How Does the Engineering Thesis Length Affect Its defense?

Is Dissertation Length Engineering Important?

From mechanical through civil to chemical engineering there are now more than 40 different types of engineering degrees that could be followed. But gaining your doctorate degree is going to be the hardest work that you will undertake. You will need to craft a paper of the correct engineering dissertation length that will fully meet all requirements for formatting and academic writing style.

The average length of a mechanical engineering dissertation is a little short of some 200 pages. Each must be correctly formatted and written in the correct style if you are to have your research accepted and to gain your degree. Writing something that is simply too short may show the reader that you have failed to cover your subject in sufficient depth.

engineering dissertation length sample

Writing a paper that is way above the average length of engineering dissertation papers, however, can be just as bad. When you learn how to write a dissertation you should do so in a concise manner. Excessively wordy writing is not going to impress those that will have to review your work. Also if you have covered areas that are far removed from your actual topic they will not be well received. It is important that you take the time to ensure that you cover all that you should do but with the minimum of writing.

What Is the Correct Engineering Dissertation Length?

 If you ask the question what is the usual length of an engineering PhD dissertation you may not get a simple answer. After all, just as an economics dissertation length will be different so will engineering research in two different areas be different. Your engineering dissertation length will very much depend on the actual research that you are doing.

engineering dissertation length

That being said, however, many universities put controls in place to ensure that you do not submit many thousands of pages of work that they simply would be unable to review as they don’t have the available resources. So when you ask them how long is an engineering dissertation they will often provide you with a range or a maximum for your paper.

This varies considerably with some examples here:

  • The National University of Singapore expects no more than 80,000 words

  • The Australian National University limits your writing to 100,000 words

  • Cambridge University limits you to 80,000 words

  • Ohio State University expects you to write between 200 and 300 pages

  • The University of Kentucky requests around 200 pages

Measuring the length of your work simply in pages, however, can produce wild differences in word count depending on how you construct those pages. You must consider the formatting and content of the pages. If a page is double of single-spaced can make a massive difference in how much writing you must do. So you must always fully understand the formatting requirements when writing an engineering dissertation.

The following table for converting words and pages will provide you with guidance for average words per page: 

Total Words

Single Spaced

Double Spaced


What Is the Correct Engineering Dissertation Chapter Organization

It is important that you layout your dissertation in the correct format. After all, you want the readers to know precisely where they need to look for the information that they are looking for. Each university expects you to follow a formal structure for your writing and organize your paper in a very specific style. Within these chapters, however, you are often provided with a lot of flexibility to write in a way that will best suit the field that you are writing about. However, always carefully check what the specific expectations are of your university program, you will not want to get to the end of your writing only to be sent back to the drawing board.

The following dissertation structure is typical of what you will be asked to follow: 

  • Your Title Page

  • Paper Summary or Abstract

  • Introduction

  • Lit Review

  • Methods

  • Results

  • Discussion

  • Conclusions

  • References

  • Appendices

How to Write an Effective Engineering Dissertation

Getting your research down onto paper is not going to be an easy or a quick task no matter how you approach it. But the better that you plan what you will do and how well you understand the mechanics the more likely you are to be able to get things completed on time and to the standards that are expected of you. Our dissertation sample engineering is one way that you can use to see just how your paper needs to be written. You will need to match the quality of our examples if you want to be able to gain the degree that you are working towards.

The following tips will support you with getting your work done on time:

  • Always create a plan for your writing, have clear milestones for the completion of each of the sections of the paper and stick to them. Ensure that you also allow time within your plan for the revision of your paper.

  • Understand the requirements for your paper. Review the university's guidance for formatting and writing and follow it to the letter. Often they will be able to provide you with a correctly formatted template with the correct layout for your paper.

  • Make good use of your supervisor and other members of the faculty. Have regular meetings and share your progress and issues.

  • Set yourself achievable goals to meet each day for the amount you will read and also write. Do not set excessive goals as they will not be reached. Simple goals will help you make constant progress towards finishing your dissertation.

  • Write at the same time during each time. Try to make your work into a routine so that you always get it done each day.

  • Do your writing using a desk and a chair as this will be most productive. Always remove any possible distractions to enhance your concentration.

  • Be prepared to revise your work. Your first draft can be improved upon and you will always find the need to make changes as your understanding changes during your writing.

  • Proofread: submitting writing that contains errors is a sure way to make sure that it will be returned to you. 

The University of North Carolina experiences a high rate of attrition with their PhD students and puts a lot of the reasons down to the following:

“Why don’t doctoral candidates manage to get rolling on the dissertation any sooner, or keep rolling once they get started? Partly because the dissertation is a completely new experience that is much larger and more independent than your previous academic work.”

Get your work completed to the right standard and on time and with the correct engineering dissertation length by following our professional advice.