Policy Number/Version 14.0/V01
Section Academic Programmes
Date of last revision February 2017
Date of approval of current revision 5 September 2013
Post/Section with responsibility for  implementation and monitoring Academic Staff
Approved by Learning, Teaching & Blended Learning Committee
Latest Review by Head of Library Services and DTC
Review Outcome Replaces the following policies:

3.10.1 Procedures for Dissertation Submission

3.10.2 Dissertation Submission Guidelines for


3.10.3 Academic Success Unit Dissertation

Professional Custom Writing Services from the Experts!

Support Guidelines

3.7.13 Guidelines for Final Submission of Project

Report after successful completion

Dissertation Release Form

Submission of Thesis Declaration

Next Review Date
Cross Reference/Related Documents:



  • Introduction



This is a guide to the presentation of a Graduate research work required for the award of a degree at the British University in Dubai. It provides guidance on the arrangement of thesis, dissertation, and research project in preparation for binding and deposit.


This guide deals with the practicalities of producing your research work in a format that is acceptable for examination and deposit in the Library. However, this guide does not deal with the content and academic standard required. On these matters, you must always consult your supervisor and the guidance issued by your Faculty.


All candidates are required to submit their research work in English. Many practical decisions (such as the paper to be used, how to cope with illustrative matter, binding specifications etc.) need to be thought out before you put together your completed research work with all of its constituent elements. Unless you are aware of these practical issues, you may find that it is impossible to have this done in the fashion you anticipated, or that the costs incurred will be greater than they need have been. Some mistakes are impossible to correct when the time comes for binding. This must be produced to a standard acceptable for long-term storage, and bound in accordance with University requirements before the degree may be awarded.


The annexure section of this guide is intended to give you guidance on general aspects concerning the layout of your research itself.


  • Definitions


Research work – for the purpose of this guide, this includes thesis, dissertations, and research projects.


Supervisor – this refers to the Director of Studies, Dissertation Supervisor and the module coordinator for research based route.


Embargo – a restriction placed on an electronic access and availability of a research work for a period.


ETD – acronym for “Electronic Thesis & Dissertations”


  • General Considerations



Are there any special requirements (e.g. graphing, presentation of statistical data, etc.) which might affect the choice of software?


How are you going to manage your references? If you are using reference management software, does the package allow you to format and print out references in a style suitable for the presentation of your research work?  Software formatting must be removed before submitting the electronic copy.


During the process of writing, there are a number of practical and technical points to observe, and you should review these well in advance of final writing.


If your research includes confidential or sensitive material, does this need to be presented in a separate volume or appendix that would enable the Library to withhold that section from public access? If it includes any third-party material, have you sought appropriate permission to incorporate and disseminate it?


You should allow adequate time for preparation, word processing, checking and corrections. If someone else is typing your paper, you should check the work frequently in the early stages so that any problems or difficulties can be detected early.


3.1 Paper



You should use A4 paper. Where computer data is to be presented, A4 is normally the best size. Buy a sufficient quantity of paper for the whole job at the outset. If you find that the paper you have varies in size, or that insertions (e.g. photographs, plates, maps etc.) are slightly different, consult your supervisor before proceeding and certainly before you assemble your paper. It may not be possible to trim to a uniform format after assembly.


3.2 Typing and Word processing



You must make your own arrangements for the typing. Use double line spacing throughout the body of the text.


Single-spacing is acceptable for quotations, footnotes, captions, etc and within items in the bibliography. Layout should be reasonably uniform in length of line and the number of lines per page.


The final paper should be printed using a good quality printer.


3.3 Typeface and Point Size



It is extremely important that your paper is clearly set out and is easy to read. A clear, standard typeface should be used. Recommended typeface is Times New Roman; a number of other standard faces are equally acceptable but consult your supervisor if in doubt. To help ensure clarity it is important that the point size is not too small. Your research may be photocopied or reduced at a later stage, so a 12-point typeface is the recommended standard for general use.



3.4 Margins and Pagination



The margin on the binding edge must be at least 3 cm. When photographs are mounted the binding margin must be increased to 4 cm


It is desirable to leave 3 cm at the top and bottom of the page and about 2 cm at the outer edge.


Preliminary pages should not be numbered

Contents listing pages should have Roman pagination (i.ii.iii.iv. etc.) beginning with the Table of Contents.  Page numbers may either be placed at bottom-centre, 1 cm below the edge or at the foot of the page, 2 cm above the edge.

The Main Body of Text, beginning with Introduction, should have regular page numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.)


  • Photocopies or Copied Material



If photocopies are to be included, ensure that all copies are clear and of high quality, especially when plates are being reproduced. It is important that the printed matter is square-set on each page with approximately equal margins all round. If this is not done, it may be impossible to trim the pages properly; even if it is possible, costs will be increased. It is also important to ensure that you are not infringing someone else’s copyright in the material.


3.6 Photographs



Colour photocopies or scanning and printing onto photographic quality A4 paper can provide good quality reproduction of photographs. If this produces a satisfactory result, the binding process is easier.


Where original photographs are used, either a matt or gloss finish is acceptable but you should seek the advice of your supervisor on the most effective one for the purpose in hand. Full-page photographs are best mounted on single weight printing paper, preferably not glazed. Double weight paper is difficult to oversee, and might have to be hinged which will increase the cost of binding. Copy paper is not heavy enough for satisfactory mounting.


Photographs can be mounted by a variety of methods, but whichever method you choose must be permanent. The use of ‘photographic stamps’ is a good method but not always readily available. Photographs can also be mounted with PVA (polyvinyl acetate) based glue which is available from good stationers and photographic shops. Photos should be ‘spot mounted’ at the corners and middle, and not glued all over. This helps to avoid warping of the mounting paper. Use the adhesive sparingly to avoid transfer to adjacent pages. Photographs attached with paste based adhesives (‘Pritt sticks’) tend to dry out and become detached after a while.


All photographs must have permission where copyright exists.


3.7 CDs



CDs: Dissertations and theses sometimes need to contain supplementary media. Disks can usually be built into a pocket at the back of the volume.


3.8 Colour


Coloured text, graphics, and photographs should only be used if necessary to the integrity and accuracy of the information involved.  Colour should not be used in any form as decoration.



  • Elements of Research



A graduate research paper must be an original work, which makes a significant contribution to knowledge in or understanding of a particular field of study. It must contain material worthy of publication. It also demonstrates its relationship to the general corpus of knowledge in the field. In short, it is the presentation of the results of original research in a critical and scholarly fashion. For these reasons, it is essential that an appropriate presentation be adopted.

A research normally consists of the following elements


  • Preliminaries


  • title page
  • declaration Form
  • copyright and information to users
  • abstract (in English and in Arabic – for thesis & dissertations)
  • executive summary (in English and in Arabic – for research project only)
  • dedication (optional)
  • acknowledgements


  • Contents listings
  • table of contents


  • list of illustrations
  • list of tables
  • list of definitions and/or


  • Text
  • End Pages
    • list of references/bibliography
    • appendices



4.1 Preliminaries


4.1.1 Title Page



The title page should follow the pattern as given in Annexure 1, Samples of Preliminary Sections. Do not number this page nor record it in the table of contents.


4.1.2 Declaration Form


You must complete the Declaration Form and have it bound into the deposit copy of your work and will be made available for consultation at BUiD Library and via electronic repository, unless there are grounds for keeping the content of your research are confidential. You have to request for embargo to the Library by submitting the appropriate form on the Annexure 2. The supervisor must sign the form before it is submitted. Do not number this page nor record it in the table of contents.


4.1.3 Abstract or Executive Summary



An abstract in English and Arabic – a succinct summary of the research containing all of the important concepts and conclusions of the work – should immediately follow the title page. It should be no more than 200 words in length in each language. Do not number this page nor record it in the table of contents. This abstract will be used when your work is indexed on BUiD Institutional Repository.


4.1.4 Dedication



A dedication is optional. If one is made, the dedication page should follow the abstract. It should be unnumbered and not recorded in the table of contents.


4.1.5 Acknowledgements



You may wish to acknowledge any substantial academic, financial or other assistance that you may have received in the course of your research. Inclusion of acknowledgements – to whom, and the precise wording – is a matter for your own discretion, but they should follow the abstract and dedication on a separate unnumbered page, which is not listed in the table of contents.

4.1.6 Contents Listings Table of Contents



A table of contents, and if needed a list of illustrations and a list of tables, should always be included and should follow the acknowledgements. Contents listings are extremely important, as a research paper has no index. Therefore, the contents listings must be accurate and informative – an examiner or reader may use them to find his or her way round the work. A good contents listing will also display the pattern of ideas through which the reader will be taken. The table of contents should show chapter and section titles (if any), demonstrating the relationship of the parts to each other by (if appropriate) indentation and numbering. Chapters and sections should be referenced to their page numbers. Roman Pagination begins here. List of Illustrations



A list of illustrations should follow the table of contents on a separate Roman numbered page. If different types of illustrations are included this list can be subdivided into headed sections (e.g. Figures, Plates, Maps, Charts etc.). A page number should follow the title of the illustration. If illustrations have been inserted without page numbers, then the terms “Facing page” or “Following page” should precede the appropriate page number. “Facing page” is used when one illustration is used; “Following page” is used when a whole series of illustrations has been inserted in the text. List of Tables



If appropriate, a list of tables should follow the list of illustrations on a separate numbered page. Other Preliminary Listings (e.g., definitions and/or abbreviations)



It may be advisable to include other listings at this point. For example, if the work extensively employs certain abbreviations, or includes new definitions or symbols, these may be placed most appropriately at this point. By placing them at the front, readers are alerted to their existence and can return to them when they need to be reminded of their meaning. However, lengthy lists of abbreviations (i.e. more than a page) may be better located after the main body of the work. Whatever you decide, you must always explain fully any abbreviation, symbol or new term when you first use it in the text.


4.2 The Text



The main body of the text follows the preliminaries. As has been indicated in the Introduction, this guide is not concerned with the academic content and standard required – please use the BUiD Harvard referencing guide. Within the text, however, it may be necessary to indicate additional information or acknowledge other sources.


Throughout a substantial body of text, it is certain that you will need to use references to acknowledge sources that you have consulted and, possibly, footnotes to illuminate some points or issues that are raised. It is essential that you use the BUiD referencing guide and have a clear understanding of how and why references and footnotes are employed in a scholarly work.


4.2.1 References and Referencing Systems


Referencing is an essential part of academic scholarship. Intellectual honesty demands that authors identify their sources. Referencing has three main functions:


  1. to acknowledge an intellectual debt to another author where you have drawn heavily from his or her published work or ideas, either explicitly or implicitly;
  2. to support specific facts or claims which you make in your text;


  1. to enable the reader to find sources to which you have referred easily and quickly.


Failure to identify sources upon which you draw is plagiarism, the most serious of academic offences and a possible breach of copyright law. A graduate research work, which embodies deliberate plagiarism, will almost certainly be rejected. If you are in doubt about what constitutes plagiarism, or how to avoid it, you should consult your supervisor, and read the BUiD Harvard Referencing Guide.


4.2.2 Footnotes



Footnotes should be restricted as follows:


  1. to develop an idea or expand a quotation where to do so in the text would really disturb the balance of the current argument;


  1. to refer the reader to another part of research;


  1. to acknowledge a borrowing.

4.2.3 Length of a research work



The length of the thesis at BUiD is approximately 80,000 words. For Dissertation should be 15,000-20,000 words and for a Research Project should not exceed 15,000 words.


The dissertation word count differs from one faculty to another. Please refer to the dissertation module descriptor for the recommended length of your research work.


The calculation of length excludes appendices, tables, diagrams, and references.


4.3 End Pages



The end pages include such sections as list of references, appendices, exhibits.


4.3.1 List of References



This is an important part of research. It is important systematically to record the sources you have consulted and to manage your references in a way that facilitates their incorporation in your research.


The list of references must contain all of the sources, which you have found significant enough to mention in the text. Its presentation will depend on whichever referencing system you have adopted. Please put the heading References in Bold with no chapter headings. The list of references should adhere to the BUiD referencing system, contain no bullets or numbers and should be in alphabetical order.


4.3.2 Appendices



Appendices may in effect be interchangeable. Appendices are often used for information, which is supportive in nature and will not impede the progress of the reader in the main text. They are especially useful for readers who require greater clarification. Therefore, they can be used as follows:


  1. for explanations and elaborations which are too long for footnotes, but are not essential parts of the text;
  2. texts of documents, laws etc. which illustrate the text;


  1. long charts or tables of test-data, specifications for equipment and materials used, etc.


Do not regard them as repositories for things which do not fit elsewhere in the text – ensure that you have a clear justification for including them. Appendices should be referred to in the body of the text and listed on the contents page. Where more than one appendix is included, assign each one a number and list them like chapters.


