phd lengths?


I'm about to submit in janurary and was wondering (in social science) what are the average phd lengths (in words)?

I'm curious as i've seen all sorts of sizes but there is no minimum in my uni, only a 90,000 word maximum........

Avatar for sneaks

I think it varies, my hubby's one was about 32,000, but it was maths based. People in my small work group have submitted anything from 40,000 to 100,000 (social sciences). It also depends on what kind of methods you're using as the qualitative section of my thesis has dragged out the word count a little too much.

Avatar for Batfink27

I agree with Sneaks, it seems to vary a lot. In my department, the more technical ones tend to be a little shorter and the more social sciencey ones tend to be slightly longer, and they tend to be anywhere between 50,000 and 80,000 words. I think having a maximum limit is useful, though - short and tight seems like a good aim, but covering everything means (unless it really is a discipline that can be very short, like maths) most people are likely to be looking for ways to edit down their thesis, rather than worrying about it being too short. (Or is that just me, being all wordy an' stuff...?)


My uni maximum is 80 000 and no minimum. I've just submitted and mine was around 70, 000-74,000. (75, 000 including table of contents, abbreviations list, acknowledgements, abstract, references and appendices). my friend was worried as hers was only 35,000 to 40,000 but I don't think it matters. Probably better to be a bit under (as long as you have enough data) that way too long as you don't want to put the examiners off!


Hi Billy8181, I agree with every one else here. It varies across departments and in mine (applied physics) it is between 40,000 and 60,000. I am aiming at 65000 but don't know yet what I will end up with :-)