Thesis formatting guide

Ensure you have met the formatting guidelines for your thesis before you deposit.

All theses deposited to the Library must abide by the following guidelines. If you have any questions about the formats, please contact the Library Research Services team.


Your thesis must:

  • Be clearly typed with no marking comments
  • Include a title page that complies with the standard for all Victoria University of Wellington theses (see sample pdf)
  • Have numbered pages
  • Include an abstract, written in accordance with the requirements of your degree.

We also recommend that your thesis:

  • Has body text around 12-point font size, with 1.5-line spacing
  • Has margins of at least 2 cm.

Your file must:

  • Be in PDF format
    • However, for supplementary files, all document formats are accepted
    • Where possible use the latest version of the software to create your PDF
    • Use settings to minimise the file size
    • All fonts should be embedded; the easiest way to check that you have converted your files correctly is to see if you can copy and paste words from the PDF
    • Ensure no security setting is placed on your PDF; access restrictions can be placed on the document by Library staff if necessary.
  • Be less than 2 gigabytes in size. If your thesis is over the limit, it will need to be split into multiple files before you deposit it. However, we strongly urge you to try and reduce the file size as much as you can.
  • Have a filename that contains only alphanumeric characters (a–z, 0–9), underscores, and/or hyphens.

Non-standard theses formats

The Library will be happy to accept your thesis in a non-standard format where this has been approved by your head of school. You must include a completed Non-standard format permission formpdf with your deposited thesis.

Some examples of non-standard formats include music scores; three-dimensional models; performance recordings; or works in fabric, wood, plastic, or metal. If you’re unsure, contact the Library Research Services team for guidance.

You should consider any requirements for a non-standard format as early as possible. PhD candidates should normally apply for this approval when they move from provisional to full registration. Master’s by thesis candidates should give some indication of a non-standard format when completing their three-month progress report, with confirmation at the eight-month progress report.

Please ensure that each section of the form is completed correctly, as specified by the guide to completing the form pdf.