Proofreading Theses and Dissertations

Who is this course suitable for?

This course is designed for those who are relatively new to the proofreading profession.

Course description

The course takes you through the steps needed to successfully gain and work through a job of proofreading a thesis or dissertation. In many respects, the work required is the same as for any other proofread – you check for errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar and consistency – but it is complicated by the fact that the thesis or dissertation must be the student’s own work.

What you should know after the course

By the end of the course you will…

  • understand the ethical issues that come with working on theses or dissertations
  • be able to communicate clearly with students and their supervisors about the work
  • be able to negotiate an appropriate fee for the work
  • have learnt new skills that will help you to decide whether to take on a proofreading job
  • understand the different formats in which a thesis or dissertation may be presented
  • be able to provide feedback to your student clients and/or their supervisors
Curriculum snapshot

Availability, prices and upgrade points

Price (members)  
Price (non-members)  
CIEP upgrade points 3
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Other price discounts are available. See the fees page.

E-learning courses take between 10 and 45 hours to complete, depending on the course, but you have access to the course materials for 6 months.

Prices are exclusive of tax, which will be added automatically at your local rate at checkout.

E-learning course structure

Time allowed for access: 6 months CIEP upgrade points: 3
Approximate study time needed to complete the course: 20 hours

This is a self-assessed course. You will be assigned a tutor who will be available for up to one hour of support (usually by email) but the tutor does not mark any of your work. When you have finished the course, you can download and print a certificate that states that you have ‘completed’ the course.


The course is divided into six sections:

Unit 1 Introduction considers the nature of theses and dissertations and why you might want to work at proofreading them.

Unit 2 First contact looks at what you need to do when somebody contacts you to ask if you can proofread their thesis.

Unit 3 Negotiation explores what to do when a student has replied to your email and has attached a sample from their thesis.

Unit 4 Ethics covers the ethics of proofreading theses and dissertations and the grey areas that you will come across along the way.

Unit 5 Different formats looks at the different file formats you might come across and how to handle them.

Unit 6 Putting it all together combines all the facets of the previous units and presents you with two final exercises to consolidate your learning.

Each section includes study notes and a commentary on the exercises, with examples and model answers where appropriate. There are 10 exercises throughout the course, giving you plenty of practice at honing your skills.

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