The scope and requirements of a dissertation vary greatly from one department and university to the next. In some disciplines (such as medicine, engineering and natural sciences) works ranging from 100 to 150 pages are common. When it comes to business and the humanities, however, the work required can be anywhere from 200 to 500 pages in length. Universities and professors have very different specifications, many of which may relate to the formal design and the scope of the thesis. In general, the structure of the paper should be discussed with the supervisor as early as possible. During the writing process, which unlike bachelor’s or master’s assignments can take several years, the structure and any changes should always be discussed with the supervising professor.

Intensive supervision by the professor is definitely desirable in today’s academic landscape; however, this is often the exception rather than the rule. The structure of the work is of course dependent on the particular subject and the question under which the topic is being studied.

Basically, the structure of a dissertation follows some rules

  • PhD Thesis Table of Contents
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Figure Index
  • List of Tables
  • Introduction to Research Status, Question
  • Actual Body of Text with clearly distinguishable, distinct Subsections
  • Conclusion and Outlook (Answering Questions posed at the Outset in the Introduction)
  • References and Bibliography
  • Annex (empirical Materials used, Documents, etc.)
  • In the introduction, the subject that will be addressed is introduced and the scope of the work defined. A central issue is the formulation of the concept under which the subject is to be addressed and explained. The main part is divided into several chapters and sections and is used to examine the issue and initially explained question. The final part for answering the question posed at the beginning and leaves room for an outlook on future research questions on this topic.