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Submit your thesis

Guidance on the submission of theses for research degree programmes

This page provides information on submitting theses for research degree programmes (PhD, MPhil, EngD, MA/MSc by Research). The presentation and submission of theses is governed by Regulation 2.7.

Submission of a research thesis is a formal process, like sitting an examination. Because of this, it is very important that you read these guidelines carefully before submitting your thesis.

Navigate to relevant section:

Submitting for Examination

e-Submission

As of 16 September 2019, the University moved to e-only submission of theses for research degrees. Research students submitting on or after this date should follow the guidance below.

Before submitting

Intention to Submit

You must consult your supervisor before submitting a thesis for examination.

No less than two months before you plan to submit your thesis, you should complete the Notification of intention via this Google form.

The purpose of this is to i) notify your department of your expected submission date, so that it can make the necessary arrangements for your examination, including appointing your examiners, and ii) completion of this form will automatically generate all the forms required for the examination of your thesis. It is therefore crucial that you complete it, and in good time before your expect to submit. 

You do not need to be over exact in calculating your submission date, provided that you adhere to your deadline for submission.

Students who are also members of staff

Research students who are also members of staff of the university, employed at Grade 7 or above, should be aware that they will have to pay a fee when they submit their thesis for examination. This is to cover the need to appoint two external examiners, which is the requirement for a research student who is also a member of staff (see the Policy on Research Degrees for full details).

This fee is payable through the online store and must be done so prior to submission.

Final checks

Before submitting your thesis you should check carefully that it is the version you wish to be examined, and that it contains no accidental errors or omissions. Please note that it is not normally possible to retrieve your thesis from Research Student Administration once it has been submitted.

Presentation of your thesis

Your thesis should be presented in accordance with the University’s requirements, and may not be accepted for examination if it does not.  

Please follow the above link and read the instructions carefully, and in good time before your submission.

When should I submit my thesis?

Submission must take place within one year (MPhil/PhD/EngD students) or within three months (MA/MSc by Research students) of the end of your full- or part-time registration period, unless an extension of submission deadline has been approved by the University - you can see your submission deadline in your e:Vision account.

Late submission constitutes failure of your degree. In cases where exceptional circumstances exist, you may apply for an extension to your submission deadline in advance of your deadline; a pending extension request is not sufficient.

Candidates who are granted an extension to their submission deadline will be invoiced for a further annual continuation fee, where one falls due.

Deadlines on non-working days

If your deadline falls on a non-working day (that is: a weekend, English Bank Holiday, or University closure day), you may submit on the next working day.

For example, those students whose deadline is Tuesday 31 December 2019 (a University closure day) may submit on Thursday 02 January 2020 (the first working day following the University closure over the Christmas period; 01 January 2020 is a Bank Holiday).

Time of deadline

You must submit by midnight (UK time) on the day of your deadline (or the next working day, where relevant - see above). 

However, please note that there will be no administrative or technical support outside of normal working hours. Therefore, you are strongly encouraged to submit before 5pm on the day of your deadline, and if you decide to submit after 5pm, you do so at your own risk.

Since uploads of large files can take time, we also recommend that you allow at least 30 minutes for the upload process. Please note: the absolute deadline is midnight, and if the upload is started before midnight and completes after midnight, it will be counted as late.

Please note that the following will not be considered as acceptable grounds for a late submission:

a) you submit the wrong file type or a corrupted file;

b) you did not allow sufficient time (at least 30 minutes) for the upload process; or

c) you claim technical issues on behalf of the University without proof of an error message / system failure on the University network.

There is no flexibility with the deadline, and submissions received at any point after midnight (i.e. date-stamped the following day) will be counted as late and will normally result in an automatic fail.

How do I submit my thesis?

How do I submit my thesis?

You need to submit your thesis to Research Student Administration via the University's Deposit drop-off service. Full instructions can be found in the following guide:

What happens once I have submitted my thesis for examination?

Research Student Administration will forward your thesis to your examiners. If you are a PhD, MPhil or EngD student, your department will then contact you, if it has not already done so, to arrange the oral examination. An oral examination may also be required for MA or MSc (by Research) students; your department will be able to advise.

If you are resubmitting your thesis following a revise and resubmit outcome ('referral'), please see the relevant section below.

Re-examination

If you receive a revise and resubmit outcome at your first examination, you will need to submit a revised version of your thesis to Research Student Administration, following the procedure set out in the 'Submitting your thesis for examination' section above, and by the deadline given in the correspondence you receive formally confirming the outcome of your examination.

A re-examination fee is payable through the online store in advance of submission. Your thesis will not be accepted for re-examination until this fee has been paid.

The month/year of submission remains the month/year in which the thesis was first submitted for examination.

Submitting after corrections

The following process applies to all students who submitted their thesis for examination (whether for a first or re-submission) on or after 16 September 2019.

These instructions are for students who receive a corrections outcome at examination, whether for the same or a lower award. Student who receive a revise and resubmit outcome (or 'referral') should follow the instructions in the 'Re-examination' section above. 

What do I need to submit?

What do I need to submit?

