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The Sociology subject guide gives you access to useful library databases and trusted Web resources, relevant for researching many topics in sociology.

General Information

Theses (or dissertations as they are sometimes called) are the product of extended independent research by students. They may be produced at undergraduate level (e.g. 3rd year Capstone projects), and are nearly always a feature of postgraduate research from Master's through to Ph.D. level.

Books offering guidance on how to write a thesis can be found at LB 2369 on floor 5 of the Albert Sloman Library.

Students often need to consult theses for various reasons, including:

  • checking the style and presentation of good past dissertations from their department
  • making sure that they are not repeating research already undertaken
  • using theses on a similar topic to gain useful information and/or references

Essex Theses

Essex Sociology theses can be found in the following locations:

  • Sociology Study Centre - print copies of dissertations submitted up to 2018 are available in the Sociology Study Centre (5A.307). These are all undergraduate (2.1 and 1st) and Master's dissertations. Submissions from 2018 onwards are available to access digitally, with a request to the Department's Study Support Manager. Please go to the Study Centre Moodle page, where there is further information on the Dissertation Library. For help and advice on finding suitable examples, please email:
  • Albert Sloman Library - the University Library at Colchester holds print copies of all Essex Criminology M.Phil. and Ph.D. dissertations up to 30 September 2016. They are listed in the catalogue, and must be consulted in the Library. To search by department type the keywords: essex thesis sociology
  • University of Essex Research Repository - contains digitised versions of theses submitted after 30 September 2016. These are also listed in the library catalogue

UK & North American Theses

To search for dissertations from other universities in the UK and beyond, there are a couple of very useful databases:  

EThOS offers details of UK doctoral theses, some of which are digitised

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses lists North American & UK theses (with some coverage of other countries):

Open Access Digitised Dissertations

There are also many portals to open access dissertations. NDLTD maintains a pretty comprehensive & up to date list of national portals around the world:

Global search engines for digital theses include the following:

Many regions and countries also have portals to electronic theses. Examples include:

Africa - Database of African Theses and Dissertations (DATAD)

Australia - Trove

Brazil - Biblioteca Digital Brasileira de Teses e Dissertacoes (BDTD)

Canada - Theses Canada Portal

Europe - DART-Europe


TEL Theses-en-ligne (PhD)

DUMAS (Masters)

Germany - Dissonline

Greece - National Archive of PhD Theses

Hong Kong - Hong Kong University Theses Online

India - Shodhganga

Japan - National Diet Library doctoral dissertations

Netherlands - NARCIS 

Russia & CIS - Dissertation CIS

Scandinavia - DiVA (the Academic Archive Online)

South Africa - National ETD Portal

Spain - TDX (Tesis Doctorales en Xarva)