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Hard-case thesis binding

Hard-case binding from our partners J S Wilson & Son

Arrange hard-case thesis binding in the city centre with the Graduate Union (note you will have to physically provide the printed pages)

NOTE: CURRENT PRICE WILL INCREASE FROM WEDNESDAY 24 July 2019 - updated forms can be found here

The binding is performed to University-approved standards by J S Wilson & Son Bookbinders Ltd, the oldest trading bookbinders in England. Your work will be traditionally sewn and bound, and there are plenty of styling options to select from, including a wide range of cover colours and decorative and strengthening elements.

Please note that the Registry has moved to the Student Services Centre - Please see here for more information


Prices vary by order, but start at £37.99 for the standard 2-3 working day turnaround and £35.99 for the 5-7 day service. You can pay be cash or card. Be sure to ask your college, supervisor and/or department about whether you are able to claim back any of this expenditure, and ask for a receipt from us to submit with any potential claim.


Please note that Invoices are fairly time consuming for use to process, and purchase orders will only be accepted by express permission of the General Manager. 

Samples and cover colour swatches

Samples of bound documents, with the various different features, are available at the GU Shop and on J.S. Wilson & Son’s Facebook page. Cover colours swatches are available in the Shop and on the J.S. Wilson & Son website. Please come into the GU Shop to see true representations of sample cover colours, as the colours on the website may be affected by monitor variations.

Specifications/requirements for the University Library copy of PhD thesis

Must be hard bound, with thesis title, initials and surname reading down the spine. Lettering must be gold. The cover colour is up to you!

Format: see here 

A4, 100gsm white paper preferred. Please note that letter or U.S. letter format will not be accepted.


3cm on the binding edge and 2cm on the three remaining edges. Please ensure that fold-outs and diagrams produced have reasonable margins and that page numbers, headers and footers are away from the edges.

Examiners’ copies: the preference is for single-sided print.

Cambridge University Library/Department copies: the preference is for double-sided (duplex) print.


Usual turnaround is 2-3 working days from the time at which JS Wilson & Son collect the thesis orders from the GU. This may be affected by Shop closures and Bank Holidays (especially around Easter and Christmas) ; see ‘Shop Opening Hours’. Normally, turnaround works as follows:

  • Handed in to the GU for the 09:30am Monday collection → ready 11:00am Wednesday
  • Handed in to the GU for the 09:30am Wednesday collection → ready 11:00am Friday
  • Handed in to the GU for the 09:30am Friday collection → ready 11:00am the following Wednesday

A 5-7 working day turnaround is also available, starting at £33.99. If you are interested in this service, please ask for further information while making your order. Normal turnaround for this service is:

  • Handed in to the GU for the 09:30am Monday collection → ready 11:00am the following Monday
  • Handed in to the GU for the 09:30am Wednesday collection → ready 11:00am the following Wednesday
  • Handed in to the GU for the 09:30am Friday collection → ready 11:00am the following Friday

How to place an order

  1. Complete the Order Form
  2. Print your document(s)
  3. Drop your order form/s and document/s in at the GU
  4. Payment is up front (Cash or card)
  5. Return to the GU when advised to collect your bound document/s

Order form

To make an order you need to complete an Order Form to submit along with your document/s. If you require more than one document to be bound, please complete a separate order form for each document that has a variation in style. If the only variation is the cover colour, you need only complete one form.

You can complete the form when you come in to the GU for binding or, if you’d prefer, you can email to request an order form:

Please be aware that unless you receive your order form directly from us, you will be required to complete another one when placing your order.

Opening hours

See opening hours for more information. Hours are subject to change so please check before each visit.

Emergency service

For a quicker turnaround you can place your order directly with J S Wilson & Son Bookbinders. You do not need to complete an order form. Please contact them in advance to confirm their opening hours, turnaround time and charges. You will need to take your documents to their premises and can take the Citi 3 bus from St Andrew’s Street or they will direct you if travelling by bicycle or car.

J S Wilson & Son Bookbinders Ltd
17 Ronald Rolph Court
Wadloes Road
Cambridge CB5 8PX
Telephone: (01223) 212420

If contacting them by phone please ask for Eric or David