You need to submit three documents: 

  1. A version of your thesis with tracked changes*; 

  2. A ‘clean’ version with all corrections accepted; 

  3. And a document summarising the corrections you’ve made. 

All three documents should be submitted as .pdf files and named using the following format:

<Student Surname>_<Student Number>_<Description>.<File Extension>

E.g.

File 1: Smith_123456789_CorrectedThesisTracked.pdf

File 2: Smith_123456789_CorrectedThesisClean.pdf

File 3: Smith_123456789_CorrectionsSummary.pdf

N.B. Where files need to be split across multiple drop offs due to size, use “_1”, “_2”, at the end of the file name to differentiate between files, e.g. Smith_123456789_CorrectedThesisTracked_1, Smith_123456789_CorrectedThesisTracked_2, etc. 

*When saving a tracked .doc(x) document to .pdf, ensure that 'Document showing markup' is selected under 'Options' - this should be the default setting. 

Final checks

Before submitting your corrected thesis you should check carefully that it is the version you wish to be reviewed, and that it contains no accidental errors or omissions. Please note that it is not normally possible to retrieve your thesis from Research Student Administration once it has been submitted.

Presentation of your thesis

Your corrected thesis should be presented in accordance with the University’s requirements, and may not be accepted for review if it does not.  

Please follow the above link and read the instructions carefully, and in good time before your submission.

When should I submit my corrected thesis?

Submission must take place within three months (for MPhil/PhD/EngD students) or within one month (for MA/MSc by Research students) of the date on which you were notified of your corrections by Research Student Administration.

Late submission constitutes failure of your degree. In cases where exceptional circumstances exist, you may apply for an extension to your submission deadline in advance of your deadline; a pending extension request is not sufficient.

Deadlines on non-working days

If your deadline falls on a non-working day (that is: a weekend, English Bank Holiday, or University closure day), you may submit on the next working day.

For example, those students whose deadline is Tuesday 31 December 2019 (a University closure day) may submit on Thursday 02 January 2020 (the first working day following the University closure over the Christmas period; 01 January 2020 is a Bank Holiday).

Time of deadline

You must submit by midnight (UK time) on the day of your deadline (or the next working day, where relevant - see above). 

However, please note that there will be no administrative or technical support outside of normal working hours. Therefore, you are strongly encouraged to submit before 5pm on the day of your deadline, and if you decide to submit after 5pm, you do so at your own risk.

Since uploads of large files can take time, we also recommend that you allow at least 30 minutes for the upload process. Please note: the absolute deadline is midnight, and if the upload is started before midnight and completes after midnight, it will be counted as late.

Please note that the following will not be considered as acceptable grounds for a late submission:

a) you submit the wrong file type or a corrupted file;

b) you did not allow sufficient time (at least 30 minutes) for the upload process; or

c) you claim technical issues on behalf of the University without proof of an error message / system failure on the University network.

There is no flexibility with the deadline, and submissions received at any point after midnight (i.e. date-stamped the following day) will be counted as late and will normally result in an automatic fail.

How do I submit my corrected thesis?

How do I submit my corrected thesis?

You need to submit your corrected thesis to Research Student Administration via the University's Deposit drop-off service. Full instructions can be found in the following guide (although note the file naming requirements are for submitting your thesis for examination - see the 'What do I need to submit?' section above for the naming conventions required for submission of corrected theses):

What happens once I have submitted my thesis for review?

Research Student Administration will forward your corrected thesis to the examinar responsible for reviewing your corrections (normally the internal examiner). Your examiner will check that you have completed your corrections to their satisfaction and then notify Research Student Administration. On receiving confirmation of satisfactory completion of corrections, Research Student Administration will invite you to formally deposit your thesis with the University. The instructions about depositing your thesis can be found in the section below, but please do not follow them until you have been formally invited to deposit. 

Depositing your thesis

The following guidance applies to all students, regardless of how they submitted their thesis for examination

Depositing your thesis after examination

After examination, if a degree is awarded and after you have made to the satisfaction of the internal or another of the examiners any corrections required by the examiners, you must deposit your thesis with the University.

If you started your research degree programme on or after 1 October 2009

  • You must upload one electronic copy of the thesis to White Rose Etheses Online. The electronic copy shall be in pdf format (or other format acceptable to the University and appropriate to the medium). You must upload your electronic copy before you print and submit your hard copy. RSA will advise you of any required amendments to the layout prior to printing.·        
  • You must deposit one printed copy of your final thesis with RSA. This will be identical to the electronic copy approved to print by RSA. Your printed copy will be forwarded to the University Library.  The thesis may be either hardbound or softbound, as you choose.  In either case, the binding shall conform to the University’s requirements for the binding of theses.  

White Rose eThesis Repository

Please see the following guidance, which contains all the instructions about how to submit your thesis to the White Rose Etheses Online:

Depositing your digital thesis (PDF , 960kb) 

If you registered for your research degree programme before October 2009

You have two options:

  • either you may follow the procedure above for candidates who registered in October 2009 or later,
  • or you may deposit with RSA two printed copies of your thesis, which must be hardbound for MPhil, PhD and EngD, but may be hardbound or softbound for MA/MSc by Research. (For binding, see Section 5 below);

What happens after I have deposited my final thesis?

