Rules and regulations

Form and presentation of theses for higher degrees

Updated on 1 June 2015

How to present a thesis for research degrees and where to deposit it.

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  1. The final version of the thesis, as accepted by the examiners for the degree must be deposited in the University’s research portal (Discovery in an electronic format approved by the Senatus. However, the initial submission of the thesis for examination may be presented in hard copy at the request of the examiners. The examination hard copy must be in a standard word processed and printed format acceptable to the examiners.  
  2. The thesis must be word processed in a standard format with a page size equivalent to paper size A4.
  3. All text must be in font size 12pt (10pt for charts, captions and footnotes). The font type must be Arial, Times New Roman or an approved equivalent and must be consistent throughout the thesis, including chapter headings, quotations and references. 1.5pt line spacing is required throughout the thesis except for long quotations that may be in 1.0pt line spacing.
  4. The document’s left margins must be at least 40 mm and the other margins at least 20mm.
  5. Pages must be numbered consecutively through the main text with the numbers located centrally at the top of the page.
  6. The title page must include the title of the thesis, the full name of the author in the centre and the full designation of the degree, the name of the University and the month and year of the award of the degree in the bottom right-hand corner.
  7. The table of contents and list of illustrations (if applicable) should normally follow the title page.
  8. Acknowledgements should normally appear on the page following the table of contents and any list of illustrations.
  9. Following the acknowledgements, if any, there must be a signed declaration, that the candidate is the author of the thesis; that, unless otherwise stated, all references cited have been consulted by the candidate; that the work of which the thesis is a record has been done by the candidate, and that it has not been previously accepted for a higher degree. If the thesis is based upon joint research, the nature and extent of the candidate's individual contribution must be clearly defined;
  10. Following the declaration and statement referred to in Regulation 9, there must be a summary of the contents of approximately three hundred words.
  11. References must enable the reader to identify the work cited and to locate the specific passage concerned.
  12. The thesis must be written in English unless the appropriate School Board, on the recommendation of the candidate's supervisor, has approved the use of another language.
  13. Candidates for a higher degree by thesis must have deposited the thesis in accordance with Regulation 1 above and must have paid to the University all fees or charges outstanding including those payable for submission or resubmission of the thesis in question. A candidate who fails to satisfy any of the requirements of this sub-section will not be permitted to graduate.
  14. The copyright in a thesis shall remain with the author of the thesis.
  15. As part of the deposition process each candidate will be invited to give permission for the University Library to make the thesis freely available as an electronic resource (for example via the University repository or the British Library Electronic Thesis Online Service (EThOS)) on the authority of the Librarian and subject to appropriate safeguards, but without further reference to the author.


The following recommendations, which do not form part of the above Regulations, are intended to be of assistance to those preparing theses for higher degrees.

  1. The table of contents (Regulation 7) should list in sequence, with page numbers, all relevant subdivisions of the thesis, including the titles of chapters, sections and subsections, as appropriate; the bibliography or list of references; the list of abbreviations and other functional parts of the whole thesis; any appendices.
  2.  If the thesis contains tables, photographs, illustrations, diagrams etc., a list of these, in the order in which they appear in the text, should follow the table of contents.
  3. Diagrams, illustrations and tables should be inserted as close as possible to the associated text. When previously published papers are submitted as an appendix to the thesis they should be listed in the table of contents but with a clear statement that the papers did not form part of the material examined for the degree, unless the degree awarded is designated as “…by Publication”.
  4. Photographs, diagrams or illustrations should be inserted in a standard format (jpg or gif) and must conform to any copyright requirements in force and be properly referenced.
  5. Notes may be inserted at the foot of the relevant page, beneath a horizontal rule separating them from the main text and may be typed in single spacing.
  6. The bibliography or list of references (Regulation 11) should be arranged in a logical sequence, e.g. alphabetically by authors. A standard academic citation system (CMOS, Harvard, Vancouver etc.) appropriate to the discipline should be used.

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