Thesis submission and examination

Submission pending

If you cannot submit your thesis by the end of the standard period of the degree programme, you need to apply for a period of submission pending for the purpose of preparing the thesis for submission. A fee will be payable for any such submission pending registration that is granted by the University.

Thesis presentation

Your thesis should be presented in accordance with University of Manchester guidelines. The University has also prepared a statement on proofreading and some useful information about writing your thesis.

Thesis submission

It is expected that you will complete your PhD within the standard length of the programme. However, the University recognises that there may, on occasion be justifiable reasons for early or indeed late submission. You can also ask for permission to submit your thesis in the non-traditional format (eg three papers tied together).

Thesis examination

You can expect your viva examination to take place around six to eight weeks after submission. To find useful information about your viva, tips on how to prepare and examination policies, please visit:

Results and award

The Doctoral Programmes Office will write to you with the outcome of your viva examination, along with the required next steps.

Thesis extensions

Please visit the 'Policies and guidance' section for more information about extending the 'Prescribed Period of Programme':

Submission pending

Registration on Submission Pending Period

You are expected to complete all research degree work, including the writing up of the thesis, within the standard period of the degree programme.

If you cannot submit your thesis by the end of the standard period of the degree programme, you need to apply to register for a period of submission pending for the purpose of preparing the thesis for submission.

To check eligibility and apply for the registration, please refer to the Faculty Guiding Principles and for the Submission Pending Period and the University Submission Pending Procedure for PGR Students and submit the application to the School PGR Office.

You are required to submit the thesis no later than the end of Submission Pending Period, providing six weeks notice is given and should follow the usual thesis submission procedures.

Progress will be monitored via eProg during the Submission Pending period. Students and supervisors should meet prior to the Submission Pending year to formalise the timetable for thesis writing and to agree on a schedule for supervision during this period. Students who have not submitted their thesis by the end of the Submission Pending period will have their automatic right to submit withdrawn.

To apply for registration to the Submission Pending period, please complete the Submission Pending Application form in liaison with your supervisory team and send it to

A £225 fee will be payable for the submission pending period registration. 

Thesis presentation

The thesis must be presented according to the University’s ‘Presentation of Theses Policy’. The document can be found here: 

Theses that do not adhere to the University’s ‘Presentation of Theses Policy’ may not be accepted for examination. You must submit an electronic version of your thesis through the My Manchester portalWe recommend using Firefox or Chrome for submissions. Please also ensure that your ‘pop up blocker’ is turned off.

Standard of written English and proofreading information

Theses must achieve a universally acceptable standard of writing. Prior to submitting your thesis, you are advised to have it professionally proofread and corrected. You can find more information about this in the following document:

The final draft of the thesis should be submitted to your supervisor(s) before forwarding to the proof-reader.

University statement on proofreading

If a student chooses to approach another person to proofread their written work or seeks to use the services of a proofreading service or agency, they must take account of the following principles:

  1. It is the responsibility of students to ensure that all work submitted is their own, and that it represents their own abilities and understanding. Any proofreading of work that is undertaken by a third party must not compromise the student’s own authorship of the work
  2. Proofreading undertaken by a third party must not take the form of editing of text, such as the adding or rewriting of phrases or passages within a piece of student’s work
  3. Proofreading undertaken by a third party must not change the content or meaning of the work in any way.

No allowance will be made for English not being the first language in the examining of the thesis.

Thesis submission and open access

Notice of submission

To prepare your thesis submission, you must give at least six weeks’ notice through eProg. A ‘Notice of Submission Form’ must be completed six weeks prior to your intended submission; this is the first stage in the examination process. Please log in to eProg to give notice of submission.

Please read the University policies related to the thesis examination carefully before submitting your thesis.

Also, we recommend that you prepare for your eThesis submission in advance by:

  • Familiarising yourself with the University's Presentation of Theses policy
  • Considering any third-party claims on the Intellectual Property (IP) and copyright of your thesis
  • Considering and discussing with your supervisor the appropriate access level for your final thesis

Submitting a journal format thesis 

There is no requirement to request permission to submit in journal format. However, it is important that you discuss the relative merits of this format with your supervisory team, and ensure that you pick the right format for you and your project. Further guidance is available in Journal Format Theses - Guiding Principles for Students and Staff.

Early submission or deadline extension

If there are mitigating circumstances that prevent you from submitting the thesis by the deadline, you must apply for permission to extend the deadline. Please contact your School PGR office for advice.

If you intend to submit your thesis early (three months before your programme end date for a full-time student or six months for part-time students), please contact your School PGR office to apply for special permission to submit early.

All applications for early or late submission need to be formally considered by your school office.

You should seek the advice of the Doctoral Academy when the thesis is nearing a standard suitable for submission and when to give notice of submission in eProg. You should also seek your supervisor’s opinion on your proposed submission date, though please note that whilst this is advised, you may decide when to submit and if to follow the advice of your supervisor(s). Equally, the agreement of the supervisor(s) to the submission of a thesis does not guarantee the award of the degree.


The University of Manchester requires the mandatory submission of electronic theses for all PhD, Professional Doctorate and MPhil degrees through the University eThesis system. The Doctoral Academy has responsibility for the handling and processing of PhD theses. For further information on how to submit your thesis electronically please visit: 

You will need to upload to eThesis – Go to 'My Manchester' and log in using your usual University username and password. We recommend using Firefox or Chrome for submissions. Please also ensure that you ‘pop up block’ is turned off.

Thesis binding

Bound copies of the thesis are not required. However, if you require your own copy, binding services include:

Guidance for resubmission 

Resubmission procedures are identical to those for first submission except that you must pay a fee, when you submit your Notice of Resubmission form. You must submit a Notice of Resubmission form in eProg at least six weeks before you wish to resubmit. 

It is important that candidates who are required to resubmit their theses will be made aware of any points which the examiners require to be covered in the resubmission. Candidates are expected to liaise with the supervisor(s) regarding the nature of the revisions required. Should any of the points raised by your examiners be unclear you may ask for clarification from your internal examiner. When conducting the examination for a resubmitted thesis, examiners will pay particular attention to the manner in which the candidate has revised the thesis in response to their original report

Open access

What is open access?

Open Access (OA) means that items of scholarly work are made available online, in a digital format, at no charge to the reader and with limited restrictions on re-use.  The University Publications Policy which applies to all research staff and students sets out to ensure that output arising from publically funded research is widely disseminated and made freely accessible. The Policy is based on the Open Access requirements of various research funders:  the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the UK Research Councils (UKRI) and the Wellcome Trust. 

For you, making your research Open Access can support the development of a researcher profile by increasing visibility of your research and allows you to gain experience of OA without compromising future publication strategies (many publishers do not consider a thesis to be a prior publication).

Postgraduate research thesis

The University's Presentation of Theses policy requires that all final postgraduate research theses are made Open Access within 12 months of submission unless an exception to the policy is required. You will select your preferred access level for your final eThesis submission. This is subject to approval by your supervisor. Most students will be able to comply with the policy by selecting either immediate Open Access or Open Access with a 12-month embargo. It may not be possible for some students to comply with the policy, in which case an exception to the policy can be requested. More information on access requirements for your final postgraduate research thesis can be found via the eThesis Support Service webpages:

Final eThesis submissions are available via the institutional repository, Pure, and discoverable via the University’s Research Explorer and Library Search.

For students funded by UK research councils, their PhD theses must also be made open access through the University’s repository (eThesis). Please see more information in the UKRI Terms and Conditions of Research Council Training Grants.

As a PGR student, what output do I make open access?

If you are publishing research outputs during your time at Manchester, you need to make them Open Access. There are two ways of doing this and the best option for you will depend on your funding situation and output type.

You may wish to publish your work Gold OA, where it’s immediately available on publication via the publisher’s website and with limited restrictions on reuse. This method is required by certain funders. Some publishers levy an Article Processing Charge (APC) for Gold OA, so it is worth investigating your funding options.

Alternatively, most authors will be able to make their work Open Access via a repository, a method known as Green Open Access. The Library can advise you on depositing the appropriate version of your work, and setting any embargo required by the publisher. There is no additional cost associated with Green Open Access.

Further information regarding different types of Open Access, institutional and funder requirements, how to deposit your publication and funding for APCs can be found here:

Thesis examination

Appointment of examiners

Examiners are appointed by the candidate’s School and approved by the Chair of the School PGR Committee. Two examiners (normally one internal and one external) will be appointed, their function being to make a recommendation to the Committee about the award of a research degree. Your supervisor(s) must not serve as the internal examiner.

Consultation in the appointment of nominated examiners

You should be consulted when deciding upon appropriate examiners. Although you do not necessarily have the right to veto any particular nomination, you can appeal against an examiner nomination. If you are unhappy with the choice of examiners you should put your objections in writing to the Doctoral Academy.

Substantial grounds for objecting to a particular examiner might be:

  • That the candidate has had too close a connection with either examiner, on either a personal or professional basis.
  • That there is felt to be too close a relationship between the examiners themselves (e.g. they are partners/relatives or they are directors of the same company).
  • That there is evidence of dispute between an examiner and the candidate.

Oral examination

All candidates for the degree of PhD and MPhil will be required to attend an oral examination. (There are circumstances, however, where the internal and external examiners may agree to dispense with the oral examination for an MPhil thesis.) The oral must take place without undue delay, normally within 12 weeks. The external examiner should liaise with the internal examiner on the timing of the examination of the thesis. The internal examiner may also consult the candidate’s supervisor(s) and the candidate about the oral examination arrangements.

Through the oral, the examiners satisfy themselves that the thesis is the candidate’s own work, and clarify any ambiguities in the thesis. It also allows the candidate to relate the thesis to a broader field of study, and to demonstrate a knowledge and appreciation of adjoining fields which is up to the standard expected for the award of the degree.

Oral examinations must be held on University premises and will be attended by all the examiners. It is the internal examiner’s responsibility to book a room and to notify the PGR Office in eProg, at least ten days in advance, of the date, time and room for the oral. Oral exams are automatically open to University staff, PGR students and the supervisors, but the candidate has the right to exclude any individual.

Useful links in preparation for your viva

Submission and confidentiality of examination reports

Examiners are asked to ensure that there is no unnecessary delay between the examination of a thesis and their submission of a report. Completed examiners' reports (pre-oral and joint Examiners Report Form) must be submitted to eProg within five working days of the oral examination and will be made available to you via eProg once the recommendation has been ratified.

Examination policies

Results and award

Criteria for the award of the degree 

A successful PhD thesis must show evidence of originality and independent critical judgment and constitute an addition to knowledge (such as can reasonably be achieved within the period of registration). Original research is not a basic requirement for the degree of MPhil in the way that it is for the PhD, although naturally it is not ruled out, but the candidate must demonstrate full knowledge of existing scholarship in the field specified by the thesis title, show competence in the relevant methods of research, and present material with clarity and evidence of independent judgment. 

Details of the possible outcomes of your viva examination can be found in relevant Examination Policies.

The Doctoral Academy will write to you with the outcome of your viva examination, along with the required next steps.

When you have been recommended for award of the degree, you will be asked to submit a final version of your thesis through electronic theses submission. 

When you have submitted your final thesis into the eThesis window and it has been checked against the Presentation of Theses Policy, your student record will be completed and marked for graduation.

Appeals procedure

In accordance with the University’s Regulations XIX governing academic appeals, if you believe your case has not been dealt with properly or that the outcome is unreasonable, you may appeal against this decision by writing to the University Student Appeals and Complaints Coordinator.   

Examiners will be made aware, that, under the University’s Regulations Governing Academic Appeals at Postgraduate Research Level, in the event of an appeal, and notwithstanding their confidential nature, the examiners’ reports would be made available later to the Graduate Appeals Committee. 

Before initiating an appeal, you are strongly advised to discuss the matter with your supervisor(s), or the School PGR Director or any other appropriate person in the School. If the matter remains unresolved, you may invoke the formal appeal procedure. 

Important note: access to your IT account following degree completion

You have access to IT facilities including email, eProg and personal storage space during the prescribed period of your programme, the submission pending period and the time leading up to and including your thesis examination. Access to these facilities is terminated on the date of graduation. We, therefore, advise you to ensure all data and files you wish to retain beyond the date of your graduation are safely transferred ahead of that date to prevent loss of work.