After you have met the requirements set out above for depositing your thesis, you will receive formal notification of the award of your degree from the RSA. Your degree cannot be awarded until you have met these requirements.

Thesis binding

The 'Depositing your thesis after examination' section (see above) explains whether the final version of your thesis should be hardbound or softbound.

The University does not accept spiral bound theses for examination, or as final thesis.  An exception is made for music scores which must lie flat.

Softbound

If softbound, the thesis must be securely bound between card and / or plastic covers (the front cover to be a copy of the title page). The spine must be taped. The information to be given on the title page is set out in Section 2 above.

Hardbound

If hardbound, the thesis must be bound in cloth covered boards, the binding being of a fixed kind in which leaves are permanently secured. You may choose the colour of the cloth covered boards. The lettering on the front cover must be presented in the following order: (i) the title of the thesis (in an abbreviated form, if necessary), (ii) your name (as it appears in the University’s student record), (iii) the name of the degree you have been awarded (e.g. MPhil or PhD), and (iv) the year of (original) submission (see Section 7 below). The lettering on the spine (reading from top to bottom) must follow this order: (i) your name (as it appears in the University’s student record), (ii) the name of the degree you have been awarded (e.g., MPhil or PhD), (iii) the name of your department (see Section 6 below), and (iv) the year of (original) submission (see Section 7 below). If the thesis thickness is more than 70 mm (excluding covers), it must be bound in two separate volumes. The front cover and the spine must also bear the number of each volume. Use the diagram in Section 9 below to indicate to your binder the only acceptable layout.

Names of departments and centres

The name of your department or centre must be used on title pages, and the spines of hardbound theses. The name must appear exactly as follows:

You should not include 'Department of' or 'Centre for'

  • Archaeology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Conservation Studies
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Electronic Engineering
  • English
  • Environment and Geography
  • Health Sciences
  • History
  • History of Art
  • Language and Linguistic Science
  • Law
  • Management
  • Mathematics
  • Medieval Studies
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Politics
  • Politics, Economics and Philosophy
  • Post-War Recovery Studies
  • Psychology
  • Railway Studies
  • Social Policy and Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
  • Women's Studies

Binders

Theses can be softbound for a modest charge by DP Online.

For hardbound theses you may find the following useful:

Hardbound theses: lettering of cover and spine

Hardbound theses: lettering of cover and spine

This diagram indicates to your binder the wording that the cover and spine of a hardbound thesis should bear, together with the required layout.

This is the only accepted layout.

Thesis cover layout

Notes:

  1. Only to be included if more than one volume (not copy).
  2. Your name as it appears in the University's student record.
  3. PhD, MPhil, EngD, MA(res) or MSc(res).
  4. Do not include the words 'Department'/'Centre of'. For authorised Department/Centre names see section 6.
  5. Year in which the thesis was first submitted for examination.
  • Wording on the spine must be rotated to read left-to-right when the thesis is lying face-up.
  • Wording on the spine must be centralised.

Availability of theses

All theses deposited by candidates for research degrees after examination, in printed or electronic form, are available for consultation and for reproduction (subject to normal conditions of acknowledgement).

A thesis may be withheld or made available in redacted form for the following reasons:

  1. intent to publish;
  2. commercial sensitivity;
  3. data protection compliance;
  4. issues of national security
  5. issues of health and safety;
  6. third-party copyright infringement, or;
  7. exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 Guidance on redaction and embargo issues is provided at https://subjectguides.york.ac.uk/copyright/research and details on how to redact your thesis can be found here: Redaction Process for Students (PDF , 83kb)

With the approval of their supervisor(s), and following all appropriate considerations, including any potential intellectual property issues and with reference to Research Data Management expectations and guidelines, a student may request to deposit a thesis with accompanying redactions or embargo as follows:

  1. A redacted version of the thesis may be deposited for the electronic archive, with the examined copy held by the university. Redaction for third-party copyright infringement will be indefinite unless notification of clearance is received.
  2. The student is ultimately responsible for any redaction of the thesis.
  3. Access to the thesis may be withheld, and, with the exception of an abstract, none of the material contained in it should be reproduced, for a fixed period agreed with the supervisor(s), and commencing from the date on which the printed copy of the examined thesis is deposited with Research Student Administration after the examination.
  4. If dispute arises between student and supervisor(s) relating to withholding the thesis, the decision of the supervisor(s) is final.
  5. An extension to a withholding period, on request by student or supervisor(s) to their Faculty, may be granted in accordance with University guidelines.
  6. Lifting an embargo in advance of the set date may only be done with the consent of both student and supervisor(s)

Students / supervisors can select up to five years embargo in the first instance.

Any such request should be made on the appropriate form and submitted to RSA along with the printed copy/copies of your thesis which you deposit after the examination. If you make such a request, you should also indicate, when you upload your thesis to White Rose Etheses Online, that you wish it not to be made available online for the same period.