Thesis Self Deposit

A guide to formatting your thesis in preparation for depositing in the Library, including information on copyright, research codes and a step-by-step walkthrough to the online submission process.


You must supply one print and one digital copy of the final version of your thesis. Our guidelines below set out the standard formats for research theses, but with prior permission, the Library will also accept non-standard formats.

If you have any questions about the formats, please contact the Metadata Librarians:

Print Guidelines

The print copy of your thesis must:

  • Be up to A3 (420 mm x 297 mm) in size.
  • Be a clean and clearly printed copy with no marking comments.
  • Be hard bound and have the name of the author and title printed on the outside and on the spine. (Note: Copies of the thesis submitted for examination may be in a temporary binding, for example spiral bound or heat-sealed.)
  • Be typed. The pages may be double-sided.

Include a title page that complies with the Sample PhD Thesis Title Page. Please note that the year included on the title page should be the year the thesis is deposited in the Library.

Include a short abstract (approximately 500 words) in a form suitable for publication.

Include a completed copy of the appropriate Availability and Deposit of Thesis form (“permission form”) without which no thesis can be accepted.

Have any relevant appendices bound into the hard copy. Appendices on a CD may be attached in a pocket.

It is recommended that the print copy of your thesis should:

•    Be on good quality plain white paper of A4 size.
•    Have numbered pages.
•    Have body text in a 12-point font, with 1.5 line spacing.
•    Have margins of least 2 cm and no more than 4 cm on the binding edge of the page.

Digital Guidlines

The digital copy of your thesis should:

  • If possible, be a single file in PDF format.
  • Be identical in content and as close as possible in layout to the print copy deposited with the Library (with the possible exception of any third party copyright material).
  • Be of a reasonable file size. The largest a digital copy of your thesis can be is 2 gigabytes (2 Gb), though very few theses are anywhere near this large. If your thesis is near this limit or over it, it will have to be split into multiple files—for example, the main chapters in one file and appendices in another. Before splitting your thesis, try to reduce its file size if you can. For more assistance, please contact the Metadata Librarians at

PDF Creation

  • Where possible use the latest version of the software to create your PDF.
  • Make it backwards compatible to Adobe Acrobat v 5.0.
  • Use settings to minimise the file size.
  • All fonts should be embedded. The easiest way to check that you have converted your files correctly is if you can copy and paste words from the PDF.

Document Formats

  • All theses must be in PDF format.
  • However for supplementary files all document formats are accepted.
  • If you do not have PDF conversion software, Library staff can assist.


  • Filenames should contain only alphanumeric characters (a-z, 0-9), underscores, or hyphens.

Security settings on PDF files

  • Ensure no security setting is placed on your PDF, access restrictions can be placed on the document by Library staff.
  • Outline any access restrictions on the Thesis Consent Form, or by selecting the appropriate access option when depositing your thesis online.


  • If you have data collections or appendices that supplement your thesis, we can assist in archiving these datasets, please contact us for more information.

Non-Standard Theses Formats

The Library will be happy to accept your thesis in a non-standard format where this has been approved by your Head of School. You must include the completed Non-Standard Format Permission form with your submission. 

Some examples of non-standard formats include music scores; three-dimensional models; performance recordings; or works in fabric, wood, plastic or metal. If you’re unsure, contact for guidance.

You should consider any requirements for a non-standard format as early as possible. PhD candidates should normally apply for this approval when they move from provisional to full registration; Master’s by thesis candidates should give some indication of a non-standard format when completing their three-month progress report, with confirmation at the eight-month progress report.

Download Non-Standard Format Permission    93.76 KB