The top 10 most bizarre dissertation topics of all time

What is your dissertation on?’ is the ultimate icebreaker for any Masters or third year student, although in these special cases it is definitely more likely to create an awkward silence.  Tutors suggest that ‘level of originality’ influences the mark you will get for your research topic; all we can say is that this was certainly taken on board by the guys on this list!

We’ve put together a list of some of the more original… if not a little weird dissertation topics (which have actually been written by students). Top 10 bizarre dissertation topics!

“Pressures produced when penguins pooh – calculations on avian defecation”

Yes, it turns out people have actually taken the effort required to calculate the distance, speed and pressure created when penguins poo… it seems like a completely reasonable way to spend days on end to me. It’s a classic case of dedication to defecation

“Do chickens prefer beautiful humans?”

This is one of those topics where you have to take a step back and really think about why it even matters. I suppose the results could be revolutionary, maybe in 50 years’ time all chicken farmers will moonlight as models? Who knows?

‘Safe and Painless Manipulation of Penile Zipper Entrapment’

A truly important study for men the world over! Maybe this student took the idea of getting ‘stuck into your dissertation’ a bit too literally. It might have been a rather uncomfortable conversation with their dissertation tutor!

However, remember, it was approved… bizarre dissertation topic!

“The constipated serviceman: prevalence among deployed U.S. troops.”

This is probably one of the rare occasions where you could say that your dissertation was a load of poo and not only be talking about the quality.  This is a study that could change the lives of the average U.S serviceman, although I wouldn’t have thought it was their biggest worry, especially being in a warzone!

Can we take a moment to appreciate how awkward the interviews would have been? I mean, just imagine the types of questions that were on the questionnaire… What a bizarre dissertation topic to choose!

“Farting as a defence against unspeakable dread”

This study concludes that no matter how strange it seems, breaking wind can be exactly what you need to put your mind back on track. If your dissertation is getting a bit too much for you, remember this topic, take yourself to one side and do what is necessary.

I am sure your course mates won’t thank me for that advice though!

“How to Avoid Being Attacked in the Shower”

I would have thought ‘lock the bathroom door’ and ‘make sure it is your shower’ would have been a good place to start. I’m not sure how they could ‘flesh out’ the other 9,990 words though…

“An analysis of the forces required to drag sheep over various surfaces”

I am hoping this study was purely theoretical, for the sake of the sheep.
I bet this dissertation was the butt of many ‘BAA’d jokes (like that one, sorry!).
I wonder if any sheep were mentioned in the ‘acknowledgements’ section?!

‘Fact or Fiction?: The 5-Second Rule for Dropped Food’

It turns out that the 5 second rule has found its way from the school playground to a university laboratory. There is always one person who insists that eating dropped food is perfectly hygienic… I just never imagined them doing a dissertation to prove it.

‘Will humans swim faster or slower in syrup?’

Finally, just to show you that even the most experienced academics feel at a dead end with their research sometimes, we have a PhD thesis title simplified by its author. This conclusion might ring true with many readers of this article.

“From Intoxication to Sobriety: An Examination of the Early Modern English Coffeehouse and Alehouse as Part of the Broader Beverage Market”

Or translated…

‘It turns out people prefer getting wasted to pretty much anything else.’

Cheers to that!

Know another bizarre dissertation topic? Let us know!



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