What format should my thesis be in?
Whether you are submitting an electronic copy only, or your examiner has requested a print copy in addition to the electronic copy, your thesis must include:
- Title Page – this will include your thesis title, full name and the award you are being submitted for;
- Abstract – this must not be more than 5000 words;
- Table of Contents – a list of tables, photographs and any other materials. For the print copy it will include all other materials not bound.
If you are required to submit a print copy of your thesis
Why do I need to provide a print copy of my thesis?
Key information for preparing print copies of thesis materials:
- A spiral, comb, velo, wiro or equivalent bound copy is fine. The more expensive blue book binding is not necessary.
- The bound copy needs to fit in a padded envelope sized 300 x 440 mm, or when you send or drop it into our office you can use your own envelope.
- If you are a research degree candidate whose thesis includes scores, commentary, CDs, DVDs or art work your faculty will often recommend a box to protect the contents. At this stage, when it is not the final thesis for the library, it is your choice if you wish to use box binding or other alternatives. It will also need to fit in the padded 300 x 440 mm envelope, or again you can provide your own envelope or suitable post packaging
It is your responsibility to produce and submit a print copy of your thesis to us; you can post it directly from the print service, or drop it in person, to:
Research Degrees Examination team
James Clerk Maxwell Building
57 Waterloo Road
Our counter opening hours are between 09:00 and 17:00. The door will be locked outside these hours.
Important to know: print copies must be sent to your examiners by the Research Degrees Examination team and not by you, your supervisor nor a faculty staff member.
What are the print copy specifications?
The print copy specifications include:
- Plain white A4 sized paper (210 x 297 mm);
- One sided printing;
- Margins at the binding edge must not be 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. This means from the title page of the first volume to the last page of type will be page 1 onwards, until your final page. This sequence must include everything bound in the volume, for example, 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. As mentioned before the storage of these materials must be presented in such a way that it can fit in the padded 300 x 440 mm envelope or sent to us using appropriate packaging to send to your examiners;
- If your appendices are very long and will entail a two-volume thesis it may be better to use a disc or USB storage system to include them. Please consider that your examiners may not have access to those computer facilities or find it suitably accessible. If you do choose to do this please ensure that the disc or USB stick is securely fastened in the back of your thesis.
What happens to my print copy once it is submitted?
We post your thesis using standard first class postage via Royal Mail, as per university guidance. We are unable to provide a courier service, nor do we have financial approval to use the King's preferred courier service suppliers.
If you or your supervisor have concerns about your examiners' location(s) and ability to receive a print copy, then we advise that the examiner(s) print the copy from the electronic PDF and claim any related expenses via the expenses form once the Oral Examination is complete. As with all expense claims, they must keep and submit any receipts.
If your examiners have not requested a print copy of your thesis then we are unable to keep a printed version for you. This is because we have a very limited, open plan office space and cannot guarantee the security of your thesis beyond postage. We ensure your thesis is confidentially shredded should a print copy not be required.
I have other materials I want to include in my thesis. How do I do that?
Once you have all your illustrative materials together please bind them in with the text or place them in a pocket attached to the back cover. If they are separate from the bound volume please ensure that they are all labelled with the same information as the title page.
Important to know: If both of your examiners have requested a print copy of your thesis, both copies must be accompanied by a full set of the materials.
I'm considering a thesis incorporating publications. Where can I find advice?
The thesis incorporating publications should be discussed at an early stage of study with your supervisor(s) and not at this stage of submission. It is an alternative but equivalent route of submission. Please note it is not available for the DClinPsy or other Specialist Doctorates.
You can find Guidance on submitting a thesis incorporating publications on our webpages.
Checklist for submitting your thesis
Before submitting your thesis, you should:
- Talk to your supervisor(s) about your readiness to submit and discuss the RD1 Form.
- Ensure your thesis meets any word count requirement
- Discuss with your supervisor third-party copyright, and that you are ready to orally defend your thesis.
- Plan ahead if there are specific personal deadlines such as a job or funding opportunity, visa issues or a fellowship application you wish to meet. We estimate the average time period from submission of an RD1 to the final outcome of a Pass is at least 9 months and frequently a lot longer.
- Think about your potential examiners, their level of experience with UK-based PhDs, understanding of your field of study, ability to participate in an Oral Examination and reliability in completing and returning all examiner reports post-Oral Examination.
Important to know: Read our FAQ's for Research degree students which includes helpful guidance on submitting your thesis.