Submitting your thesis for examination

 March 2020 - Important Information

The University has suspended the requirement to submit printed and soft bound copies of your thesis for examination. To complete the thesis submission, you only need to upload a PDF copy of your thesis to GRAD. This can be submitted and assessed remotely. If the current situation means that you are not going to be able to meet the deadline for thesis submission, you can apply for an extension, and the University will consider all requests sympathetically. You can apply for an extension using the Suspension/Extension workflow in GRAD. You can find this under the change request menu. Your Graduate Schools can advise you further if you have any questions.

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  (you will find this under the thesis submission and examination section) 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 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 Schools of Dentistry and Food Science 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/Schools 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 see the PCB website or contact PCB directly for further advice. PCB are open Monday to Friday except when the University of Leeds is closed. Prices are available from the PCB website.

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 for thesis printing and binding 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. 

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, as governed by the University’s regulations. Your standard period of study and maximum time limit dates are visible on your GRAD record.

You are bound by your maximum time limit for submission of the thesis. It is important that this deadline is adhered to and that you submit your thesis on or before your maximum time limit. Failure to submit your thesis for examination by this deadline may lead to you being required to withdraw from your studies. If difficulties arise you must talk to your School/Faculty Graduate School as soon as possible for advice, otherwise you may seriously compromise your ability to complete your research degree successfully.

If your deadline falls on a University closed day (e.g. bank holiday) or a weekend (Saturday or Sunday) 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.

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

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 of Study and Audit 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)

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 (Statement of Academic Integrity)

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.

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 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 Postgraduate Research and 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