Requirements for the writing of the thesis

Requirements for the writing of the thesis

The Thesis will be written in a style and format that is consistent with the expectations and traditions of the Doctoral Programme in Music Therapy, demonstrating critical and philosophical perspectives. Well documented research, including critical opinion, explanation of method, and comprehensive discussion enables researchers and non-researchers to follow the process of the research and understand the implications of the study. The requirements listed below define the characteristics, style, format and content of the thesis:

1. Content style for monographs and article based theses

  • The thesis will have an introduction, giving the background for the research, the motivation and theoretical framework of the researcher in connection with this research, and the problem formulation of the area of investigation
  • A comprehensive literature review and theoretical framework will be presented, of both primary and related literature. The literature review should include critical opinion of previous literature in order to develop a foundation for the study
  • A clearly stated method will be documented. This should include relevant explanations of different research methods and methods of analysis and statistical analysis that are used in the study. Terminology should be explained, and where necessary accompanied by a relevant references. The researcher is expected to place him/herself in relation to relevant paradigmatic issues and also to readdress ontology and epistemology in the discussion section.
  • The findings of the study must be clearly documented according to recommendations and guidelines adhered to by international journals for the documentation of research reports. Where substantial quantities of data exist, for example, tables, graphs and interview narrative, that is not essential in the results section, this may be placed in appendices, or on accompanying CD-ROM’s.
  • The discussion of the study should be comprehensive, and include a statement of the main findings, reference to the theoretical framework presented in the literature review, and a comprehensive consideration of the limitations and weaknesses in the research. In studies that are founded on clinical work, a discussion of the clinical applicability of the findings is particularly expected. Recommendation for future research should be considered at the end.
  • The thesis should conclude with a reflection on the research process, and a consideration of what the researcher has learnt from that process.
  • Consideration should be given to the eventual size of the thesis. Quality, rather than quantity is encouraged, and examiners can find it difficult to absorb and evaluate large amounts of material. Ensure the thesis contains what is relevant and no more. A maximum of 100,000 words for a monograph is recommended, not including the bibliography and appendices.

2. House style

The thesis should be set up according to the guidelines described at the AAU website. We encourage you to use the formatting guide and template already for your drafts. Please check the Study Regulation of The Faculty of Humanities where the precise requirements to the PhD thesis are outlined in chapter 5.

3. Abstract

A 400 word abstract (including background, purpose, research questions, method, design, results and conclusion) will be send to potential examiners and must be provided 6-9 months before submission to the head of the doctoral programme in music therapy. In the thesis, apart from the abstract in Danish and English, the student is required to make a lengthier summary of 5-10 pages in English. The summary will be handed out at the defence to the audience.


See PhD Theses