Preparing your thesis

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

Getting started

Please refer to the thesis layout sample in conjunction with the guidelines below.

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 research institute in which the research is carried out
  • your full name, the month and the year of submission

Should you wish to have your thesis bound, 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 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.


Your thesis must contain an abstract of no more than 500 words summarising the following:

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

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 are required for those submitting a thesis with publication. Your thesis will not be accepted for examination if these declarations are not included:

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, Details of Included Papers (PDF, 349.65 KB) 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

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

Degree Word limit
Master of Research Practice 25,000-50,000 words
Master of Research 25,000-50,000 words
Master of Applied Research 25,000-50,000 words
Masters by Research 30,000-60,000 words
Doctor of Philosophy 60,000-80,000 words
Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) 60,000-80,000 words
Doctor of Business Administration 45,000-65,000 words
Doctor of Education 50,000-60,000 words

If the word limit is below or beyond the amount specified for the degree, then at the time of submission of the thesis, a letter from the Principal Supervisor must accompany the thesis stating the length and explaining why the thesis is below or above the normally expected word limit and justifying the length in relation to practice in its field.

Please refer to the HDR 8 Procedure Thesis Requirements to view the broad requirements for a HDR degree.


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 (PDF, 74.8 KB).