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RD10 - Instructions on Binding a Thesis

The thesis must include:

  • Title page – including the thesis title, the candidate’s full name and the degree for which it is submitted
  • Abstract – of 300 words
  • Table of contents – including any material not bound it, and a list of tables, photographs and any other materials


Please note: all students must submit a PDF version of their thesis for examining to no later than their deadline date.

The default for all students is a PDF submission

Any students who are required to provide a soft bound thesis for their examiners, please see binding instructions below.


The thesis must be printed according to the following specifications:

  • Plain white A4 sized paper (210 x 297 mm)
  • One sided printing
  • Margins at the binding edge must be not less than 40 mm and other margins not less than 20 mm
  • Double or 1.5 spacing (except for indented quotations or footnotes which can be single spaced)
  • All pages must be numbered in one continuous sequence, i.e. from the title page of the first volume to the last page of type, from 1 onwards. This sequence must include everything bound in the volume, including maps, diagrams, blank pages, etc.
  • Any material which cannot be bound in with the text must be placed in a pocket inside or attached to the back cover or in a rigid container. You are reminded that if your appendices are very long, you can request permission to include them on a disc instead in order to avoid having to print your thesis in two volumes. Please ensure that the disc is securely fastened in the back of your thesis if you do so.


Illustrative materials:

  • May include: audio recordings (on CD) and photographic slides (35 mm in 2" x 2" frame)
  • Other forms may be submitted at the discretion of the Chair of the Research Degrees Examination Board – please contact
  • Must be bound in with the text or placed in a pocket attached to the back cover. If separate from the bound volume, it must be labelled with the same information as the title page
  • Each copy of the thesis must be accompanied by a full set of this material


Binding instructions:

  • Covered in medium blue cloth (e.g. water resistant material). This applies to both the soft-bound and hard-bound versions.
  • Lettered in gold up the spine with degree, year, and name in size 16 or 18 point. This applies to both the soft-bound and hard-bound versions.
  • Initially two soft-bound theses should be submitted to the Examinations Office for the examiners. Soft-bound theses should have the pages glued in.


Word limit:

  • Includes footnotes
  • Excludes appendices, bibliography and editions of a text(s)
  • PhD – not to exceed 100,000 words
  • MPhil – not to exceed 60,000 words
  • MD(Res) – not to exceed 50,000 words
  • MPhilStud – not to exceed 30,000 words
  • Professional doctorates – at least 25,000 words and not to exceed 55,000 words


Proof reading:

  • You must make every effort to correct errors before submission. It is not the task of examiners to act as editors and/or proof readers of a thesis.
  • The thesis must be the result of the student’s own work. This requirement does not preclude a student obtaining limited assistance with proof-reading including from professionals. When such help is obtained it should be with the prior approval of the supervisor who must be satisfied that the spirit of the 'own work' requirement is not breached.
  • The role of proof readers is to ensure that the meaning of the author is not misrepresented due to the quality and standard of the English used. This can include correcting spelling and basic grammar errors. Inaccuracies or structural problems in academic content should not be corrected by the proof readers and remain the responsibility of the student and their supervisor.





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