of preventing crimes in schools .
- Gender bias during crime examinations.
Geography Thesis Topics
If you enjoy unveiling Earth’s secrets, this section is for you. Here you’ll find geography dissertation ideas ranging from studies of movement to regional phenomena.
- Species that became extinct in the 20th century: qualitative research. Address the human influence on various species .
- Current issues in the exploration of Arctic. Discuss difficulties and specifics of such explorations.
- A comparison of urban back gardens in the USA and the UK. You can compare their design and other features (for example, vegetation used for decoration).
- The causes and outcomes of floodings in the USA in the 2010s. Address climate change as one of the leading causes.
- Prevention of ecosystem changes with modern technology. Provide various examples of how technology is used to sustain ecosystems.
- Changes in travel destinations in the 2000s: a comparison of the USA and Canada. Demonstrate what changes in preferences were documented in these countries and show what destinations were especially popular.
- The perception of environmentally friendly technologies and their impact on the environment by citizens of large metropolitan areas: a case study of Miami. Explain how various projects based on environmentally friendly technologies are launched in Miami.
- A negative impact of global warming on weather conditions in Iceland. Discuss how tourism in Iceland is affected by these changes.
- The influence of industrialization on climate change. Address the causes of climate change, using industrialization and its consequences as a basis.
- Compare Greenfield and Brownfield land use for construction projects.
- Investigate the significance of red salmon for Kamchatka.
- The social impact of climate change : a study of migration patterns.
- The potential of community gardening in underprivileged neighborhoods.
- Study the link between the strengths of hurricanes and climate change.
- What can be done to stop gentrification in your community?
- Evaluate coastal tourism, its effect, and implications.
- The impact of reservoir locations on water quality .
- How did industrialization affect the development of Chicago?
- Study soil pollution levels in your community area.
- Conduct an analysis of air quality in your city.
- Eco-tourism , its history, and perspectives.
- Differences in soil chemistry across several locations.
- The impact of organic farming on water quality in your area.
- Compare the sustainability of organically vs. conventionally farmed tomatoes.
- Research air pollution levels and data on airborne illnesses in your area.
- What’s the relationship between rock climbing and cliff vegetation?
- Study the changes in soil fertility upon volcanic eruption.
- How does the Chernobyl disaster continue to affect the surrounding area?
- Determine the patterns of floods in a particular area of your choice.
Sociology Thesis Ideas
Sociology studies how humans live together. A dissertation is a great way to dive deeper into a particular subject. You can get as specific as your heart desires! Check out our sociology thesis topics:
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- Single parent stigma and its influence on family’s quality of life and parent-child relationships . Present examples from recent research that illustrate how the dynamics of these relationships change over time due to stigma.
- Women empowerment in Saudi Arabia in 2000s: breakthroughs and challenges. Discuss how this empowerment affected legislation and women’s rights .
- Long-term alcohol addiction and self-perception in young adults. With the help of research, demonstrate whether self-perception of these adults transforms significantly due to their addiction.
- Adoption and its influence on parent-child relationships. Present and discuss challenges that such families face.
- Comparison of traditions related to family dinners in the USA and the UK. What specific differences are there and how can they be explained?
- Influence of the emo culture on suicide rates in high school students. Address the influence of such cultures on adolescents’ behavior.
- The rates of secularization in elderly individuals living in urban and rural areas. Compare the rates and explain why they are different.
- Influence of forced outing on transgender individuals and concomitant changes in their quality of life. Explain the effects of forced outing and why this impact is dangerous.
- Comparison of anti-nuclear movements in Germany and Japan in the 21st century. Explain in detail what differences and similarities are prominent.
- Performance rates of teenagers in schools in low-income neighborhoods: a case study of Boston schools. When writing your dissertation proposal, consider various factors (poverty, limited access to technology, etc.) that affect performance rates of these teenagers.
- Black Lives Matter movement’s immediate impact on racism.
- Research causes of minority bias in the US.
- Affirmative action and its impact on the perception of varied racial groups.
- The impact of religion on people’s attitudes towards race.
- Review the challenges of the US LGBT community.
- Bias towards transgender studies.
- Social activism against gender discrimination in the 21st century.
- The impact of social assistance in schools on a child’s future.
- Research the changes in education after WWII.
- Analyze scholarship policies in the US.
- The impact of student debt on youth’s perception of education in the US.
- Outcomes of public vs. private schools: a comparison.
- Research the preservation of culture in American immigrant families.
- Applying Marx’s conflict theory to social justice movements.
- Assess changing trends in social norms in a country of your choice.
- Attitudes towards prejudice among people of different social backgrounds.
- Comparison of women’s rights in Western and Middle Eastern countries.
- The impact of capitalism on one’s social values.
- How does capitalism benefit society across multiple post-soviet countries?
- Compare healthcare access in autocracies vs. democracies.
💡 Dissertation Topics for Ph.D. students
Below you’ll find a list of excellent dissertation ideas in different fields of study. They are more difficult than thesis topics and require more research. Jump to the section that interests you and find the topic that suits you best! But first:
What Makes a Good Ph.D. Topic?
Usually, universities would expect your dissertation to be original and relevant in the field of the research. Moreover, it would be worthwhile if it has the potential to make a change.
This checklist will help you see whether you’ve made the right choice. Your dissertation topic is good, if:
- You have an opportunity to research it fully. You need to know that there is enough data and a theoretical basis. Do some prior research to understand if you will be able to answer all your dissertation questions.
- You can fill the gaps in the existing knowledge. Your research matters if you can provide some new information that contributes to the field of your studies.
- Your dissertation title is catchy. Try to make it worth the reader’s attention from the first glance.
- You can evaluate how much time you need. It is vital to understand all the stages of your research and the challenges you might face to plan your work.
- You know the subject well. You will need to explore your topic in-depth. It’s good to have some previous knowledge about it. Starting the research from the very basics will take more time and effort.
- You have enough resources to investigate it. Both time and money matter in this case. You need to do high-quality research and meet your deadlines.
Dissertation Topics in Education
Learning is a lifelong experience, and the importance of schools cannot be overestimated. Research in this area is critical to improving education standards. Have a look at these topic ideas to get inspired:
- Gamification as tools for enhancing learning abilities: theory and practice . Many studies have been conducted on different learning approaches. For young learners, engagement is as critical as the outcome. Therefore, this work focuses on gamification and its effect on children’s improvisation and learning.
- Studying the connection between classroom quality and the learning outcome in kindergarten . Children are strongly affected by their environment, especially when it comes to learning. This dissertation topic example is all about looking into different classroom settings and their effect on kids’ learning outcomes.
- Evaluating the process of implementation of inclusive education in the US. Professionals argue that inclusive education carries multiple benefits for all students (not just those with limited abilities.) However, it is quite a challenging process to implement all the changes.
- Factors influencing the decision to transfer to the higher education abroad . In this work, you can focus on finding out the reasons for such a decision. Why do undergraduate students choose to leave their home country? What are the most important factors?
- Online education vs. traditional face-to-face lessons for adult learners: compare and contrast. Online courses have their own benefits. However, would adult learners prefer them to in-person classrooms? How does it affect their learning and motivation?
- How does working as a taxi driver and navigating change a person’s brain?
