So you’re right around the corner from finally graduating with your doctorate degree, but you have that one final step to accomplish; the dissertation. While you cannot attain your degree without one, it is one of the most complex and lengthy parts of your academic career.
Why does everyone fret over their dissertation? Well, for one, it’s challenging to settle on a specific topic that has not been discussed before. Moreover, it requires a lot of dedication, and the preparation consumes most of your time.
Hence, one of the most stressing aspects of a dissertation is the initial stage: settling on a topic. Choosing a solid topic is one of the very first steps you need to take in your doctorate journey, but it is not an easy feat.
Generally, the work required for a dissertation takes years upon years of preparation, so choosing the ideal topic is vital. That’s why your dissertation research field should be one you genuinely enjoy and one that has not been extensively explored before.
So, what makes a great dissertation topic? Fret not about it, as we are here to provide you with the ultimate list of dissertation examples to ease your mind. You can use this article for inspiration and find out which topics resonate with you the most.
What Makes a Good Dissertation Topic?
Sure, you need to find a dissertation topic that other peers would enjoy reading and gaining knowledge about. Still, the most fundamental aspect of a good dissertation topic is choosing one you want. Generally speaking, no matter what you’re doing, it’s always more compelling if you have some heart in it.
That’s why one of the things that makes a dissertation topic great is settling on a topic that you thoroughly enjoy. That’s because you need to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to tackle this subject, and it’s always a tad more manageable if you genuinely have a knack for this topic.
Harvard University says a good dissertation topic is one that “allows you to produce a polished piece of work within a limited amount of time and with a limited amount of cost.” That’s why if you want your dissertation to qualify as a professional piece, make sure you consult other scholars that you trust and look up to.
Moreover, while your topic does not have to be “up-to-date” or related to trendy issues, you need to address something other scholars are interested in. Find a topic that would be compelling to your peers, as that will help you during your review and provide you with enough help while building your dissertation.
However, make sure that your topic addresses at least one of the below goals:
- Offers a fresh outlook on a specific subject
- Unravels novel principles or facts in your field
- Suggest a new way of thinking or interpreting an issue
- Find a new relationship between different aspects within your field
- Challenges existing facts or theories
To sum this up, when choosing a dissertation topic, opt for something completely original and unique. You must develop your own research and work for long periods on your dissertation and research.
Hence, find diversity in what you’re doing, and challenge existing ideas and thoughts. Make it compelling in such a way that when the day comes for your presentation, you immediately capture the jury’s attention simply through the title.
Moreover, another indicator that you have a great dissertation topic is making it memorable. What we mean by that is that you want someone to read your paper, dwell on it, and have your ideas and research remain in their thoughts for a reasonable amount of time.
To accomplish this, highlight the knowledge you have obtained throughout your process, your abilities, skills, and anything else that stood out to you during your dissertation process.
What Makes a Bad Dissertation Topic?
Nothing makes a dissertation inherently wrong unless you flunk through it and decide not to spend a sufficient amount of time working on yours. However, that never happens in an instant; a bad dissertation means you have chosen to neglect your work for weeks or months on end.
Dissertation topics are expected to be original, reflect your knowledge and skills acquired, as well as tailor to the interests of your scholars. That’s why lousy dissertation topics are hard to come by since there are a lot of indicators from the start that will tell you if your dissertation topic is a bad one.
Below are things to keep an eye out for that are often signs your dissertation topic is not ideal:
Not Enough Resources
Choosing a niche topic is what you’re instructed to do, right? Finding an original, barely explored subject is always a compelling way to work around your dissertation. However, the problem arises when you cannot find enough literature or material to support your work.
Hence, it’s quite a bad idea to build your whole dissertation based on a narrow foundation, as you won’t even find enough people to help you along the way. That’s why it is always advised to avoid topics that have barely been explored yet, as academic resources are a fundamental part of your dissertation.
An Excess of Resources
While too few references are a bad idea, an excess of them never bodes well. Think about it this way: you’re expected to explore a topic that hasn’t really been explored much yet. Hence, if you choose one that already has numerous resources and references, then what is the point in building your dissertation upon it?