5.0 Final Copies for Repository


Submission of Research Project, Dissertation or Thesis requires confirmation from the supervisor that the contents are the final version, conforming to BUiD standards of presentation and containing all corrections required for graduation.


The final submission period should be 30 days after receiving the approved mark from the Faculty Administrator. In some exceptional cases, doctoral thesis may be delayed.


An electronic copy of the final word version of your work must be submitted by email to your supervisor and to the Library. No submission will be accepted if it does not comply with the University Standard format. Please refer to item 4.0 Elements of Research of this document


If for a certain reason the supervisor is no longer in the University, the student must coordinate with their Faculty Administrator to get the approval from the Second Marker and will confirm the submission to the Library for repository.


The student is liable for payment of printing and binding for hard copy deposit in the Library. Payments are due to the Accounts Department and secure a Graduate Clearance Form in the Student Administration.




  1. Sample Dissertation cover and title page – see page 8
  1. Sample Thesis cover page – see page 9
  1. Sample Thesis title page – see page 10
  1. Sample Research Project title page – see page 11
  1. Declaration page must be signed and attached – see page 12
  1. Copyright and information to users must be attached – see page 13
  1. ETD Embargo form must NOT be attached and should be submitted to the Library
  1. Standard Programme names for thesis


Faculty of Education



Faculty of Business and Law



Faculty of Engineering and Informatics










Title in English:




Title in Arabic:








Dissertation submitted in fulfilment

of the requirements for the degree of 



The British University in Dubai



Supervisor’s Full Name

Month, Year







Title in English:




Title in Arabic:








A thesis submitted in fulfilment

of the requirements for the degree of 



The British University in Dubai



Supervisor’s Full Name

Month, Year









Title of the Thesis in English:





Title of the thesis in Arabic:








A thesis submitted to the Faculty of __________

in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of 



The British University in Dubai

Month Year


Thesis Supervisor

Name of Professor



Approved for award:


____________________________                                        ________________________

Name                                                                                                   Name

Designation                                                                                           Designation



____________________________                                        ________________________

Name                                                                                                   Name

Designation                                                                                           Designation



Date: ____________



Title in English:




Title in Arabic:







A research project submitted in fulfilment

of the requirements for the degree of 



The British University in Dubai


Supervisor’s Full Name

Month, Year





I warrant that the content of this research is the direct result of my own work and that any use made in it of published or unpublished copyright material falls within the limits permitted by international copyright conventions.

I understand that a copy of my research will be deposited in the University Library for permanent retention.

I hereby agree that the material mentioned above for which I am author and copyright holder may be copied and distributed by The British University in Dubai for the purposes of research, private study or education and that The British University in Dubai may recover from purchasers the costs incurred in such copying and distribution, where appropriate.

I understand that The British University in Dubai may make a digital copy available in the institutional repository.

I understand that I may apply to the University to retain the right to withhold or to restrict access to my thesis for a period which shall not normally exceed four calendar years from the congregation at which the degree is conferred, the length of the period to be specified in the application, together with the precise reasons for making that application.




Signature of the student


The author whose copyright is declared on the title page of the work has granted to the British University in Dubai the right to lend his/her research work to users of its library and to make partial or single copies for educational and research use.

The author has also granted permission to the University to keep or make a digital copy for similar use and for the purpose of preservation of the work digitally.


Multiple copying of this work for scholarly purposes may be granted by either the author, the Registrar or the Dean only.



Copying for financial gain shall only be allowed with the author’s express permission.



Any use of this work in whole or in part shall respect the moral rights of the author to be acknowledged and to reflect in good faith and without detriment the meaning of the content, and the original authorship.



Student Name
Student ID No.


Please ensure that this form is completed and signed before submitting to the Library.


Choose the embargo period for your research work from the date of receipt by the Library.



12 months



24 months (maximum for Dissertations)



36 months (maximum for Thesis)


Explanation: ________________________________________________________________








Declaration: I agree and acknowledge that the hard copy of my research may be consulted for the purpose of private study or research and that the digital copy will be made available via the Institutional Repository once the embargo period has expired.


Student Signature:                                                                                 Date:

Supervisor Signature:                                                                            Date:

(support for embargo)




The final copy of the graduate work has passed examination and is approved by the supervisor for deposit in the Library.


Head of Library:                                                                                   Date:

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