1. Deciding on the thesis language

The thesis should be written and defended in Dutch or English. It may be written in another language provided that written permission has been obtained for this from the faculty. This permission is not necessary if the topic of the thesis is another language, culture or literature. Abstracts in Dutch and in English must be included in all theses (general PhD regulations, art. 23).

Give this matter some thought while you are preparing your PhD thesis. Get in touch with the administrative contact person in your institute/faculty/department and check how you can obtain the necessary permission.

2. The design and form of the doctoral thesis

While writing your PhD thesis, you need to comply with University of Antwerp's requirements regarding the form and the design of PhD theses.

The form gives an overview on how to write your text.
The design gives an overview on how the text needs to be placed on the page.

The rules given below regarding form and design need to be lived up to in order to save you time towards the end of your PhD trajectory.

The Faculty of Business and Economics has developed its own fixed format, with identical covers and invitations for the defence. If you are defending a PhD thesis in the Faculty of Business and Economics, please contact the administrative contact person.

Rules form PhD thesis

The thesis may take the form of a monograph, a collection of manuscripts, an artistic or design work or a combination of these forms. If the thesis consists of a collection of academic manuscripts, the faculty may impose the condition that at least one of these manuscripts has been published (see general PhD regulations, art. 22).

When you decide during the preparations of your PhD thesis for a certain form it might be best to consult your supervisor(s) and the administrative contact person of your faculty/department/institute.

Rules layout PhD thesis

Corporate style University of Antwerp

As far as the formal requirements of the thesis are concerned, PhD students are asked to comply with the University of Antwerp's corporate style.
You can find the logos for the cover and examples under 'Regulations and documents' .

Design PhD thesis

When drafting your thesis, feel free to use our template. Learn how to use this template by reading the instructions.


  • Format: 18 x 26 cm (so smaller than a regular A4!!)
  • On the left hand side the page numbering is even, on the right hand side the page numbers are uneven.
  • Keep the following margins in mind:


There are a number of elements that must be included on the title page of a PhD thesis (cf. last page of the general PhD regulations (appendix 4)):

  • logo UAntwerp;
  • name of the faculty and if applicable the department;
  • titel of the PhD thesis (in the language in which the thesis is written);
  • fixed text "Thesis submitted for the degree of doctor in (insert qualification of the degree) at the University of Antwerp to be defended by";
  • first name & last name;
  • name(s) of supervisor(s);
  • text "Antwerp," + year.

Keep in mind to mention the correct name of your PhD degree title. The possible titles are mentioned in appendix 2 of the general PhD regulations:


Nieuwe Media Dienst
Campus Drie Eiken - room D.032 (ground floor)
Universiteitsplein 1
2610 Wilrijk

e-mail: nmd.grafisch@uantwerpen.be 

Natacha Hoevenaegel: +32 (0)3 265 22 24, natacha.hoevenaegel@uantwerpen.be

Ann Roelant: +32 (0)3 265 23 10, ann.roelant@uantwerpen.be

Thomas Campaert: +32 (0)3 265 27 45, thomas.campaert@uantwerpen.be

Design and printing of PhD thesis

Possibilities to have your thesis designed and printed

There are two options to have the design of the cover of your PhD thesis and if wanted the invitation for your defence created and printed:

  1. New Media Services of the UAntwerp (cost-effective): for the design of the cover and invitation (if requested) you have to keep a timing of 2 working weeks in mind.
  2. Own design (you can make it yourself or you can look for your own designer and printer).

The Faculty of Business and Economics has developed its own fixed format, with identical covers and invitations for the defence. If you are defending a PhD thesis in this faculty, please contact the administrative contact person.

Number of copies

Citation style

More information about references can be found on the website of the Library.

3. Arranging confidentiality agreements

See Start of the PhD.

4. Preventive screening of the thesis on plagiarism

The University of Antwerp acknowledges the importance of scientific integrity and endorses 'theEuropean Code of Conduct for Research Integrity’ (the ALLEA code). Breaches ofscientific integrity include plagiarism, fabrication and falsification of data, and conflicts of interest. According to the ALLEA code (2017) plagiarism is using other people's work and ideas without givingproper credit to the original source, thus violating the rights of the original author(s) to their intellectual outputs.

Blackboard SafeAssign: a plagiarism prevention tool

SafeAssign compares submitted assignments against a set of academic papers to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works. SafeAssign originality reports provide detailed information about the matches found between a student’s submitted paper and existing sources. The report can be used to review assignment submissions for originality and creates opportunities to identify how to properly attribute sources.

The Antwerp Doctoral School developed a manual on SafeAssign for doctoral candidates. The manual describes how (parts of) the doctoral dissertation can be reviewed in SafeAssign. Doctoral candidates are strongly encouraged to use SafeAssign as a tool to learn about plagiarism and source citation. In some faculties, a plagiarism check of the doctoral dissertation is part of the defence procedure (see faculty PhD regulations).