All copies shall be legible and of good print quality.
Production of text
Text may be produced (i) single sided on the front of pages; (ii) mostly single sided, but occasionally printed on the back (e.g. to allow a diagram to face related text); or (iii) on both sides of the paper, providing the paper is opaque enough to avoid show-through.
Text should be set with even or proportionate spacing between words. Word division at the ends of lines should be avoided, if possible.
It is recommended that one-and-a-half line spacing or equivalent is used. Lines that contain mathematical formulae, diacritical marks or strings of capital letters may need additional space. It should be clear when a new paragraph is starting and where matter in the text is being quoted.
Text, in general, should be black and should not be embellished i.e. no general use of coloured text or fancy fonts; no section separators, etc.
It is recommended that, in order to allow for binding, reading, and reproduction, the margin on the binding edge of the page, i.e. the left-hand edge of the front and the right-hand edge of the back of a page, is not less than 40mm, and that other margins are not less than 15mm. The character size and line length should also be taken into account when deciding margin width. Any running heads and page numbers should be within the recommended margins at the top and bottom of the page, and preferably no nearer the edge of the paper than half the margin width. It is recommended that margins around all illustrations and off-prints are no smaller than those of the text, if they are bound into the thesis.
Page headers may be used but, for ease of reading, it is recommended that the font used is smaller than the main body of the text and that no underline is used. Headers should not include personal information, such as your name or student number.
Headings should be used to indicate the hierarchical structure of the text. There should normally be not more than four levels, including the chapter headings as the first level. It is recommended that each level is distinguished from the others by position or typography, or both, and that the space that precedes and follows a heading is not less than the space between paragraphs. Headings should not normally be centred (except, possibly, for chapter and part headings).
Arabic numerals should normally be used for numbering all sequences within a thesis.
For ease of reading, it is recommended that page numbers are visibly clear of the text. The pages of the thesis should be numbered in a single sequence beginning with the title page, which should be counted but not numbered, and including pages that carry tables, illustrations, appendices, etc. The use of blank pages should be avoided, if possible.
Chapters should be numbered from the start to the finish of the thesis, continuing across volumes if necessary. Appendices should be numbered in a separate sequence from that used for chapters.
Illustrations should be numbered consecutively in a single sequence, generally without distinguishing between different kinds of illustration. Tables or Figures within the text should be numbered consecutively in a single sequence, each separate from illustrations.
The components of material that cannot be bound, e.g. frames of a film, should be numbered in a manner appropriate to their form, e.g. 'microfiche frame D7'.
An illustration should normally appear near the first reference made to it in the text. The desirability of grouping illustrations at the back of a volume or in a separate volume should be considered if they need to be compared with one another, are referred to frequently in the text, or need to be separate because of their nature, e.g. their size or method of production.
Illustrations should be of a technical quality that reproduces well.
Every illustration, including appendices and material that cannot be bound, should be included in the list of illustrations with page numbers or other identification.
It is recommended that any label within an illustration is positioned so that the part it applies to cannot be confused with any other, or linked to the part by a thin line; the lettering should be large and clear enough to remain legible when the illustration is photographed and subsequently copied. A short legend should appear beneath each illustration.
Photographic prints; large illustrations
It is recommended that photographic prints, if bound with the text, are printed on medium-weight photographic paper (e.g. paper of a thickness equivalent to that of uncoated paper of substance within the range 70 g/m2 to 100 g/m2) or permanently mounted on A4-size card or substantial paper.
If it is necessary to bind in an illustration on a paper size larger than A4, it should be produced on paper that can be folded to fit within the thesis; illustrations should not be pasted across both pages of an open volume.
A bibliographical reference should be given for every work, published or unpublished, cited in the text. Please refer to the Academic Integrity guidelines issued by your department for referencing guidance and expectations.
The bibliography, if present, should list all sources referred to or consulted in writing the thesis, but not necessarily all material relevant to it. A consistent form of presentation should be used for all bibliographical references throughout the thesis.
In all cases, the thesis should be bound in such a way that it can be opened fully, for ease of reading, and the thickness of a single volume (excluding covers) should not be more than 70mm.
The thesis should be securely bound either between card covers (the front cover to be a copy of the title page) or between clear plastic covers. The spine should be taped, and not spiral bound.
The thesis should be bound in cloth covered boards, the binding being of a fixed kind in which leaves are permanently secured.
