Thesis FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Thesis things at Sussex… got a question that isn’t answered here? let me know: send an email to Sarah at and I’ll update this page.

What are the issues surrounding copyright of material included in my thesis?

The Library provides a factsheet on 3rd-party copyright issues in relation to theses:

How do I deal with my thesis in MS Word? How do I create tables of contents and figures? Footnotes and endnotes?

IT Services regularly run a course to cover these issues and more:  Using Word to write your thesis. The course looks at Word in greater depth and the session covers: Using Section Breaks; Styles; Tables of Contents; Creating different Headers and Footers in the same document; Footnotes and EndNotes; Page Numbering; Creating a Table of Figures; Find and Replace.

To book your place on the next workshop, or to add yourself to the waiting list, do so through Sussex Direct.  Once you’ve signed in, select the ‘Personal’ menu –> then ‘Training’ or ‘Staff Development’.  Select “Staff Development Course Listings and Booking Facility”, and expand the provision listed under “Information Technology” – there’s a section on Word Processing, and the course is listed there.

Can I submit a “paper-style” thesis?
Can I submit a “thesis by publication”?

The University of Sussex does not currently confer doctoral degrees for theses by publication, though this proposal is currently being considered by the Doctoral School Committee.

There is a difference however, between ‘thesis by publication’ and a ‘paper style thesis’: in the first, the papers are already published, and the degree awarded for the research *already conducted* – the researcher may or may not be a registered student of the university issuing the degree.  In the second, the research is carried out during the time that the student is registered for a doctorate at Sussex, and the style of thesis is that of a collection of papers (which may, or may not have been published), with an introduction and conclusion.

There are only two departments (so far) that accept theses in the style of a collection of papers: Economics and Psychology. Both these departments had the proposal ratified by the Doctoral School Committee.  If a department wanted to accept a ‘paper style thesis’, they would need to put the proposal to the Doctoral School Committee.

Where can I find a proof-reader?

The university does not have an “approved” list of proofreaders, but some of the tutors in the Sussex Language Institute (SLI) sometimes engage in proofreading for researchers – though the agreement is between the researcher and proofreader, and does not include the SLI.

Contact Alison Chisholm for further information.

How should my thesis be bound for submission?

Section 6.7 of the “Handbook for Research and Professional Doctorate Students 2009/10 [PDF]” gives the regulations on temporary binding of the thesis for first-submission. and the quote for Theses is:

“the pages of the thesis should be held together in a soft cover by an adhesive spine and should not be stitched or have holes punched in them.”

So, thermal binding is the way to go.

I’m about to submit my thesis – where can I get it thermally bound?

The Print Unit, in Hastings Building is open 9.00 am – 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday.  They will bind up to a maximum of 340 sheets in a single volume.  Larger theses will need to be split into two volumes.  Turnaround is at least a day, sometimes more, depending on how many binding jobs they have at any one time.  The Print Unit can also print your thesis, for a very reasonable cost, that may prove less troublesome than relying on photocopying! Full details on the Print Unit website.

Prices for thermal binding (A4, per book)

12 mm is approximately 120 sheets (depending on paper used)

£2.00 up to 12mm / £3.00 thicker than 12mm
£0.50 thermal cover (up to 12mm) / £1.00 (thicker than 12 mm)
£5.00 Priority service (requires approx. 4 hours)

You also have two other options:

Brighton Uni can bind up to 340 pages in the approved way, while you wait.  The easiest way to get there is to take the train from Falmer to Moulscoomb – it’s only one stop and saves you hunting for a parking space at the Moulscoomb campus:

  • Reprographics, G4a, Ground floor, Cockcroft Building, Moulsecoomb, Brighton BN2 4GJ. Telephone: 01273 642790. Opening hours: Monday-Thursday 0830-1230 and 1330-1700; Friday 0830-1230 and 1330-1630

The second option, is Bookbinders of Lewes: Star Brewery, Castle Ditch Lane, Lewes BN7 1YJ. Telephone 01273 486718

How do I make my Thesis into a PDF?

The “Handbook for Research and Professional Doctorate Students 2009/10 [PDF]” gives advice on final submission in Section 6.5 to 6.61.  On successful completion of the doctoral examination process, you will submit one bound copy of your final thesis, and one electronic (PDF) copy.

IT Services have several FAQs that relate to creating and manging PDFs.  The following are most useful for preparing your thesis:

What happens to the electronic version of my thesis?

The electronic copy is passed, along with the related metadata, to the Library.  A cover sheet is added to the top of your electronic copy, and your thesis is uploaded to our institutional repository, Sussex Research Online, to allow public access.  Have a look at the first electronic Sussex doctoral thesis to be uploaded in this way, to see how the record and PDF appear.

