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Theses completed for higher research degrees (PhD, Masters or Honours) form an important body of original research.
There are a number of places you can search for Australian theses, we have outlined the three main sources for you below.
National Library collection
While the Library holds a selection of theses presented to Australian universities, we do not have a comprehensive collection.
To search the Library's collection for a thesis on a particular subject:
- Go to our online catalogue
- Type in your subject keywords, and add the keywords dissertation or thesis, for example: "global warming" AND thesis ; alpine AND thesis
- Hit find
To browse theses in the Library's collection:
- Go to our online catalogue
- Select 'Browse alphabetically' and 'subject'
- Enter the terms 'Dissertations Academic'; for example: Dissertations Academic
- Add the country of publication if known; for example: Dissertations Academic Australia
- Hit browse.
We also hold a number of useful reference books on finding Australian theses, including:
- Guide to Microform Research Collections in the National Library of Australia. 1992. See pages 148-149 for an outline of the Australian and overseas theses held on microform at the National Library.
This title is available on open access in the Newspapers and Family History zone.
- Union List of Higher Degree Theses in Australian University Libraries. 1959+
A list of theses submitted for a higher degree at Australian universities. The list is arranged by author, subject and keyword indexes. Supplements covering the period 1961-1976 and 1976-1991 can also be accessed via the catalogue.
Other Australian collections
Use the Library's discovery service Trove to search for Australian and overseas theses in over one thousand Australian collecting institutions.
For a basic thesis search:
- Go to the homepage of Trove, type in your search terms and hit search
- Select the Books zone
- Select the 'Thesis' facet under 'Format' on the left-hand side.
For an advanced thesis search:
- Go to the Books zone of Trove, select Advanced search
- Type in your search terms
- Select 'Thesis' under 'Format' and hit search.
Hint: to find thesis that are freely available online, narrow your search results to 'Freely available' under 'Online'.
You can find more search tips and strategies on Trove's Finding Australian theses help page.
In most cases, a copy of a thesis is deposited in the library of the relevant university.
You can access the online catalogues of Australian university libraries through the Australian Libraries Gateway. Links to many university libraries are also available through the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL).