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Dissertations and Theses

Deadlines for the submission of dissertations and theses for graduate qualifications are prescribed in section 12 of the Personal Programmes of Study Regulations.

Deadlines for the submission of theses for the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and doctoral degrees are determined on an individual basis. Details about terms of enrolment for these degrees are available from the Postgraduate Studies Office.

General information about the submission of MPhil and doctoral theses is published in the Higher Degrees Handbook, which is available from the Postgraduate Studies Office.

Students may obtain details about style, general layout, and important conventions to be followed in writing a thesis (referencing, bibliographies etc.) from their supervisor or Chairperson of Department. The University of Waikato Library also publishes a guide to the presentation and submission of dissertations and theses which is available from the Library and online.

Dissertations and Theses Regulations

1.   Title
  These are the Dissertations and Theses Regulations 2006.
2.   Date of effect
  These regulations are effective from 1 January 2007.
3.   Definitions
  In these regulations
  dissertation means a piece of written work that reports on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation and is undertaken in accordance with the regulations for an honours or first masters degree
  first masters degree means a masters degree except for the Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
  thesis means a piece of written work undertaken in accordance with the regulations for a first masters degree and equivalent to at least 90 points at 500 level, or a piece of written work undertaken in accordance with the regulations for a Master of Philosophy or doctoral degree. A thesis is externally examined and if passed is considered to embody research of a kind and standard appropriate for the thesis to be lodged permanently in the University Library and University digital repository and is publicly accessible (unless embargoed under section 14 of these regulations).
4.   Word limit for dissertations
  The maximum word limit for a dissertation is determined by the Faculty or School of Studies in which the dissertation is undertaken, and published in the Faculty or School of Studies graduate handbook.
5.   Word limit for first masters theses
  Unless the Dean of the Faculty or School of Studies in which the thesis is undertaken approves otherwise in the case of an individual student or subject, the maximum word limit for a first masters thesis is 50,000 words.
6.   Word limit for Master of Philosophy (MPhil) theses
  Unless the Postgraduate Research Committee approves otherwise in an individual case, the maximum word limit for an MPhil thesis is 50,000 words.
7.   Word limit for doctoral theses
  Unless the Postgraduate Research Committee approves otherwise in an individual case, the maximum word limit is
  (a)   for a PhD thesis, 100,000 words
  (b)   for an EdD or SJD thesis, 60,000 words.
8.   Submission of dissertations
  (1)   When his or her dissertation is ready for examination, the student must submit two copies to the relevant Chairperson of Department.
  (2)   Dissertations are not required to be bound, but must be formatted and presented in accordance with relevant Faculty or School of Studies policy as published in the Faculty or School of Studies graduate handbook.
  (3)   The relevant Dean may agree to accept part or all of a dissertation solely in digital form, as prescribed in subsections 13(2) and 13(3) of these regulations.
9.   Print format of theses
  (1)   The thesis must be printed
  (a)   in 12 pt type
  (b)   in 1½ or double spacing
  (c)   on A4 paper of at least 60 gsm.
  (2)   The thesis may be printed on either one or both sides of the page.
  (3)   Margins for all pages (before binding), including those on which photographs or diagrams are mounted, must be as follows:
  (a)   inner 40mm
  (b)   outer 30mm
  (c)   top/bottom 20-25mm.
  (4)   Each bound copy of the thesis must include an abstract of no more than 500 words, immediately following the title page and written in a form suitable for publication.
10.   Submission of first masters theses
  (1)   When it is ready for examination, three bound copies of the thesis must be submitted by the student to the Assessment and Graduation Office.
  (2)   The three copies must be fully bound as prescribed in section 12 of these regulations.
  (3)   The thesis must be accompanied by a declaration, signed by the student’s chief supervisor, stating
  (a)   whether the thesis is, in the supervisor’s opinion, ready for examination, and
  (b)   that the thesis embodies the student’s own work, carried out under the supervisor’s direct supervision.
  (4)   At the time of submission of the thesis in fully-bound form, the student must also submit a digital copy of the thesis, as prescribed in subsection 13(1) of these regulations.1
  (5)   The fully-bound copies and digital copy must be accompanied by a declaration signed by the student and the student’s chief supervisor, stating that the fully-bound copies and the digital copy are the same (subject to the provisions of subsections 13(2) and 13(3) of these regulations).
  (6)   As prescribed in subsections 13(2) and 13(3) of these regulations, the relevant Dean may agree to accept part or all of a thesis solely in digital form.
  (7)   After a thesis has been examined and passed
  (a)   one of the fully-bound copies will be lodged permanently in the University Library,
  (b)   the digital copy will be lodged permanently in the University’s digital repository,
  and, unless the Deputy Vice-Chancellor has approved an embargo under section 14 of these regulations, the printed and digital copies will be publicly accessible.
