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Geography and the Environment: Theses and Dissertations

Guide to the latest and most useful research resources for geography and the environment


Theses and dissertations are documents that present an author's research findings, which are submitted to the University in support of their academic degree. They are very useful to consult when carrying out your own research because they:

  • provide a springboard to scope existing literature
  • provide inspiration for the finished product
  • show you the evolution of an author's ideas over time
  • provide relevant and up-to-date research (for recent theses and dissertations)

On this page you will find guidance on how to search for and access theses and dissertations in the Bodleian Libraries and beyond.


Terms you may encounter in your research

In the UK, a thesis is normally a document that presents an author's research findings as part of a doctoral or research programme.

In the UK, a dissertation is normally a document that presents an author's research findings as part of an undergraduate or master's programme.

An abbreviation for Doctor of Philosophy, which is an advanced research qualification. You may also see it referred to as PhD.

The Oxford University Research Archive, an institutional repository for the University of Oxford's research output including digital theses.

Theses and dissertations


The Bodleian Libraries collection holds DPhil, MLitt and MPhil theses deposited at the University of Oxford, which you can consult. You may also be interested to read theses and dissertations beyond the University of Oxford, some of which can be read online, or you can request an inter-library loan.

Help with theses and dissertations

To find out more about how to find and access theses and dissertations in the Bodleian Libraries and beyond, we recommend the following:

Prize winning undergraduate dissertations are available in print in the Social Science Library opposite the printing and photocopying room. These start from the year 2000 onwards. Prize winning dissertations from 1979 to 1999 are located offsite but can be ordered to the Social Science Library by searching for the title on SOLO. A full list of the titles is located with the dissertations in the library and is also here.

Prize winning dissertations from 2019 are also available on the SOGE intranet here.

There is also a a listing of all non-prize winning dissertations by year from 2003 which includes their abstracts, located by the dissertations. 

BCM, ECM, NSEG & WSPM MSc Dissertations

MSc dissertations with a Distinction are located in the Social Science Library opposite the printer and photocopier room. All dissertations with a Distinction are available in printed format for the years 1995 to 2017. Dissertations from 2018 onwards are only available electronically on the SOGE intranet here.

DPhil theses in print format are kept off-site at the Bodleian Book Storage Facility. They can be found on SOLO by a keyword search including the word ‘thesis’. Alternatively there is a browseable list by year on the SOGE intranet with links to SOLO here.

DPhil theses in print format can only be requested to the Weston Library for consultation.

Many of the more recent DPhil theses are also available to read online unless they have an embargo. These are on the university repository, ORA. The SOGE intranet browseable list also includes links to the online full text in ORA where available.


Further information about finding theses, both in Oxford and in other universities can be found here

Depositing your thesis

It is mandatory for students completing a research degree at the University of Oxford (registered to a programme of study on or after 1st October 2007) to deposit an electronic copy of their theses with the Oxford University Research Archive (ORA) in order to meet the requirements of their award. To find out more, visit the Oxford University Research Archive guide.