Preparing to Submit your Thesis


The following information is provided to support and guide you through what is required When you come to submit your thesis.


Changes due to COVID-19

Until further notice, bound copies of your work will not be required. Please submit your thesis through Turnitin, as we are able to use this version for your examination. All other examination paperwork should be emailed to your School PGR Admin Support team.



It is important to make sure you know what the deadline is for submitting your thesis. You School will confirm your deadlines and will also send out reminders. If you are in any doubt, speak to your School PGR Admin Team, but please remember it is your responsibility to submit on time.

If you fail to submit your thesis by your deadline then you risk being withdrawn from your studies for non-submission.

Am I ready to submit?

It is likely you have had times when it has been hard to get going with your writing, so it is understandable that you may now be uncertain about bringing yourself to letting it go. Your supervisors are there to provide you with guidance on your work, but ultimately, you are responsible for deciding whether your thesis is ready for submission.

You may wish to consider the following in planning towards your submission:

  • When will you have a final draft to give to your supervisor?
  • How long will they need to read it and make comments?
  • Does this give you sufficient time to address and make any recommended changes ahead of your submission date?
  • Do you intend to have your work proof read before submission? If so, please ensure you have read the University’s Proof Reading Policy.
  • Is there anything else you need to take into account (for example, does your supervisor have annual leave planned, what time will be required for printing the requisite number of copies for the submission)?

Remember that you must submit your thesis by the end of your final year or writing-up period. You will be expected to have worked towards this date and made plans to submit on time. The University rarely approves extensions at this late stage, so if you are experiencing issues that impact your progress, please raise these with your supervisor as soon as possible.


On track to submit meeting

A compulsory part of your programme is for you to meet with your supervisor to formally discuss that you are on track to submit your thesis on time.

For Master’s candidates – this should take place one month before you are due to submit.

For Doctoral candidates – this should take place three months before you are due to submit.

The meeting should be recorded in SkillsForge as you would do for any other supervision meeting.


What to do if you cannot submit on time

You are expected to meet your submission deadlines, but we do understand that you may experience challenging personal or health-relating circumstances during your study.

If you are experiencing any problems that affect your progress, please discuss this with your supervisor as soon as possible so the options that are available to you can be explored.

If you are experiencing either a short-term illness or personal difficulty you may be able to apply for an extension. Please note that at the very end of your degree we only allow extensions in limited exceptional circumstances and requests must be supported by independent evidence.


Format and layout of your thesis

Font type and size

Typing should be double or one and a half line spaced, except for the abstract which must be single spaced, on one side of A4 of approximately 300 words. A font type and size that ensures readability must be used for the main text (for example 12 point in a font such as Arial or Verdana); single spacing may be used for quotations, footnotes and references.

Page numbering

Page numbering should consist of one single sequence of standard Arabic numerals (i.e., 1, 2, 3 …) throughout the thesis, starting with the title page as page number 1. Page numbers must be displayed on all pages (including appendices) except the title page, and should extend to cover all volumes in a multi-volume thesis.  


Pages can be printed single or double-sided.

Title Page

The title page should give the following information:

  • The full title of the thesis
  • Your full name as author (which must be the same as the name under which you are enrolled)
  • The award for which the degree is submitted in partial fulfilment of its requirements
  • That the degree is awarded by the University of Huddersfield
  • The name of a Collaborating Establishment (this is only applicable where the research project is part of a formal agreement with the University)
  • The year and month of your initial submission or resubmission.

Multiple volumes

Where a thesis consists of more than one volume, each volume must contain a title page in the format set out above, but also include the appropriate number and the total number of volumes (e.g. Volume 1 of 3).

List of contents

Your thesis must have a list of contents, giving all relevant sub-divisions of the thesis and a page number for each item. In a multi-volume thesis the contents page in the first volume must show the complete contents of the thesis, volume-by-volume, and each subsequent volume must have a contents page giving the contents of that volume. If your thesis contains tables, there should be a separate list of each item, as appropriate, immediately after the contents page(s).


