Writing a Thesis or Dissertation

Course overview

This course is designed for international students who are either writing, or preparing to write, a dissertation or thesis for their degree course at Oxford. In Week 1, students begin by considering the organisation pattern that is most suitable to their study and discipline. Each subsequent lesson focuses on a different part of the thesis/dissertation (Introductions, Literature Reviews, Discussions etc.), as well as the expected structure and linguistic conventions. Though this course is available throughout the year, it is our most popular Hilary term offering. It builds upon the foundational understanding provided by our Introduction, and Key Issues courses, while preparing students for the challenges of writing a thesis or dissertation.

Learning outcomes

  • Gain an understanding of the different organisational structures used within the Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences.
  • Consider works of previous students in order to understand the common structural, linguistic and stylistic issues that arise when drafting a  research project
  • Increase competence in incorporating citations into texts, including choosing appropriate tenses and reporting verbs   
  • Learn how to structure the various parts of a dissertation or thesis (Introduction, Literature Review, Discussion, Conclusion and Abstract)

A certificate of attendance is available upon request if you have attended at least 80% of the course

Timetable Hilary Term 2020

  Day of week and time Date of first class Date of final class
Closed Wednesdays 17:00 - 19:00 22 January 2020 11 March 2020
Closed Thursdays 09:00 - 11:00 23 January 2020 12 March 2020
Closed Thursdays 15:00 - 17:00 23 January 2020 12 March 2020
Closed Fridays 09:00 - 11:00 24 January 2020 13 March 2020


Enrolment information

For Learners with an Oxford University SSO (Single Sign-On) simply click on the enrol button next to the class that you wish to join. 

For Learners without an Oxford University SSO, or who are not members of the University, please email admin@lang.ox.ac.uk with the following details:

  • Full name
  • Email address and phone number
  • The name of the course you wish to study
  • The start date and time of the course
  • Your connection to Oxford University, if any (to determine course fee)

We will then provisionally enrol you onto the course and send you a link to the Oxford University Online Store for payment. Once payment is received we will confirm your place on the course. 

Course structure

  • Taught in weeks 1-8 of term
  • Classes per week: 1
  • Length of class: 2 hours
  • Total hours of tuition per term: 16

Course fees


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