Preparing your thesis

Before you can submit your thesis, it must be prepared in accordance with the following guidelines.

Title page

The thesis you submit for examination must contain a title page with:

  • title of the thesis
  • title of the degree
  • name of the College/Centre/Institute in which the research is carried out
  • your full name and the year of submission

The title should be a clear description of the research project on the spine of the thesis when it is bound. It should contain no more than 150 characters and should be in sentence case with only the first letter of the significant words capitalised.

The title on the thesis you submit for examination must be identical to the title you registered with the University. Please contact the Graduate Research Centre to confirm the titles are the same before submitting your thesis for examination.

The thesis title in your citation and the graduation book will be exactly the same as the title on the thesis you submit for examination.

If you want to change the title past candidature approval you must declare the new title and the reasons for the change on the Release of Thesis form when you submit your thesis for examination.

Abstract

Your thesis must contain a 300 word abstract summarising the following:

  • context and purpose of the research project
  • method of analysis used
  • major conclusions reached

Declaration of authenticity

Each copy of your thesis submitted for examination must contain a Student Declaration of authenticity. This should be inserted after the title page and abstract, before the Table of Contents. You must ensure your thesis complies with the Copyright Guide for Research Students before it is added to the online repository.

Additional declarations, including Details of Included Papers and the Declaration of Co-Authorship are required for those submitting a Thesis By Publication.

Table of Contents

The components of your thesis are listed below and should be presented in the following order:

  • Title Page; ensure it reads as:
    • "Thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of ..." (state your degree title in place of '...')
  • Abstract
  • Student Declaration
  • Dedication, Acknowledgements, and Preface (each optional)
  • Table of Contents, with page numbers
  • List of Tables, List of Figures, or List of Illustrations, with titles and page numbers (if applicable)
  • List of Abbreviations (if applicable)
  • List of Symbols (if applicable)
  • Chapters, including:
    • Introduction, if any
    • Main body, with consistent subheadings as appropriate
  • Endnotes (if applicable)
  • References
  • Appendices (if applicable)

Word limit

The word limit for each degree includes quotes, but excludes tables, figures, appendices, bibliography, references and footnotes.

If your thesis exceeds the word limit specified in your degree your Principal Supervisor must contact the examiners to confirm they are willing to read it. If the examiners agree your supervisor will write a letter explaining why the thesis has exceeded the word limit and confirming the examiners approval. You must attach the letter to your thesis when you submit it for examination.

Format

Your thesis must be typed on A4 paper single sided using 11 or 12 font in Times New Roman or Arial, with a minimum 1.5 line spacing. The left and right margins must be a minimum of 3cm and pages numbered. All diagrams, tables etc must contain a number and caption and be placed as near as possible to relevant text.

Thesis editing

You are permitted to use professional editors and proofreaders to help finalise your thesis for submission. Before you employ an editor or proofreader, you should speak with your supervisor and make sure you understand the expectations outlined in the Guidelines for Thesis Editing.

Please note that editing and proofreading services are generally performed in the later stages of thesis preparation, and should not be confused with ongoing writing support. For further information about writing support services contact the Graduate Research Centre or see supporting student research.

Thesis editing costs

Students are responsible for any costs associated with external editing or proofreading services.

Finding a thesis editor

Contact the Graduate Research Centre for a list of external thesis editors and proofreaders.

You can also search for external editors through the Editors Victoria and Institute of Professional Editors websites.

Thesis editing workshops and sessions

Sessions on editing your own thesis are often available as part of the Research Training Program. For further details on the Research Training Program, contact Katie Batterham (katie.batterham@vu.edu.au).

Contact us

For more information on how to prepare your thesis, contact the Graduate Research Centre at gradresearch@vu.edu.au.