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Submission of thesis for Examination

You will initially be required to submit your thesis electronically, in PDF format.  Should your examination panel request hard copies we will let you know, and you can arrange for the required number of thesis to be deposited with the Doctoral College.

As part of submission you will be required to submit your thesis onto Turnitin (via Blackboard).  Once you have received the full Turnitin output report you should upload this, along with the e-version of your thesis, onto PhD Manager.

Final submission of thesis

Once the Board of Examiners are satisfied that you have met the requirements of the award and any amendments have been approved by the Internal Examiner (where appropriate), you should submit your final thesis on PhD Manager and ensure you complete all related examination workflows.

Format of Thesis

The following guidelines should be adhered to when formatting your thesis, for both submission for examination and for final copies.

Character Styles

  • For the main text, a sans serif font is advised – for example Helvetica or Arial. Character size should be 12 points.

Word spacing and division

  • Text should be set to ensure an even spacing between words for any particular line
  • Line spacing should be set to 1.5 or double line, except for indented quotations or footnotes where single line spacing may be used
  • Quotes of more than thirty words, should be indented
  • An additional line space should be inserted at the end of each paragraph/section

Numbering of Pages

  • Pages should be numbered consecutively through the thesis, including appendices but excluding photographs and/or diagrams which are not embodied in the text.
  • Introductory pages may be in numerals, separate from the main text.
  • Page numbers should preferably be located in the top outer corner of each page.


  • the document should be produced in A4 size, using portrait layout

Content of Thesis

The following content should be presented in the order listed:

Title Page

The title page shall give the following information in the order listed:

  • the full title of the thesis and the sub-title if any
  • the full name of the author
  • the Faculty, and the University's name e.g. Faculty of Life and Health Sciences of Ulster University
  • the degree for which the thesis is submitted
  • the month and year of the presentation of the thesis (if resubmission,  enter this as the date of presentation)
  • a statement regarding the total word count of the thesis  (e.g. I confirm that the word count of this thesis is less than 100,000 (or 60,000 for MPhil) words) excluding the title page, contents acknowledgements, summary or abstract, abbreviations, footnotes, diagrams, maps, illustrations, tables, appendices, and references or bibliography.


The abstract should not exceed 300 words in length and should provide a synopsis of the work and clearly state the nature and scope of the research undertaken and of the contribution made to the knowledge of the subject treated.

There should be a brief statement of the method of investigation where appropriate, an outline of the major divisions or principal arguments of the work and a summary of any conclusions reached.

Contents Page

A full table of contents should follow the abstract and include a list of tables, photographs and any other materials as well as bibliography, appendices and abbreviations.


The candidate shall acknowledge any assistance received.  Where the research programme is part of a collaborative group project the candidate's individual contribution and the extent of the collaboration must be clearly indicated.  Any part of the work which has been previously submitted for any other degree must also be clearly indicated in the thesis.

Articles which have appeared in journals to which the copyright has been assigned should not be included within the thesis without the express permission of the journal.

Other formatting notes


Where abbreviations are used a key shall be provided.  Abbreviations may be used at the discretion of the author.  For an abbreviation not in common use, the term shall be given in full at the first instance followed by the abbreviation in brackets.


The manner of presentation of footnotes shall follow the accepted practice of the Faculty in which the author is enrolled.

Diagrams, Maps, Illustrations, Published Papers, Tables

  • The numbers and captions shall be at the bottom of the illustrations
  • Tables shall be numbered consecutively throughout the text.  The method of numbering shall be distinct from that used for other material. There should also be a title for each table which should follow a number.
  • If you use third-party material (images, photos, diagrams etc) within the thesis the use must be fair and the material correctly attributed. Third party material is any material that is not originally created by you and is borrowed from another source of origin. The use must be limited to what is necessary for the purpose of your work, and it must not negatively impact on the economic rights of the original work. This may mean limiting copying to shorter extracts of a work. It is recommended that you find openly licensed content which can be freely shared online.


Appendices shall follow the main text and precede the index (if provided).  Appendices may consist of supporting material of considerable length or of lists, publications, tables or other evidence which, if included in the main text, would interrupt its flow.

List of References

In arranging the list of references, the author should adopt the accepted practice of theses submitted in the author's Faculty.

Printing of Theses for personal use

While the University has moved away from requiring printed versions of theses, additional guidance is available for those wishing to print and bind a version for personal use.  Please just email the Doctoral College Team and we will advise you further.