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A whole dissertation on whether unicorns exist? Should have looked at this irrefutable evidence first. Photograph: Carlo Ferraro/EPA A few months ago I found myself sitting naked in a bath tub, being bathed by a man twice my age.

Afterwards he dried me, wrapped me in a dressing gown, and fed me white chocolate and tangerines. I'm not part of a fetish scene, I'm not in a care home – I put myself through all this for my dissertation. I'm in the final year of my English and drama course at the University of Leeds.

Like everyone else in my year, I spent several months staring at the ceiling, trying to come up with a topic for my dissertation. You need to come up with something that's original enough to demonstrate your creativity, while still providing enough material for a serious academic analysis.

After three years of books, sweat and tears, you don't want to screw it up Information on preparing and writing a postgraduate taught dissertation, How to Write Essays, Dissertations and Theses in Literary Studies, London: Longman, .

In the end, I chose to write about "intimate theatre", a concept my bath buddy, a performance artist called Adrian Howells, takes pretty seriously – here he is explaining what he does on YouTube. It might seem like a niche topic, but after a few millennia of human civilization, it's getting harder to come up with something new to write about.

Here are a few other former students on their wacky dissertations:Rachael Patterson, 21Subject: PhilosophyDissertation title: The Possibility of Unicorns: Kripke v DummettWhat it's about: Whether or not the existence of unicorns is metaphysically possible MSc in Applied Linguistics dissertation, University of Edinburgh. Biggam J. (2011) Socio-Cultural Issues in English for Academic Purposes. London: Phillips E. & Pugh D. (1992) How to Get a PhD. 1c - Reference to previous studies..

It analyses the arguments of the philosophers Saul Kripke and Michael Dummet and tries to find a winner.

Neither of them really think that unicorns actually exist, but Dummett reckons they could – in another possible world Visual rhetoricians have often attempted to understand text-image arguments by privileging “This dissertation joins a vibrant conversation in the social sciences about the challenging The question that this dissertation explores is what cultural narratives about reproduction and Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing..

The best quote: "There is a chance that we are mistaken: there may be unicorns. Furthermore, we can consider a world different to our own in some way, in which unicorns do exist. They are not a biological or metaphysical impossibility in this sense, and the images and descriptions we currently affix to the term 'unicorn' help us to imagine the possibility of such creatures existing in a different possible world.

"Grade: 2:1Subject: Chinese (Oriental studies)Dissertation title: Representin' the Dirty North: The Indigenisation of Rap Music and Hip-hop Culture in BeijingWhat it's about: I argued that, although hip-hop has no roots in Chinese society and history, the hybridised form of hip-hop created through indigenisation can be defined as true to the global hip-hop musical genre.

The best quote: "A Chinese boy with dreadlocks and a necklace with a large dollar-sign pendant is comparing his 'bling' jewellery with a shorter, solemn-looking boy wearing a Yankees cap and a baggy T-shirt 10 Oct 2012 - In the end, I chose to write about intimate theatre , a concept my we currently affix to the term 'unicorn' help us to imagine the possibility of such creatures existing in a different possible world. Subject: Anthropology and cultural studies He tells me he is a biochemistry student at Beijing University and .

He tells me he is a biochemistry student at Beijing University and visits the 'Dirty South' night in club Vics every Tuesday. In strained English he replies, 'Cos I'm a gangster'.

"Grade: 2:1Does your dissertation topic push the boundaries of academia? Do you know anyone writing about something weirder than unicorns? OUP promo trail Photograph: Guardian Topics