Hence, if you find yourself overwhelmed with the amount of information you uncover around you, then you have probably chosen a vast topic. Dissertation papers are not meant to be found anywhere; yours is supposed to be a novel concept that no one has extensively explored before.
Everyone is assigned a supervisor that helps guide you through your dissertation process. That’s why, from the very first meeting, you should clearly and coherently explain an outline of your ideas and make it clear you’re open to any criticism or suggestions.
However, if you feel your supervisor is reluctant to continue with your suggested topic, then take a step back and dwell on it. Suppose your advisor is not 100% engaged and supportive. In that case, this is one of the most significant red flags regarding your dissertation topic.
Lack of Motivation
A lack of motivation might not specifically be related to your dissertation topic. It might simply be a symptom of academic burnout, but it could also mean your dissertation topic is terrible. Are you finding yourself demotivated, slacking off, or stressing over the tiny things?
If that’s your case, then you should trust your gut. You should not spend months on a topic that is causing more stress than enjoyment. Talk to your advisor about it, and figure out the best way to approach your situation. It might be ideal to consider changing it or tweaking it as soon as possible.
You need to collect data for your dissertation, so ask yourself the following before you venture on your topic:
- Will the data be enough?
- Will it be challenging to collect the data?
- Is the information directly related and can support your dissertation?
If you’re hesitant about any of those answers, then you might be facing a problem. Your sample size might be minimal, or the results irrelevant to your specific study. Hence, make sure the data you’re collecting is actually contributing to your work.
How to Choose the Best Dissertation Topic: 5 Tips
It’s time to actually settle on your dissertation topic, but you’re still confused about how to pick one. While choosing the best dissertation topic is often the most challenging part, below are tips that will help you choose your dissertation topic. Let’s get to the nitty-gritty of it all.
Incorporate Other Interests
What other interests outside your field of study do you have? Maybe you have a knack for business, psychology, or business. The beautiful thing about a dissertation topic is that there is no restriction on combining different subjects or fields of study, so feel free to take things up a notch.
While risky if you are not competent about your case, combining different topics might boost your whole dissertation. However, make sure your innovative idea is based on something not explored before and something you genuinely enjoy.
Think About Your Future
What do you want to do in your future? Look back at all the papers and projects you had to do and think about which ones you truly enjoyed. Finding your true passion in your field will help narrow down which direction to take when writing your dissertation.
Hence, as your dissertation is the final step, you need to step into the working world to reflect on what you want to do. For instance, dissertation topics in nursing always remember what the person wants to do. Some dissertation topics for nursing include midwifery, public health, clinical management, and environmental health. Notice how all these topics work on merging different fields.
Review Previous Dissertations in Your University
These are often found in your university’s library. Unless you’re studying a newly-introduced field, you’ll find an excess of samples from previous students. Reflect upon the highly-graded ones (65% and above).
While reading the paper, did you feel a genuine connection or interest? Once you do, aim to address the following questions what kind of topics did they cover? How broad were the issues? Where the dissertation topics completely original? What types of methods did they use?
Don’t Take Other’s Opinions Too Highly
The only people you should listen to are your superiors. Basically, take all the advice you can take from your supervisor, as that person has seen several people walk the same path before.
Make sure your topic is intellectual, yet one you would truly enjoy reading if it was written by a peer of yours. However, other peers might be overly critical of your ideas. Hence, never take any of them to heart as they are simply going through the same process you are.
Interest, Feasibility, and Relevance
This is more or less a summation of every aspect that you should address. Is your dissertation topic actually interesting? Would the data collection be feasible and relatively easy to do? Lastly, is the idea relevant to your field of study?
Another piece of advice to get you started on writing your dissertation is asking the following:
1. WHAT is the study about (the title)?
2. WHY is this relevant and interesting (debate, gap, or a discussion)?
3. Make sure you address these three aspects, and you’re good to go! HOW will you manage it (questions to ask, research methods, and data collection)?
List of Dissertation Topics with Examples
Let’s now explore examples of dissertation topics. These include highly-debated ones, issues that have recently arisen, and new theories that need proof and support. While topics do vary according to your interests and field of study, broader topics need to be addressed in the world.
But what are the best topics for your dissertation paper? Take a step back and think about the problems that have recently come to light within your field of study. Does anything ring a bell? Do you believe there are enough resources to support your thesis if you pick that specific issue?