Lettering on the cover and spine of the thesis should be large enough to be legible when the volume is on a library shelf. Normally, lettering of 8mm capital height will be required if the lettering is all in capitals and 10mm capital height if capitals and lower case are used.
The front cover should bear the title of the thesis (in an abbreviated form, if necessary), the author's name, the name of qualification for which the thesis is submitted (e.g., PhD, or MA), and the year of submission.
The spine of the thesis should bear the author's name, the name of qualification for which the thesis is submitted (e.g., PhD, or MA), the name of the department or programme and the year of submission. This information should be printed along the spine in such a way as to be readable when the volume is lying flat with the front cover uppermost.
If the thesis consists of more than one volume the front cover and the spine must also bear the number of each volume.
Material that cannot be bound
Material that cannot be bound
It may be that the thesis includes material that cannot conveniently be bound near the related text in it, e.g. cassettes, slides, large maps or architectural drawings, large music scores, microform, computer discs or computer printout.
Unbound material causes difficulties in binding and reproduction and is at risk of being lost. Its use should therefore be avoided, if at all possible. If, however, its use is inescapable, it should either: be packaged in such a way that it can be bound with the thesis, e.g. stored in a pocket attached to the inside back cover of the appropriate volume; or be gathered into another volume and stored in a rigid container of the same size and colour as that of the bound thesis. If the material which cannot conveniently be submitted in bound form constitutes the whole of the thesis, it should be packaged in a rigid container. In every case, the rigid container shall either bear on its front cover the information required for a title page (if softbound) or be constructed of cloth covered boards and lettered on the cover and spine (if hardbound), in accordance with the requirements guidance on the presentation and submission of theses for research degree programmes.
Submit your thesis
Guidance on the presentation and submission of theses for research degree programmes
This page provides general information on the presentation and submission of theses for research degree programmes (PhD, MPhil, EngD, MA/MSc by Research). It also offers information on possible binders, and a diagram showing the correct layout of the wording on cover and spine. The presentation and submission of theses is governed by Regulation 2.7.
Please ensure that your thesis is presented and bound in accordance with the University’s requirements. Otherwise, your examination or the award of your degree may be delayed.
Submission of a research thesis for examination is a formal process in the same way as sitting an examination. Because of this, it is very important that you read these guidelines carefully before submitting your thesis.
1. Before submitting
You must consult your supervisor before submitting a thesis for examination.
About two months before you expect to submit your thesis you should complete the Notification of intention to submit in E-vision. This is to allow your department to make the necessary arrangements for your examination. You do not need to be over exact in calculating your submission date, provided that you adhere to your deadline for submission.
You can find the intention to submit form in your E-vision account under > My Supervision Meetings and Research Details > Research Progress.
Before submitting your thesis you should check carefully that it is the version you wish to be examined, and that it contains no accidental errors or omissions. Please note that you may not retrieve your thesis from Research Student Administration once it has been submitted.
Research students who are also members of staff of the university should be aware that they will have to pay a fee when they submit their thesis for examination. This is to cover the need to appoint two external examiners, which is the requirement for a research student who is also a member of staff (see the Policy on Research Degrees for full details).
This fee is payable through the online store and must be done so prior to submission. Please note, this does not apply to staff on a Grade 6 appointment or below.
2.Presentation of research theses
Your thesis should be presented in accordance with the University’s requirements.
Please follow this link and read the instructions carefully or you may be asked to rebind your thesis before it is accepted for submission.
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3. Submission of theses for examination
Where should I submit my thesis?
Theses should be submitted for examination to Research Student Administration in the Student Hub, please check the opening times of the Hub carefully as times can vary between term time and vacation time. Find out more about the Hub.
If your submission deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday or Bank Holiday, or during the Student Administration closed period at Christmas, submission will be accepted on the next working day after the deadline.
Can I submit by post?
Theses submitted by post are expected to be received by Research Student Administration on or before the submission deadline, in the same way as submissions in person. Should a candidate choose to submit by post it is their responsibility to ensure they post in good time to meet their deadline. Submission by post should not be used as a way of circumventing the deadline, and should Research Student Administration feel this is the case, or there is evidence the thesis was not posted in good time to arrive by the deadline, it will be returned to the student. Some discretion will be applied to postal submissions, e.g. if a thesis arrives late owing to postal delays or is sent from overseas. Such situations will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis by Research Student Administration, and the student should expect to provide evidence that they posted their thesis in good time.
The campus-based online Design and Print service will not only bind your thesis but will also submit your thesis to the Student Administration Building on your behalf.
