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Scope, structure & formatting

Scope & structure

The purpose and scope of your thesis or dissertation is determined by you and your supervisory committee. You’ll complete the thesis completion plan together. This document outlines the activities needed to complete your thesis.

Formatting requirements

The Faculty of Graduate Studies has specific formatting requirements for theses and dissertations. View them in the thesis format checklist and sample pages. It’s your responsibility to ensure your final work meets these formatting standards. You should also ask your supervisor if your department has any other requirements.

We don't have formatting requirements for non-thesis master's projects. In these cases, follow your department’s formatting standards.

Preliminary pages

Title page (required)

Each copy of your thesis/dissertation must have a title page. Its format must match that of the thesis format checklist and sample pages.

A record of your thesis or dissertation will be included in the UVic Library archives and catalogue. These are Unicode compliant and will display formulae, symbols, Greek letters or other non-alphabetical characters. You may choose to write the title using words instead of symbols.

For example:

Chromosomal localization of the α- and β-globulin of the chicken, Gallus domesticus  

Chromosomal localization of the alpha- and beta-globulin of the chicken, Gallus domesticus

Supervisory committee (required)

List your supervisory committee. Include each person's title, first and last name, and the department in parentheses.

For example:

Dr. Robert N. Tracey, supervisor (Department of English)

Do not include the name of your external examiner. This person is on your examining committee, not your supervisory committee.

Abstract (required)

You abstract is the summary of your thesis/dissertation. The abstract states the problem, method of investigation employed and general conclusions.

Table of contents (required)

The table of contents must include the following:

  • the principal topics and headings, including the chapter headings
  • bibliography
  • appendices
  • all preliminary pages
  • the table of contents itself

Consult your academic style guide to see if you have to include sub-headings too.

List of tables (required if tables are included)

For each table in your work, list the number of the table, its exact caption title and page number.

List of figures or illustrations, glossary, abbreviations and similar (required if figures or illustrations are included)

Every list must be on its own page and have an appropriate heading. The format must be consistent between similar lists.

Acknowledgements (optional)

This is where you can acknowledge help you received on your thesis/dissertation. This is a good place to acknowledge organizations or individuals who:

  • gave you financial support
  • gave you extraordinary research opportunities
  • were instrumental in other ways

Dedication and/or frontispiece (optional)

You can include a dedication, quotation, frontispiece or similar. Keep consistent heading and page numbering and include this in the table of contents.

Style guides

Some academic units recommend a specific style guide appropriate to their discipline. If a style guide has not be recommended for your discipline, check with your supervisor.