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.

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