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Dissertation Binding Portswood

There are 5 different types of binding available for dissertations and thesis. Check with your Academic Unit which you require.

Comb binding

Binding method where single sheets and covers have holes punched in the left had edge and a plastic comb with rounded flexible teeth is inserted through.

A range of spine widths are available depending on the number of pages in your document and thickness of paper.

Plastic combs come in a choice of colours. Acetate front and or front and back sheets can be added, as can a board back.

Available from our on campus copy rooms.

Soft bound (glued)

Pages and covers are glued into a secure fabric tape strip that forms the spine. A range of spine widths are available in black and white.

You can have acetate covers added. Black covers with a gold University of Southampton crest are available for dissertations.

Available from our on campus copy rooms.

Soft binding (wire stitched)

Bound between manila or departmental covers. Wire stitched and a black cloth tape spine. Edges cut flush or uncut.

Available from External suppliers.

Channel bound

Loose pages are inserted into a metal channel in the spine and then securely clamped.

Hard covers are only available in black with the University of Southampton silver logo on.

Available from our on campus copy rooms.



Stiff bound

Quarter bound with reinforced end papers. Hinged stiff boards laminated with manila or departmental covers.

Wire stitched with a black cloth taped spine. Edges cut flush or uncut.

Available from External suppliers.



Hard bound

Full bound in black Arbelave library Buckram. Oversewn in to hard case with gold blocked lettering on the spine.

Available from External suppliers.

After a year of grafting solidly on one mammoth piece of work, your dissertation is quite rightly the pinnacle of your university career. But how much is it going to set you back? The Tab sets out to highlight the massive disparity between students’ dissertation costs.

A dissertation, third year project or individual project as some schools call theirs, is typically 10,000 words long and can be between 40 and 120 pages long depending on graphs, tables and appendices. Obviously an English Literature dissertation will be light on graphs, and a music dissertation devoid of pictures, but how do the costs compare?

For any programme below PhD, there is not a University requirement in place about the costs of printing. This means that each faculty is free to set their own requirements in terms of binding, layout, colours and number of copies. This can mean the prices for dissertations can vary wildly across the University.

Below is a selection of the dissertation costs from various academic units. Report lengths are rough averages and there will be variations even within academic units and disciplines. These figures are based on the University of Southampton printing costs and on individual testimonies. Getting your work printed elsewhere may well be cheaper: let us know in the comments.

Academic Unit: ECS
Length: ~60 pages
Number of copies: 
Online only
Binding cost: N/A
Colour: Y
Total: Zero

Academic Unit: English
Length:~30 pages
Number of copies: 2
Binding cost: £1.50 cheapest, £7 bound
Colour: N
Total: £3 to £14

Academic Unit: Law
Length: ~40 pages
Number of copies: 2
Binding cost: £12
Colour: N
Total: £16

Academic Unit: Engineering
Length: ~100 pages
Number of copies: 2
Binding cost: £12
Colour: Y
Total: £62

Academic Unit: Management
Length: ~80 pages
Number of copies: 2
Binding cost: £12
Colour: Y
Total: £52

Academic Unit: Maths
Length: ~30 pages
Number of copies: 
Binding cost: None
Colour: N
Total: £3

Academic Unit: History
Length: ~40 pages
Number of copies: 
Binding cost: Soft binding
Colour: N
Total: £14

Academic Unit: ChemistryLength: ~80Number of copies: 2Binding cost: FreeColour: YTotal: £45

This wide range of costs is particularly shocking.

SUSU Vice President Academic Affairs, Sasha Watson, had this to say:

Dissertation costs are a very serious issue, as there is such a range of experiences depending on where you study in the University. This is made more important because of the development of online submission, which makes the idea of bound dissertations obsolete, as has been seen in History and ECS, to name a few areas, and needs to be addressed.

The University knows this, and as a result, are already looking at reviewing how dissertations (including PhD students) are submitted, gathering information on current processes, and working out what options are available moving forward – with a strong understanding that online submission is much better and easier for the student. This work will be completed within the next year, along with many other reviews about University practice, and will hopefully lead to a positive outcome.

Dr Karen Piggott, from the University’s Quality, Standards and Accreditation Team, told The Tab:

The University … doesn’t want students paying more than they should. The University through University Programme Committee, will be looking at this issue in the coming academic year.

Are dissertation printing costs fair? How much did yours cost? Let us know in the comments.