Annex 4

Format of the dissertation for research degrees and of the final copies of the dissertation or published work and commentary

Supervisors should advise their research students on the norms and practices of their discipline in terms of the dissertation.

Format of dissertations for research degrees

Preliminary pages

The five preliminary pages must be the Title Page, Abstract, Dedication and Acknowledgements, Author’s Declaration and Table of Contents. These should be single-sided.

Title page

At the top of the title page, within the margins, the dissertation should give the title and, if necessary, sub-title and volume number. If the dissertation is in a language other than English, the title must be given in that language and in English. The full name of the author should be in the centre of the page. At the bottom centre should be the words “A dissertation submitted to the University of Bristol in accordance with the requirements for award of the degree of … in the Faculty of ...” with the name of the school and month and year of submission. The word count of the dissertation (text only) should be entered at the bottom right-hand side of the page.


Each copy must include an abstract or summary of the dissertation in not more than 300 words, on one side of A4, which should be single-spaced in a font size in the range 10 to 12. If the dissertation is in a language other than English, an abstract in that language and an abstract in English must be included.

Author’s declaration

I declare that the work in this dissertation was carried out in accordance with the requirements of the University's Regulations and Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes and that it has not been submitted for any other academic award. Except where indicated by specific reference in the text, the work is the candidate's own work. Work done in collaboration with, or with the assistance of, others, is indicated as such. Any views expressed in the dissertation are those of the author.

SIGNED: .............................................................  DATE:..........................

Table of contents, list of tables and illustrative material

The table of contents must list, with page numbers, all chapters, sections and subsections, the list of references, bibliography, list of abbreviations and appendices. The list of tables and illustrations should follow the table of contents, listing with page numbers the tables, photographs, diagrams, etc., in the order in which they appear in the text.


The dissertation must be printed on A4 white paper. Paper up to A3 may be used for maps, plans, diagrams and illustrative material. Pages (apart from the preliminary pages) should normally be double-sided.

Page numbering

The pages should be numbered consecutively at the bottom centre of the page.


Text should be in double or 1.5 line spacing, and font size should be chosen to ensure clarity and legibility for the main text and for any quotations and footnotes. Margins should allow for eventual hard binding.

Digital recording media, photocopies and photographs

Appended digital recording media should be in a standard format and there should be a declaration in the dissertation of the programs used and the size of the files. Good quality photocopies and photographs may be used.

Temporary binding

The initial two copies of the dissertation should be presented in a secure, temporary binding, with a glued or spiral spine and not in a ring or spring binder.

Format of final copies of dissertation or published work and commentary

Binding of final copies for Library and school use

The final copy or copies should be hard-bound in stiff board, in a washable plain black buckram or buckram equivalent. Where the dissertation is in a language other than English, the bound copy must include the extended summary in English and the abstracts in both languages. Spine width should not exceed 50 mm. Larger sheets or printed matter should be placed in a pocket inside the back cover or in a separately bound volume. The title of the dissertation or published work and commentary, in both English and the language of the dissertation if that is not English, should appear on the outside front cover in embossed 18 point gold lettering. The spine must be lettered in embossed 18 point gold lettering, with the successful candidate's initials and surname, degree, volume number (if necessary), and year of submission. This should run from the top of the spine to the bottom, so as to be readable when the volume lies flat with the top cover uppermost.