- To what extent can reality television be disempowering for students?
- The role of homework in the lives of immigrant adolescents.
- The impact of teachers’ shocking behaviors in fostering students’ creativity.
- The determinants of flossing behavior in college students .
- The classification of drinking styles in the college-age population.
- Integrating the computer into the curriculum : why you can’t simply plug it in.
- The preconditions for serious music-making avocation in computer science students.
- Adult graduate difficulties with learning new technologies.
- The effect of academic performance on the health of students .
- The impact of mathematic coaching on students’ self-esteem .
- The influence of internet on the emotional maturity of students.
- Academic achievements of students who decide to become teachers.
- Is it true that students are more likely to do homework given by good-looking professors?
- Informal learning in rural areas via social networks.
- Educational blogging for professors: the social networks of educationists.
- Does learning existentialism cause suicides?
- Is it possible to reduce summer learning loss without students’ consent?
- Can we reject classical math and do it at the same time? Yes, we can.
- What are major career prospects with a degree in Liberal Arts ?
- Using electronic games in museums as an effective education tool.
Business Dissertation Topics
There are many things a business administrator should keep in mind. Finances, marketing, and development are just the tip of the iceberg. So, the choice of topics is practically endless. Check out this selection to narrow down the possibilities:
- How are business strategies adjusted to the globalization process? Small businesses’ perspective. Globalization means huge and profitable opportunities. To seize them, all businesses and companies should make some changes in their strategies. Investigate what would be the best action plan for them.
- Cultural changes and the effect of feedback in an international company: a case study. Choose a multinational company. Study the impact of feedback (both from the employees and customers) on its organizational culture changes. What reaction does it provoke in the company?
- Human resource management approaches in international non-profit organizations. In this study, look into the strategies HR managers apply in non-profit organizations. One of their main responsibilities is to monitor the performance of the employees. However, at the international level it becomes more difficult.
- Leadership and organizational culture in making decisions about business strategies. In this research, you study the influence of the organizational culture on leaders. In the case of trying to initiate changes in the business strategy, how is a leadership decision taken?
- The role of “ foreign direct investment ” in companies in developing countries: a case study of a large business. For this paper, pick a suitable company first. Aim for large companies in developing countries. Then conduct research and find out what strategies they have for foreign direct investments.
- COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on workplace management in small businesses . The COVID-19 pandemic caused many companies to readjust their HR policies. For instance, they allowed their staff to work from home. Research this phenomenon in your thesis.
- Social entrepreneurship for large companies. If you want to make the world a better place, social entrepreneurship is a suitable method. We usually associate it with small start-ups. But what about large companies? With this topic, you can research how the concept works for big firms.
- How innovation affects demand in technology-driven businesses. This MBA dissertation topic combines business studies and technology . Examine how companies create products for establishing markets.
- Management strategies in times of COVID-19: a case study . The pandemic has forced companies to use Zoom , Skype, and messaging instead of regular meetings. Review how executives can apply traditional management models in the digital space.
- The impact of burnout on employees . Interview staff members and determine how burnout affects performance. Include the name of a company or industry in your dissertation’s title.
- Tourism management in the Middle East.
- How do natural disasters impact the demand for essentials?
- Compare and contrast Asian and American leadership styles .
- How does fluctuation in the stock market impact business operations?
- The art of delegation : how to do it effectively and when to avoid it.
- How can one efficiently lead a company when unforeseen circumstances occur?
- What factors determine employees’ work satisfaction?
- Study the link between a company’s success and innovation .
- What can business managers do to bridge the gap between generations ?
- Research the benefits of global and local brand management.
- What causes changes in Chinese business culture?
- Choose a small business and analyze its strategy.
- Organizational changes : what factors impact transformation?
- Internet banking : barriers to usage.
- Create a business plan that is focused on a specific issue.
- Conditions necessary for quality management in MNCs.
- The role of E-commerce for food retailers.
- Conduct a case study with the purpose to analyze one or several social phenomena.
- Workplace ethics in small businesses.
- The phenomenon of remote working and how it is affecting businesses.
- Comparison of Generation X and the Millennial Generation .
- Managing the Millennial Generation .
- Current trends in consumer behavior in relation to advertising .
- Analyze which countries margin financing is effective and why.
- Analyze the macroeconomic factors affecting exchange rates.
- An empirical analysis of the impact of organizational performance and leadership .
Law Dissertation Topics for Ph.D. Students
Legal science is not dull as one may think. It’s crucial to evaluate laws at any point in time. Do they fit the current norms? Does something or someone need more protection than before? If you want to garnish your legal education with a Ph.D., here are some topic suggestions:
- Trust law: the circumstances when fully secret and half-secret trusts are necessary. Find out what are the principles that dictate the enforcement of the trusts. There are specific circumstances that determine whether creating trusts would be adequate and relevant. Make sure to take them into consideration.
- Termination of employment in case of employees tested positive for HIV/AIDS. Your task would be to conduct research and see how HIV/AIDS employees are influenced in the workplace. The most common issues are discrimination and termination of employment.
- The influence of the Global War on Terrorism on international criminal law. When the US launched the campaign against terrorism in 2001, international criminal law faced some changes. You can study the most significant changes that have been made.
- The level of effectiveness of the US copyright law in relation to the rights of users. It’s an empirical research topic that would require collecting lots of data. Try to find some cases when the users were left cheated by copyright law. It would bring some diversity to the research and make it more interesting.
- Study the effect that the US immigration policy has on education right now. Educational institutions are also required to adjust to changes connected with immigration. Different requirements and different curriculums are implemented to fit their needs. You are about to look into this issue.
- Select a country and analyze its worker protection laws. Compare the rights and obligations of employees in two countries of your choice. What potential improvements can solidify employee rights ?
- Protection of minorities, legal precedents. Minority rights are becoming more and more relevant. This topic allows you to discuss how laws can be changed to reflect it.
- Regulation of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies allow for anonymity. Besides, they are not regulated by any state. In your thesis, you can analyze cryptocurrency regulations.
- Fake news : legal responsibility. Review how the United States legal system approaches disinformation. Focus on false publications on news resources. Another possible topic is improvements to defamation laws.
- Freedom of expression : a case during a pandemic. This topic is about false information in times of COVID-19. Examine how a state can balance freedom of expression with the spread of false information. Focus on this disease and the fake news about it.
- Legal practices for preventing possible future pandemics.
- Research ways of online journalism protection.
- International law vs. the right to self-determination: comparative case studies of de facto states.
- Review the history of fiscal laws in America.
- Limits to freedom of expression in the US legal system.
- Enforcing regulations concerning domestic violence .
- Study criminal responsibility for drug possession in the US.
- Criminalization of violence against women.
- Review the legal framework for addressing foreign involvement in elections.
- What was the government response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Health standards for immigrant detention centers in the US .
- Research the loopholes in the US immigration laws .
- Birthright citizenship in the US: pros and cons.
- 1951 Refugee Convention: is it obsolete?
- Illegal immigrants and their rights in the US justice system.
- How criminal laws have been impacted around the world by the war on terror .
- Choose a country and analyze their policies on discrimination.
- Evaluate the protection given to minority shareholders as dictated by company law.
- Provide a critical analysis of the law of omissions liability.