An electronic copy of your thesis will also be uploaded to EThOS (the Electronic Theses Online Service), run by the British Library.  EThOS provides free access to the full text of UK theses, so your research is now available to a wide scholarly community 🙂

Where can I get the final binding done?

  • THE DOCUMENT CENTRE  92 Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 0EX; Tel: 020 7928 9738;
  • F.J.BLISSETT & Co Ltd  Roslin Road, London W3 8DH; Tel:   020 8992 3965;
  • BOOKBINDERS OF LEWES  Star Brewery, Castle Ditch Lane, Lewes BN7 1YJ; Tel: 01273 486718;
  • BRIGHTON UNIVERSITY  Reprographics Dept, Cockcroft Building, Moulsecoomb Site; BN2 4GJ   – 01273 642789 or 642417
  • A. CAMERON  Units 101/103 Commerce Street, Glasgow G5 8DL; Tel: 0141 429 7333;
  • COLLIS, BIRD & WITHEY  1 Drayton Park, London N5 1NU; Tel: 0207 607 1116;
  • DOWNIE ALLISON DOWNIE BOOKBINDERS LTD  Unit H, Purdon Street, Patrick, Glasgow G11 6AF; Tel: 0141 339 0333;
  • NICHOLAS DUNN-COLEMAN  28 The Droveway, Hove, BN3 6LE; Tel: 01273 563 318;
  • THE ELVASTON GROUP LTD  8 Elvaston Mews, London SW7 5HY; Tel: 020 7581 0334;  (pdf format)
  • HOLLINGWORTH & MOSS  Manor Street Industrial Estate, Enfield Terrace, Leeds; Tel: 0113 243 8642;
  • KEYPOINT BOOKBINDERS LTD  8 Balmoral Grove, Islington, London N7 9NQ; Tel: 0207 609 1050
  • LOUGHLIN PHARMA Ltd  The Glacier Buildings, Harrington Road, Brunswick Business Park Liverpool L3 4BHT; Tel: 0151 709 0181;
  • TEMPLE BOOKBINDERS of OXFORD  10 Quarry Road, Headington, Oxford OX3 8NU; Tel: 01865 451 940;
  • WALKER & CO  University House, University of Salford, Salford M5 4WT; Tel: 0161 295 5216;    (pdf format)
  • WYVERN BINDERY  56-58 Clerkenwell Road, London, EC1M 5PX; Tel. 020 7490 7899;
  • YOUNGS BOOKBINDERS  12 Holford Road, Guildford, Surrey GU1 2QF; Tel: 01483 534488

7 thoughts on “Thesis FAQs

    T czaczkes said:
    October 24, 2012 at 11:58

    Some information about final thesis binding would be helpful

      Sarah R-H responded:
      November 23, 2012 at 15:26

      Good point T, this does need updating… I’ll get on it! 🙂

    anna said:
    September 18, 2011 at 09:44

    This is very helpful. (I was looking for information about binding my thesis.)

    Would you be able to add some information about turnaround times? I’ve contacted the print unit but it would be useful to have it here.

    Also the crossed out style of the information about Brighton uni seems to suggest that they no longer offer this service, but I’m fairly sure that’s not the case? I hope they do, the difference between a maximum of 300 pages and a maximum of 340 pages could prove quite important for my appendix-heavy thesis…!

      Sarah R-H said:
      September 19, 2011 at 09:16

      Hi Anna,

      Thanks for your suggestions on how to make this page better, I really appreciate it :o) Turnaround times depend so much on the time of year, for example during late Summer and late Spring, the Print Unit is under heavy load due to induction handbooks and exam papers, respectively. I’ll see if they can give us a ‘ball-park’ figure for this page. Thanks for your observations about the Brighton Uni facility: I’ll sort out the presentation of this information to make it clearer. It was last updated in a hurry when the print unit started providing the thesis-binding service, as prior to that there had been nowhere on campus to get this done for a year: the Library used to provide this service up until Summer 2009. And I definitely take your point about 40 pages possibly being a deal-breaker!

      Best wishes,

    ramy said:
    June 25, 2011 at 01:57

    theres a video tutorial and a template that makes writing with Word a piece of cake! try it out:

    Feedback « Doctoral School blog said:
    May 26, 2010 at 14:11

    […] Thesis FAQs Posted by: Sarah R-H | May 26, 2010 […]

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sussex Library, Chris Keene, Martin Eve, TLDU, Doctoral School and others. Doctoral School said: You asked, I deliver –> If I've missed anything, let me know! […]

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