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Theses: Home

How to find and access full text theses


Find full text theses from the University of Exeter, the UK and around the world.

What is a thesis?

A thesis or dissertation is a document submitted in support of candidature for a higher degree or professional qualification, presenting the author’s research and findings.

They consist of substantial primary research in specialised topics and provide very detailed data and analysis. They may be so specialised that they provide information that is unavailable elsewhere and their bibliographies can be a useful source of wider reading on a topic. They are extremely valuable sources of information.

Before you begin your research, it is important to discover what else has been written on your topic.

When starting doctoral research, it is crucial to establish that the specific research that you intend to do has not already been carried out. You will therefore need to look at previous theses in your field of study, both at the University of Exeter and elsewhere.

Finding University of Exeter Doctoral theses

You can access theses produced by University of Exeter students.

Access routes depend upon whether the item is a print copy (deposited before 2010) or a digital copy (deposited after 2010).

Please note: The library and ORE holds doctoral/PHD theses only. We do not hold Masters or undergraduate dissertations.


No scanning until eThOs service returns

We are currently unable to scan pre 2010 theses.  Once the British Library eThOs service resumes requests to have pre-2010 theses scanned will be possible.  Until then pre-2010 theses will have to be consulted in the library.

Theses awarded before 2010

Print theses are kept in secure storage rather than open shelves and need to be requested in advance. All theses are library use only and may not be removed from the library.

Search for theses using Library Search

Search by AuthorTitle or Author/Title.

  • To browse theses on a particular subject, carry out a keyword search for your subject, and include the words 'University' and 'Exeter' as keywords.  
    (Please note however, that although this is likely to retrieve mainly theses, it will also find other University of Exeter publications on your subject). 
  • Request theses in advance using the Request It button and choose Forum Library as the pickup location. 
  • You will receive an email when the thesis is ready to use. 


Theses awarded since 2010

All theses submitted since 2010 are in Open Research Exeter (ORE), the online institutional repository. A small collection of theses have been deposited in ORE before this date.

Searching for all University of Exeter theses (using ETHOS)

University of Exeter theses can be found by searching online in EThOS , which is the UK’s national thesis service.   You need to create an account. 

Choose Advanced search and change the search option to Awarding body. Type University of Exeter in the search box.  Tip: You may want to limit the search to items available for immediate download.

Finding theses in the UK and worldwide

NB  Unfortunately the eThOs service is currently suspended due to the British Library being hacked.


This collection holds dissertations and theses from 1861 to the present, from over 700 worldwide academic institutions.

Some full-text dissertations are available for download, especially those added since 1997. Others are available for purchase as print copies.

More than 70,000 new full-text dissertations and theses are added to the database each year.

Comprehensive details on how to search this database can be found here.

The following websites will help you locate international theses:

Click here for guidance on how to search for  theses within this collection.

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