  (8)   A fully-bound copy of the thesis is retained by the relevant department.
  (9)   First masters students are reimbursed by the relevant department for the reasonable cost of the printing and binding of the copy retained by the department.
  (10)   The third fully-bound copy is returned to the student once the examination process is complete.
11.   Submission of MPhil and doctoral theses
  (1)   When it is ready for examination, two soft-bound copies of the MPhil thesis or three soft-bound copies of the doctoral thesis must be submitted by the student to the Postgraduate Studies Office.
  (2)   A soft-bound thesis comprises soft covers with either a plastic spiral or staple and tape binding, and dimensions as prescribed in section 12 of these regulations.
  (3)   The thesis must be accompanied by a declaration, signed by the student’s chief supervisor, stating
  (a)   whether the thesis is, in the supervisor’s opinion, ready for examination, and
  (b)   that the thesis embodies the student’s own work, carried out under the supervisor’s direct supervision.
  (4)   After a thesis has been examined and passed, a student must substitute two fully-bound copies as prescribed in Section 12 of these Regulations before he or she is entitled to have the relevant degree formally conferred.
  (5)   When the thesis is submitted in fully-bound form the student must also submit a digital copy of the thesis, as prescribed in subsection 13(1) of these regulations.1
  (6)   The fully-bound copies and digital copy must be accompanied by a declaration signed by the student stating that the fully-bound copies and the digital copy are the same (subject to the provisions of subsections 13(2) and 13(3) of these regulations).
  (7)   The Postgraduate Research Committee may agree to accept part or all of a thesis solely in digital form, as prescribed in subsections 13(2) and 13(3) of these regulations.
  (8)   After a thesis has been examined and passed
  (a)   one of the fully-bound copies will be lodged permanently in the University Library,
  (b)   the digital copy will be lodged permanently in the University’s digital repository,
  and, unless the Deputy Vice-Chancellor has approved an embargo under section 14 of these regulations, the printed and digital copies will be publicly accessible.
  (9)   A fully-bound copy of the thesis is retained by the relevant department.
12.   Full binding of theses
  (1)   The cover of a fully-bound thesis must be black buckram.
  (2)   The binding must be either sewn or glued.
  (3)   The spine and cover of the binding must be lettered in gold with the initials and name of the author and the title or short title of the thesis.
  (4)   The final dimensions of the bound thesis must be
  (a)   width 210-215mm
  (b)   length 290-300mm.
13.   Digital format
  (1)   The format for submission of
  (a)   the digital copy of a thesis required under subsection 10(4) and 11(5) of these regulations or
  (b)   the digital form of all, or part, of a dissertation or thesis provided for in subsections 13(2) and 13(3) of these regulations
      is set out in the University publication Writing and Submitting a Dissertation or Thesis at the University of Waikato which is available from the Library.
  (2)   The relevant Dean (in the case of a dissertation or first masters thesis) or the Postgraduate Research Committee (in the case of an MPhil or doctoral degree) may agree to accept a dissertation or thesis solely in digital form, where the nature of the research is such that it is not appropriate for the dissertation or thesis to be submitted in a printed form. Approval of the use of digital format in this way should be sought by the candidate at an early stage of enrolment in the dissertation or thesis.
  (3)   The relevant Dean (in the case of a dissertation or first masters thesis) or the Postgraduate Research Committee (in the case of an MPhil or doctoral degree) may agree to accept part of a dissertation or thesis solely in digital form, where there are tables of data or other information that are effectively appendices to the dissertation or thesis.
  (4)   Once examined and passed, a thesis, or part of a thesis, which is submitted solely in digital form will be publicly accessible through the University’s digital repository, unless embargoed under section 14 of these regulations.
14.   Embargoes
  (1)   Because freedom to exchange ideas and to publish acquired knowledge are fundamental to the purposes of a university, restrictions on freedom of access to dissertations and theses are acceptable only in very limited circumstances approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
  (2)   Embargoes of dissertations or theses, either in part or in full, are subject to written approval of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
  (3)   Embargo of a dissertation or thesis is likely to be approved only under the following circumstances:
  (a)   if it is pending publication
  (b)   if it is pending the filing of a patent
  (c)   to allow for a sponsor to comment
  (d)   to protect pre-existing commercial secrets of a sponsor
  (e)   if there is a pre-existing contractual obligation
  (f)   if restriction is necessary under the Privacy Act 1993 or the Official Information Act 1982.
  (4)   An embargo will be approved only for a limited period.
  (5)   If the Deputy Vice-Chancellor has approved an embargo, only the author, title, abstract and other meta-data of the full digital copy held by the University will be publicly accessible through the University’s digital repository.

Note:
1.   The requirement to submit a digital copy applies to students who enrolled or re-enrolled in a thesis on or after 1 January 2006.

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