Is Undergraduate Dissertation Structure Different Than Masters?

Dissertation writing at graduate or undergraduate degree level needs quality work. In broader terms, an undergraduate thesis aims to give a basic understanding of how to conduct research to students. Therefore, after gathering all basic knowledge about a research process in a Bachelor’s degree, the Master’s level research seems relatively easy. Moreover, the graduate and undergraduate dissertation structures have a very fine line of difference. This article will help in focusing this fine line of difference between undergraduate dissertation structure and a master’s level thesis.

How Does A Masters Differ From An Undergraduate Degree?

The Master’s and the undergraduate degrees have many differences in terms of content focus, complexity and credit hours. In most undergraduate degrees, students have to complete 120 credit hours, which is equivalent to 40 classes. But a master’s degree is more flexible in terms of credit hours. It allows students to complete anywhere between 33 to 60 credit hours. Likewise, at bachelors’ level, students study general education courses along with a few major subjects. But the master’s level studies include only courses from a specific area.

Moreover, the decrease in the number of subjects in the Master’s degrees is followed by an increase in its complexity level. As compared to the Bachelor’s degree, the complexity of the courses offered in a Master’s degree is far greater. The most common Bachelor’s degrees include the Bachelors of Fine Arts (BA) and Bachelors of sciences (BS). At the same time, the common Master’s degrees include Masters of Business Administration (MBA), Masters of Fine Arts (MA) and Masters of Sciences (MS).

Some Differences:

There are many other differences between the Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees as well. The following list will highlight some more differences between them:

  1. Research is another point of difference between these degrees. In general, there are many disciplines where the research is optional for studies. In these disciplines, students have options to take an additional course instead of research work. But the research and dissertation writing is compulsory for getting a Master’s degree.
  2. Other differences lie in the learning and teaching styles. At the Master’s level, large group learning and teaching style is less common. Here students are asked to develop a self-learning habit that is not the case in a Bachelor’s degree.
  3. The reading list for preparation of master-level exams is often very extensive as compared to Bachelor’s degree.
  4. The dissertation length is another important factor that varies between these two types of degrees. The suggested undergraduate thesis length lies between 10,000 to 15000 words. But the length of the thesis at the master’s level goes more than that of the undergraduate one. Moreover, the dissertation’s length also depends on the nature of the research, university research criteria and programs offered to a student. That is the reason that students prefer to hire masters dissertation writing services.

The above essentials are some general differences observed between the master’s and undergraduate studies. But credit hours, courses offered and the research criteria in these types of degrees may be different in different countries.

How Do You Write A Dissertation At Undergraduate Or Master’s Level?

The purpose of dissertation writing is to produce original research work on a well-defined topic. Whether you are writing a Master’s level dissertation or drafting an undergraduate thesis, the purpose will remain the same. Moreover, the structure, format, number of chapters, and even the tone of addressing the scientific problem will also remain the same. You may wonder what makes a master’s dissertation different from an undergraduate thesis. Of course, the quantity and the quality of the content/ research may help one to differentiate between the two. The Master’s level thesis often seems easy to draft. This is because while writing a master’s thesis, the student often has all the necessary information on how to draft a thesis. But for writing an undergraduate thesis, students have to follow structuring and formatting guides. The following section will highlight the undergraduate dissertation structure for those who are new to research:

Undergraduate dissertation structure becomes easy to understand after knowing its components. The structural elements of a dissertation include:

  • Title
  • Table of content
  • List of figure/ tables
  • Abstract
  • Introduction – Chapter 1
  • Literature review – Chapter 2
  • Method – Chapter 3
  • Results and finding – Chapter 4
  • Discussion and conclusion – Chapter 5
  • Appendix

Things to Consider:

Completing all these components help writers in making a research map. Each chapter and component of the dissertation has its own set of requirements that are necessary for students to fulfil. An effective introduction demands a brief background, problem statement, rationale, well-defined research questions/ hypothesis, and aims or objective of the research. Literature demands the review of all relevant areas of research with a well-constructed theoretical/conceptual framework. Methods aim to describe what techniques and tools one used to find credible results.

Results and interpretation exhibit the finding of research by means of graphs and tables. Discussion is a way to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of research in light of other researches. Conclusion winds up the discussion by focusing on main findings and future recommendations. The appendix includes all the lengthy information that the writers often avoid stating in any of these chapters. This is how you can write a master’s or undergraduate dissertation by following these simple structuring guidelines.

Is A Master A Lot Hard Than An Undergraduate?

As described earlier, the complexity level is one of the differences between undergraduate and graduate degrees. Therefore, based on the increase in complexity level of maser’s level dissertation or research, we can say, yes, Master’s dissertation is harder than undergraduate. For example, at the undergraduate level, students only review others’ work or use someone else’s ideas to replicate their study, which is quite simple. But at the Master’s level, the originality of work and uniqueness in research discoveries are of prime importance, which is hard for students.

Likewise, the coursework also demands studies to spare more time for self-study, which is indeed difficult for master’s students. Furthermore, the master’s degree becomes harder when teachers expect students to complete all academic tasks on their own. Consequently, the undergraduate dissertation structure is different from the Master’s one. Yet, the structural elements are apparently alike. But they both differ in terms of quality and quantity of the content. By following the undergraduate dissertation structure guide, one can structure the master’s dissertation, but one should later work on to decrease its complexity.

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