- Investigate and analyze complaints filed in the criminal justice system .
- A critical analysis of the reform of homicide laws .
- The morality and impact of euthanasia and how Canada sets a precedent.
- A detailed analysis of gender and race profiling of suspects in the criminal justice system .
- Analyze the right to bear arms relative to the context in which the law was written into The Constitution.
- Create case studies that represent a review of criminal negligence related to the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.
Psychology Dissertation Topics
The mysterious ways of the human mind offer many research opportunities. Psychology encompasses sub-fields such as behavior and cognition. Whatever your area of expertise, you’ll undoubtedly find something interesting in the list below.
- The current effect of the “price ending” method on the consumers’ behavior . Nowadays, everybody knows the most popular trick that shops pull to make customers buy the products. However, does understanding it make it easier to resist it? Is this psychological trap still working?
- Burnout at the executive positions in massive US corporations: is it possible to prevent? The phenomenon of burnout is the most common issue that employees face nowadays. But there are ways to detected it at an early stage. Could they be used to predict and prevent this problem?
- Mindfulness practices and their influence on students’ learning abilities at the top universities (e.g., Harvard). Mindfulness is proved to be extremely useful in overcoming stress and anxiety issues. However, does it affect the learning outcome of the students who study at the best universities in the world?
- The individual struggles with gender issues and their impact on global gender inequality . Everything always starts with a small thing. For this paper, study the relation between some individual cases and the global issue. How do personal struggles contribute to the worldwide movement for justice?
- The positive influence of irrational beliefs on mental well-being. In psychology, irrational beliefs are a set of values and opinions that people believe in despite rational evidence against them. However, what positive effect can they bring?
- Ways of raising awareness of mental health problems. Mental health has been discussed more openly in recent years. Review how this open discussion affects views on personal mental health. As another idea for a psychology dissertation topic, research a specific illness.
- Student burnout and ways to prevent it. Focus on the problems students face and what strategies can reduce their stress.
- Pandemic and mental health . The COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to be in isolation from social contacts. Review the potential effects of this practice on people’s well-being. Discuss possible strategies for supporting mental health during possible future pandemics.
- Weight, self-image, and mental health. A clinical psychology thesis can focus on the psychology behind excess weight. Discuss how weight affects a person’s perception of self. Assess implications for clinical psychologists who work with overweight patients.
- Social media vs. reality: normalizing real people. Review current efforts of social media accounts in normalizing body image . Explain how this can reverse the damage that edited photos have on mental health.
- How does gender bias affect mental health in America?
- What factors affect women’s self-esteem in the workplace?
- Specifics of transgender mental health.
- Research the effect of immigration on mental well-being.
- Study the psychology of racism and ways to combat it.
- What distinguishes the mental health of minorities in the US?
- Research the psychology of dissent in the Soviet Union.
- The connection between stress and overeating: latest developments.
- Assess the role of social support for losing weight .
- What’s the role of prejudice in politics?
- Assess the role of endurance in combating stress .
- Developing hardiness: strategies and exercises.
- What’s the effect of emotional resilience on mental health?
- Helping teenagers overcome stress via relaxation techniques .
- Look into the perception of anger and its effect on mental health.
- Understanding the function of the prefrontal cortex in terms of how it is connected to other parts of the brain.
- Understanding how the prefrontal cortex makes us human.
- How emotional and anxiety disorders are connected to social cognition that is impaired.
- Analyze the ability of an MRI to determine brain function.
- Analyze the relationship between emotional and episodic memory.
- A comparison of the plasticity of the child’s brain and the adult brain.
- Analyze the continued relevance of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development.
- An in-depth look at the social intuitionist model and how it relates to the emotion and reason involved in moral judgement.
- How the evolution of the human brain can be understood in terms of children cognitive development .
- A demonstration of the multi-dimensional nature of schizophrenia.
- How rational thinking and impulse contribute to decision-making.
- A systematic analysis and review of the psychology of religion.
- How exposure to nature affects happiness.
Nursing Dissertation Topics
A nurse’s work is hard. Unfortunately, they rarely get the credit they deserve. With a Ph.D., you could become an advocate on the problem. Or you could concentrate on optimizing their work environments.
- Exercise, changes in lifestyle , and self-tracking for diabetes prevention and management. Center your research on different lifestyle changes (exercise, reduced smoking and drinking) and explain how and why it prevents diabetes .
- Influence of stigma related to HIV/AIDS on representatives of ethnic minorities: a case study of Native Americans. Using research, provide compelling evidence of how Native Americans are stigmatized and discriminated against.
- Chronic illness management at home: recommended evidence-based practices. Using current nursing and other professional research, discuss how adults and seniors manage chronic and autoimmune diseases.
- Depression and stress and their relation to preterm births in first-time mothers. Collect several articles about the issue and using their conclusions show how depression causes preterm births.
- Burnout in nurses: factors that cause it and practical solutions for prevention . Present outcomes of burnout (decreased performance and concentration, subpar workplace environment) and illustrate how it affects hospitals on a more significant scale.
- Public health: community-based measures to prevent morbid obesity. In this research, you can list various methods that include exercise and education and explain in detail how they prevent the spread of obesity.
- Risk factors and injury rates in psychiatric nursing. Present statistics on different types of injuries in psychiatric institutions .
- Cultural diversity and inclusion in nursing education . When researching diversity, make sure you are using examples of different minority groups’ perception of education.
- Euthanasia legislation in the USA: ethical issues and debates . Provide a thoughtful discussion of ethical and legal issues surrounding euthanasia.
- Organizational climate and its influence on perceived patient safety . Your study should focus on the importance of positive relationships between staff members, and its influence on the prevention of medical errors.
- Dietary practices and their influence on the quality of life in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. SLE is a complex disease that requires a multidisciplinary approach. Describe nutritional research approaches to SLE.
- Fluoride application training in dental nursing.
- Describe the specifics of nursing care for patients with diabetes .
- Assess gender disparity in nursing research.
- Study nurse burnout prevalence in neonatal care in your community.
- Nursing staff advising DASH diet: effects on patients’ blood pressure.
- What are the challenges of asthma management for nurses?
- Nursing for autistic patients : the best strategies.
- Racial differences in nursing care: a case study.
- Evaluate nurses’ role in pain management for patients with dementia.
- Study the connection between nursing staff turnover and burnout.
- How is the role of a nurse changing in the modern healthcare system?
- Review nursing practices for managing elderly patients.
- A holistic approach to obesity management in nursing.
- Describe the specifics of nursing in rural areas .
- Physical activity and mental health: a nursing case study.
- Discuss nursing pain relief strategies for general care.
- Determine the ethical implications of nursing malpractice.
- Nurses consultations for spinal cord injuries .
- Nursing in an urban setting : challenges and prospects.
- What are the specifics of pain management in obstetrical nursing?
Marketing Dissertation Topics
Good marketing is what made you buy that product you didn’t know you needed. Marketing needs plenty of scientific research for it to be successful. You can contribute to this effort with one of the following topic ideas:
- Compare and contrast the effectiveness of traditional and digital marketing in the last five years. Marketing moves towards digital campaigns more and more every year. Though, traditional marketing still exists, of course. Your task is to compare every aspect of these two types in the span of the previous five years.
