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.

To complete the thesis submission, you only need to upload a PDF copy of your thesis to GRAD. You are invited to upload a Covid-19 impact statement alongside your thesis which discusses any impacts of Covid-19 on your research plans, and the choices made to respond to this.  Please use the template provided. This should be uploaded to GRAD alongside your thesis 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 PGRs which includes information on:   
  • Entering for examination and completing the relevant examination entry workflow in GRAD.
  • The content and layout of your thesis (including 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 
  • advice on what to expect before, during and after the viva
  • advice on eThesis preparation and presentation

Alternative format thesis including published material

This model of submission is currently only available to PGRs registered in the  PGRs in the Faculties of Environment, EPS (Engineering Schools only), Biological Sciences, Medicine and Health or Arts, Humanities and Cultures. 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:

Deadline for submission

You should aim to submit your thesis within the standard period of study for the research degree programme upon which you are registered. However, you must submit your thesis for examination by the maximum time limit for your programme. Your standard period of study and maximum time limit dates are visible on your GRAD record. If difficulties arise you must talk to your Graduate School as soon as possible for advice. 
If your deadline falls on a University closed day (e.g. bank holiday) or a weekend (Saturday or Sunday) the deadline for submission will be no later than the end of the next working day that the University re-opens. 

Submitting your thesis early 

In some cases you may be able to submit your thesis early, before the end of your standard period of study. Your Director of PGR Studies must submit a recommendation to the Graduate Board’s Programmes and Quality Group for a reduction to your period of study. Early submission of the thesis can only be made where it is supported by your supervisor and your Director of PGR Studies if:
  • (a) the thesis is complete and ready for submission and 
  • (b) it has been read by your supervisor in its entirety 
Your supervisor must confirm in writing that they have read your thesis and that their view is that it is ready to be examined. There are limits to the length of the reduction that can be approved. Please see further information about the limits and the process to be followed on the Duration of Study page (under the submitting your thesis early heading).

Uploading a PDF to GRAD 

You must upload a PDF copy of your thesis to GRAD using the GRAD Thesis Submission workflow. Please see the Guide to the thesis examination process for further advice. Please contact Doctoral College 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.

Practice-led research degrees

Please make sure you are fully aware of the submission requirements for your degree.

After submission

Your thesis will be sent out to your examiners normally within 10 working days of submission, providing that it meets the University's requirements and your examination entry workflow has been approved by the Examinations Group. A GRAD email notification (to your University account) will be sent to confirm that your thesis has been sent out to your examiners, and will include advice about the next stages in the process. If Doctoral College Operations has only recently received your examination entry workflow (or your workflow has not yet been completed), 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 may 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