Thesis formatting guide

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

All theses deposited to the Library must abide by the following guidelines. If you have any questions about the formats, please contact the Systems and Integration Development team.

Initial requirements

Both your print version and electronic version must:

  • Be absolutely identical to each other, including all content, formatting, pagination and colouring
  • 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 pdf56.9KB )
  • 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, and no more than 4 cm on the binding edge of the page.

Requirements for print version

The print version of your thesis must:

  • Be your thesis in its final and complete form with all content included
  • Be professionally hard-bound; like a hardback/hardcover book
    • The author’s full name and the full title of the thesis must be printed on the front cover, as well as the spine. However, if you find that there is not enough room on the spine, you are welcome to shorten or abbreviate your title and/or name, so long as your work is easily identifiable when placed on a library shelf.
    • The colouring of the cover is your choice. However, some schools do have specific requirements around this, so check with your supervisor.
    • Binding services in your region can be found by searching online or consulting your local phone book. For legal reasons, the Library cannot recommend any binding service by name.
  • Be no larger than A3 (420 mm x 297 mm) in size – note that A4 (210 mm x 297 mm) is the standard size for most theses
  • Be clean and clearly printed
  • Have all accompanying or supplemental materials (e.g. electronic appendices) included on a CD or DVD, bound into a pocket in the back cover
    • Alternatively, you are most welcome to host this content somewhere publicly accessible online; whereby you can then include a URL within your thesis allowing readers access.
    • Under no circumstance can the Library accept accompanying materials on USB sticks or other carrier devices.

We also recommend that your print thesis:

  • Be on good quality, white A4 paper (80 gsm or above). Discuss with your chosen binding service for details.

Note that both single- and double-sided printing is acceptable for print theses.

Requirements for electronic version

The electronic version of your thesis 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
    • Make it backwards compatible to Adobe Acrobat v 5.0
    • 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 submit 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 formpdf156.6KB with your submission.

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 Systems and Integration Development 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 pdf42.2KB.