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Posted Dec. 13, 2012

How to Decide on a Topic for Your Postgraduate Thesis


Unless you entered postgraduate education with a burning question or topic in mind, you may be having a hard time deciding on a topic for your postgraduate thesis .

Let It Develop Naturally More often than not a topic for your postgraduate thesis will develop naturally over the course of your studies. The prospect of choosing a proposal topic can seem overwhelming, but there is no point getting hung up on it. Relax and take a step back. Before you know it, you'll have the whole thing figured out.

Be Original Originality is essential when it comes to picking the topic for your postgraduate thesis. Now is your time to shine. Be creative and choose a topic that stands out from the pack as original and innovative. This doesn't mean you have to talk about something completely unheard of, (although that's not off the cards) it simply means approaching an existing topic from a new perspective.

Find The Right Tutor Finding the perfect tutor is key to your postgraduate thesis success. Plus with a little advice and guidance, they may be able to help you settle on a topic or title for your thesis. Not sure where to start looking for a tutor? Try searching your university's website or talking to professors who have experience in your particular area of interest. A tutor will also be able to let you know whether your topic of choice is suitable if you're wishing to obtain a first class distinction.

Career Minded Picking a postgraduate thesis topic that will be helpful in your future career path will always pay dividends. Not only will this tactic ensure that you maintain interest, it will also help you to gain employment once you have graduated. If your goal is an academic career, it may be wise to choose a thesis that could be easily adapted into a book or journal. To simplify - choose a thesis topic that will make you more marketable.

Nothing Is Ever Final If the stress of making a final decision is becoming too much to handle, think about it this way. Nothing is ever final. It is never too late to change the direction of your postgraduate thesis. Everything evolves and your postgraduate thesis is likely to as well. Don't be afraid to announce the topic you want to explore because you feel once you do, there is no turning back. Research unveils new aspects which may lead to you wanting to change or revise your thesis title. This is perfectly acceptable. Just try to stick with your original topic.

Get Excited Above all, you need to make sure that the topic for your postgraduate thesis you decide to run with is one you can get excited about. You have to dedicate a large portion of your life to this one pursuit, and choosing a subject to suit others, such as your tutor, is only going to make the task 10x harder.  This is your time to explore something you have a real passion for, and picking a topic that you love will help to keep you motivated and inspired.

Do you have any more tips to add?

Share with us in the comments below.



Rose May 5, 2017, 7:53 p.m.

I need ur help in deciding on what to choose for my MA thesis in Theoritical Linguistics

Charlotte King May 14, 2017, 4:24 p.m.

Hi Rose,
Have you had a chat with your supervisor about the different options? That would definitely be the best place to start. Our course search on Theoretical Linguistics shows up 6 different courses - maybe if you have a read through these it may give you some further inspiration:
Let us know how you get on and what you decide to write about.
Good luck, Charlotte

Shireen March 8, 2018, 3:13 p.m.

I need your help to give me an idea about what topic to choose, I am pursuing MA in Journalism and Mass Communication. Though the field is large that's why my mind is a mess right now.

Charlotte King March 13, 2018, 8:46 a.m.

Hi Shireen,
That is an interesting field of study with plenty of scope for unique dissertation topics.
If your mind is a blank at the moment your best bet is to go and talk things through with your supervisor. This blog has some good tips on choosing a topic:
We also have this article on how to become a journalist which may be of interest to you:
I hope that's of some help.
Let me know what topic you choose.

Patrick Apostol March 15, 2018, 8:26 a.m.

I'm an undergraduate with finished feasibility study and planning I'm to take MBA but before that I have to submit a research paper discussing idea, area, and interest on my dissertation/thesis paper during admission. Could you help me with the topics that can also be my research pattern for DBA.?
Thank you. :)

Charlotte King March 19, 2018, 2:38 p.m.

Hi Patrick,
We have a comprehensive section on MBA programs that should be able to help you make your decision:
In addition to this it might be worth you having a chat with your current supervisor about what topics you could choose.
Good luck,

Joana Adu Asamoah April 16, 2018, 3:33 p.m.

Hi there,
I am a postgrad studying Msc. Accounting and finance. Want to research on the the topic - " Examine the impact of accounting services of accountancy firms on social enterprise firms". Can you please help me with previous papers in relation to this for literature review and how to go about my research questions.


Charlotte King April 18, 2018, 8:55 a.m.

Hi Joana,
Now you have a firm topic idea in mind I think the best thing for you to do is to go and discuss this with your postgrad supervisor.
Good Luck,

Jafar Bilbis June 26, 2018, 4:47 p.m.

I am a postgraduate student and am studying plant ecology, most of our study is field study (requires more field work) and most of the M.Sc thesis supervisors ware focuses on laboratory experiments than field study. How could I relate my field of study with this modern ways of research.

Olaniyi Olatunde Nov. 9, 2018, 1:39 p.m.

I am an postgraduate student in Anatomy pathology and needs help on my dissertation for the final Examination.Thank you

Charlotte King Nov. 12, 2018, 2:50 p.m.

Hi Olaniyi - our section on Dissertations and Theses has some great advice to get you started:
Good luck - Charlotte

Ali Tama Danasabe June 19, 2019, 8:21 p.m.

I am an presently undergoing MSc Computer Science programmes. I intend to carry out my dissertation on how to enhance computational thinking at the K-12. I would need your help on the topic to work with.Thank you

Charlotte King June 25, 2019, 8:22 a.m.

Hi Ali,
I think the best thing you can do is discuss your various options and idea with your masters supervisor as they should be well equipped to advise you on your particular strengths as well as interesting topics.
Good luck.

JAMES BAYOH TURAY July 18, 2019, 7:27 p.m.

I need your help on to choose my thesis topics on MDM
(Master's in Development Management

Charlotte King July 20, 2019, 1:11 p.m.

Hi James – it's probably best if you discuss your various options and ideas with your supervisor. They should be able to talk things through with you and help you choose your topic. This article also has some useful ideas >
Good luck – Charlotte

Rose Jan. 10, 2020, 12:21 a.m.

I need your help on how to choosie any thesis topic on Educational Psychology (master student).

Charlotte King Jan. 13, 2020, 8:32 p.m.

Hi Rose – if you are still to apply for your masters then take a look at the details of these different Educational Psychology courses and their modules and specialism will hopefully give you some dissertation inspiration>
If you are already studying your program I suggest you discuss some ideas with your supervisor and see if they can help you narrow down your options. Good luck!

Paul Bala Samura Oct. 24, 2020, 12:46 a.m.

Thanks for your tips, they are very helpful. I am applying for a Ph.D. in Peace and Conflict Studies. The university requires a thesis proposal as part of the application process. There's so much going in my mind about the subject-matter. I need a couple of topics that address resolving conflicts in postwar countries.

Charlotte King Oct. 26, 2020, 9:04 p.m.

Hi Paul – that sounds like a very interesting PhD. There is plenty of information and ideas online concerning post-war conflict and peace –I think with some research you should find the perfect thesis idea. Good luck!

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