B5-19 Format of the thesis

  • 19.1 Theses may be submitted for examination in a temporarily bound form which is sufficiently secure to ensure that pages cannot be added or removed. The thesis shall be presented in a permanent binding of the approved type (see paragraph 19.11 for details) before the degree may be awarded. A thesis submitted in a temporarily bound form shall be in its final form in all respects save the binding. In such cases the candidate shall confirm, through the submission of a declaration form RDSC-Decl that the contents of the permanently bound thesis are identical with the version submitted for examination, except where amendments have been made to meet the requirements of the examiners.

    19.2 Except with the specific permission of the Research Degrees Sub-Committee the thesis shall be presented in English (see paragraph 5.7). Where a thesis is presented in a language other than English, a summary in English of 1,000 words shall be included in the thesis.

    19.3 There shall be an abstract of approximately 300 words bound into the thesis which shall provide a synopsis of the thesis stating the nature and scope of the work undertaken and of the contribution made to the knowledge of the subject treated. In addition the abstract shall be submitted with the thesis.

    19.4 The thesis shall include a statement of the candidate’s objectives and shall acknowledge published or other sources of material consulted (including an appropriate bibliography or list of citations depending on the discipline) and any assistance received.

    19.5 Where a candidate’s research programme is part of a collaborative group project, the thesis shall indicate clearly the candidate’s individual contribution and the extent of the collaboration.

    19.6 The candidate shall be free to publish material in advance of the thesis but reference shall be made in the thesis to any such work. Copies of published material should either be bound in with the thesis or placed in an adequately secured pocket at the end of the thesis.

    19.7 The copies of the thesis submitted for examination shall remain the property of the University but the copyright in the thesis shall be vested in the candidate.

    19.8 The text of the thesis should not exceed the following length:

    • for an MSc by Research in Science, Engineering, Art and Design 15,000 words
    • for an MA or LLM by Research in Arts, Humanities, Environment, Social Sciences 30,000 words

    The abstract, main text and bibliography should be included in the maximum word length. Appendices should also be included in the maximum word length, except where they contain supplementary information such as data, including transcribed or original source data, questionnaire responses, computer listings and previously published work by the candidate.

    Where the programme of research involves the candidate’s own creative work (see regulation 6.4), the written commentary should be within the following range:

    • for an MA by Research 5,000- 8,000 words

    Where the programme of research involves the preparation of a scholarly edition of texts or other work (see regulation 6.5), the written thesis should be within the following range:

    • for and MA by Research 8,000 – 10,000 words

    19.9 In exceptional cases, variations to the word limits may be granted by the Research Degrees Sub-Committee. Requests for such variations should be made by the Director of Studies on behalf of the candidate, stating the reasons for the proposed different word length.

    19.10 The following requirements shall be adhered to in the format of the submitted thesis.

    (a)    Theses shall be in A4 format; the Research Degrees Sub-Committee may give permission for a thesis to be submitted in another format where it is satisfied that the contents of the thesis can be better expressed in that format;

    (b)    copies of the thesis shall be presented in a permanent and legible form either in typescript or print; where copies are produced by photocopying processes, these shall be of a permanent nature; where word processor and printing devices are used, the printer shall be capable of producing text of a satisfactory quality; the size of character used in the main text, including displayed matter and notes, shall not be less than 10 pt type for capitals and 9 pt type for lower case.

    (c)    the thesis submitted for examination shall be printed on single sides of the paper which shall be white and within the range 70 g/m2 to 120 g/m2;

    (d)    the final bound thesis submitted following examination shall be printed on both sides of the paper which shall be white and within the range 70 g/m2 to 120 g/m2;

    (e)    the margin at the left-hand binding edge of the page shall not be less than 40mm; other margins shall not be less than 15mm;

    (f)    at final submission when the thesis is printed on both sides of the paper, the right-hand margin should also be no less than 40mm;

    (g)    double or one-and-a-half spacing shall be used in the typescript except for indented quotations or footnotes where single spacing may be used;

    (h)    pages shall be numbered consecutively through the main text including photographs and/or diagrams included as whole pages;

    (i)    the title page shall give the following information:

       (1) the full title of the thesis;
       (2) the full name of the author;
       (3) that the degree is awarded by the University;
       (4) that the thesis is submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the award of MA/MSc/LLM by Research;
       (5) the Collaborating Establishment(s), if any; and
       (6) the month and year of submission.

    19.11 The University copy may be bound in any colour and shall be presented as follows:

    (a)    the binding shall be of a fixed type so that leaves cannot be removed or replaced; the front and rear board shall have sufficient rigidity to support the weight of the work when standing upright and the text may be printed on both sides of the page.

    In addition it should be printed:

    (b)    in at least 24pt embossed type the outside front board shall bear the following:

       (1) the title of the work;
       (2) the name and initials of the candidate;
       (3) the qualification, e.g. MA by Research; and
       (4) the year of submission;

    the same information (excluding the title of the work) shall be shown on the spine of the work, reading downwards.

    (c)    the electronic copy of the thesis should be submitted as a Word document or in another suitable open document format. The electronic thesis should be saved on a CD ROM and inserted securely in the inside front copy of the thesis.