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academic regulations for postgraduate degrees by research & thesis - 7. thesis format

The thesis must normally follow the prescribed format as outlined below. Any deviation from this format must be agreed in advance by Academic Council.

1. The thesis must:

    • be based on a candidate's own work;
    • have not previously formed a part or a whole of a submission for a degree at any academic institution or equivalent thereof;
    • in the case of a PhD thesis, contain the results of research which constitute a significant addition to knowledge.

2. Two copies of the thesis must be lodged with the Registry. These copies should be in temporary binding pending completion of the examination process when regulation 7.4 will apply.

On completion of the examination process one additional copy shall be submitted in electronic format. It shall be subject to the standing regulations as to format, except where those apply specifically to physical properties of the print copies, for example regulations under 7.4 covering binding. In all other respects the electronic copy shall contain exactly the same content, and be an exact surrogate of the print copy.  The electronic copy shall be uploaded to a secure web space by the supervisor/internal examiner. All accompanying material e.g. appendices, files contained on CD-ROM, DVD, etc. that is submitted with the bound copy of the thesis must also be uploaded to the secure web space.  The candidate will be required to sign a declaration form (Form PGR12) confirming that an e-version of the approved thesis has been submitted to the library.  The completed PGR12 form must be submitted to Registry with the two hard-bound print copies of the thesis.

3. The language of the thesis shall normally be either English or Irish. Other languages shall require the special approval of Academic Council. The language of the thesis shall be agreed upon at initial registration.

4. The thesis shall:

    • Be bound within boards of sufficient rigidity to support the work when standing upon a shelf. The colour of the boards shall be University blue (Pantone Ref: 289).
    • Have the following information on the front (board) cover in gold:

    the title of the thesis in at least 24pt (8 mm) type; the initials and name of the candidate;

    the award for which the thesis is submitted e.g. PhD, MA, MBS, LLM, MSc, MEng;

    the year of submission i.e. the year in which the final hardbound thesis is submitted to Registry;

    where the thesis consists of more than one volume, the volume number and the total number of volumes.

    • The same information (excluding the title of the thesis) shall be printed in the same order in at least 24 pt (8 mm) type along the spine of the cover in such a way as to be easily legible when lying flat with its front cover uppermost. All lettering on the cover and the spine shall be clear of any graphic design.
    • Be printed, typewritten or otherwise reproduced on one side only of good-quality white A4-sized paper (210mm x 297mm), with a minimum font size of 11, doubly or one-and-a-half spaced, with a left hand margin at the binding edge of not less than 40mm and all other margins not less than 20mm:

    Pages must be numbered consecutively throughout the text, including those pages incorporating photographs or diagrams which are included as whole pages.

    Where the thesis consists of more than one volume, the pagination should indicate the arabic number of the volume as well as the page-number referring to the particular volume.

    Page numbers should be located centrally at the bottom of the page and about 10 mm above the edge of the page.

    Appendices should be named alphabetically, and each appendix paginated consecutively but separately from the main text and from each other.

    • Contain a title page with the following information:

    the full title of thesis, and subtitle, if any, and qualifications, if any, of the candidate;

    the qualification for which the work is presented;

    the name of the University, the Supervisor(s) and the School to which the candidate was attached;

    the month and year of submission;

    the total number of volumes and the number of the particular volume, if there is more than one volume.

    • Have a page, bound into the thesis immediately following the title page, containing the following declaration signed by the candidate:

    I hereby certify that this material, which I now submit for assessment on the programme of study leading to the award of ........................... (insert title of degree for which registered) is entirely my own work, that I have exercised reasonable care to ensure that the work is original, and does not to the best of my knowledge breach any law of copyright, and has not been taken from the work of others save and to the extent that such work has been cited and acknowledged within the text of my work.

    Signed: ____________ (Candidate) ID No.: ___________ Date: _______

    • Be accompanied by an abstract of not more than 300 words. This should follow the table of contents in the thesis. In addition, two loose copies of the abstract should be submitted at the same time as the thesis. The abstract should be printed or typed in single spacing and should indicate the author and title of the thesis in the form of a heading.
    • Have photographs and/or diagrams firmly fixed in place and appropriately indexed, each to be accompanied by an explanatory legend. Where footnotes and indented quotations are used, these may be in single spacing.
    • Have any abbreviations, other than those in normal use, accompanied by an explanatory guide.

5. A thesis should not be excessively long. The maximum limit for a PhD thesis is 90,000 words of text and for a Master's thesis 45,000 words of text. In the case of scientific and technological theses, the amount of text will normally be much less than these limits. Because of this variation from subject to subject, the advice of the Supervisor should be sought at an early stage in the preparation of the thesis.

6. Copies of the thesis submitted for examination will remain the property of the University. The University will place one print copy and one electronic copy of the thesis in the library for free consultation. The library retains the right, subject to paragraph 7.7 below, to include the summary or abstract in any list of theses published by the University or any publication to which the University may decide to contribute a list of theses.

7. Candidates are required to sign a declaration form (Form PGR7), at the time of submission of the thesis for examination, permitting access to their thesis; where questions of the confidentiality of the contents arise, candidates may request and obtain temporary restriction of access up to a maximum of four years for sufficient cogent reasons using Form PGR8. An application for the restriction of access must be approved and countersigned by a research student's supervisor.

8. The candidate may publish material in advance of presentation of the thesis, but reference should be made to any such publication in the thesis.

9. Copyright in the thesis, ownership of the intellectual property arising in the course of its preparation, and patent rights in respect of any relevant product or process, are matters for agreement between the candidate and the University. It shall be the responsibility of the University, prior to submission of the thesis, to ensure that adequate provisions have been made in this regard.

10. Every candidate irrevocably grants to DCU and its respective successors and assigns, a non exclusive, worldwide, royalty free, perpetual licence to re-produce, distribute, modify, store, copy, publicly perform and publicly display, with the right to sub-licence through multiple tiers of sub-licencees, and the right to assign such rights in and to the thesis including, without limitation the right to use in any way whatsoever the thesis.  DCU may copy, publish, make available, distribute, license, or otherwise use the thesis in any manner worldwide via any medium including without limitation intranets, extranets, mobile phones, GSM/3G phones, WAP phones, databases, print, interactive television, digital media services, electronic media services, platforms, or any networks (including without limitation telecommunications, wireless, radio, television, cable, satellite, terrestrial networks) currently in existence of which may be developed in the future and the Internet.