A thesis discussing the research project must be submitted for assessment to the School Office.


• The thesis should be as brief as is compatible with proper explanation of the research project.
The maximum length of the thesis is 40 pages (the count starting with the first chapter (usually the Introduction) and finishing with the References). Note that appendices are not part of the assessable work and may or may not be read by the members of the viva panel.
Note:  Penalties of one mark per page will be applied for each page over 40 pages.

• The thesis should be written using a word processor with the following settings:
   -  A4 paper
   -  12pt font
   -  1½ line spacing
   -  Margins of at least 1.5 cm with a larger left margin (to allow binding of a printed version).

• The thesis must include the following:
     (a) A title page.
     (b) A declaration page stating that work presented in the thesis is the author’s original work unless it is referenced.
     (c) A brief index (pages of the thesis must be numbered).
     (d) A summary.
     (e) An introduction including a literature review.
     (f)    (i)   Experimental details and/or theoretical methods
            (ii)  Results
            (iii) Discussion
            (iv) Conclusions
     (g) Appendices
     (h) References

• The introduction should describe the background to the project, the motivation for to perform the research work, and what is to be achieved.  This section should be based on a through literature review.

• The sections under (f) may be in separate chapters and may be in a different order.  Different projects lend themselves to different styles of presentation, e.g. a thesis for a synthetic project may have results and discussion combined and these may precede the experimental section.  Take advice from your supervisor about the best order of presentation. The conclusion should state the aims that have been achieved and the direction in which the research should proceed next.

• All Figures and Tables should be numbered and be referred to in the text by these numbers.  They should all have captions that are sufficiently informative so that a reader can interpret the main features of the figure or table without reference to the text.

• Graphs must be computer generated and have axes labelled with scales and units given.

• References: The thesis should have a complete set of references to relevant work in the field.  There are two acceptable ways of citing references in the thesis:
     a) By numbers which are in either superscript mode or between square brackets and a corresponding list at the back of the thesis in numerical order. This is used in most Chemistry, Physics journals e.g. Journal of the Chemical Society and the Physical Review
     b) The Harvard system used in biological, mineralogical and crystallographic journals.  It takes up a little more space but has the advantage of showing the reader immediately the names of authors and date of the reference, and the reference list is in alphabetical order (easy to add to if needed). For examples, see Acta Crystallographica, Sections B or D or Water Resources Research, Ground Water, Hydrogeology Journal.  Use abbreviations as they appear in these journals.

Supervisor input

• Your supervisor may read and criticise a draft of the introduction, experimental and theoretical results sections of your thesis.  Following this there will be no editorial input from your supervisor.  This does not mean that you cannot continue to discuss the content of the thesis with your supervisor.

• The writing of the discussion and conclusion section must be solely your own work.


• All assistance with writing and the production of the thesis must be acknowledged.  It is usually sufficient to acknowledge this in a statement at the front of the thesis.  Help from the supervisor and other members of staff is usually mentioned here.

• If you make use of substantial scientific information that has been given to you verbally or otherwise, by a person other than your supervisor, you should acknowledge this as a personal communication at the appropriate point in the text as a reference.

Submission time

• An electronic copy (PDF File) is to be submitted via FLO by 12:00 noon, Wednesday, November 8th 2017 (for mid-year entry: 12:00 noon, Wednesday, June 20th , 2018). This deadline must be strictly observed.  Note that you should check your thesis via “Turn it In” for similarity to published work and the final document must be checked via “Turn it In” in FLO upon Submission.  Note that it can take some time for “Turn it In” to process the document so you should ensure that you submit with plenty of time and you should consider checking drafts of your thesis as you are writing.

• It will take you longer to write and produce the thesis than you expect.  You must start this process in time to finish.
• To avoid congestion and the consequences of the breakdown of computing equipment have your thesis finished at least 24 hours ahead of the deadline.
• Penalties will be applied if the thesis is late
          5 % for one day late (anytime after 12pm is late)
          20 % for two days late
          50 % for three days late