Although the University’s preferred reference style is APA 6th, we do not stipulate a particular referencing system for postgraduate research, as the varied subjects require different approaches. Discuss the referencing of your thesis with your supervisor who will be able to advise on the appropriate form for your discipline, and make sure you use it consistently throughout your thesis. If you need help, speak to one of the Academic Skills Tutors in your school.

Copyright statement

The following notes on copyright and the ownership of intellectual property rights must be included as written below:

i. The author of this thesis (including any appendices and/ or schedules to this thesis) owns any copyright in it (the “Copyright”) and s/he has given The University of Huddersfield the right to use such Copyright for any administrative, promotional, educational and/or teaching.

ii. Copies of this thesis, either in full or in extracts, may be made only in accordance with the regulations of the University Details of these regulations may be obtained from the Librarian. Details of these regulations may be obtained from the Librarian. This page must form part of any such copies made.

iii. The ownership of any patents, designs, trademarks and any and all other intellectual property rights except for the Copyright (the “Intellectual Property Rights”) and any reproductions of copyright works, for example graphs and tables (“Reproductions”), which may be described in this thesis, may not be owned by the author and may be owned by third Such Intellectual Property Rights and Reproductions cannot and must not be made available for use without permission of the owner(s) of the relevant Intellectual Property Rights and/or Reproductions.


Optional Pages

You may include dedications, acknowledgements, list of abbreviations etc. as appropriate.


Word limits

The word limits prescribe the maximum allowable length for theses, not necessarily the preferred length. If your thesis exceeds the word limit then an examiner can recommend the word count be lowered as part of your amendments.

In many instances supervisors may wish to recommend a shorter length. Supervisors should be able to advise on the usual length of theses in their subject area or topic.

From November 2020, as part of your Progression Monitoring 2 (PM2) you will be allowed to apply for an increased word limit where your discipline or research topic may mean that additional words are required. If you completed your PM2 prior to this date you can apply for an increased word count by emailing with an explanation of why you are requesting the increased word limit and a statement of support from your supervisor. 

Intended AwardWord Limit
MRes (Professional Doctorate Exit Route) 15,000
MEnt 20,000
MA/MSc by Research 25,000
MPhil 40,000
Professional Doctorate (DBA/DPA/EdD)  50,000
PhD 80,000

It is important that you familiarise yourself with what is and what is not included in your word count, so that you can be sure that your thesis complies with the appropriate word limit:

Is included in word countIs not included in word count
Abstract Title page
Main body of text Copyright statement
Chapter titles, headings and subheadings Dedications and acknowledgements
Words contained within tables, graphs, charts etc.  List of contents
Captions of tables, graphs, charts and images etc. Lists of tables, graphs, images etc.
In-text citations, footnotes* and endnotes List of abbreviations/glossary
Quotes References/bibliography
Equations Appendices

*Students who use a footnote referencing system (e.g. Oxford, Chicago, MHRA, MLA) are permitted to exclude footnotes from their word count.  


Ready to submit – top tips!

  • It may be obvious, but make sure you know when your expected thesis submission date is.
  • Book an ‘on track to submit’ meeting with your supervisor (see below for more details).
  • Allow your supervisors enough time to read and give feedback on your final draft.
  • Don’t forget to use the draft Turnitin area so you can check your referencing.
  • Ensure your thesis follows the University rules on presentation and binding (not applicable during Covid-19).
  • Follow our guidance on Submitting your Thesis.


Training and resources

  • Watch the Researcher Environment Team's Thesis Submission Briefing and book onto a Q&A session through SkillsForge
  • Read the University's Proof Reading Policy
  • Explore SkillsForge to find available courses relevant to final submission and examination (for example: Writing your PhD thesis, Thesis submission briefing, Viva survivor and Preparing for your viva and many more).
  • You can upload a copy of your thesis to the draft Turnitin area on your School's Bright Space page, which can support you to identify where your work should be referenced or has been poorly paraphrased. If you are unsure of where to find the Turnitin draft area, please ask your supervisor.
  • Review the guidance on Incorporating a Postgraduate Researcher's Published Work in Theses to ensure that you have correctly referenced any published work that has arisen from your research. 

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