how much work is enough for a thesis?


Hey everyone,

I'm in the process of writing my thesis nowadays. And I wake up every morning wondering if I had done enough work to present in a thesis or not! My supervisor thinks I'm ready to go, and although I trust him and our communication is great, I still feel anxious sometimes.

I'd really appreciate it if you have any input on this. I know it's hard to say as requirements are different in each field. But just general judgment if possible would be great.

I study in a clinical field (in the UK) so my phd structure has been the following:

Year 1 months 1-6 research background, Confirm methods and obtain ethical approval (since I'm involving people in my research )

Year 1 months 7-12: study 1-qualitative study (interviews).

Year 2 months 1-4 develop health intervention (using data from study 1 and previous research). This involved developing an interactive health education package.

Year 2 month 5 to year 3 month 5: study 2- randomised clinical trial assessing intervention in patients.

I'm now writing up. I presented some of the work at two conferences, published the results of my first study in a journal and I'm now in the final stages of publishing the results of the second (fingers crossed). I also have some secondary data from study 2 that can form a small paper but I might put it on the side for now.

What do you think? Does is sound reasonable? I'd really appreciate some feedback! Thank you in advance


Its hard to say without knowing how much contribution to knowledge and understanding you are making but it looks sufficient. I would say trust your supervisor :)


I remember being told once that PhD students usually have more than enough data. I'm in the sciences and just got told to aim for 3-4 data chapters, I have 4 but two are small and two are larger. I have friends who had more chapters but they were all small, and some with less but the contribution was higher for each. So there are no hard and fast rules I think.