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Theses and Dissertations: Home

Definitions - thesis, dissertation, exegesis

What is the difference?

At AUT, a thesis is associated with either a doctoral or a master's degree. It is a substantial piece of original research. A dissertation is associated with either a master's or a bachelor's degree with honours and may be a smaller piece of research or a critical analysis and evaluation of the literature related to a topic.

What is an exegesis?

This is the written component of a practice-based thesis where the major output is a creative work. The exegesis constitutes at least 20% of the thesis. 


ETD is a frequently used abbreviation for electronic thesis or dissertation and refers to a thesis/dissertation available online.

Note: in universities in some other parts of the world such as North America, a dissertation is usually associated with a doctoral degree and a thesis with a master's degree. This is important to know when searching for theses/dissertations from other countries.

Research Support Coordinator

Geraldine Hay's picture
Geraldine Hay
City Campus Library, WA Building
921 9999 ext 8573