The Academic Board has prescribed for the PhD the overall form of the thesis, the part published work can play, and the availability of the thesis once examined. It requires a supervisor to declare that a thesis is sufficiently well prepared to be examined: that it is legible, clearly expressed and generally free from typographical and grammatical errors.

The statement also attests that appropriate ethics clearances have been obtained, and that the research and writing embodied in the thesis are those of the candidate except where due reference is made in the text.

There are no University guidelines as to the layout of the thesis. Typeface, font size, spacing, double-siding and the like are matters for which you should seek advice from your supervisor or postgraduate coordinator. Ensuring that the thesis is legible and easily able to be examined will facilitate the process. Note that the University will not proceed with the examination of a thesis not considered to be in a form suitable for examination.


The form of presentation of the thesis is prescribed for the PhD and many other master’s degrees in similar form. Normally, theses may be submitted in either temporary or permanent binding. Many examiners express a preference for theses that are temporarily bound as they are less bulky to examine and easier to mail back, but provided the basic requirements are met the choice of binding is an individual one. Consult your supervisor or Postgraduate Coordinator if you need guidance.

It is the policy of the University to expect that, where examiners have drawn attention to errors and typographical mistakes in a thesis, these should be corrected in all copies of the thesis that are to remain in the University (ie in the University Library and any faculty, departmental or school library).

In 2008 around 94.5 per cent of all PhD candidates were required to make some emendations or corrections, so do not assume your thesis will be passed without the need for changes to be made. Emendations do not have to involve re-keying and re-printing if a black ink/biro amendment is clear. Emendations can also be made by way of an appendix to the thesis.

Theses submitted in a temporary binding should be strong enough to withstand ordinary handling and postage. The preferred form of temporary binding is thermal or ‘perfect’ binding, which generally entails a soft cardboard cover into which pages are affixed by heat-fused glue. Note that ringback or spiral binding is not acceptable.

Theses submitted in a permanent form (see below for electronic submission) shall normally be on international standard A4 size paper sewn and bound in boards covered with bookcloth or buckram or other binding fabric.

The title of the thesis, the candidate’s initials and surname, the title of the degree, the year of submission and the name of the University of Sydney should appear in lettering on the front cover or on the title page. The lettering on the spine, reading from top to bottom, should conform as far as possible to the above except that the name of the University of Sydney may be omitted and the thesis title abbreviated. Supporting material should be bound in the back of the thesis as an appendix or in a separate set of covers.

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