- The specifics of the relationship marketing and its influence on the loyalty rates among customers: a case study of fast-food chains. Take a few fast-food chains to conduct this research. Then analyze their relationship marketing strategies. There should be a correlation between the methods they use and the loyalty of their customers.
- Direct marketing and artificial intelligence: how do companies use it? The industry of marketing couldn’t have missed the opportunity to use the latest technologies for their benefit. Artificial intelligence helps some companies gain a competitive advantage. Find out what those benefits are.
- Collectivism and individualism : how does culture influence supermarkets? There are some apparent differences in cultures when it comes to shopping. Each shop owner has to implement a specific marketing strategy for targeting the customers. Work on aspects that make those strategies successful in different cultures.
- The strategies that make personalized products sell effectively. Everybody loves customized products, but it seems like not everybody is willing to share their data to get it. Therefore, businesses are forced to work it out. This research looks into marketing tools and methods they use to sell personalized products.
- Influence of online shopping apps on impulsive buying behavior . Using prominent examples such as Amazon and eBay , elaborate how apps affect customer’s decision to purchase an item through recommendations.
- Product design and its impact on consumer’s purchase decision. When preparing this thesis topic, consider using examples of large corporations such as Apple or IKEA to prove your point.
- Customer loyalty : the importance of satisfaction and loyalty programs. Conduct research using available surveys on satisfaction and draw conclusions from these statistics.
- Ethnic differences and their impact on brand perception. This research can review the types of products that target White or Black Americans specifically.
- Preferences for green products: analysis of the income’s influence on consumer decisions. Compare what households are more likely to prefer green products.
- Shopping habits of Muslim consumers in the USA: qualitative research. Here, you will need to do research by engaging Muslim Americans in your study; you can use interviews or surveys for this topic.
- Social media and its impact on the promotion of small business. Make sure your reader understands how social media can promote or negatively present small business through customers’ comments.
- Does globalization make preferences of customers from different socioeconomic backgrounds similar? Interview people from lower, middle, and upper class and discuss the preferences of American households.
- Social media usage by international companies: a case study of Electronic Arts. Study the influence of customers’ reviews and opinions on EA’s sales.
- Consumers’ perception of transaction safety in online shopping applications. Discuss how consumers learn to differentiate between reliable and unreliable apps for payments .
- Marketing high tech products: a case study.
- Study changing marketing techniques during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The future of big data uses in marketing.
- Conduct a comparative analysis of offline vs. online advertising .
- Explore the relationship between marketing strategies and sales.
- Holiday marketing strategies in the 21st century.
- Is marketing tailed towards model devices effective?
- Study the rise of influencer marketing .
- Review the newest trends in digital advertising .
- Brand management in 2020: an analysis.
- Assess the effect of advertising on consumer behavior.
- Targeted ads: are they efficient?
- How did marketing change during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Assess brand management’s contribution to consumer loyalty .
- Impact of social media marketing on brand perception.
- Google Analytics insights for marketing campaigns.
- Marketing for minority populations.
- Youtube marketing: the effectiveness of videos for brand promotion.
- How does partnering with influencers impact brand perception?
- Social influencer marketing for SMEs.
History Dissertation Topics
History is written not only by the victors but also by history students. Your dissertation can shine a light on understudied cultures. Or perhaps you want to focus on how a specific event impacted the world. Find inspiration among the following dissertation questions and ideas:
- The historical context of the creation of Guernica by Pablo Picasso . War wasn’t the only inspiration for Pablo Picasso during the process of making Guernica . In this paper, you would look into the environment of the artist and try to identify what else brought him to the creation of this masterpiece.
- Bismarck and radical nationalism: what influenced the political state? For this research, you would study the underlying reasons for German Nazism before the beginning of World War II. What factors gave it a start when Otto von Bismarck was in charge?
- The rise of Bollywood: historical context. This paper focuses on the success of Indian Bollywood movies in the 1930s. You would need to look into the events that made those movies famous in the whole world. Don’t forget to mention the social views of Bollywood movies.
- The influence of secrecy in the technology intervention during World War II. You would study the role that the US Patent and Trademark Office played in the development of special war technology . Secrecy helped to keep it away from the public and enemies. How did it influence the war?
- Italian prisons in the 19th century: how were they managed after Unification? This paper would require you to study documentation on the management system prison used in Italy at the beginning of the 19th century. You should try to find some practices that might have been socially harmful.
- Gender perceptions in the Middle Age. When preparing the dissertation, use both historical and literary sources to show how gender was presented.
- Secularization in the American South during the post-war period. Provide a detailed discussion of secular societies forming in the South after the 1940s.
- Representation of Jewish history in contemporary art: a case study of Art Spiegelman’s Maus . Using the comic book as the primary basis, explain how Jewish culture and history are presented there.
- The history of medieval warfare and its influence on Modern Era warfare . When constructing this thesis, make sure you are using both historical and current research to provide details.
- American-British relations during the Cold War Era . Explain how the Cold War Era changes these relations and what has affected it the most.
- Germany’s foreign relations during the 1980s. Present a detailed overview of different foreign relations (e.g., with the USA, the USSR, the UK) Germany had during this period.
- The financial crisis in the USA in 2007-2009. Using research and media sources, explain to the reader how the crisis is still affecting the USA.
- The development of Austrian identity after World War II. In this case, you can use both historical evidence and Austrian literature that provides personal opinions of writers and artists on the issue.
- The impact of the Great Depression on the American involvement in the World War II. To show your understanding of historical processes, demonstrate how the Great Depression affected the USA’s perception of WWII.
- How I stopped worrying and learned to love the bomb: the development of nuclear warfare in the 20th century. Discuss the development of nuclear warfare in the USA and the USSR.
- What was the role of China in the Cold War?
- How did the Spanish Flu affect the pandemics that followed it?
- Determine the influence of the stock market crash in 1929 on the World Wars.
- First Battle of Marne’s impact on the outcomes of WWI.
- Tool usage and creation: Aztecs vs. Mayas.
- How did the enlightenment philosophy impact the development of the natural sciences?
- The effects of Christianization in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Assess the role of slavery in the US civil rights movement.
- Study the history of LGBT rights establishment in the US.
- What are the origins of slavery in Africa?
- The Moon Landing and its impact on space exploration.
- Explore the role of the Bible in Jewish history.
- The US’ involvement in WWII.
- The aftermath of WWII: major historical events.
- Research the link between the Mexican-American War and the Gold Rush .
- Cold War insights: lessons from the Suez Crisis.
- Explore the role of democratization in the Soviet Union collapse.
- Global cooperation in early modern Europe.
- Study the legacy of the arms race.
- How did the First Ladies influence life in the 20th century America?
Dissertation Topics in Management
Companies and employees alike benefit from well-thought-out management strategies. So, a thesis in management has the potential to improve work environments even further. Kickstart your research by choosing one of the following topics:
- Ecotourism in Canada: issues and trends in small business. Explain issues that arise in ecotourism with climate change.
- Management ethics: how social media affects employees’ privacy and organizational climate. Present examples of negative and positive influence.
- Leadership styles : a comparison of democratic and autocratic leadership. Discuss what leadership style should be chosen to rule various companies, depending on their business plan.
- Political risk and its influence on emergency management . Explain how political crises affect and shape emergency management.