The postal address is:
Research Student Administration
Upper Tier, Market Square
University of York
When should I submit my thesis?
Submission must take place within one year (MPhil/PhD/EngD students) or within three months (MA/MSc by Research students) of the end of your full-time or part-time registration period, unless an extension of submission deadline has been approved by the University. You can see your submission deadline in your E-vision account.
Theses presented after a candidate’s submission deadline (except in the case of unavoidable postal delay as described above) are classed as a Failure to Submit and will not be accepted by Research Student Administration (RSA). Late submission constitutes failure of your degree. In cases where exceptional circumstances exist, you may apply for an Extension to Submission Deadline. A pending extension request is not sufficient.
Candidates who, with formal prior permission from the Research Special Cases Committee, submit after their submission deadline will be invoiced for a further annual continuation fee, where one falls due.
Who should submit my thesis?
Theses may be submitted to RSA by hand (by you or by someone else), by post, or by courier service. It is your responsibility to ensure that your thesis reaches the RSA by your deadline.
How many copies of my thesis must I submit?
The number of printed copies submitted should equal the number of examiners (normally two).
Printed copies of theses submitted for examination should be softbound (see Section 5 below). They should be securely bound either between card covers (the front cover to be a copy of the title page) or between clear plastic covers. The spine must be taped. The campus-based online Design and Print service will bind your thesis in this way for a modest charge.
Spiral bound theses will not be accepted.
An exception on spiral binding is made for musical scores which must lie flat.
What else must I provide with my submitted thesis?
- You must provide a Submission of Thesis form:
Submission of thesis form (PDF , 252kb)
Submission of thesis form May 2017 (MS Word , 135kb)Submission of thesis form May 2017 (MS Word , 135kb)
If you registered for your research degree programme in October 2009 or later, you must also submit the same number of copies of a CD (or other portable data storage unit acceptable to the University) containing an electronic copy of the thesis. This must be in pdf format (or other format acceptable to the University and appropriate to the medium) and shall be identical in every way to the printed copy.
Each CD (or other portable data storage unit) must bear a label giving:
- the title of the thesis (in abbreviated form, if necessary)·
- the volume number (where applicable)·
- the author’s name·
- the name of the qualification for which the thesis is submitted (e.g., PhD or MA)·
- the year of submission.
If you registered for your research degree before October 2009, you may, if you wish, submit electronic copies in addition to the printed copies, but are not required to do so.
What happens once I have submitted my thesis for examination?
Research Student Administration will forward your thesis to your examiners. If you are a PhD, MPhil or EngD student, your department will then contact you, if it has not already done so, to arrange the oral examination. An oral examination may also be required for MA or MSc (by Research) students; your department will be able to advise.
If you are resubmitting your thesis following a referral, please see Section 7 below.
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4. Deposit of theses after examination
After examination, if a degree is awarded and after you have made to the satisfaction of the internal or another of the examiners any corrections required by the examiners, you must deposit your thesis with the University.
If you started your research degree programme on or after 1 October 2009
- You must upload one electronic copy of the thesis to White Rose Etheses Online. The electronic copy shall be in pdf format (or other format acceptable to the University and appropriate to the medium). You must upload your electronic copy before you print and submit your hard copy. RSA will advise you of any required amendments to the layout prior to printing.·
- You must deposit one printed copy of your final thesis with RSA. This will be identical to the electronic copy approved to print by RSA. Your printed copy will be forwarded to the University Library. The thesis may be either hardbound or softbound, as you choose. In either case, the binding shall conform to the University’s requirements for the binding of theses.
White Rose eThesis Repository
Please see the following guidance, which contains all the instructions about how to submit your thesis to the White Rose Etheses Online:
Depositing your digital thesis (PDF , 960kb)
If you registered for your research degree programme before October 2009
You have two options:
- either you may follow the procedure above for candidates who registered in October 2009 or later,
- or you may deposit with RSA two printed copies of your thesis, which must be hardbound for MPhil, PhD and EngD, but may be hardbound or softbound for MA/MSc by Research. (For binding, see Section 5 below);
What happens after I have deposited my final thesis?
After you have met the requirements set out above for depositing your thesis, you will receive formal notification of the award of your degree from the RSA. Your degree cannot be awarded until you have met these requirements.
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5. Softbound and hardbound theses
Sections 3 and 4 above explain whether the thesis should be hardbound or softbound. The University does not accept spiral bound theses for examination, or as final thesis. An exception is made for music scores which must lie flat.
