Accessibility statement

Extension of submission deadline




An extension of submission is required for a student who has not submitted their theses or dissertation within the normal period of full time enrolment (including writing-up periods).

Writing up periods

  • MA/MSc Taught programmes – FT and PT students must submit all required work by the completion date of their program;
  • MA/MSc Research programmes – FT and PT students are allowed a further period of up to three months in which to complete the writing up of their dissertation;
  • MPhil, PhD and EngD Research programmes - FT and PT student are allowed a further period of up to one year in which to complete the writing up of their thesis.

Students are expected to submit their thesis or dissertation to the Examinations Office on or before their submission deadline. If a submission deadline is missed, the Examinations Office WILL NOT accept submission until an extension has been recommended and approved.

Please note: Students DO NOT require an extension where the submission deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, Bank Holiday or during the Examinations Office’s closed period over the Christmas vacation, submission will be accepted on the next working day after the deadline. (e.g. if the submission deadline was 31 December 2010, the student would be expected to submit the next working day for submission, which was 04 January 2011).

Extensions beyond the writing up period allowed to research students, or beyond the completion date for taught postgraduate students, are granted only in exceptional circumstances. This is where the student’s work has been hampered by documented medical, personal reasons, unexpected academic circumstances or exceptional circumstances arising from employment. The magnitude of the research task, or failure on the part of the candidate to perceive or act upon the magnitude of the research task, is NOT a sufficient reason for an extension. If a student wishes to apply for an extension of submission, they must apply in advance for permission to do so.

Extension of submission is also granted for students where the department has recommended the student for a lower award, in order to allow students time to compile their research for submission.

If a student’s thesis was referred for revision and resubmission, they can also apply for extension of resubmission using the same guidelines.

As far as possible, the student should apply for extension of submission form (with evidence) before the submission deadline, as the extension may not always be approved. Any student can apply for an extension of submission, however, approval for an extension period is not guaranteed.



Extension of submission should normally be limited to six months, unless a compelling case is made for a longer period of up to a maximum of one year. The total period of extension that may normally be approved for a candidate is a maximum of two years.

The proposed extended date must be agreed by candidate, supervisor and graduate chair, and be justified by the circumstances. The Special Cases Committee can decide to approve a shorter, interim extension; or may require interim progress reports to be submitted.

Further years of extension of submission are normally only granted on significant extenuating circumstances and require special permission from the Special Cases Committee.

Extensions of submission are covered by Regulations 2.82 and the Code of Practice on Research Degree Programmes (section 11).


Criteria and conditions

Not supporting an extension

A department has the right not to support an extension of a student if they feel that the reasons behind the extension request are not valid or the student’s work is of sub-standard quality and will not pass examination.

The student must be promptly and clearly informed of the decision, clearly stating the reasons for the decision. Please ensure that you state in the letter that the student has the right to appeal within 28 days of receiving official notice of the recommendation or decision and direct them to the appeals website for more information. If the department decides not to support an extension the student does NOT have a right to appeal the academic judgement (see regulation 2.8.1a) but can appeal on any other accepted grounds (see regulation 2.8.1).

Lower Award

If the department recommends the student for a lower award, and the student has consented to the decision, an extension may be approved so that a student can compile their current work in order for it to be examined. For these instances, the department must also complete a [Transfer of Programme Form] and submit it with the extension of submission form.

Extension of resubmission

If a student’s thesis was referred for revision and resubmission, they can also apply for extension of resubmission using the same guidelines and application form.

Tier 4 (Student) visas

If the student requesting the extension is an overseas student, please ensure that the student has consulted with an Immigration Adviser before approving the leave of absence.

UK Visas and Immigration – sponsorship compliance:

Changes must be notified to UKVI within 10 days of the University approving the change in circumstance. Academic Departments must allow time for processing to be undertaken on the SITS Student Record system within this 10 day reporting window. All decisions should therefore be communicated to Registry Services as soon as they are known.

