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Postgraduate Research Handbook

Thesis Submission

Thesis Submission is managed through a series of forms within eProg under the heading ‘Examination Summary’.

Students may submit their thesis in the Submission Pending year or up to 3 months before the end of the prescribed period of the programme. If a student wants to submit any earlier than this, then the appropriate permission must be sought by completing the Special Permissions Application Form.

Submitting a Thesis in Journal Format

Students may submit their research in either the traditional thesis or the Journal Format (previously known as Alternative Format), and should ensure that they read all available guidance before making the final decision on thesis format.  

The decision to submit in Journal Format will be part of the planning of the research project and you should discuss the format of your thesis with your supervisors early on in your programme.   Further information is available via these Journal Format Thesis - Guiding Principles for Students and Staff.

Submissions will not be accepted later than the student’s submission deadline.

eProg Examination Summary

When a student is approaching submission, they must complete a Notice of Submission Form; this is first stage in the eProg Examination Summary.

Guidance for students, supervisors and internal examiners on every step of the ‘Examination Summary’ can be found below:

Flowchart of the Thesis Submission & Examination Process

eProg Submission to Examination - Student Guide (Nov 2014)

eProg Submission to Examination - Supervisors, Internal Examiners, PGR Directors Guide (Nov 2014)

Electronic Submission of your Thesis

The University of Manchester requires the mandatory submission of electronic theses for all postgraduate research students through the eThesis submission system.    

Students on some programmes may not need to submit the full content of the thesis but are still required to submit their information through eThesis. We will notify you if this is the case.

We recommend that you prepare for your eThesis submission in advance by:

A postgraduate research thesis submission must consist of:

       i.          An electronic copy in Portable Document Format (PDF) with a plain-text metadata record submitted via the eThesis Submission System

      ii.          Two paper copies printed from the version submitted to eThesis, including the eThesis-generated cover sheet, submitted to the Doctoral Programmes Office

See the eThesis PGR Student Submission Guide for detailed information to support your eThesis preparation.  Guidance for supervisors is  also available.

University Policies

The University policies related to the thesis examination can be found here. Please read these carefully before submitting your thesis.

Any queries regarding the examination process should be directed to your Doctoral Programmes Administrator.

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 of Manchester is committed to ensuring as wide an audience as possible can access and read the outputs of its research and scholarship, and supports the principles of Open Access. The University introduced its Publications Policy in April 2016, which applies to all students and employees of the University.

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).

The University's Presentation of Theses policy requires that all final Postgraduate Research eTheses are made Open Access within 12 months of submission, unless an exception to the policy is required for reasons of sponsorship or sensitive content. This aligns with the University’s Publications Policy and is based on the Open Access requirements of funding bodies: the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the UK Research Councils (RCUK) and the Wellcome Trust.  Further information can also be found at:

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

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 at:

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:

Guidance and Support 

Further information about Open Access is available from the Library's website or the Scholarly Communication team.