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Past Dissertation Papers

Your library may be able to provide access to the dissertation you're looking for. Whether you are looking for a specific graduate work, or want to find out what dissertations or theses have been written on a particular subject, ProQuest provides a variety of tools to help.

Virtually every major research library in the world provides access to the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database through one of several formats:

  • ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database (PQDT) - With more than 2.3 million entries, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. Students, faculty, and other researchers search the database for titles related to their scholarly interests. Of the millions of graduate works listed, we offer over 1.9 million in full text format. PQDT is a subscription database, so consult your library for availability.
  • Dissertations & Theses @ - Dissertations & Theses @ is a service for ProQuest’s active university publishing partners. The service provides a university's academic community with free access to citations and abstracts for graduate works from that university. For graduate works published from 1997 forward, a full text PDF will usually be available for free download as well.
  • Dissertation Alerts - Dissertation Alerts is an individualized search service for those who lack library access to the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database. Using the keywords you specify, we review the entire database and retrieve up to 500 titles per search. To request a Dissertation Alerts search, contact us at disspubsearch@proquest.com.

If your library does not offer access to the dissertation you're looking for, learn more about dissertation ordering options.

UCT Theses:

The Libraries hold all UCT masters and doctoral theses. Honours theses are kept by the academic departments to which they were submitted.

UCT Masters and Doctoral theses:

All UCT theses are available online through UCT's institutional repository, Open UCT. 

Theses from other South African Universities:

  • Some South African universities make their theses available electronically–check our e-Theses Links page.
  • For theses that are not available electronically, UCT users should request a loan via our Interlibrary Loans Department. Normally the issuing institution will lend a hard copy, but microfiche copies may be supplied.

International Theses:

  • Check the lists of institutions on ourETD Links page — the thesis you need may be freely available on the web.
  • If not available on the web, theses from other parts of the world may be borrowed via our Interlibrary Loans Department. To ascertain costs and delivery times, UCT users should contact Interlibrary Loans.
  • Theses borrowed from the British Library are normally supplied on microfilm for a loan period of no longer than 3 weeks. Most users therefore prefer to purchase their own copies of international theses.
  • Users who wish to purchase theses from international institutions can order them online from ProQuest’s Dissertation Express facility.
  • If the required thesis is not available from Proquest the user should consult the web site of the university to which the thesis was submitted for ordering information or contact details.