I'm in the final stages of preparing my dissertation. I've noticed that former graduates from my department have included the text "© [student's name]" at the bottom of their title pages. Is this necessary to include in a dissertation? What would be the consequences of not including it? (I'm in Canada, if it matters.)
In most parts of the world this isn't necessary as copyright is automatic on creation of a work. There are some exceptions, but in Canada it won't be necessary. There is no reason you can't, but it is typical to add "All rights reserved" as part of the statement when needed.
Many years ago you needed this, and you also needed to register the copyrighted work with the government providing a copy (or large parts of it). But it became automatic many years ago.
See: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/h_wr02281.html, and especially the FAQ at the end for the specific answer to your question.
As others have pointed out, a copyright notice is not strictly necessary.
- If your thesis includes graphics, text, datasets, software, etc. from others, then you should retain their copyright notices.
- You should mark the remainder of your thesis as belonging to you. This helps anybody that includes your content in their work.
In the software engineering, it is common for every project to have a LICENSE file. If a project includes another project as a dependency, the dependency's LICENSE file is kept intact.