Below is a list of dissertation examples based on the field of study. These include dissertation topics in education, public administration, science education, information technology, physical education, and cyber security.
Dissertation Topics in Education
Education is one of the broadest subjects, as numerous topics fall under it. However, some issues have come to light in recent years that are vital to address. Hence, below is a list of different dissertation examples in education that you can use as a guide or inspiration for your very own.
While education is one of the most fundamental aspects of everything in the world, it intertwines with numerous other fields. Hence, while settling on a dissertation topic might be difficult, there is no shortage of ideas.
1. Should religious education be a fundamental basis in a schooling system?
2. How do macroenvironmental factors influence education in different countries?
3. Should technology be further integrated into the curriculum? Why and how?
4. Autonomous education in the classroom
5. Learning capabilities of people as adults compared to young students
6. Explore informal learning through social media and online channels
7. Impact of the internet on the education of students
8. Pedagogical assessment of students using virtual reality technology
9. Prevention of harassment issues of younger students in interpersonal relationships within schools
10. Development of self-education motivation for students who optimize time management
11. Do introverted and extroverted students have different learning styles and capabilities?
12. How parent’s mental health influences a child’s performance and behavior
13. How to integrate children with special needs into a classroom
14. Challenges faced by immigrant students
15. Breaking down barriers for students living in poverty
Dissertation Topics in Public Administration
Public administration is a broad subject that includes numerous different aspects. It covers a broad scope of topics, including public policies, health policies, organizations, global affairs, and general welfare. However, it mainly focuses on professional practices.
For public administration dissertation topics, find a niche where you can shine through and show your insight and contribution to the case. Find a topic that you can thoroughly analyze and one that requires problem-solving. Below is a list of public administration dissertation topics:
1. The importance of reformation of the system of public administration
2. Governmental policy regarding demographic processes and migration, mainly social and economic aspects
3. Interactions between the public administration and the local government in various states
4. Regional budgets and the role they play in governmental regulation
5. Role of information technology in policy implementation of maternal health benefits in different countries
6. Finding out the impact of public policy on child and family violence
7. Investigate rule-bending and red tape regarding organizational and individual influences and the effect of ethical climate
8. Developing public engagement regarding parking management
9. Explore the need for elected member committees and their history
10. Explore administrational conflicts regarding their problems of theory and practices
11. E-government services in developing countries
12. The role of IT outsourcing in public management and its effectiveness
13. How to allocate discretionary budgets
14. Different sources of media and their effects and credibility
15. Bus-travel subsidies for pensioners
Dissertation Topics in Science Education
Science education involves teaching non-science students various topics regarding science. While some schools do not stress its importance, it generally is a solid foundation for building up students. Not only do you teach them all about the world around them, but science education helps them learn to analyze, research, and think critically.
The purpose of teaching science is to enhance people’s knowledge about general science topics. It works on better-constructing science concepts, especially regarding trendy issues and general issues that need to be addressed.
1. Different aspects of summer school impact student’s understanding of natural sciences
2. Using computational tools to explore other sciences (e.g., physical chemistry)
3. Improving science knowledge through different multimedia design
4. Other people’s perception of their science laboratories
5. Cognitive and educational pedagogy in science lessons
6. Science-related social issues and their relation to science education for citizenship
7. Science standards and their differences and effects in different states
8. Pushing a nationalized standard system
9. Explore professional development law and how to maintain knowledge as a science teacher
10. Study project-based learning and whether it really is more effective than examinations
11. How do the students learn science more effectively?
12. Motivating young students to instill science in their imagination and minds
13. How technological advances would change the concept of science education in schools
14. The effect of teachers’ qualifications on the performance of young students
15. Influence of teachers and parents on kids’ interest in different science topics
Dissertation Topics in Information Technology
Generally, finding a dissertation topic is challenging on its own. However, finding a great dissertation topic that you enjoy regarding technology presents more barriers. First of all, numerous things fall under information technology, so deciding on one specific case might be challenging.