- Cultural diversity and its impact on employees’ satisfaction and commitment. Show what advantages and disadvantages there are in cultural diversity.
- Economic growth and unemployment rates in Australia during the 1990s: a historical perspective. Explain the causes of economic growth and unemployment.
- Challenges in human resources management working with millennials: qualitative research. Discuss what particular challenges HR managers face and how they can be addressed.
- The significance of organizational routines in international corporations: a case study of Google. Conduct research on the importance of routine and its impact on performance.
- Computer skills and management: the effectiveness of computerized management information system in rural areas. Describe how digital management can be effectively applied in companies working in rural areas.
- The history of digital rights management in the USA. Present the changes in the field during the 1990s-2010s.
- Analyze the best leadership styles for SMEs.
- Examine the changes entrepreneurship underwent in the past decades.
- How do leadership styles relate to work satisfaction ?
- Overview of business negotiation methods using technology.
- Ways of integrating corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices.
- Discuss the specifics of airline companies’ management .
- Choose a theory of motivation in the workplace and make a case study on it.
- Study change management in SMEs in times of a crisis.
- Managing diverse workforce: a qualitative analysis.
- Use of employee voice in US companies.
- Research the relationship between the organization’s goals and a manager’s behavior.
- What are the best current practices in public administration ?
- Applying strategic human capital principles in practice.
- The study of female CEOs in a country of your choice.
- Employees’ perception of change management : a quantitative analysis.
- A study of employees’ resistance to change.
- What’s the correlation between a CEO’s leadership traits and employee motivation ?
- Workplace risk management : a study of psychosocial hazards.
- Conduct a quantitative study of the gender pay gap for CEOs.
- Research the relationship between management style and employee productivity .
Qualitative Dissertation: Ideas for Proposals
If you want your thesis to be more practical, you’ve come to the right section. Common approaches for qualitative dissertations include researching case studies, surveys, or ethnographies. Because of this, fieldwork will be an integral part of your doctorate journey.
- A comparison of teaching techniques that targeted children with autism in the 20th and 21st centuries. Provide a detailed overview of techniques and explain how research affected them.
- The development of cognitive-behavioral therapy and its effectiveness in patients with eating disorders . Present the history of CBT and use recent research to demonstrate its effectiveness.
- Ageism and sexism in international organizations of the fashion industry. Describe how the fashion industry defines what it means to be “young and beautiful.”
- Addressing sexual harassment at the workplace : the influence of organizational policies on targets’ decision to file a complaint. Explain what policies can support the target and what can prevent such decision.
- Strategies to eliminate bias in self-evaluation reports of employees. Using research in HRM, outline the best strategies that are currently used to avoid bias .
- Post-cancer therapy: issues and trends. Present and discuss various trends, the research behind them, and the effectiveness of different types of therapy.
- A family history of abuse and its influence on drug use in adults. Explain how abuse can provoke addiction in the future.
- The importance of trusting doctor-patient relationships on patient’s medication adherence and management of a healthy lifestyle. Describe how such relationships negatively or positively affect a patient’s decision to take medicine as prescribed.
- Barriers to the acquisition of social support among young men and women veterans in the USA. Discuss mental and physical disorders as major barriers.
- Single mothers’ perceptions of breastfeeding in public places: qualitative research. Conduct interviews to find out their opinion.
- The impact of online learning on student’s academic performance.
- A study of the youths’ perception of learning smartphone applications.
- Research the issue of gender bias in college education.
- Student’s perception of the mental health support and impact on campus.
- Perceptions of charter school education in the 21 century.
- Discuss homeschooling and its effect on a child’s socialization.
- What’s the impact of cyberbullying on teenagers’ mental health?
- How inmates perceive alternative forms of incarceration.
- Gun violence from the perspective of victims.
- Research bias towards video games as an art form.
- In what ways are minorities disadvantaged in America?
- Evaluate cooking as a therapeutic exercise.
- Assess the link between a principal’s leadership style and the school’s rating.
- The effect of online counseling on patients’ mental health.
- Perception of mental health stigma among students.
- How does gig economy re-define work?
- The implications of freelancing in the 2020s.
- Opinions about a 6-day work week in your community.
- Assess the process of adaptation to working from home .
- Conduct a research study of views on the BLM movement outside the US.
Quantitative Dissertation Proposal Topics
Some scholars just love working with data. Are you one of them? Then you’ll probably enjoy quantitative research. If you’re into finding patterns and making predictions, here are some enticing topics:
- A study of a major city’s livability index. Choose a city and assess whether it’s well-designed or not.
- A quantitative study of biofilms in technology. Discuss methods of using biofilms in technology. Include a list of recent advances and new tools.
- A quantitative study of teachers’ perception of online learning . This topic prompts you to use an evaluation scale.
- An assessment of a link between product reviews and intention to purchase. Study the effect online reviews have on potential customers.
- Immigration and its connection to crime statistics . Analyze data on immigration to the US and the number of violent crimes. Determine the relationship between the two phenomena.
- The relationship between obesity and occupation. Assess the BMIs of participants of different professions. Then, test the results for a correlation and discuss its implications.
- A relationship between nurses’ knowledge of diabetes management and patient satisfaction. Assess the nurses’ knowledge about diabetes and compare the results with patient satisfaction scores. Thus, you can determine if expertise translates into better care.
- A study of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on SMEs financial operations. With this qualitative dissertation proposal in business and management, choose a small company. Analyze its financial data pre- and post-pandemic. Include a discussion of financial management during pandemics.
- A study of millennials ’ pet ownership. Determine the percentage of millennials who have pets. Compare these patterns with previous generations.
- Economic growth and urbanization. Compare the empirical data about the state of economics and the number of people living in cities.
- Determine how urbanization affects bacterial community compositions.
- The economic impact of immigration on SMEs.
- Study the rates of crimes in the US in relation to nonviolent crimes.
- How do various teaching styles affect learning?
- Compare overconfidence in CEOs of SMEs and corporations.
- How does inclusive language influence social behavior?
- Assess consumers’ satisfaction with online banking in your area.
- Evaluate crude oil price prediction methods.
- Is there a link between smartphone use and mental illness?
- Correlation between eyewitness identification and memory
- What are the attitudes towards AI development among women?
- Determine the rates of cybercrimes since the 1990s.
- A study of the police brutality cases across the US in the last decade.
- Correlation between education level and employment.
- The presence of sleep disorders in mental illnesses.
- Assess the attitudes towards medical care in the US .
- Determine the correlation between eating disorders and physical illness.
- Study the rates of cyberbullying among minority students.
- How various religious groups influence politics : a game-theoretical approach.
- Does regular exercise decrease symptoms of depression in adults?
Dissertation Topics in Educational Leadership
Educational leadership is a science focused on helping students to achieve their academic goals. It includes the motivation of staff and learners, improvement of educational programs, and creation of a healthy, productive environment in institutions. Want to dedicate your research to it? Take a look at these topic samples:
- Fatigue among American medical students. Medical students often need to memorize and analyze big portions of information. That is why many of them don’t sleep enough, get tired quickly, and find it hard to concentrate. What can be done about it?
- How did the COVID-19 pandemic and distance learning affect students’ motivation? Online education has multiple benefits and drawbacks. Some students might find it easier to get access to various textbooks online. Others want to return to campus. What is their motivation ?
