Research Student Administration Office

The submission and examination process

Here you'll find information for research students about the submission and examination process. You may also find it helpful to look at the advice and information given to examiners and supervisors regarding the examination of research degrees, as this will familiarise you with the different roles people play in the examination process and can help you with your viva preparation.

Submitting your thesis

Notifying the University of your intention to submit

You should give at least two months’ notice of your intention to submit your thesis or portfolio to the Research Student Administration Office by completing section A of the form Application for Entry to the Research Degree Examination, available under Forms and Letter Requests and attaching a copy of your summary to the form. Section B of the form should be completed by your main supervisor before the form is returned to the Research Student Administration Office. You will receive written confirmation of receipt of your Application for Entry to the Research Degree Examination.

Two months’ notice is required as internal and external examiners need to be identified and formally appointed by the Research Degrees Examination Board. Failure to give full notice of your intention to submit will delay the examination of your thesis.

Please note that you must be registered at the time of the submission of your thesis or portfolio.

Your thesis summary

The summary or abstract should provide a synopsis of the thesis, should clearly state the nature and scope of the research undertaken and contribution made to the knowledge of the subject. It should include a brief statement of the method of investigation where appropriate, an outline of the major divisions or principal arguments of the work and a summary of any conclusions reached.

A loose leaf copy of the summary should be submitted with your intention to submit form, and a copy should be bound into each copy of your temporary bound thesis or portfolio.

Your summary may be single spaced and each copy should be on a separate sheet of A4 paper, separately printed, not photocopied and must not exceed 300 words, except in the following subjects: Education/Social Work, Music-Theatre Performance, Creative Writing and Media Practice, which must not exceed 600 words.

Each summary should include a heading set out in the following style:

UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX

YOUR FULL NAME

DEGREE FOR WHICH THE THESIS OR PORTFOLIO IS SUBMITTED

TITLE OF THESIS OR PORTFOLIO SUMMARY

Preparing your thesis or portfolio for examination

Your thesis should be submitted to the Research Student Administration Office either in person or by post. Theses submitted by post should be addressed to the Research Student Administration Office, Sussex House, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH.

Tier 4 sponsored Doctoral Researchers wishing to apply for the Doctorate Extension scheme must indicate this at the point of submission.

Once you have submitted your thesis, your registration status changes to ‘research examination’. While you are in this status you will not be required to re-register annually and fees are not accrued.

Number of Copies Required
You should submit three copies of your thesis in temporary binding.

Temporary binding
Three copies of the thesis should be submitted in temporary binding as follows:

  • The pages of the thesis should be held together in a soft cover by an adhesive spine and should not be stitched or have holes punched in them.
    Note that you should only submit a hard bound copy of your thesis after you have been examined and completed any corrections. Temporary (soft) binding is sufficient for the initial submission.
  • The Print Unit (York House) offers a thermal binding service for reasonable rates.
  • A portfolio of musical compositions and associated commentary should have a spiral binding.

Language of thesis or portfolio
Apart from quotations, the thesis or portfolio should be written in English. The Doctoral School Committee may approve the submission of a thesis in a language other than English only in exceptional circumstances.

Length and format of thesis or portfolio
The maximum word length for a PhD theses is 80,000 words.

The maximum word length for an MPhil theses is 40,000 words.

In the following subjects no limits are specified:

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering and Design
  • Environmental Science
  • Informatics
  • Mathematics
  • Physics & Astronomy
  • SPRU: Science & Technology Policy Research

The maximum word length includes footnotes and bibliography but excludes any appendices.

Musical Composition
An MPhil taken by musical composition should be submitted in the format of a portfolio of compositions and a discursive or written component.

The portfolio must contain at least one substantial composition and one or more related shorter compositions. The substantial composition should consist of either:

  • A written score to be scored either for larger forces or for smaller forces in which case it should exceed 15 minutes in duration;
  • or an equivalent-scale musical, sonic or audio-visual work for digital media;
  • or an equivalent-scale musical performance of original work, which must be documented on DVD and submitted with the critical commentary.

The written component [associated commentary] must be between 8000 and 10,000 words in length. The portfolio of compositions should normally contain at least one large-scale work and a number of related smaller compositions.

The large-scale work should consist of either:

  • A written score for larger forces or for smaller forces in which case it should exceed 30 minutes in duration;
  • An equivalent-scale musical, sonic or audio-visual work for digital media;
  • An equivalent-scale musical performance of original work documented on DVD and submitted with the critical commentary.

The written component [associated commentary] must be between 20,000 and 40,000 words in length.

Music-Theatre Performance
The thesis should consist of either a substantial performance work, or a performance work with a portfolio of compositions or other creative work, and a discursive and critical written component.

The performance may involve any media or disciplines in combination with music, and may or may not involve the student him or herself. The performance work must be documented on DVD, which must be submitted with the critical commentary.

The MPhil discursive or critical written component of the thesis will be between 10,000 and 20,000, PhD will be between 20,000 and 40,000 words in length. The summary for both the MPhil and the PhD shall not exceed 600 words.

Creative Writing
The MPhil shall be no more than 40,000 words in length. The PhD shall be no more than 80,000 words.