If softbound, the thesis must be securely bound between card and / or plastic covers (the front cover to be a copy of the title page). The spine must be taped. The information to be given on the title page is set out in Section 2 above.
If hardbound, the thesis must be bound in cloth covered boards, the binding being of a fixed kind in which leaves are permanently secured. You may choose the colour of the cloth covered boards. The lettering on the front cover must be presented in the following order: (i) the title of the thesis (in an abbreviated form, if necessary), (ii) your name (as it appears in the University’s student record), (iii) the name of the degree you have been awarded (e.g. MPhil or PhD), and (iv) the year of (original) submission (see Section 7 below). The lettering on the spine (reading from top to bottom) must follow this order: (i) your name (as it appears in the University’s student record), (ii) the name of the degree you have been awarded (e.g., MPhil or PhD), (iii) the name of your department (see Section 6 below), and (iv) the year of (original) submission (see Section 7 below). If the thesis thickness is more than 70 mm (excluding covers), it must be bound in two separate volumes. The front cover and the spine must also bear the number of each volume. Use the diagram in Section 9 below to indicate to your binder the only acceptable layout.
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6. Names of departments and centres
The name of your department or centre must be used on title pages, and the spines of hardbound theses. The name must appear exactly as follows:
You should not include 'Department of' or 'Centre for'
- Computer Science
- Conservation Studies
- Electronic Engineering
- Health Sciences
- History of Art
- Language and Linguistic Science
- Medieval Studies
- Politics, Economics and Philosophy
- Post-War Recovery Studies
- Railway Studies
- Social Policy and Social Work
- Theatre, Film and Television
- Women's Studies
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If your thesis is referred, and you are asked to revise and resubmit your thesis for examination, you should submit the revised copies of your thesis to RSA, following the procedure set out in Section 3 above. A re-examination fee is payable through the online store. If you have any queries please email RSA. Please note that your thesis will not be sent for examination until the re-examination fee has been paid.
The month/year of submission remains the month/year in which the thesis was first submitted for examination.
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Theses can be softbound for a modest charge by DP Online.
For hardbound theses you may find the following useful:
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9. Hardbound theses: lettering of cover and spine
This diagram indicates to your binder the wording that the cover and spine of a hardbound thesis should bear, together with the required layout.
This is the only accepted layout.
- Only to be included if more than one volume (not copy).
- Your name as it appears in the University's student record.
- PhD, MPhil, EngD, MA(res) or MSc(res).
- Do not include the words 'Department'/'Centre of'. For authorised Department/Centre names see section 6.
- Year in which the thesis was first submitted for examination.
- Wording on the spine must be rotated to read left-to-right when the thesis is lying face-up.
- Wording on the spine must be centralised.
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10. Availability of theses
All theses deposited by candidates for research degrees after examination, in printed or electronic form, are available for consultation and for reproduction (subject to normal conditions of acknowledgement).
A thesis may be withheld or made available in redacted form for the following reasons:
- intent to publish;
- commercial sensitivity;
- data protection compliance;
- issues of national security
- issues of health and safety;
- third-party copyright infringement, or;
- exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Guidance on redaction and embargo issues is provided at http://subjectguides.york.ac.uk/copyright/studying.
With the approval of their supervisor(s), and following all appropriate considerations, including any potential intellectual property issues and with reference to Research Data Management expectations and guidelines, a student may request to deposit a thesis with accompanying redactions or embargo as follows:
- A redacted version of the thesis may be deposited for the electronic archive, with the examined copy held by the university. Redaction for third-party copyright infringement will be indefinite unless notification of clearance is received.
- The student is ultimately responsible for any redaction of the thesis.
- Access to the thesis may be withheld, and, with the exception of an abstract, none of the material contained in it should be reproduced, for a fixed period agreed with the supervisor(s), and commencing from the date on which the printed copy of the examined thesis is deposited with Research Student Administration after the examination.
- If dispute arises between student and supervisor(s) relating to withholding the thesis, the decision of the supervisor(s) is final.
- An extension to a withholding period, on request by student or supervisor(s) to their Faculty, may be granted in accordance with University guidelines.
- Lifting an embargo in advance of the set date may only be done with the consent of both student and supervisor(s)
Students / supervisors can select up to five years embargo in the first instance.
Any such request should be made on the appropriate form and submitted to RSA along with the printed copy/copies of your thesis which you deposit after the examination. If you make such a request, you should also indicate, when you upload your thesis to White Rose Etheses Online, that you wish it not to be made available online for the same period.
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