- Creating better learning conditions on campus : the challenges in 2022. With the increasing speed of technological progress, it is hard to catch up with the latest innovations. Explore them in your dissertation. For instance, you can focus on facilities for students with special needs .
- How can we enhance discipline among first-year students on campus? For some younger students, it is hard to get used to living on their own. They need to accept new responsibilities, find time to take care of themselves, and organize their lives. How can we help them?
- Development of soft skills among undergraduate students. For future employers, soft skills are as important as hard skills. That is why colleges need to pay attention to soft skills such as time management , communication, and creativity.
- The efficiency of workshops for enhancing students’ creativity.
- Do nutrition habits influence the studying process?
- The importance of mental health care in high school.
- What leadership styles are the most efficient in college communities?
- Does the implementation of early childhood education lead to further academic success?
- What is the role of school counseling among teenagers?
- What psychological factors make students drop out of college?
- Developing leadership qualities among MBA students.
- How to help college athletes to cope with psychological and physical pressure.
- Ways of reducing anxiety levels among criminology students.
- Helping students to choose their majors and find a career path.
- How to enhance communication between higher education administration and students?
- Motivating students to succeed after graduation .
- Why do we need psychology classes in high school?
- How can we prevent the bullying of Latin American students in middle and high school?
✅ How to Choose a Thesis Topic: Main Steps
In case you have no idea where to start from, here is a quick guideline on how to choose a Ph.D. thesis topic:
We hope this article helped you to choose a suitable topic for your dissertation. We wish you good luck with your research!
Learn more on this topic:
- Dissertation Critique: Examples, How-to Guide
- The Ultimate Guide to Writing an Outstanding Dissertation
- How to Write an Abstract: Brief Steps and Structure Example
✏️ Dissertation FAQ
While working on a dissertation, you might deal with several types of research. The main research types are primary, qualitative, quantitative, and legal. In any case, it’s the way in which a researcher studies the subject using a particular methodology.
First of all, make sure that you are personally fascinated by the subject. This is essential for any thesis, be it master’s or an undergraduate dissertation. Besides, make sure the topic is feasible and hasn’t been studies much.
A good dissertation title is the one that represents the subject under study. To state which aspect is being studied is also important. The title should include neither a hypothesis nor a conclusion: think about it as “spoilers”—nobody likes them.
Just like any paper, a great dissertation is the one that is well-organized. The topic of the paper should correspond to the title. The text should have a cohesive structure with a definite introduction, argumentative main part, and a logical conclusion.
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According to a number of studies, it takes, on average, anywhere between six and eight years to complete a PhD programme . That is a daunting prospect, but it needn’t take that long if you focus at an early stage on identifying your topic. This is of course not the only factor. Several other factors – such as where you choose to take the programme , whether you can secure funding, who your supervisor will be , etc. – will also be highly influential in determining how much time it takes for you to complete your PhD and how effectively you complete it. That said, choosing the right PhD topic is perhaps the most critical factor determining the success of your PhD.
Importance of choosing the right PhD topic
More than any other factor, and one that you will need to persuade others to believe, is your inner motivation to study a specific topic. This motivation is going to be the source of your drive over the next few years. If you are planning to begin your PhD immediately after completing your Master’s, this motivation and planning should even precede your choice of Master’s dissertation .
In this case, you will usually need to submit materials such as a Research Proposal , Statement of Purpose , a CV, your transcripts, etc., as part of the PhD application package before you even write the Master’s dissertation. Therefore, planning at an early stage is of utmost importance.
Tips for choosing your PhD topic
There are a number of stages and elements to consider when choosing your topic.
a. Read on a relevant topic of interest
Read widely around a topic that really interests you. Ideally, though, this should be a topic that has a future ! In other words, it will still need to be relevant and important in the future, a few years down the line when you have completed your PhD work. Additionally, while your interest in the topic is of course an indispensable ingredient for the PhD work to be carried on, do note that the topic should also be able to attract the attention of other researchers in your field. The topic you choose to base your PhD thesis on should ideally be such that the mainstream academic community finds it particularly striking, so much so that a majority of scholars in the field are interested in tracing its progress over time.
b. Read related review articles
As a corollary to the above, find and go through review articles on the topic. These articles sometimes appear in academic journals. They review the current available literature on a topic to map out the research done, while also identifying possible future avenues of research.
c. Identify topics from courses you have taken
You will probably have had the chance to take courses related to your topic, hopefully even to write term papers using relevant literature. Draw from what you have learnt in these courses to develop ideas for your unique research topic.
d. Identify potential research questions
Write down the questions that you don’t know the answer to at this stage. These are focusing questions so that you can continue to read with a clearer purpose and direction. At this stage, you would be searching for gaps in the literature , and looking for possibilities to expand this area with new data or by bringing in another field to add to this topic.
e. Begin narrowing down researchable problems
From your reading, you can hopefully identify a more specific focus. This could be a particular aspect or problem which becomes more apparent as you read, or some of the questions you have been asking seem to be unanswered. Perhaps you have now identified a gap in existing studies/literature or an area that still feels unclear and therefore merits further research.
f. Choose a topic that allows extensibility across degrees
Most applicants plan to pursue a PhD in the same field or on a similar topic to their Master’s . If so, you will need to identify an area you can successfully deal with within the requirements of the Master’s thesis, but also one that you see possibilities to expand on beyond the Master’s, at the PhD level.
Note : If you decide to do your PhD in a different field than your Master’s, you should explain the reasoning behind this change in direction. The PhD applications committee will want to understand this shift and you can explain this in the Statement of Purpose . Try to put across the logic or need for such a change and your motivation behind this move.
If you are determined, you will find an opportunity to study the topic of your choice. But the ideal situation is when you have a well-thought-out, achievable plan and a strong, genuine motivation that the admissions panel will be able to see clearly throughout your application.
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Looking for the original and Well-Researched PhD Research Topic Selection? Do you want to conduct brainstorming sessions with our expertise to select the right topic that reflect your whole research study? You wanted to select the right research topic that justifies your complete PhD dissertation.
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Ph.D. Topic Selection – Mentoring to identify right topic based on the Gap from industry, Your experience and supervisor thoughts
Selecting a topic for research in PhD is a tricky question. Because it's a matter of career in academics rather than anything else which requires years of investment to accomplish? Most of the student is facing an extremely hectic and frustrating when selecting the best and unique PhD Topic for their dissertation that has Well-Researched and has a very clear research goal. Especially for the Non-English speaking countries such as Chinese, Brazil, Singaporeans, Malays, Indonesia and other Asian country’s students are freaked out as soon as they assigned for the Topic selection. Undoubtedly, topic selection need of an extensive literature search by referencing many peer reviewed and online sources.
Hence, after measuring the pros and cons, the topic needs to be selected. The utmost priority towards selecting the topic should be based on candidates'
PhD Assistance list topics that interest you most which you have gone through earlier in seminar paper, journal articles or syllabus of previous classes. Again, the topic selected not neither be general nor so specific. Reason, not many going to go through the thesis which is general, means other people might have dealt with the topic, which might seem a little bit similar. In case of specific, there might be a problem in finding the all the necessary information to carry out the study.
