Submitting your thesis for examination

When you are preparing to submit your thesis for examination, take some time to familiarise yourself with the deadlines involved as well as the required format for submission.

Please see our Guide to the thesis examination process for more detailed information. 

Thesis format regulations

When you are preparing to submit your thesis, please take time to have a look at the University’s Guide to the thesis examination process for research degree candidates which includes information on:   

  • Entering for examination and completing the relevant examination entry form.

  • The content and layout of your thesis (including paper, font size, margins, pagination, referencing styles, illustrative materials, abbreviations)

  • the presentation of the title page (PDF) and the statements which must be included in your thesis

  • thesis length requirements, and what to do if you think you might exceed them
  • including work from any solely or jointly-authored publications  in your thesis 

  • including a supplementary material within your thesis

  • binding requirements for both soft and hard bound theses 

  • advice on what to expect before, during and after the viva

  • advice on eThesis preparation and presentation

  • advice on the presentation of a practice-led submission

Candidates in the Faculties of Environment, Engineering, Biological Sciences or School of Dentistry who wish to consider submission of an alternative style of doctoral thesis including published material should refer to the Faculty Protocol for further advice. This model of submission is currently only available to PGRs registered in the areas listed above. PGRs in these Faculties who wish to consider this route to submission must first discuss this with their Supervisory team. This model of thesis can only be submitted where the supervisory team supports this format of submission and is satisfied it is appropriate and meets the protocol in place for that Faculty. Please see the Faculty Protocol for further advice (under the Thesis Submission and Examination heading).

Getting your thesis bound

The University’s Print and Copy Bureau (PCB) can produce both soft and hard-bound copies of your thesis. They are located on level 6 of the Roger Stevens Building, Telephone 0113 343 2668, email order the soft binding of your thesis you can:  

  • Bring your printed thesis to the Print and Copy Bureau
  • Use the Print Cloud  (PDF is required)
  • Email your thesis to the Print and Copy Bureau (PDF is required)

PCB will confirm the price once they have received the pdf (unless you order your thesis via the print cloud). Prices are available from the PCB website. Payment must be made before the thesis can be printed and bound. Payment can be made in person or by phone.

You need to plan the printing and binding of your thesis well in advance of your maximum time limit to ensure that the work can be completed within the required time in order for you to meet your maximum time limit for submission of the thesis. You should not leave the printing and binding of your thesis to the last day of your maximum period of study. 

You should aim to place your order with Print and Copy Bureau by no later than 48 hours before your maximum time limit for submission to ensure that printing and binding can be completed within the required time in order for you to meet your maximum time limit for submission of the thesis
. The end of each month is particularly busy for thesis printing and binding - especially the end of September. At other times of the year PCB are able to offer a same day service but the order must be placed by no later than 2pm in order to receive the thesis back for collection before 5pm (glued soft binding takes 2 -3 hours).

Please contact PCB directly for further advice. PCB are open Monday to Friday except when the University of Leeds is closed

Deadline for submission

Postgraduate research students are expected to submit their thesis for examination by the end of their standard period study. You'll need to make sure you're aware of your maximum time limit for submission.

  • If your deadline falls on a bank holiday the deadline for submission to Postgraduate Research and Operations will be no later than the end of the next working day that the University re-opens.
  • If your deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, you will be required to submit your thesis to Postgraduate Research and Operations on or before the last available working day before your maximum time limit.

Candidates are strongly advised not to arrive at the Student Services Centre any later than 4.30pm. The building closes at 5pm.

Submission in person 

You can submit your thesis for examination at the Student Services Centre counter in the Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Building.

A friend can submit your thesis on your behalf if you are not available but please ensure you send in with your thesis a signed thesis submission receipt.

Submission by post

If you submit your thesis by post please be sure to take delivery times into account so you don’t miss your deadline. Make sure you include a thesis submission receipt 

Postgraduate Research and Operations (Progression & Examination)
Student Education Service Room 9.07
Marjorie & Arnold Ziff Building
University of Leeds

Uploading a PDF to GRAD 

If you completed the examination entry workflow in GRAD: Within two working days of submitting the printed copies of your thesis at the Student Services Centre Counter you must upload a PDF copy of your thesis to GRAD using the GRAD Thesis Submission workflow. Uploading the thesis alone does not satisfy the submission criteria. You must submit two print copies to Postgraduate Research and Operations on or before the maximum time limit in order to have met your deadline. The PDF upload can follow after the deadline (but within two working days).

If you completed the paper-based examination entry form process: You must provide with each copy of the printed thesis an exact copy of the thesis in PDF format (preferably on a CD/DVD but other media is accepted eg USB). The pdf copy will be sent to your examiners alongside the soft bound copy

Please see the Guide to the thesis examination process for further advice.

Please contact Postgraduate Research and Operations in advance of your thesis submission if there are any concerns with this, for example if there are confidentiality or commercially sensitive issues with your research

Including a CD/DVD/USB of supplementary material with your submission

To include a CD/DVD/USB of supplementary material (such as data) in your thesis submission you will need to complete a submission form and submit it alongside your examination entry form. Certain criteria apply, which are explained on the submission form. You will need to provide details of the content, format, and why it needs to be included.

If you are submitting a performance, practice-led or composition-based theses in the School of Music, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies or School of Performance and Cultural Studies, please refer to the regulations which cover these degrees for advice.  

Practice-led research degrees

Alternative forms of PhD and MPhil submission for practice-led projects have been approved in the Schools of Music, Media and Communication, English, Design, Performance and Cultural Industries and Fine Art, History of Art, and at York St John University. Please make sure you are fully aware of the submission requirements for your degree. Download the practice-led research degree examination entry form.

Thesis submission checklist

Your thesis will need to be consistent with the thesis format regulations. You will need:

  • two soft-bound copies of the thesis (additional copies will be required if there are more than two examiners)

  • a completed thesis submission receipt

  • loose copies of any solely or jointly authored publications (one copy of the publication should be provided for each examiner)

  • A pdf eThesis copy of the thesis (if this has not been uploaded to GRAD) as set out above.

After submission

Your thesis will be sent out to your examiners normally within two working days of submission, providing that it meets the University's requirements and your examination entry form has been approved by the Examinations Group. Postgraduate Research and Operations will send an email to your University account to confirm that your thesis has been sent out to your examiners, and will include advice about the next stages in the process.

If Postgraduate Research and Operations has only recently received your examination entry form (or your form has not yet been received), if there are any issues with the length or formatting of the thesis, or if your thesis has been submitted after the maximum time limit there will be a delay in sending your thesis out for examination.

You can find more about this stage in the process in our Guide to the thesis examination process