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 the Guide to the thesis submission process on the Policies and Procedures page of the SES website for more information on the processes explained on this webpage.   

To complete the thesis submission, you 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 which is available on the Research degree assessment page of the For Students website. This should be uploaded to GRAD alongside your thesis submission.  

Thesis format regulations

When you are preparing to submit your thesis, please take time to read the Guide to the thesis examination process 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 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 jointly-authored publication in your thesis (please see the Guidelines on the Use of Solely or Jointly-Authored Publications within a Thesis Submission on the Policies and Procedures page of the SES website)
  • advice on what to expect before, during and after the viva 
  • advice on eThesis preparation and presentation 
  • including supplementary material alongside your thesis submission (please see the Policy on Inclusion of supplementary material within a thesis submission for examination on the Policies and Procedures page of the SES website
  • submission of a thesis in a language other than English (applies only to candidates registered in the School of Languages, Cultures & Societies) (please see the policy on the Policies and Procedures page of the SES website

Alternative format thesis including published material

This model of submission is currently only available to postgraduate researchers (PGRs) registered in the 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 Protocols for the format and presentation of an alternative style of doctoral thesis including published material on the Policies and Procedures page of the SES website.  

Dual Award PhDs

If you are registered on a Dual Award PhD, there may be particular expectations for your thesis and/or viva, depending on your programme of study. Please consult our Dual Award Guidance below, which includes further information for each of the Dual Awards and which sets out any additional examination information you may need to be aware of. 

Dual Award Guidance - General Guidance for all awards

University of Leeds – University of Copenhagen 
University of Leeds – University of Coimbra 
University of Leeds – University of Ljubljana 
University of Leeds – Lulea Technical University 

Guidance to follow:

University of Leeds – Nanjing University 
University of Leeds – Beijing Jiaotong University 
University of Leeds – Petroleum University of China (QingDao Campus) (UPC) 
University of Leeds – Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU)

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. See the Examination process overview page of the For Students website for more information on the submission timings on your deadline date.

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 Postgraduate Research Studies (DPGRS) must submit a recommendation to the Graduate Board’s Programmes and Examinations 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 DPGRS 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 How long does a research degree take? page of the For Students website

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 your Graduate School 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. You can find more information by checking the practice-led policy for your faculty or school on the Research Degrees Codes of Practice page on the SES website

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.