You are required to format and style your thesis in a certain manner.

The following components need to appear in your thesis:

  1. Title page
  2. Thesis Declaration
  3. Abstract/summary
  4. Table of contents
  5. Acknowledgements
  6. Authorship Declaration
  7. Main text
  8. Bibliography or references
  9. Appendices

A proforma for the front pages of the thesis (1-5) is provided in the Authorship Declaration section. You can reformat these pages if required. Please include these front pages, complete with the appropriate signatures, in the electronic version of your thesis submitted for examination.

1. Title page

You should include:

  • title of your thesis in full
  • your names and degrees
  • statement of presentation in the form: "This thesis is presented for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy/Master of [insert name of degree] of The University of Western Australia"
  • school
  • discipline (where applicable)
  • year of submission.

If you are enrolled in a degree which has examinable components other than a thesis, you should state: "This thesis is presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the [insert name of degree]".

2. Thesis declaration

The thesis declaration certifies that the thesis is your work, has been completed during the course of your degree, and does not breach any ethical rules with regard to the conduct of the research. You are required to sign this declaration. Electronic signatures are accepted.

3. Abstract/summary

The abstract or summary should summarise the appropriate headings, aims, scope and conclusion of the thesis in about 250 words, but no more than 700 words.

4. Table of contents

5. Acknowledgements

If you are the recipient of a Research Training Program (RTP) fees offset scholarship and/or a RTP stipend scholarship you need to acknowledge receipt of this scholarship(s) in your thesis front pages. Section 1.6.55 of the RTP Guidelines requires universities to ensure the Commonwealth’s contribution is acknowledged in research publications by RTP students where related to the research project.

If you are in receipt of one or both of these scholarships, please include the following sentence in your acknowledgements: "This research was supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship".  

6. Authorship declaration

Your thesis needs to include an authorship declaration.

If your thesis does not include published work or work prepared for future publication, your thesis declaration should include a statement to this effect.

If your thesis includes published work or work prepared for future publication, you must include an authorship declaration that provides details of the work and where it appears in the thesis. You are required to sign this declaration AND the thesis declaration. Electronic signatures are accepted.

In addition, if your thesis includes any co-authored published work or co-authored work prepared for future publication (including work co-authored by you and one or more of your supervisors) you must also declare your contribution to the work.  This declaration may be a description of your contribution to the work OR your percentage contribution to the work OR both. The more detail you can provide the better as your examiners will use your declaration to determine what parts of the work are examinable.  All co-authors must sign your authorship declaration for two reasons: (i) to endorse your declaration and (ii) to authorise inclusion of the work in your thesis.  If co-author signatures cannot be obtained for logistical reasons, your coordinating supervisor may sign on behalf of your co-authors. Electronic signatures are accepted.

A proforma for the front pages of the UWA thesis is provided below. Choose the correct proforma according to whether your thesis contains no published work, sole author work or one or more co-authored works.

A template for those students who use LaTeX is also available here.

7. Main text

7.1. Word limits

  • PhD theses may not exceed 100 000 words but you are encouraged to prepare theses of no more than 80 000 words. In some disciplines, PhD theses are shorter than 25,000 words.
  • Master's theses may not exceed 50 000 words.

The word limit counts footnotes and endnotes but excludes appendices, tables and illustrative matter. However, if a footnote or endnote provides additional bibliographic information about a citation in the main text then it is not included in the word count.

If the word limits are not exceeded, the length of the thesis is at your discretion, taking into account the advice of your supervisor and Head of School. A thesis that exceeds the word limit must be supported with reasons in writing by the Head of School.

7.2 Volumes

Theses are not restricted to one volume. Each volume should be no more than 6cm in spine width and 2.5kg in weight.

7.3 Layout: type and paper

  • For examination, theses should be double or one-and-a-half spaced on international A4 sized paper (weight at least 70gsm) with ~2cm margins
  • Typing on both sides is encouraged, and margins should be mirrored accordingly
  • After examination, if you wish to bind a hard copy of the final version of your thesis, a 4cm left hand side margin is required

7.4 Tips

  • Check that there are no incorrect references, misspellings or typographical errors and that all pages are present and in sequence before your thesis is submitted.
  • A thesis may also be presented in the form of a typescript, as a published book or paper, or as a series of papers.

8. Bibliography or references

  • A consistent method of citing references should be used. Most disciplines have recommended standard referencing styles. Your school or supervisor can supply you with information on the style you should use.
  • If you are jointly enrolled, you should discuss this with supervisors from both disciplines and come to some arrangement which is acceptable to both disciplines.
  • The library has an excellent guide to citations, which lists the various standard types of citations including how to cite internet references.
  • You should also ensure all references cited in the text are listed in the bibliography. Your contribution to the thesis must be fully explained-
    • For Master's Degree by Research refer to Rules 36 to 40.3 in the Rules for higher degree by research (Master's Degree by Research)
    • For Doctor of Philosophy refer to Rules 31 to 35.3 in the Rules for higher degree by research (Doctor of Philosophy)

9. Appendices

  • Copies of your publications may be attached to the thesis as appendices.
  • Accompanying material must be securely mounted, with margins as above.
  • There are no restrictions on the size of accompanying maps, drawings, musical scores or computer printouts but additional permanent binding charges may apply.