Bristol University Theses

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Bristol University Theses

Theses and dissertations

The library holds a large number of Bristol theses and dissertations, including many PhD and doctoral theses. Read our advice about how to locate theses from other institutions, both in the UK and internationally.

University of Bristol theses and dissertations

To find a University of Bristol thesis:

  • Use Library Search as if you were trying to find a book, using either the author’s name, the title or a combination of the two. When your search results display, you can refine your search by using the Resource type – Thesis option;
  • If the thesis is not on Library Search and it is pre-1978 it is worth checking the Card Catalogue Online.

Arts and Social Sciences

The collection includes theses from Arts Faculty, Social Sciences and Law Faculty, Physics, Mathematics, Biological Sciences, Geographical Sciences, Agricultural Science and the School for Policy Studies.

MA, MSc, MPhil and MLitts do not have to be deposited with the library under the Regulations, so our collections of these are incomplete.

How to consult a thesis

  • Go to the ground floor Information Desk and complete a request in the Thesis Request folder. Collections are made after 3.30 pm Monday to Friday and by special request on Saturday;
  • Contact the Issue Desk (tel. (0117) 928 8000; email: in advance if you are making a special journey. This allows adequate time for the item/s you require to be collected;
  • Thesis loans are for use in the Arts and Social Sciences Library only.


School of Chemistry PhD, MSc and DSc theses from 1910 to date.

Thesis loans are for use in the Chemistry Library only, though postgraduates with seats may keep a thesis at their desk. You may ask if a particular thesis can be kept behind the Issue desk if you will be using it repeatedly for a period of time. Other theses are kept in a Library Staff room and are not available during the evenings.


Graduate School of Education EdD, PhD, MPhil, and a selection of Masters theses. Many theses written before 2005 have been relocated to the Research Reserve.

How to consult a thesis

  • Ask at the Issue Desk for Masters theses written from 2009 onwards and theses written by Graduate School of Education staff, quoting the author and date;
  • Masters theses written before 2009 are on the open shelves in the Collaborative Study Area. They have a location of ‘Thesis CSA’. For statistical purposes please return them to the Issue Desk once you have consulted them rather than returning them to the shelves;
  • Theses are for use in the Education Library only, they cannot be borrowed and taken out of the library.


The thesis collection from the Medical Library has been relocated to the library’s Research Reserve. The collection includes: PhD, MD, MSc, ChM and DSc theses of staff and postgraduate students of the Health Sciences Faculty, from 1910 to date.