Thesis Self Deposit - A Guide

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 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 :

Digital Guidelines

The digital copy of your thesis should:

  • If possible, be a single file in PDF format.
  • Be identical in content to the final marked copy (with the possible exception of any third party copyright material, see further information below).
  • Be of a reasonable file size. The largest a digital copy of your thesis can be is 1 gigabytes (1 Gb). If your thesis is near this limit or over it, it may 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 :
  • Include a short abstract (approximately 500 words) in a form suitable for publication.
  • Have numbered pages.
  • Have body text in a 12-point font, with 1.5 line spacing.
  • 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.
  • You may deposit any datasets or other files that support your thesis. The limit of 1GB applies to individual files.

Third Party Content

  • If your thesis contains third party content (images, video, etc), for which you do not have clearance, please supply two digital copies of your thesis. One must be identical to the final marked copy and the other is a redacted copy with the material redacted.

Personal Information

  • Similar to third party content please redact any personal contact details and signatures (in any part of the thesis; even in ethics approval letters).

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, please contact us for more information.


  • 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