Formatting and binding of theses

Theses should normally be word-processed and good printing quality is essential. Other options such as LaTeX may be used where appropriate to the discipline.  If there is a top copy this should contain the best photographic prints (if any), as this copy will eventually be placed in the University Library (where relevant).

Print & Design Solutions provides a thesis printing and binding service using a channel binding system.  There are three binding packages available for theses, which include comb, wiro and hard binding.  All packages meet university regulations for thesis first submissions and resubmissions.  Hard binding has your details (e.g. name of student, title of thesis and date of submission) gold foiled onto the spine of the document. There is an option to personalise the front cover of the thesis in the same method. Hard binding must be used where a printed final copy of the thesis is required for deposit in the Library (comb or wiro binding is not acceptable).

It is recommended that 100gsm A4 paper is used (although 80gsm is acceptable). The maximum thickness of a bound volume is 35mm with covers (or 32mm without covers). Therefore if the unbound copy of a student’s thesis is more than 32mm thick, the thesis will have to be bound into two volumes. Where two or more volumes are required, normal practice is for the bibliography and/or appendices to form the second volume. In such cases, the thesis will require two title pages, which specify ‘Volume 1’and ‘Volume 2’ respectively; however only one contents page is required in Volume 1.

If amendments are required after the oral examination has been held, volumes can be rebound by Print & Design Solutions following insertion of new pages (RE bind cost applies).

Before submitting work for binding, students are advised to make sure that the material is in good order, as pages are bound strictly in the order in which they are delivered. Items for rebinding should have the new pages inserted by the author. Only A4 size pages are accepted by Print & Design Solutions. Binding work is usually completed within 2-3 working days of acceptance. However, at times when many postgraduate students are submitting theses, particularly at Easter and from late July to early November, demand may be such that it may not be possible to complete all work within the normal timescale. Students are advised to present their work in good time for binding or alteration. Under certain circumstances Print & Design Solutions provides a same day/24 hour service; however this incurs an extra charge per copy. Further information can be found on the Print & Design Solutions website.

Students who do not reside locally can arrange for their thesis to be printed, bound and sent to Research Services by Print & Design Solutions, who offer an online thesis printing and binding service.

myPrint: University online thesis printing and binding

Size, paper and pagination

Theses should normally be ISO-A4 in size and should not normally exceed 12" x 10". Alternative formats may be permitted where there is good academic reason (for example where the thesis includes a design portfolio) and with the prior approval of the supervisor and Faculty. Good quality paper should be used. All copies of the thesis should preferably be printed double-sided, including the final awarded copy of the thesis which will be deposited in the Library following conferment of the degree.

Pages should be numbered consecutively throughout the thesis, including appendices. Students are advised to discuss with their supervisor whether or not photographs and/or diagrams which are not embodied in the text should be paginated.

Margins at the binding edge should be not less than 20mm and other margins not less than 15mm. Single spacing throughout the body of the text is acceptable and is essential for indented quotations and footnotes, but consideration must be given to legibility. Double or 1.5 spacing may be more easily readable for 11pt or 12pt text and is more commonly used.

Wherever possible, thesis titles should be concise, as lengthy titles may not fit onto the spine of the thesis cover.

Title page and outside cover

The title page should show:

  • the full title of the thesis;
  • the author's name in full;
  • the degree for which the thesis is submitted;
  • the department in which the work has been carried out;
  • the date (month and year) of submission.

An example of a title page is available to download from the right-hand side of this page.

The front cover and/or spine must show:

  • the name 'The University of Sheffield' and logo;
  • the initials and surname of the author;
  • the full title of the thesis;
  • the degree for which the thesis is submitted;
  • the year of submission;
  • the volume number (if the thesis comprises more than one volume).