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Student handing in thesis

Thesis submission

You are required to submit a thesis for examination after your period of registered study and before the conclusion of the thesis-pending period. 

The thesis must be the result of the your own work, done mainly while you were registered as a student of this University.

Electronic version saved as a searchable PDF, should be submitted to Student Services (via eprints), which will forward the thesis to the Examiners.

The information on this page will signpost you to different processes, policies and detailed instructions on submission. More detailed information can be found in submission pack.

Word count

The thesis should not be more than 100,000 words in the case of PhD or 60,000                    words in the case of MPhil (in both cases inclusive of appendices, footnotes, tables,        and bibliography); the University may withhold from examination a thesis that                              exceeds these word limits.


Proof readers

A proof-reader may only ensure that the meaning of the author is not misrepresented due to the quality and standard of the English used. This can include correcting spelling and basic grammar errors.

Inaccuracies in academic content should not be corrected nor should the structure of the piece of work be changed; doing so may result in a charge of plagiarism.


Format of thesis


Your should submit your thesis electronically via the University Eprints system. Your Thesis should be presented on A4 size, normally with 12 font typescript. There should be a margin of at least 1.5 inches, preferably 2 inches (5cm), on the left side of the page, both for typescript and diagrams, to allow for binding (if required).                        

Other margins should be of at least 1 inch (2.5 cm). Work should be saved as searchable PDF.


Alternative formats

Alternative formats

Alternative formats for submission may apply. For certain doctorates (Music, Creative Writing, Drama and Performance Practice as Research, Translation Studies) an appendix detailing submission requirements is available.

For more information, please visit the University Quality Manual for further guidance here.

You are also allowed to submit by published works, please consult your supervisor and also refer to the University guidance here

Quality Manual alternative formats guidance


Submission deadline

You are required to submit your thesis for examination by the submission deadline notified to you during your course of studies.  In exceptional circumstances, you can apply for an extension to your submission deadline, in line with the extension to thesis pending policy, here.

If your submission deadline falls on a non-working day then you are permitted to submit on a first working day after this deadline.

Please also see here for key dates for gradation guidance.

Note: Even when they have been correctly observed, no guarantee can be given that the necessary examination procedures will have been completed in time for a candidate to graduate at the next degree congregation.

Extension to Thesis pending form

Quality Manual thesis pending policy


Notification of Submission

You are required to submit a thesis for examination before the conclusion of the thesis-pending period. You must give formal notice of at least 3 months to your School of your intention to submit.

The School should ensure that Student Services office is informed so that the procedure for appointing examiners can be initiated. Any delay in submitting your Notification of submission form can lead to a delay in your examination taking place. For more information on the examination process please go here.

Your supervisor’s signature on the Notification of submission of thesis form acts as confirmation that:

  • the thesis is the result of work done mainly while you have been registered as a student of The University of Nottingham
  • you have been given appropriate plagiarism guidance
  • you have been advised on thesis embargo and/or restriction
  • if appropriate to your discipline, you are aware of the requirement to submit all data collected during the period of study as a research student of this University, to your School prior to arrangement of the viva voce examination.

Upon receipt of your completed form, Student Services will ask your School to nominate examiners. When approved, we will email you with the names of your examiners, asking you to declare any possible conflict of interest.

Notification of submission form



Late submission

You are required to submit your thesis for examination by the submission deadline notified to you during your course of studies.  Full time doctoral students submitting a thesis after this deadline, without receiving formal approval from the University for an extension of time, will be permitted to submit up to 12 months after their latest submission date as long as the maximum period from initial registration has not been reached.  

Once the work has been submitted the late submission fee for each month or part month (as per the  University Fee Schedule, please see under Postgraduate Research – Exceptional Fees – Current Academic Year) that passes between your expected submission date and the date that your thesis is actually submitted will be raised and is payable immediately.

For students who are not on doctoral programmes, or who are not full time, or for whom this is not the first submission, there is no recourse to submit a thesis late and an extension to thesis pending must be requested.

Quality Manual: policy on extension to thesis pending

Quality Manual maximum period from initial registration


How to submit

You are required to upload an electronic version of your thesis for examination, in searchable PDF format.  This should be completed via eprints.

You use the same platform and process for uploading your first submission, as well as corrections and/or re-submission.  Once the degree has been conferred, your final version will be retained for publication in the repository, all other copies will be deleted.

For detailed instructions please visit the uploading your thesis webpage.


What happens with my submission

Your submission will be checked by the Student Services team. There is no automated email from the system to confirm submission, but the Student Services team will email you once they process your thesis. Please do not be alarmed by the notification of 'Item Destroyed' automately generated message, this is the team downloading your thesis from the system. 

First submissions, corrections and re-submission will be forwarded to examiner(s) for examination and/or final approvals.

The final version will be retained for publication in the repository, unless you indicate a different preference. See Uploading Thesis webpage for detailed instructions. 


Publishing your thesis: open access, embargo or restriction

Unless you indicate a different preference, the public version of the thesis will be  published online once the degree has been conferred. You may prefer to select the option to make your thesis fully open access as recommended by many funding bodies.

You may also wish to delay online publication of the full text by requesting an embargo period, of up to 2 years*, to allow publication through alternative channels. Please note: If you wish to request any further delay to online publication, beyond the initial embargo period please enquire by emailing

Note that with embargoed theses, while the full text is not publicly available, the bibliographic details (author, title and abstract) are discoverable and available to read. You must discuss these options with your supervisor. You request embargo at the point of submitting your thesis to e-prints.

*For Creative writing students, an extended embargo of up to 7 years is permissible.

In special cases, if a thesis includes work which is politically, commercially or industrially sensitive, the University Senate may impose a restriction on a thesis for a period of 2 years from the date of the award of the degree, if requested to do so.

You will need to apply to Quality and Standards committee, by completing Application for restriction form. For more information refer to the policy, here.

Application for restriction form

Quality Manual application for restriction policy



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