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Thesis Format

Format of thesis and Binding

The thesis must include
  • Title page – including the thesis title, the student's full name and the degree for which it is submitted
  • Abstract - of up to 5,000 words
  • Table of contents – including any material not bound in the book, and a list of tables, photographs and any other materials
Word limits, Inclusions and Exclusions

Word limits

  • 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

Thesis word limit inclusions and exclusions

The thesis word count includes everything from the start of chapter 1 up to the end of the last chapter. This means:

Including all words included within:

  • Tables
  • Footnotes/Endnotes
  • Table/figure legends


  • Abstract
  • Tables of contents/of figures/of tables/ of acronyms
  • Acknowledgements/dedications
  • References/Bibliography
  • Appendices
  • 'Editions of texts (except where the edition or editions themselves constitute the thesis under examination)'
Thesis format
  • Students are only required to submit an electronic thesis for their examiners, in PDF format, this should be emailed to no later than your deadline

  • If examiners have requested a printed copy  a member of the Research Degrees Examinations team will get in touch with you
  • Margins - as we no longer require printed copies of the thesis, the margin edge is at the student's discretion, however bear in mind if  examiners prefer a printed copy then it may need to be spiral bound

  • Spacing - Double or 1.5 spacing (except for indented quotations or footnotes which can be single spaced)

  • Font size - It is recommended to use font size 12 to ensure examiners are able to read it
  • Page numbering - 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 in the volume, including maps, diagrams, blank pages, etc.
  • Illustrative materials - May include: audio recordings and photographic slides, these can be emailed to

  • Additional material - Any material which cannot be included in the PDF thesis maybe emailed separately to the
Printed thesis for examiners

Some examiners may prefer to work from a printed version of the student's thesis rather than the PDF, if this is the case:

  • The Research Degrees Examinations team will in the first instance check with the examiner if they would be happy to print the thesis themselves. If the examiner is happy to do this and is able to, they can claim back the expenses following the examination

  • If the examiner is unable to print the thesis, the Research Degrees Examinations team will contact the student to make arrangements for a print version to be posted directly to the examiner(s) or via a binders

  • It is the students' responsibility to get their thesis printed and bound if examiners require a copy. Students may only claim back postage costs.



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