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Engaging expertise who have studied the topic would enhance your research - A Trusted Ph.D. Research Mentoring Support
There are many options exist to choose a topic for pursuing PhD. One of the options is seeking an advisor's help, the person could be the supervisor, mentor, or from the concerned institute. At PhD assistance, who has the team of qualified research professionals with experience in topic selection. Candidate has the opportunity either choosing a topic from a list given by advisor or in consultation with for the requisite dissertation. Their experience in this regard will help in zeroing down to right topic. While choosing the topic, think about the issues generating curiosity and convert those into questions. Brainstorming over these questions might pave way to get the topic.
PhD Experts at PhD Assistance have capability & skills to select not only right topic but based on the current gap & need
Our writers and researchers have experience in choosing the right Topic and title for PhD dissertation based on their Specialized discipline and their own interest. In additional, our experts are chosen from international and top-ranked universities across the global countries like the US, UK, and India. Our writers have the capability & knowledge to select a PhD research topic that is truly best for your research, further select a catchy title that suits your research goal undoubtedly
Topic for your doctorate dissertation
A Topic that is well-grounded in the scholarly literature, manageable with given time frame, resources, availability of data sources, within your range of competence are identified. Significant in practical or theoretical terms? Original & not been done before & ensure that the topic takes you where you want to go.
We offer three levels of Ph.D. dissertation topic services based on area of your interest, employers want, supervisors already know, & research papers.
- PhD thesis topic selection
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Connect with our domain-matter expertise across the globe
We offer Topic selection for Management, Life Science, arts, social science and health, Biological and Medical Sciences and much more.
Topic Speaks about Your Research
The topic itself would cover key areas such as research problem or area, study design, target population and expected the outcome.
Outstanding PhD Dissertation Topic Selection Features
Focus on Research Gap
The dissertation Topics are chosen based on the research gap and other future recommendations proposed by previous researchers. As we understood that title should reflect the problem, questions, research area of the study, findings, study design, ethnicity and place of the study.
Literature Review & identify the problem statement
The goal and research objectives have proposed which would be developed based on the comprehensive literature review and identify the problem statement. We use a wide range of information to discover the topic including statistics, news reports, textbooks, historical information and of course recent peer-reviewed scholarly articles from the peer-reviewed journals.
Proposed Methodology & Expected Outcome
Literature review plays a significant role in your dissertation so we provided the latest articles published in the proposed area and identified the problem as well as proposed methodology that would include qualitative or quantitative, research design, data collection methods target population, tools used and finally expected outcome.
Unique features of PhD Assistance
- Well-researched and potential Topics
- A list of topics provided from which any topic can be chosen
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Well-Conceptualized & Precise Ph.D. Topic Speaks about Your Research
To support our argument, we offer detailed references lists and bibliography.
Our Ph.D. topic selection service is exclusive
As we do not just provide topics, but the rather clear explanation and justification for the choice.
Brainstorm Your ideas
Plagiarism report, quality assurance, our ph.d. research writing, rewriting, mentoring help, we are committed to providing value for your money and time you invest with us, 0% plagiarism content.
We’re aware of the consequences of the plagiarism, therefore provide you 100% plagiarism free content. We ensure that our experts scan the works through online plagiarism tools as well as Turnitin or WriteCheck.
Every work is purely original as well as our premium researcher understand the value of grades in writing the one-off dissertation paper since they are passionate about doing the research. We offer only tailor-made Ph.D. dissertation writing services which are unique, and it gives you completeness and satisfaction for your money.
At Ph.D. help, we strive hard to provide the ultimate Ph.D. dissertation research methodology writing services with high-class quality at a reasonable cost compare to the globally available service provider. Our assistance is globally available who would work as per their currency charges and timings. Our pricing plan is constant irrespective of places, subjects, and universities as well as provide only same high-quality works to all the students.
100% Match with requirement
We help to match Your requirement 100% since our experienced writers upgraded with the topic and analyze well before working on the dissertation. In the each of the dissertation stages, we always check with you before we move to the next chapters. Further, our services purely follow your university-upgraded guidelines to ensure that dissertation meets the expected standards.
The committed timeline is our promise to our every client. We understand timeline that decides your future, and therefore our work is delivered as per the deadline committed. For minor changes, we guarantee delivery within 24 working hours and any major changes to dissertation chapters will be carried out within 48 working hours. We check all your emails with 30 minutes of working hours. We plan your complete dissertation within short time help you to save time for changes and updates.
Word Count Committed
Our experts can handle the maximum word counts in the Ph.D. dissertation writing that range from 8,000 -80,000 words. In additional, as per your university guidelines and requirement, we complete the Ph.D. research methodology that meets specific word counts since we completely understand the appointed universities committee members will reduce the credits if the word counts decrease. We count the words without adding Reference, Chart table, Table of Contents, Appendix, Bibliography and Interview responses.
We undertake the rigorous quality check and assurance process at every step of your dissertation thereby you are assured to get the accurate output. Our experts check every time and verify the given requirement, so your final output meets the standard. We analyze and check your document based on the language, technical words, subject matter, referencing, formatting, plagiarism and overall.
Every researcher has different points of view. Therefore, we offer unlimited revisions. Our team of Ph.D. experts respects the feedback provided by the guide or supervisor and provide sufficient changes to enhance your research work. The revision carried out at this stage is complementary*.
Latest referenced sources
Our dissertation writing projects are completely referenced with updated online sources, journal articles, research, textbooks, corporate document and other international and national regulatory documents. Our team of ultimate copyeditors exceptionally work for university specific referencing system since we understand the value of each credit.
PhD Mentors with adequate experience
Rely on our unique and affordable ph.d. dissertation mentoring services, as well as your order, you will also get the following..
Our Additional Features
All our academic mentoring, whether an essay, report, dissertation or any other form of academic writing that built on other thoughts and ideas, are acknowledged appropriately. This is necessary to the reader in identifying and finding the relevant sources. We ensure that the usage of references would be largely within the main body of your report while the introduction and the conclusion be largely based on the ideas. This is to ensure avoiding plagiarism. Acknowledgment is done in the text (i.e., in work) and subsequently linked to the full lists presented under the references lists section (end of your work of all sources you refer to).
Formatting & Referencing
The research report is formatted based on the recommended formatting guidelines. Since, there are many different guidelines available including APA, MLA, Harvard and therefore, we strictly follow the guideline given by the scholars. Based on the referencing style (e.g. APA, Harvard, MLA, Oxford), the report will be formatted. Further, we also format to ensure (1) to avoid plagiarism (2) to assign proper authority to a statement, (3) sentence structuring and finally adding a table of content, and Lists of Tables & Figures. Footnotes or endnotes are also being taken care by our formatting team.
Study Materials Sharing
We not only deliver the work that you ordered but also we take one step forward to ensure that you are aware of reference materials used in the research work. Every article whether a journal article, textbook, PhD dissertation, translated works, newspaper articles, dictionary, or web pages, lectures (usually includes speaker name, date, name and the location) encyclopaedia entries, legal or historical text, PDFs, PPTs, YouTube Videos, annual reports and many more– will be shared to the research scholar for future reference. On a special request, we also mark / highlight the articles that are most important for the student to read and understand. Additional reference materials will be shared via zipping file through Google drive or drop box so you can use it again during the viva or any other process.