Moreover, as technology is a constantly growing aspect of everyone’s lives, most general and trendy topics have already been thoroughly discussed and studied. Hence, you need to narrow down on specific issues that no one has addressed or issues that might arise in the future. Here is a list of dissertation examples for students regarding information technology:
1. Do advertisements over phone calls actually work?
2. Would it be possible to eliminate software piracy in the underdeveloped world?
3. E-tourism and its different aspects: what would affect customers’ satisfaction?
4. Assessing the e-government system in other countries and analyzing government websites
5. Role of technology in bringing together hybrid and genetically modified plants to increase the yield of crops
6. The use of mobile applications in the learning of different languages
7. Cloning and its advantages, disadvantages, and the ethics behind it
8. Explore hybrid cars, their effect on the environment, and the technological advancements
9. Explore intranet/internet and their different products and uses
10. Research underwater acoustic sensor network
11. The impact of technological advances on space exploration
12. Do media technologies actually have an effect on children’s development?
13. Security issues that arise with the rise of technology
14. Explore simulation tools and their impact and implications upon students
15. Explore and compare users’ personal information when it comes to awareness, habits, and practices
Dissertation Topics in Physical Education
As we all know, physical education is one of the most fundamental aspects of maintaining a healthy body and mind. While it might be challenging to settle on a dissertation topic for physical education, things will start flowing once you find one you genuinely enjoy.
While physical education is essential for everyone’s growth, research and extensive understanding of various topics are almost non-existent. Hence, below is a list of excellent research and dissertation ideas to inspire you!
1. Identify the connection and relationship between physical fitness exercise and core muscle development
2. Comparison of computer-guided instructions versus an actual teacher or trainer
3. How different intensities affect students based on their body type
4. Group exercise perception based on the body type and weight of the instructor
5. The influence of varying milk types and fat percentages on body strength
6. Traditional exercise versus dance classes: which is more sustainable?
7. The impact of adding on external weight to your exercises
8. Running and musical influence on motivation, step frequency, ..etc
9. Staff profiles analysis for male gym teachers and the professionalism
10. Incorporating one hour a day of physical education into the curriculum
11. Consideration of the effects of somberness
12. The different impacts of using sight and sound instructional exercises versus observational
13. The use and long-term effects of using supplements and protein powder in building strength and muscle
14. The result and benefits of using a smartwatch to monitor your levels during a workout
15. Recovery time and strain on muscles
Dissertation Topics in Cyber Security
you might not be consciously thinking about it, but you’re surrounded by cybersecurity almost everywhere you go. These include numerous technological devices. It consists of the simple systems that protect your mobile phones and the more complicated technology used to secure personal data in prominent organizations and corporations.
The trending, highly-debated topic of cryptocurrencies also falls under cyber security. Other topics include business, economics, world affairs, cybercrime, and big data. Hence, you have a wide range of topics to dive into, and below is a list of different examples on cyber security dissertations:
1. How can cryptocurrencies be regulated in other parts of the world?
2. The state of the cyber security strategies if cryptocurrencies become a more prominent currency
3. The use of Virtual Private Networks to enable people to work remotely
4. The impact of COVID-19 on cybersecurity in organizations due to the increased amount of people working from home
5. Different implications of using simulated phishing scams to build awareness of corporate cybercrime
6. The other trends of cyber terrorism and the impact on technology
7. Malware analysis and detecting it using TCP packets
8. Updating and enhancing cyber security in wireless networks
9. Developing different detection algorithms for cyber threats in Big Data
10. Quantum-proof Lamport signatures
11. Resilient security framework for loT based on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
12. The use of biometrics and other authentication techniques
13. Defending against energy-draining nodes in wireless sensor networks
14. How to defuse a crypto-war
15. Increasing cybersecurity by designing MIOMO telecommunication systems
Wrapping Things Up: The Ultimate List of Dissertation Examples
Choosing a dissertation topic is the first thing you do for your paper, but quite possibly the most complex part. Not only do you need to find something you enjoy, but you need to find an exciting title that will instantly compel others to read it.
While a dissertation often stresses out students, you should not worry that much about it. In the article above, we discussed everything you need to know, from choosing the best dissertation topic to avoiding terrible ones.
We want to leave you with one final tip: do not waste your time consulting the internet about your dissertation. Instead, email your supervisor and ask them all the questions you have, and tell them all the outlines you have in mind.