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Durham University

Graduate School

Submitting your Final Thesis

Research degree candidates should submit the following:

  • one electronic copy of their thesis in pdf format;
  • their response to the PGR examination questionnaire.

Candidates are expected to submit this documentation within 3-4 weeks of receiving their successful outcome letters. Candidates are not required to submit a hard bound copy of the thesis.

Electronic Submission

Electronic theses will be submitted and made freely available via the open access e-Theses repository at:

More information about the submission procedure can be found at this address.

The E-theses Repository

The Durham repository exists in the context of the development of the national Electronic Theses Online System (EThOS) based at the British Library, which is supported by repositories at many competitor institutions. The Durham e-Theses repository will increase the visibility of research produced by the institution while promoting the work of the individual scholar.

As electronic theses are much more widely available than was previously the case, it is particularly important that candidates take reasonable care not to infringe third party copyright. In line with good academic practice, candidates should obtain the permission of rights-holders for re-use of anything other than short extracts. Copyright legislation covers a wide range of materials including images, maps, diagrams, tables and musical works.

In exceptional cases (due to corporate interest or pending patents) candidates may still request an embargo, which will delay public access to the online thesis. However, these candidates must still submit an electronic copy to the repository.

All questions should be directed to the Academic Support Office on extension 46487 or email

Attending Congregation

Please note: if you wish to attend congregation, you will need to register for the ceremony by the registration deadline (available from the Ceremonies webpages below), and you will need to have uploaded your final thesis by the pass list deadline.

The deadline for uploading your thesis is:

  • for Summer Congregation: 5th June 2020
  • for Winter Congregation: 29th November 2019

Further information on congregation is available from the Ceremonies webpages:

RCUK-funded students

Students who are fully or partially funded by one of the UK Research Councils must conform with the RCUK policy on open access (as set out in the Training Guide).The policy applies to any student funded or partially funded by one of the following: AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC and STFC.

There are two key requirements:

  1. The full text version of the thesis should be available from an open access repository no longer than 12 months following the award of the doctorate. Authors who identify themselves as RCUK funded on their submission form will normally only be allowed to request an embargo of a maximum of 12 months.
  2. The research must acknowledge the support of the funder. Some advice on standardised wording to acknowledge funding can be found at:

Further information: RCUK Training Grant Guide (paragraphs 37-39)

Conditions of Research Councils Training Grants:

Additional requirements for EPSRC funded students

From May 1st 2015 all EPSRC funded research, including the work of PHD students, must comply with EPSRC policy framework on research data.

One of the key requirements of this policy is that published research (including e-theses) must include short statement describing how, and on what terms, any supporting research data may be accessed. In addition, descriptive information about the research data must be made available through a digital object identifier (DOI).

Please contact the University Research Data Manager (Nick Syrotiuk) to discuss further steps in depositing research data and obtaining a DOI.