I am very confused for selecting my computer science research topic. It was very challenging and tensed lot for me. My friend referred me to phdassistance. The expert helped me to select the research topic. It was awesome and my guide accepted the topic without any changes, Thanks phdassistance.
I recommended anyone who needs the best research topic for PhD scholars. Initially, I was hesitated to approach the team but after met the team, I was amazed and got confidence to clearly explain my research idea. The research title was great. It seems like to describe my work. Thank you expert
I was feeling overwhelmed and lost when it came to choosing a PhD topic that would truly excite me and contribute to the field. Thankfully, the PhD Assistance Topic selection service provided me with invaluable guidance. They took the time to understand my interests, strengths, and career goals and then presented me with a well-curated list of potential research areas. With their help, I found a topic that ignited my passion and set me on a rewarding academic journey- Thanks, team- John, France.
Phdassistance provides me with a great deal of flexibility in terms of choosing courses and research areas. The specialists assisted me in choosing a unique and significant research topic, as well as moving on to the next stage of my research.
At PhD Assistance, The process of selecting a PhD topic was both challenging and rewarding. The team members provide careful consideration of my interests and future career aspirations. Ultimately, they chose a topic that aligned with my passion for environmental sustainability and allowed me to make a meaningful contribution to the research work.
Ordering your complete or part Ph.D. Dissertation process from Ph.D. Assistance is quick and easy. You need to follow the easy steps given below
Step 1. Complete the order form
You can provide as much information as you can about your project and the specific assistance that you require from us. It will help our research team to understand your requirements.
Step 4: Edit & Proofreading
After receiving the work from writers, we send the document to editing and proofreading department to ensure that the work is free of any grammatical or language errors. Where the content is minutely scrutinized by a qualified team of native English speakers and language editors. Whether it is UK OR the US English language, we ensure that the styles are not mixed. Following the proofreading and editing, the content undergoes a quality and plagiarism check. The quality check ensures that the content matches the requirement and is relevant whereas, plagiarism check ensures that the content is original.
Step 7: We check against the requirement
Once your dissertation work is completed, we compare and cross verify the final documents like title, context, spelling error, language error, grammar, punctuation mistakes, wrong manuscript style and quality against the client's requirement. We look at each detail very keenly to ensure whether it is an exactly cited and align with your requirement.
Step 10: Request for amendment
If you required any changes done by your appointed committee or supervisor you can always come back to us and do not hesitate, we are ready to do unlimited revisions for the concept being committed.
Step 13: Our researcher makes the changes
The document will be received from our writer or programmer, and once the work is finished, we’ll share you the complete work through email or you can download the order through CRM. If you are need of any changes or corrections in your document, you can contact us at any working hours without any hesitation. We are happy to incorporate the changes as per the initial commitment.
Step 2: Make payment for your specific mentoring requirement
You will be required to make the prescribed payment for the specific service you are opting for. The payment would vary per the type of research methodology and timelines. You are required to make the payment through our secure online payment system.
Step 5: Update process
We will provide complete updates with regards to the progress of your project. It will be a two-way process wherein you would also be required to update us about any changes or additional instructions that you might receive from your university or college from time to time.
Step 8: 100% Plagiarism Assurance
Once your dissertation underwent to the editing and proofreading process, your final document is checked for plagiarism with anti-plagiarism software tools before the delivery. Since we provide plagiarism reports, certificate to ensure the students not finding any issues in the future. Our high-quality research and streamlined process.
Step 11: We undertake free unlimited revisions
Another feature that is unique to Ph.D. Assistance is that we offer unlimited revisions that are totally free. In the rare instance that there is a variation between perceptions of the expert from those of the client, there is a scope for disagreement. In such instances, we are open to making changes to the research methodology as per the client’s requirement. Any additional inputs given by the client’s guide is also addressed by our experts. We ensure that every change as suggested by the client is incorporated till such time that the client is entirely satisfied.
Step 14: Amendment Request
In case after going through the project you feel the need to modify the executed research methodology, you can make a request for modification while highlighting the modifications required. Once we receive the request for modification, our experts will verify if the changes suggested are valid and work on it accordingly.
Step 3: Order confirmation communication
An official order confirmation communication will be sent to the email address specified by you at the time of the initial registration. We start the process within a couple of days* after your payment received.
Step 6: Assigning Subject Matter Expertise
Based on your requirement an expert who is most qualified and experienced in executing your research methodology will be assigned to you. The assigned expert will be responsible for extending complete assistance throughout the duration of the project. Experts at Ph.D. Assistance are carefully chosen through a rigorous recruitment process. Stringent recruitment norms ensure that only the right people with the right qualification and experience are selected. During the recruitment process, they are evaluated for their knowledge, critical thinking, language and ability to understand concepts. Thus, our team is an eclectic mix of Ph.D. holders, medical experts, engineers, management and financial wizards who not only have a strong grasp over their domain but they also have an inherent ability to execute research methodology assignments effortlessly while maintaining the quality.
Step 9: Free Appendices / Resources
We just not only deliver your work but take one step forward to ensure that you’re aware of reference materials used in the research work *. All reference materials will be shared via zipping file through Google drive or drop box to ensure you can make use of the same again during the viva voice or any other process.
Step 12: Download your Order
With the help of customized CRM, not only your interaction becomes easy. Now, it is a very simple process that you can download your order through our CRM and reminder will be sent through email & SMS. An additional copy will also be mailed. Our CRM is safe, secure and anti-virus enabled which keeps your documents in a highly secured manner.
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Cs phd student finalist for 3mt competition.
Learn more about Maaz and his research in this Q&A and consider attending 3MT competition and supporting him!
What is the topic of your Three Minute Thesis?
My topic for the 3MT is " Unveiling the Digital Veil: Empowering Transparency and Accountability in Online Privacy ."
What inspired you to pursue this topic?
When I started my PhD, I took a few courses on online tracking and advertising. In these courses, I learned the importance of online privacy and the lack of awareness surrounding it. This motivated me to work on a research project with a senior to get a better understanding of the problem and from there I have been exploring transparency and accountability in the online world and how it can improve online privacy.
Why is this topic important?
This topic is important because it is less popular but at the same time has equally dangerous consequences. People usually are very concerned about their online security and changing their passwords. However, online privacy is brushed off as something not important. However, I will talk about this in my talk as well, that lack of online privacy can lead to benign consequences such as personalized advertising, or it can also lead to racial discrimination and sexual harassment.
Musa was previously recognized as a runner-up for the PETs Andreas Pfitzmann Best Student Paper Award at PETS 2022 : The 22 nd Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium for his paper entitled “ATOM: A Generalizable Technique for Inferring Tracker-Advertiser Data Sharing in the Online Behavioral Advertising Ecosystem.” PETS brings together privacy experts from around the world to discuss research in privacy-enhancing technologies.
Additionally, Musa will be one of four Ph.D. speakers featured at the Department of Computer Science’s 2023 Prospective Student Visit Day and Graduate Research Symposium . Maaz’s talk, will also highlight his research in equipping users with the ability to control their online data. An early "Unveiling the Digital Veil" illustration is also a contender for “Capture Your Research Image Competition ” accolade: consider voting here !
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