  • Please see the immigration website for more information


Please ensure that it is stated on the extension of submission request whether the student receives any funding from an external source: research council studentships, foreign loans, sponsors, scholarships, charities, etc. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the proposed extension is compatible with the regulations of any granting agency and that such agencies are informed of the proposed extension.

Externally funded scholarships (eg Research council studentships)

Many of the funding bodies apply sanctions to the departments if the students do not submit their theses within four years from the start of registration.

In general, students can apply for an extension to the submission date for reasons such as maternity, illness or other exceptional personal circumstances. External funders (eg research councils) often have different conditions around absences and the same funder can also apply different conditions to different types of awards. Please check the external funder’s guidelines and speak to the appropriate contact with any questions. The University may be required to submit documentation to support such a case.

Most research councils WILL NOT consider or approve a request to extend the submission deadline:

  • on the grounds that they have taken up employment (regardless of how relevant the grounds may be)
  • any retrospective extension request
  • any request where the University was not informed at the time about difficulties which arose during the course of the studentship or about periods of suspension
  • periods of illness if appropriate medical certificates were not submitted

External Funding bodies (eg Research Councils) will usually only fund students for the period originally indicated at the beginning of the award. Students in this circumstance should be made aware that if they require an extension to their original enrolment period they will NOT normally receive any extra funding from the external funder. Please check the external funder’s guidelines and speak to the appropriate contact with any questions.

How to apply

How to apply

All recommendations for extension of submission must be on the appropriate form.‌

In proposing an extension, the department should consider the implications for the topicality of the research, and the continuity of the programme and of supervision.


Relevant supporting documentation must be attached to the extension of submission request. If there is no evidence attached the request it will not be considered until it has been received. If a student is applying for a continuation of a current extension of submission, they must include recent up-to-date evidence to support the new extension request.

Students can submit an Extension of Submission Request to the department with scanned copies of evidence but original hard copies of documents must be submitted to the department before the request is forwarded for consideration. Original hard copies of evidence should be scanned and attached to extension of submission request once the original copies have been seen.

Evidence includes but is not limited to: medical certificate or doctor/counsellor letter; death certificate or other dated evidence of bereavement; confirmation of maternity; letter from an employer; financial statement or written affidavit. Any written letter should state the grounds for extension of submission and duration of treatment.

Please note: A letter from the Open Door team is NOT considered medical evidence, and further evidence may be required in order to have the extension of submission approved.


If a student wishes to apply for an extension of submission, they should approach their supervisor and discuss their options. The student can then complete the Part A on the Extension of Submission Form and forward it to their supervisor. The supervisor and department should then complete Sections B and C of the form.

Before the form is submitted please ensure that the following information is included:

  • Confirmation that the details the student has entered, including end date of the proposed extension of submission are correct
  • Any relevant evidence is attached (such as a medical letter). Original hard copies of documents must be submitted to the department and scanned before the request will be considered or approved
  • Details of any outside funding (i.e. Research councils, foreign student loans, etc.)
  • Statement from the supervisor stating support for extension of submission
  • List any previous extension of submission deadlines
  • "Electronic" Signature Confirmation of Supervisor/Chair of the Graduate School Board/Board of Studies

Once all the necessary signatures have been obtained, along with the required evidence, the completed form should be emailed from the Chair Graduate School Board/Board of Studies email address (or the Chair Board of Studies must be copied into the email address for the extension of submission to be processed) to

Please note: Where the length of the extension requested is not justified by the circumstances, in the Special Cases Committee’s judgement, a shorter interim extension may be approved, or may require interim progress reports to be submitted. The Committee may also determine that any extension approved is a final extension.

After an extension has been approved, the student and department will receive an extension of submission email confirmation, confirming the new submission deadline and any required conditions.

Who to contact

For information on externally funded scholarships (eg research council studentship), please contact:

Research Student Administration Team

Registry Services
University of York
Heslington YORK YO10 5DD
  • For Arts and Humanities: 01904 32 3374
  • For Sciences: 01904 32 4644
  • For Social Sciences: 01904 32 2141

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