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Dissertation Format Regulations

Please click on each of the seven headings below to see the regulations which must be followed to format your dissertation correctly:

1. Number of copies

One electronic copy must be uploaded to the Assessed Assignment Submission area, within the module section of Minerva.

A hard copy of the Dissertation is not required.  

If you need to upload any additional data in a separate document, there is an additional submission area to upload this.

2. Indicative length

The main body of the Dissertation must not exceed the word limit.

White tick on a green background Does Count toward word count

The word count covers everything within the main text of the Dissertation, including:

  • the abstract and contents page
  • lists of tables and illustrative material
  • any tables, diagrams, subtitles, footnotes and references which are included within the main text.

White cross on red background Does not Count toward word count

The word count does not include;

  • the title page and front cover
  • any acknowledgements
  • bibliographies
  • end lists of references
  • appendices

Words presented as images

Any words presented in graphs, tables, or other graphics must be included in the word count.

Words displayed in these formats may need to be counted manually, as they will not be detected by the word count function on most word processing software.

Appendix Abuse

You must not use appendices to present matters of substance which should be included in the main body of the text.

The text must remain understandable without reference to any appendices.

3. Text and Layout

Font and size

Dissertations should be presented using a standard font, and a font size of between 10 and 12 points.

Text must not be presented using only upper case letters.

Line Spacing

All standard text must be presented using double or one and a half line spacing.

Indented quotations and footnotes have an exception to the above rule, and may use single spacing.


For Microsoft Word this means standard dissertation text should have a spacing setting of either 2.0 or 1.5


Margins along all sides of the document (left, right, top and bottom) should not be less than 2.5cm (25mm).


For reference, the "normal" margins setting on a Microsoft Word document is 2.54cm on all sides - this is acceptable.

4. Pagination

All pages of text and appendices in your dissertation should be numbered consecutively.

Images and diagrams should also have their own consecutive numbering where possible.

5. Title Page

You must use the Leeds University Business School Dissertation / Project coversheet as your title page.

This can be downloaded from the Forms and Guidance Page

6. Table of Contents

Your dissertation document must include a contents page.

The contents page should list all main numbered chapter headings (such as 1, 2 , 3).

It is good practice to break down chapters into numbered sections, and these should also be listed on your contents page (such as 1.1, 1.2, 1.3).

Please carefully check the section above on word counts (2. indicative length) for information on which text contributes to your maximum permitted word count.

7. Acknowledgements

It is common to include a list of acknowledgements at the start of your dissertation, but you do not have to do so.

Students may wish to acknowledge the help their Supervisor provided, as well as the support of others such as family members or friends.