Recommendations for preparing doctoral theses

In the UAB Search Tool you can find numerous documents about the process of preparing an academic work in general, and a thesis in particular, with the following subjects:

We also recommend the guide Com elaborar un treball acadèmic from the UPF.

In the process of preparing a thesis we can distinguish the following phases:

To delimit the subject, we suggest you check:

  •      The bibliography recommended by the teacher.
  •      The documentary resources that the UAB puts at your disposal.
  •      Reference works (dictionaries, encyclopaedias, wikipedia,...).

In this phase, it includes:

  • the choice of the type of thesis (compilation, observation, experimentation ...)
  • the development of a first scheme
  • the creation of a work plan

See specific documents on the chosen topic.

We also recommend you our website Where to search information.

Once the appropriate documentation has been collected, an analysis and interpretation must be made to draw conclusions.
You need to know how to evaluate and be critical of the sources consulted.
We recommend you to consult the following web pages:

At this stage, the body of the thesis must be organized and drafted.

Remember to use citations when appropriate in order to avoid plagiarism. Regarding the bibliography and citations management, the UAB offers support in the bibliographic managers Mendeley Institucional and Zotero. 

For everything related to intellectual property rights and open access we recommend:

1. Format

Free, but most usual is DIN-A4 vertical (21 x 29.7 cm).

  • Amount of text: the same is recommended on each page, 30 lines of 70 spaces each with a spacing of one space and a half for the main text and one for the rest of the text (notes, textual quotes and footnotes of illustrations or graphics).
  • Margins: between 2.5 and 3 cm. It is recommended 3 cm in the upper and left margin, and 2.5 cm in the bottom and right margin. You can also include a header (with the job title or corresponding chapter) and a footer, both of 1.25 cm.
  • Numbering of the pages: in the central or external part. All the pages count on the page, including the attachments, although the covers, dedications, slogans or blank separations between chapters do not carry the printed number.
  • Justification and bleeding: the text must be justified and the paragraphs, without bleeding, must be separated by a blank line.
  • Font: to facilitate the reading of the text; the most commonly used types are Arial, Times New Roman or Garamond. The main text should be in the round letter. Regarding size, use a body 14 for the titles, 11-12 for the body of the work and 8-9 for the footnotes, feet of the figures, etc.
  • Chapters, paragraphs and sub-paragraphs: they must appear hierarchized by typography and with Arabic numerals subdivided by points. For example:
                      2. Chapter title
                      2.1. Heading title
                      2.1.1. Subsection title

More information:

2. Printing
Preferably double-sided, with good quality paper and with enough ink intensity.

3. Binding
The binding must be correct, without loose leaves; You can use the spiral but not the little pig.
On the cover and on the back (in case the binding allows it) your name and the title of the thesis should appear.

Cover (mandatory)
On the cover of each copy, you must specify:

  • Type of work: PhD thesis.
  • Title and subtitle (if any). If the thesis has a subtitle, it is recommended to separate it from the title with two points.
  • Author: First and last name.
  • Director and tutor (if you have one): Name and surname of the director/s and tutor of the thesis
  • Department, Faculty, University and year.
  • If the thesis has more than one volume, clearly indicate the volume number.
  • If it includes annexes, clearly indicate that it is an annex and number it if there are more than one.

Acknowledgments (not mandatory)
The people and institutions with which the author wishes to express his gratitude are mentioned.

Summary (mandatory)
It is a list of the relation of contents of all the parts and chapters of the work by order of appearance with its page.
If there are two or more volumes, we must include the ratio of all volumes and summaries for each volume.
If illustrations and numbered pictures are included, we can choose to make a separate summary.

Introduction (mandatory)
Present briefly the reason, the objective, the methodology and the work hypothesis.

Body of the thesis (mandatory)
It is the fundamental part of the thesis, which explains the research that has been carried out.
Organize it in chapters, paragraphs and sub-paragraphs.
It ends with a chapter of conclusions.

Bibliography (compulsory)
It is the ordered list of the documents consulted to elaborate the work and that have been mentioned or not throughout the thesis. There are different quotation styles. You can find which one is the most used in your thematic field on the Citation and bibliography page.
The use of a bibliographical references manager will facilitate the work; The UAB and the rest of Catalan public universities make available the free Mendeley Institucional bibliographic manager.

Certificate of address (mandatory)
It must be signed by the director of the thesis and must include the full name of the director, name of the doctoral student, thesis title and department.

If you are looking for advice to improve oral and written communication, consult the Oral Presentation page.

Regarding the administrative requirements of the UAB consult the instructions on the Doctorate page in the Thesis section. There you have specific information about the deposit and defense of the thesis.

Regarding the deposit of the thesis, we remind you that all the copies that are deposited in the Doctorate School and those that are incorporated into digital deposits such as TESEO and TDX must be exactly the same.

Check the requirements for theses by compendium.

We recommend: