Unofficial Abertay University Latex Templates ⌨

Wed, Jan 13, 2021 3-minute read

Back in September 2020 my life changed quite drastically when I went back to university to study Ethical Hacking and Cyber Security MSc at Abertay University here in lovely Scotland. During the past semester, all of my coursework were written submissions or presentations, which is great because I could constantly work on these and it felt less stressful as learning for a traditional exam and it encourages self-studying/research.

When I began working on my first assignment I obviously checked out the available style guide. While it describes quite extensively how to do the formatting in Microsoft Word 2010, the essence of the guide can be boiled down to the following points:

  • Paper Format A4
  • Margins
    • Binding edge: 2.54 cm or 1 inch; Thesis: 40 mm 1.5 inch
    • Other margins: 2.0 cm or .75 inch;
  • Sans Serif fonts (Arial, Verdana) 12 PT
  • Left alignment
  • 1.5 or double spacing (single spacing for footnotes)
  • Formatting
    • Heading 1 – Normal font, 14pt, Bold, 1.5 line space
    • Heading 2 – Normal font, 13pt, Bold, 1.5 line space
    • Heading 3 – Normal font, 12pt, Bold, 1.5 line space
    • Heading 4 – Normal font, 12pt, 1.5 line space
  • Numbering:
    • Title Page no numbering
    • preliminary pages starting from 1 in Roman numerals
    • Following pages in Arabic numerals from 1 onward
  • Order:
    • Title Page
    • Abstract/Executive Summary
    • Table of Contents
    • Table of Figures & Illustrations
    • Acknowledgements
    • Authors declaration
    • Text Body (Chapters -> Sections)
    • Appendices
    • Definitions
    • Glossary
    • List of References
    • Bibliography
    • Index (Only for thesis)
  • Harvard style referencing

During my undergraduate degree, I compiled some of my submission (like my thesis) or larger reports using LaTeX, and relied on Microsoft Word, whenever a team collaborations were required (such as our semesterly programming projects). From the latter I’d learned painfully that the formatting can be quite messy if there are lots of documents and possibly even source code embedded into the document. Based on this sorrowful experience, I decided that during my graduate degree, I want to use LaTeX whenever possible. So far, I didn’t have to touch Word again 🎆.

I, therefore, looked for a LaTeX template which would meet my needs. I found this repository by my colleagues from the Abertay Hacking Association. The overall document, however, looked a bit unpolished and didn’t even follow the (awful) style guide exactly. With no other option, I decided to compile my own set of templates for the individual courses. The rough outline is similar, the used packages and the outlines however differ slightly.

The publicly available GitHub repository currently contains templates for the following courses:

  • Essay template for Abertay CMP506 Computer Security “The Laws Relating to Cyber Security”
  • Court report template for Abertay CMP507 Digital Forensics Masters “John Doe Case Study”
  • A two-column proposal template for Abertay GRS501 Research Methods

I will update this repository as I go. I believe that even the outlines of the documents can be useful even for any future students who just want to get an idea for the structure, including those writing in another text processing software.

I hope my LaTeX templates are useful for your own term papers at Abertay.