How Long is a Dissertation – A Comprehensive Analysis

A dissertation is a big, detailed academic paper that marks the end of a student’s research and studies in a certain field. Depending on the area of study, university, and research topic, the length of a dissertation can vary a lot.

In this interesting blog post, we will discuss the typical length of a dissertation. Also, we will elaborate on things that make it longer or shorter. Plus, you’ll have some tips for writing your dissertation well.

Understanding How Long Is a Dissertation

The Usual Length

Typically, dissertation length can range from 10k to 100k words, but usually around 40k to 80k. Make sure to double-check your university’s guidelines to make sure you meet their word count expectations.

The length of a dissertation can be expressed in terms of pages, going from 150 to 300.

Factors Influencing Length

Academic Discipline

Depending on the field of study, dissertation length can really differ. In the humanities and social sciences, longer dissertations can often go over 80,000 words. On the other hand, if you’re studying natural sciences or engineering, your dissertation might be shorter.

Research Scope and Complexity

The size of your dissertation depends on how deep and complicated your research topic is. You’ll likely have a longer paper if you take a broad approach with a lot of data and a literature review.

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University or Department Guidelines

Colleges and departments usually have certain rules that tell you the maximum length of your dissertation should be. These guidelines might include how many words you’re allowed, the format it should be in, and what kind of chapters it should have.

Research Methodology

The type of research you do can determine how long your dissertation will be. For example, if you’re doing an in-depth interview and analysis for a qualitative study, it could make your dissertation longer than if you were doing a quantitative study with a simplified methodology.

Supervisor’s Expectations

Your dissertation advisor or supervisor should be able to help you determine the length of your dissertation. They’ve got a good idea of what’s appropriate for your project.

Structure and Content


The first part of your research project sets the groundwork – it explains the problem you’re looking into, the goals of your project, and why it’s important. Generally, the introduction takes up around 5-10% of the paper’s total length.

Literature Review

This part of your dissertation examines existing studies on your subject and gives a theoretical background. It can be long – usually taking up 20-30% of the whole document.


Explain the steps you took when researching and collecting data for your dissertation. Generally, this part should comprise 10-15% of the dissertation.


The findings from your research should be included in the results section and take up around 15-25% of the total document.


In this part of the dissertation, you look at your findings and make sense of them in relation to your research questions and what other people have said about the topic. It usually amounts to 20-30% of the whole thing.


The conclusion wraps up your research by highlighting its major points, what they mean, and what should be done next. It usually makes up 5-10 % of the paper’s total length.

Appendices and References

These bits aren’t included when counting words but can make the whole thing longer. Appendices could include extra stuff; the reference list shows all the sources you mentioned.

Writing Tips:

  • Be concise and to-the-point while you are writing your dissertation.

  • Ensure to adhere to the Institution guidelines.

  • Revise and edit your work carefully to eliminate unnecessary content.

  • Seek feedback from your peers and advisor to improve the final draft of your dissertation.

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A dissertation’s word count can range from 40,000 to 80,000 words, depending on the subject, scope of research, and school guidelines. It takes a lot of hard work and planning to ensure the paper is comprehensive and up to academic standards.

Hopefully, we were able to clear your mind on how long a dissertation is.

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