I think that one can receive a degree in a field, say, Management. I saw somewhere that this was written on the first page of a thesis:

Thesis for receiving «MA» degree on Translation Studies

Topic: ...

By: ...

Is using on with degree acceptable? I think it should be:

Thesis for receiving «MA» degree in Translation Studies


Are you sure you rememberd the thesis correctly?

Usually it is

A thesis on Translation Studies.

Since it is a written body about a subject.


A degree in Translation Studies.

Since it is a degree spent studying in a subject.

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  • Yes. I checked it now. Every student must follow the guideline, for example: Thesis for receiving «M.Sc» degree on .... It seems odd to me. This is a university in a non-English speaking country. I think they might be wrong. And remember after on goes the name of the field, say medicine, not the subject of the thesis. – Juya Sep 15 '18 at 20:06

Here are some relevant definitions:

in preposition 14 — used to indicate a job or area of activity ▪ She has a job in marketing. - Learner’s Dictionary

on preposition 9 — used to indicate the subject of something ▪ a book on [=about] North American birds - Learner’s Dictionary

“In” has the sense of “within the field of”, while “on” has the sense of “about” or “regarding” in the context of your quote.

Your quote has two possible antecedents to on: “thesis” and “degree”.

A thesis can be on a topic, meaning that it addresses that topic. So you can have, for example, a thesis on medicine - the thesis addresses aspects of medicine as a totality. You can also have a thesis in a topic or field, but that’s a looser tie between the thesis and the field. A thesis in medicine is one written about a medical topic, not necessarily about medicine as a whole.

Degrees are only awarded in fields of study, not on them. You can have a degree in (within the field of) medicine, but saying you have one on (about) medicine sounds odd.

The phrase “for receiving” also sounds a little off. It would be more natural to use the following wording:

  • an «MA» degree was awarded for his thesis in Translation Studies on phrasing.

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