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Thesis submission guidelines

The University of Manchester has very strict guidelines relating to the submission of research theses. These guidelines are updated from time-to-time and PGRs in the final stages of their thesis are expected to consult the documents regularly in the run up to examination.

All University policies relating to Postgraduate Submission and Examination can be found under the PGR Code of Practice on the Graduate Education website. The most important policy is the 'Presentation of Theses Policy' which outlines how to format and present the thesis for examination. These guidelines must be adhered to in full to avoid the rejection of the thesis for examination.

There are several key stages of thesis submission and completion:

Editing, Proofreading & Formatting the Thesis

Please consult the Presentation of Theses Policy for detailed guidelines on formatting the thesis.

Notice of submission

Postgraduate research candidates must provide the University with notice of submission no more than 6 months and no less than 6 weeks prior to the intended submission date. This is so that reasonable steps can be taken to appoint both the internal and external examiners and to set a date for the Viva examination. The PGR Administrator will also arrange to open up a window in eScholar for the e-submission of the thesis (please consult the electronic submission or eScholar section below). Candidates must also consult the policy below:

Notice of submission forms are available on the Intranet of each School and from the relevant PGR Administrator. Please note that it is the candidate's responsibility to consult with their supervisor when the thesis is nearing completion to ensure that it is ready for examination.

Nomination of examiners

PGRs do have a say in the selection of their examiners and supervisors must consult the candidate when making their decision. The Viva will normally take place within 8 and 12 weeks of submitting the thesis. Examiners must be recruited using the guidance below:

Submission of thesis

Electronic Submission

Postgraduate research candidates are required to submit their thesis both in electronic and hard-copy format. All electronic submissions are processed through eThesis. Once the notice of submission form has been completed the relevant PGR administrator will open a window for the electronic submission of the thesis in the candidate's student portal. The candidate then has up until their notified submission date to deposit their thesis electronically.

For all information regarding electronic submission for PGRs please visit the 'eThesis' section of The University of Manchester Library website.

Should I restrict access to my thesis?

One of the decisions that candidates have to make is whether or not to restrict access to their thesis once they have submitted it electronically. Questions about Open Access and Publishing have been answered on the eThesis page, although the rule of thumb is that, if the candidate plans to publish any part of their thesis in the next few years, to organise for the thesis to remain closed access for a few years after submission.

Viva examination

For details of the viva examination please consult the section on viva and also the University examination policies

Further reading

  • Cryer, P., The Research Student's Guide to Success (OUP, 2004)
  • Murray, R., How to Survive Your Viva (OUP, 2nd Edn, 2009)
  • Tinkler, P & Jackson, C., The Doctoral Examination Process (OUP, 2004)
  • Tinkler, P & Jackson, C., 'The Viva' in The Postgraduate's Companion (SAGE, 2008)

Useful websites