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Preparing and formatting your thesis

Word limit guidelines

The guidelines on thesis length for research students in Faculties of Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences are:

  • MPhil 40,000 words
  • PhD 75,000 words

Please note that the above guidelines exclude footnotes, bibliography and appendices (this is different to the general guidance in the Departmental Style Guide).

Presenting your thesis

General guidance on how to prepare your thesis.

Style Guide

The Department's style guide offers useful advice on presentation as well as guidelines about referencing and bibliographies.

The Style Guide is a very comprehensive document, so a Quick Style Guide covering the basics is also available here.


If your research involves human participants i.e. through interviewing you will need to submit an ethics application before you begin.

Avoiding unfair means

It is important to be aware of the University's guidelines and how to avoid the use of unfair means.