Almost every university has its own rules concerning formatting a thesis, many of them based in a era of typewriter preparation. This makes it difficult to provide a “universal” template, even for one subject area. However, there are useful on-line resources for writing a thesis. Nicola Talbot’s Using LaTeX to Write a PhD Thesis is particularly recommended for general advice on getting started. Another good general guide, including a generic template, is maintained by Sunil Patel.

Some universities, and often particular departments, give either guidance or templates for LaTeX users. Some of these are more official than others!