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Finding theses


ORCA at Cardiff University

ORCA is Cardiff University's own institutional repository. From August 2011, an electronic copy of all research degree theses by Cardiff University students has been deposited in ORCA. Some copies of older theses have also been added to ORCA.

ORCA's Advanced Search screen gives you the option to include only theses in your results list and to narrow your search by Subject or School.

Printed copies of research degree theses submitted by Cardiff University students prior to August 2011 can be found in our Libraries. You can use our Library Catalogue, LibrarySearch, to search for these theses. Add the term ‘thesis’ along with your keywords in the search box to bring back the most relevant results. 


EThOS for the UK

EThOS is the UK's national thesis service. It aims to provide a national record of all doctoral theses awarded by UK higher education institutions and free access to as many of these as possible. EThOS contains over 300,000 theses records.

Anyone can search EThOS but you will need to register and log in if you want to download a thesis.

In some instances EThOS may include an additional link to an institutions institutional repository where you can download the thesis without registering for use of EThOS.


Proquest Dissertations & Theses for the UK and Ireland

Proquest Dissertations & Theses provides a comprehensive listing of theses accepted for higher degrees by universities in the UK and Ireland from 1716. Currently over half a million records are included in the collection.

Bibliographic information is provided for all theses. Abstracts for theses are provided from 1986.

Where Proquest Dissertations & Theses is aware that a thesis is freely available electronically, a link will be provided to enable users to access it.



DART-Europe is a partnership of research libraries and library consortia who are working together to improve global access to European research theses. The partnership consists of over 500 universities in over 25 European countries.

DART-Europe has created a searchable single European Portal to help researchers discover open access electronic theses and dissertations.


Theses Canada

The mission of Theses Canada is to acquire, preserve and provide access to a comprehensive collection of Canadian theses. Theses Canada works in collaboration with Canadian universities who voluntarily submit their approved theses and dissertations.

Theses Canada's collection is made up of two formats, theses on microfiche and electronic theses. To search only electronic theses, select the 'Electronic theses' button on the search screen.


American Doctoral Dissertations (1933-1955)

American Doctoral Dissertations provides free access to an index of dissertations accepted by American universities between 1933 and 1955.

American Doctoral Dissertations is a digitized version of the printed index Doctoral Dissertations Accepted by American Universities (DDAAU).

Be aware that while the records for each individual dissertation include a link to a full text PDF file, these are PDFs of the original printed DDAAU index, not the dissertation itself.


Trove for Australasia

Trove is the National Library of Australia's free repository of Australian and some New Zealand theses. Trove contains almost a million Australian theses – some of these will be in print and some are available electronically.

Use the Theses Help information from Trove to help you narrow your search to recent theses, individual institutions or a particular field.



PQDT Open provides the full text of open access dissertations and theses free of charge – many of these titles are from North American universities.

Authors of theses on PDQT Open have opted to publish as open access and make their research freely available on the Web.

Cardiff University PhD students can choose to deposit their theses into PQDT Open. This service is free and non-exclusive. Students retain the copyright and can earn a small royalty. More information is available from ORCA (scroll to the bottom of the page).


Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD)

OATD indexes open access graduate theses and dissertations that have been published around the world – they provide an abstract and a link to the full text of the theses or dissertation.

The OATD sources its theses and dissertations from a number of universities, research institutions and repositories.



OAIster is a catalogue of digital resources available from open-archive collections from around the world. OAIster was developed by the OCLC and the University of Michigan.

Over 1500 organisations contribute to OAIster and there are over 30 million records on OAIster – the records include theses as well as books, articles, newspapers, audio/video files, photos and data sets.

Use the Advanced Search screen to limit your search to theses. In the ‘Content’ drop down menu select ‘thesis/dissertations’ from the list of options.

The theses records found in OAIster include can include the full text of the theses as well as bibliographic information – the availability of full text is decided by the contributing organisation rather than OAIster. 


Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD)

NDLTD is an international organization dedicated to promoting the adoption, creation, use, dissemination and preservation of electronic theses and dissertations.

As part of its work, NDLTD provides a list of resources to find available open-access electronic theses and dissertations.