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T-DTH1: Doctoral Dissertation Module 1

EUCLID has structured the process of producing a Ph.D. dissertation in 5  modules. Broadly speaking, the modules cover:

  1. Title, proposal, initial bibliography (this course T-DTH1)
  2. Introduction, methodology, outline
  3. Outline, text-writing, expanding of bibliography, review
  4. Text editing and overall improvements post-review, review
  5. Finalization, defense, publication, graduation.

This course is based on standard EUCLID methodology. Students may refer to the following resources:

  • Academic Guidelines (HQ version)
  • Academic Guidelines (most recent version even if unofficial)
  • Student Orientation Guidelines (most recent version even if unofficial)


Yungong Theophilus Jong (PhD)


Period 1: Recapping Basic Research Methods  


Biggam, J., 2008. Succeeding with Your Master‘s Dissertation: A step-by-step handbook. Berkshire: Open University Press.

The purpose of this period is to recap basic issues in research methods: what is required to produce a complete dissertation – at least at the master’s degree level. These are the introductory issues to research methods. It is the basis for setting up for PhD Research. The student is expected to capture the essential components of a well-structured and focused dissertation. While there are two books here, the student is not expected to read them front to back, page by page – although this is highly recommended for learning beyond just doing academic research. They should rather focus on understanding key research procedural steps, the chapters required for a complete research project, how these chapters should be organized, what is required in their content, and how they relate to each other to form a complete and well-focused research report. These will be the main things to be assessed in Response Paper 1. Key questions here will be: What are the main components of a well-focused academic research project? What are the main chapters involved, how are they organized and what are they required to cover? How do the chapters relate to each other?

Period 2: Recapping Basic Research Methods  


Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A., 2009. Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Harlow: Pearson Education

Amy A. Eyler, 2021. Research Methods for Public Health. Springer

Period 3: Mapping your PhD Thesis (greater details with emphasis on scientific justification)


Barry, W., 2011. Mapping your thesis : the comprehensive manual of theory and techniques for masters and doctoral research, ACER Press, Camberwell Victoria Australia

This text bridges the gap between Master’s and PhD Research. It focuses on the additional issues in research that set a PhD research/thesis apart from a Master’s degree thesis. These are of course issues that are not in the text for Period One. Some of these include being able to find scientific justifications of the research choices made. It should not be about just making decisions but justifying why such decisions in a scientific sense. One core thing in this Period is a gentle way to get students to begin to think philosophically about PhD research – what sets the difference between a PhD research and a Master’s degree research/thesis.

The Response Paper in this Period will cover all the chapters as follows: Chapter one and two begins by introducing the student to research philosophical issues and they should pay attention to what these would mean in the context of their research. The idea is to help the dent to begin to think in the abstract – philosophizing about research – as a prelude to grounding such abstract thinking in their research work. For Chapters 1 and 2, the students are expected in their Response Papers, to explain their understanding of the abstract theories that have been highlighted and how this relates to research ideas. There is no purpose to replicate all the theories but rather to have reflections relating to them in view of what they would mean in a PhD research.

Chapters 3 to 12 also are also about the various chapters in a complete PhD research report but with a strong focus on additional details that makes the difference between a Master’s and PhD studies – as seen in Response Paper One.

Chapters 13 and the rest is for students to be aware of the PhD Examination process and how they can tailor their thesis to go through such an examination hitch free – to meet PhD thesis examination standards or know when their PhD thesis are worth submitting for examination.

Period 4A: Focusing on the Philosophy of Research: Issues Around Research Paradigms (understanding paradigms and how to situate them in study)

Videos shall be shared on research philosophical paradigms. Examples

Lydiah Wambugu, 2011. RESEARCH PHILOSOPHY : Research Paradigms & Philosophical Assumptions – youtube URL:

Mark Asunders, 2020. Webinar on Research Philosophies, Approaches and Strategies – Youtube URL:

The idea here is for students to learn the various research paradigms and philosophies and be able to explain in their thesis which paradigm they are using or in which their research falls. It is about understanding the nature of reality, human nature and society which are the main subjects of social science research. They should have deep reflections on how reality is constructed and how their PhD research submissions align or do not align with a particular paradigm. This is important for students not only to be philosophers in the degree they will be earning but also to understand the extent of truth in their research claims. This is a skill they need beyond just research as academic philosophers.

Period 4B: The Nature of PhD Studies – (Explore the nature and complexity of how to embark on a PhD journey. This is more than just methods but understanding the PhD context)


Patrick Dunleavy, 2003. Authoring a PhD: How to plan, draft, write and finish a doctoral thesis or dissertation. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, USA.

The text in this period provides an in-depth dive into not only how to plan to write a PhD Thesis but also shares useful insights and techniques that are not immediately discernible in traditional research methods lessons. It provides a gentle leeway for students to begin to understand the depth of a PhD research and what makes it different from just another thesis as they saw in Response Paper One. It provides technical coaching and typically students should capture the key issues that are supposed to make a PhD stand out rather than reading the text front to back – although this is always encouraged. The student is expected to gain skills and understanding that make them professional thinkers when it comes to conducting PhD research and more.

Period 5: Practical Issues around Authoring PhD Thesis – (Practical step-by-step with particular focus on PhD)


Phillips, E.M. and Pugh, D.S., 2010. How to get a PhD: A handbook for Students and Their Supervisors. Berkshire: Open University Press.

This text provides not only another important layer of detail about a PhD Thesis but about the nature of the qualification of a PhD. Many people earn a PhD without understanding the nature of the degree which makes it hard for them to make the difference required of a PhD – both in academic research and in the professional world. While methods remain important, it is critical for students to understand how that makes a PhD different from any other ordinary qualification. This guides them on how they are supposed to think about their doctorate degree qualifications and as experts who master not only research processes as seen in the previous sections but also see these processes from the vantage point of experienced researchers with a 360-degree view of academics.

Period 6: Paper Summarising ALL 5 Periods (Candidate theoretically demonstrates her/his understanding of Periods 1 to 5)


Steven R. Terrell., 2023. Writing a Proposal for Your Dissertation

In Period 6, the candidates bring all the Response Papers together in a quiz. This is different from the normal multiple-choice quiz at Euclid University. It should include a detailed explanation from the texts that focus on key issues raised in the Response paper. There should be 10 questions altogether and with detailed explanations regarding:

  • How the PhD thesis bridges from a Masters’s degree thesis
  • Issues thinking in the abstract about research – research philosophy
  • Issues around research paradigms
  • Details of PhD research not typically highlighted in research Methods issues
  • The nature of PhD research methods and PhD Qualification

Period 7A: Sample Research Proposal – Possibly Candidate’s PhD Research Proposal

Period 7B: Oral Examination


Course Instructor:

This is course is supervised by a primary instructor/faculty member and may also be served by a backup instructor.

The International Faculty Coordinator will confirm the assignment. Do not contact any instructor prior to LMS enrollment with faculty assignment confirmed.