How to cite a PhD thesis in Harvard

Harvard PhD thesis citation

To cite a PhD thesis in a reference entry in Harvard style include the following elements:

  1. Author(s) of the PhD thesis: Give the last name and initials (e. g. Watson, J.) of up to three authors with the last name preceded by 'and'. For four authors or more include the first name followed by et al., unless your institution requires referencing of all named authors.
  2. Year of submission: Give the year in round brackets.
  3. Title of the PhD thesis: Give the title as presented in the source. Only the first letter of the first word and proper nouns are capitalized.
  4. Degree description: Type of degree.
  5. Degree-awarding institution: Give the name of the institution.

Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of a PhD thesis in Harvard style:

Author(s) of the PhD thesis. (Year of submission) Title of the PhD thesis. Degree description. Degree-awarding institution.

Take a look at our reference list examples that demonstrate the Harvard style guidelines in action:


A PhD thesis with one author

Confait, M. F. (2018) Maximising the contributions of PHD graduates to national development: the case of the Seychelles. PhD thesis. Edith Cowan University.

An unpublished PhD thesis

Bowkett, D. (2015) Investigating the ligandability of plant homeodomains. Unpublished PhD thesis. University of Oxford.

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