This page provides general information on the presentation and submission of theses for research degree programmes (PhD, MPhil, EngD, MA/MSc by Research). It also offers information on possible binders, and a diagram showing the correct layout of the wording on cover and spine. The presentation and submission of theses is governed by Regulation 2.7.
Please ensure that your thesis is presented and bound in accordance with the University’s requirements. Otherwise, your examination or the award of your degree may be delayed.
Submission of a research thesis for examination is a formal process in the same way as sitting an examination. Because of this, it is very important that you read these guidelines carefully before submitting your thesis.
You must consult your supervisor before submitting a thesis for examination.
About two months before you expect to submit your thesis for MPhil, PhD or EngD, you should complete the Notification of intention to submit in E-vision. This is to allow your department to make the necessary arrangements for your examination. You do not need to be over exact in calculating your submission date, provided that you adhere to your deadline for submission.
You can find the intention to submit form in your E-vision account under > My Supervision Meetings and Research Details > Research Progress.
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 you may not retrieve your thesis from Research Student Administration once it has been submitted.
If you are an MA/MSc by Research students do not need to register your intention to submit.
Research students who are also members of staff of the university 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. Please note, this does not apply to staff on a Grade 6 appointment or below.
Your thesis should be presented in accordance with the University’s requirements.
Please follow this link and read the instructions carefully or you may be asked to rebind your thesis before it is accepted for submission.
Theses should be submitted for examination to Research Student Administration in the Student Support Hub, please check the opening times of the Hub carefully as times can vary between term time and vacation time. Find out more about the Hub.
If your submission deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday or Bank Holiday, or during the Student Administration closed period at Christmas, submission will be accepted on the next working day after the deadline.
Theses submitted by post are expected to be received by Research Student Administration on or before the submission deadline, in the same way as submissions in person. Should a candidate choose to submit by post it is their responsibility to ensure they post in good time to meet their deadline. Submission by post should not be used as a way of circumventing the deadline, and should Research Student Administration feel this is the case, or there is evidence the thesis was not posted in good time to arrive by the deadline, it will be returned to the student. Some discretion will be applied to postal submissions, e.g. if a thesis arrives late owing to postal delays or is sent from overseas. Such situations will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis by Research Student Administration, and the student should expect to provide evidence that they posted their thesis in good time.
The campus-based online Design and Print service will not only bind your thesis but will also submit your thesis to the Student Administration Building on your behalf.
The postal address is:
Research Student Administration
Student Support Hub
Upper Tier, Market Square
University of York
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-time 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.
Theses presented after a candidate’s submission deadline (except in the case of unavoidable postal delay as described above) are classed as a Failure to Submit and will not be accepted by Research Student Administration (RSA). Late submission constitutes failure of your degree. In cases where exceptional circumstances exist, you may apply for an Extension to Submission Deadline. A pending extension request is not sufficient.
Candidates who, with formal prior permission from the Research Special Cases Committee, submit after their submission deadline will be invoiced for a further annual continuation fee, where one falls due.
Theses may be submitted to RSA by hand (by you or by someone else), by post, or by courier service. It is your responsibility to ensure that your thesis reaches the RSA by your deadline.
The number of printed copies submitted should equal the number of examiners (normally two).
Printed copies of theses submitted for examination should be softbound (see Section 5 below). They should be securely bound either between card covers (the front cover to be a copy of the title page) or between clear plastic covers. The spine must be taped. The campus-based online Design and Print service will bind your thesis in this way for a modest charge.
Spiral bound theses will not be accepted.
An exception on spiral binding is made for musical scores which must lie flat.
If you registered for your research degree programme in October 2009 or later, you must also submit the same number of copies of a CD (or other portable data storage unit acceptable to the University) containing an electronic copy of the thesis. This must be in pdf format (or other format acceptable to the University and appropriate to the medium) and shall be identical in every way to the printed copy.
Each CD (or other portable data storage unit) must bear a label giving:
If you registered for your research degree before October 2009, you may, if you wish, submit electronic copies in addition to the printed copies, but are not required to do so.
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 referral, please see Section 7 below.
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.
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:
You have two options:
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.
Sections 3 and 4 above explain whether the 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.
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.
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.
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'
If your thesis is referred, and you are asked to revise and resubmit your thesis for examination, you should submit the revised copies of your thesis to RSA, following the procedure set out in Section 3 above. A re-examination fee is payable through the online store. If you have any queries please email RSA. Please note that your thesis will not be sent for examination until the re-examination fee has been paid.
The month/year of submission remains the month/year in which the thesis was first submitted for examination.
Theses can be softbound for a modest charge by DP Online.
For hardbound theses you may find the following useful:
This is the only accepted layout.
- Only to be included if more than one volume (not copy).
- Your name as it appears in the University's student record.
- PhD, MPhil, EngD, MA(res) or MSc(res).
- Do not include the words 'Department'/'Centre of'. For authorised Department/Centre names see section 6.
- 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.
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:
Guidance on redaction and embargo issues is provided at http://subjectguides.york.ac.uk/copyright/studying.
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:
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.
- Before submitting
- Presentation of theses and dissertations
- Submission of theses and dissertations for examination
- Deposit of theses and dissertations after examination
- Softbound and hardbound theses and dissertations
- Names of departments and centres
- Hardbound theses and dissertations: lettering of cover and spine
- Availability of theses and dissertations