Thesis Presentation


Theses should use 12 point type in 1.5 or double line spacing on either one or both sides of each sheet. Margins for all pages (before binding) should be:

Inner marginOuter marginTop / Bottom margins
40 mm30 mm20 – 25 mm

Good quality bond paper of A4 size (210 mm x 297 mm) should be used; of minimum substance 60 gsm.

Order of material

There may be an order of material that is preferred by your School or Faculty, but a typical order is:

  1. Title Page
    Note: The date which appears on the title page should be the year in which the completed thesis is submitted.
  2. Abstract
  3. Preface and Acknowledgements
  4. Table of contents
  5. Lists of tables, diagrams, maps, photographs, illustrations, abbreviations, etc.
  6. Text of thesis
  7. Bibliography (or 'References')
    Note: The School of Science and Technology will accept the list of references to be either after the text or at the end of each chapter.
  8. Appendices (if any)
    Note: Some Schools require the Appendices to be collated last; in others it is preferred that the Bibliography follows the Appendices
  9. Index ( if required)


Each copy of the thesis must include an abstract. It is a summary of the thesis, should not exceed 500 words, and should be written in a form suitable for publication. A definition of an abstract is:

"An accurate and concise summary of the organization and content of the thesis ... "

"The scope of the work undertaken, the method of investigation, the main divisions of the thesis, and the conclusions reached should all be described. The contribution made by the thesis to knowledge of the subject treated should be clearly stated."

From: MHRA style guide: a handbook for authors, editors, and writers of theses. 2nd ed. London: Modern Humanities Research Association, 2008. p. 70.

Title page

The title page should be formatted to fill the entire page, the page should not be numbered.

Fulfilment / Partial Fulfilment

You should check with your School or Department whether 'partial fulfilment' applies.

The wording 'partial fulfilment' is used on the title page of soft-bound copies of PhD theses. The title page of the hardbound copies should use the word 'fulfilment'.

Use the wording 'partial fulfillment of the requirements' for Masters degrees where the degree is a combination of a thesis and taught papers.

Use the wording 'fulfillment of the requirements for the degree' where the Masters degree requires a thesis only.

Thesis title page template
Click image for a sneak peek
or download doc/pdf versions below.

Tables and illustrations

If tables and illustrations are too large to fit on A4 paper, they may be placed on a larger sheet, and folded so that it opens upwards and to the right. When folded such inserted sheets should be slightly smaller than the other pages. Advise your binder of the existence of these sheets, to ensure that the folds are not cut during binding.

If illustrations and tables cannot be bound into the thesis, either as A4 or folded sheets, they may be placed in a specially made pocket at the end of the text. Such material must include a descriptive caption and the author’s name and the title of the thesis, in case the material becomes separated from the thesis. Large maps and illustrations can be submitted as separate files when depositing the digital copy of the thesis if necessary.


Each page should be numbered. The preliminary pages should be numbered in lower case roman numbers counting from the title page (i.e., i, ii, iii, iv …), although the number on the title page is not shown. The rest of the thesis should be numbered in Arabic numerals (i.e., 1, 2, 3 ,4 …) . All inserted maps, diagrams, tables and illustrations should be included in this sequence, as should the appendices, bibliography and index.


Please consult the University Calendar: Dissertations and Theses for the number of bound copies required. Waikato Print (phone 07 838 4623 or 07 838 4119) can print your thesis, preferably from a print-ready (proofed and A4 paper size) PDF copy. This helps eliminate font issues. If using a Word file you will need to proof-read the first copy as formatting can change.


Theses should be submitted as soft-bound volumes until the examination process is complete. A soft-bound thesis comprises soft covers with either a plastic spiral or staple and tape binding, but in all other aspects is the same as the fully bound thesis. Note the instructions for the use of the wording 'partial fulfillment'.

Full binding

The thesis should be bound in black buckram. The final dimensions of the bound thesis should be 210-215 mm by 290-300 mm. The casing should be lettered in gold with the initials and surname of the author and the title or short-title of the thesis. The lettering should preferably be across or down the spine, but if the spine is not sufficiently wide to allow this, the lettering should be on the front cover.

When arranging for the binding, be prepared to provide a shortened title. The binding must be either sewn or glued.


Binding can be arranged through Waikato Print, phone 07 838 4623 or 07 838 4119.

Allow five working days for the binding process.

Go to: