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Final Submission and Graduation

At the end of the examination process, PhD and MPhil students are required to submit the final version of their thesis to the College Office Postgraduate Section in order to meet the requirements to be awarded with their degree.

Final Submission Documentation Checklist

Students are required to submit the following Final Submission Documentation to the College Office in order to become eligible to be awarded and graduate:

  • One hard-bound copy of the final version of your thesis, conforming to the University's Thesis Format and Binding Guidelines.  The University no longer has facilities to hard-bind books; however, a list of suggested commercial book-binders can be found here.  If you began your research degree on or before 1st September 2005 you are allowed to submit 2 hard-bound theses (rather than one hard-bound thesis and one CD).
  • At the front of the thesis, students are required to incorporate a signed declaration. The declaration must state:
    (a) that the thesis has been composed by the candidate, and
    (b) either that the work is the candidate's own, or, if the candidate has been a member of a research group, that the candidate has made a substantial contribution to the work, such contribution being clearly indicated, and
    (c) that the work has not been submitted for any other degree or professional qualification except as specified.
    Students must ensure the declaration has been signed and dated by themselves.  If you are unable to sign the page after the thesis has been printed, please insert an image of your signature on the Declaration Page before printing.
  • One electronic version on CD, including:
    1) a PDF version (for uploading to the Edinburgh Research Archive (ERA)
    2) the original word processor files (where possible) for digital preservation purposes
  • One completed thesis CD cover sleeve on which students should note whether or not they wish to take up the option of restricting access to the electronic version of their thesis for a limited one year period. Should a student need access to the electronic version of his/her thesis to be restricted for longer then one year then this must be authorised by the Head of School (as with restriction on access to the hard copy of a thesis via completion of the "Access to thesis" form).
  • One completed Access to a Thesis form.  If you require your thesis to be restricted, the form must be signed by the Deputy Head of Graduate School.  If you are unsure if access to your thesis should be restricted, speak to your supervisor.  You must sign the second page of this form even if the thesis is not to be restricted.
  • One completed Abstract of Thesis forms. This must be completed on one side of A4 only (see example abstract form).

    Please note, if the abstract does not initially fit on the form, the form can be reformatted (i.e. the size of the font can be changed and unnecessary lines deleted) - see Reformatted Abstract form.

  • One completed  Lay Summary of Thesis Form The thesis must include a lay summary, which is not counted in the word count. The lay summary must be no longer than can be accommodated in single space type on one side only of a single form obtainable from the College Office. Lay summaries should conform to the requirements of the Regulatory Standards for the Format and Binding of a Thesis. In addition, the lay summary should be incorporated at the beginning of each copy of the thesis. For guidance please see Guidance for Lay Summary
  • Provide College Office with a current mailing address.  The College Office will send your award letter to the address you provided on your Notice of Intention to Submit form.  If your address has changed since then, please complete the College Office Change of Address form and return it to the College Office either in person, by post or by email:


When you have received your Award letter from the College Office you are then eligible to graduate during the next graduation diet.  You must register to graduate at least 21 days before the Graduation diet begins. 

Please note, there is a deadline for registering to graduate - usually 21 days before the first graduation day of the graduation diet.  If you are not a graduate of the University of Edinburgh you must pay a £40 registration fee in order to graduate (regardless of whether you intend on attending the ceremony or not); the registration fee is to become a member of the General Council.  If you do not register in time, you will automatically be registered to 'graduate in absentia' (not attending the ceremony), and you will be chased for payment of the registration fee.

Further information on Graduations can be found on the Academic Registry 'Graduations' pages.  If you have any questions about Graduations please contact the Graduations team: 


Useful Links
PGR Assessment Regulations - in particular Regulations 45-48

Code of practice - in particular Section 5.12

Graduations - Academic Registry

Plagiarism - Discipline, Information Services

Plagiarism prevention and Detection - Information Services