The thesis will be an original piece of creative writing and research. Many creative writing theses will consist of a creative component:

  • In any recognised genre of creative writing, together with a related critical study,
  • The critical component should occupy no less than 20% and no more than 80% of the total word length.
  • Where poetry is the chosen genre, the creative component will be a book length manuscript and the critical component will be no less than 25,000 words (MPhil) or 50,000 words (PhD).
  • The thesis may also be presented in such a way that the creative and critical components are interwoven to create a distinctive whole. In this instance, the creative and critical components may be seen, for example, as two different but interdependent responses to the same topic;
  • Or the creative component may arise out of the critical component (or vice versa) and be a vehicle for exploring it further.
  • In either case, the summary for both the MPhil and the PhD shall not exceed 600 words.

All students registered from 2008/9 will be examined under this regulation; students registered prior to 2008/9 will also be examined under this regulation, except those who have chosen poetry for their creative component, who will be examined under the corresponding regulation for creative writing as stated in the 2007/8 version of the Ordinances and Regulations.

Media Practice
The thesis will consist of a substantial creative work, or a portfolio of creative work, in either video or digital imaging or photography or interactive media or sound or any other digital media or combination of media, and a discursive and critical written component.

The work may incorporate live performance and installation in which case these elements must be documented in retainable forms, such as videos, scripts and plans, that are approved by the supervisor(s).

The MPhil discursive or critical written component of the thesis will be between 10,000 and 20,000 words in length and PhD between 20,000 and 40,000 words in length. The summary for both the MPhil and the PhD must not exceed 600 words.

Doctor of Education and Doctor of Social Work
The thesis must not normally exceed 50,000 words. The summary for both the Doctor of Education and Doctor of Social Work must not exceed 600 words.

Presentation and layout of your thesis or portfolio

Presentation of your thesis
As it is important that your thesis is presented for examination in a complete form before submission you are advised to check;

  • All chapters/sections are present and complete, correctly numbered and in the correct order.
  • Tables of contents, etc. are present and correct.
  • All Figures and Tables are present, inserted in the correct place, have an appropriate title and legend where necessary, and are in final form and appropriately numbered.
  • A minimum font size of not less than 9 is suggested after insertion of a Figure into the main text of the thesis.
  • The text has been carefully checked to remove typographical, spelling and grammatical errors. As complete elimination is very difficult insertion of a few corrections at a later stage is usually allowed, although please be advised more than one error per page is not considered acceptable.
  • The bibliography is presented in an acceptable format, your supervisor should be able to advise you further.
  • References are cited accurately, and every reference cited in the text is given in the bibliography and vice-versa.
  • All pages are present and correctly numbered and located.
  • You have correctly set out subject-specific aspects such as statistical analyses, formulae or quotations.

Editing and proof reading - advisory note:
You may wish to retain the services of a proof reader or editor to assist you in completing a draft of your thesis. A thesis presented for examination in an incomplete or poor form could result in the examiners being unable to assess the academic work properly.

Format of the Thesis or Portfolio
The approved format of your thesis or portfolio is as follows:

Paper:

  • A4 and of good quality.
  • Students in countries where A4 paper is difficult to source may submit on US Letter sized paper.
  • There is no size restriction on drawings, map and similar documents.

Typeface:

  • The typeface should be clear and easy to read.

Printing:

  • On one side of the paper only.

Spacing:

  • For the main text, double or one-and-a-half line-spacing.
  • For indented quotations or footnotes, single line-spacing.

Margins:

  • The left-hand-side should be 4cm.
  • The top and bottom margins should be 2.5cm deep.
  • The right hand margin should be 2cm.

Pagination

  • Pages should be numbered consecutively through the main text, excluding photographs and/or diagrams which are not embodied in the text.
  • Page numbers should be located centrally at the top of the page.
  • Any photographs or diagrams not included in the text must be indexed separately by reference to the page which follows it.

Title Page
The title page should include:

  • the full title of the thesis and the sub-title if any;
  • the full name of the author;
  • the qualification aimed for;
  • the name of the University of Sussex;
  • the month and year of submission.

Table of Contents
A table of contents should be included in the thesis and should list in sequence with the page numbers all relevant sub-divisions of the thesis including;

  • the titles of chapters;
  • sections and paragraphs as appropriate;
  • the bibliography;
  • the list of abbreviations and other functional parts of the thesis,
  • any appendices and the index (if provided).

Drawings, maps and similar documents should preferably be included with the text, but may, if necessary, be submitted in a portfolio lettered in similar fashion to the text.

Bibliography
A composite bibliography should be presented at the end of the thesis after the main text and before any appendices. Individual bibliographies for sub-divisions of the thesis should not be employed.

The composite bibliography should be;

  • either numbered consecutively, as far as possible, in the same order as references appear in the text, with numbers only in the text;
  • or be placed in alphabetical order of authors, sub-divided chronologically by year of publication, with authors' names and years of publications in the text.
  • In the latter case publications in the same year by the same author(s) should be distinguished in the bibliography and the text by letters in alphabetical sequence (e.g. 1979a, 1979b).
  • Referencing system: please use the referencing system most prevalent in your discipline. The same referencing system should be used throughout the thesis.

Acknowledgements
In the introduction to your thesis, you should set out the sources of your information, such as particular libraries, archives, organisational records, private papers and department files.

You should also set out the plan of your research procedures, indicating what general categories of persons you interviewed and you should indicate any special conditions of access to information.

Statement
Your thesis or portfolio must include a signed declaration bound into the thesis or portfolio after the title page which states:

  • the thesis or portfolio, whether in the same or different form, has not been previously submitted to this or any other University for a degree, unless you are re-submitting the thesis or portfolio for re-examination.
  • To what extent any material has already been submitted as part of required coursework, at any university and any award obtained as a result.
  • The sources from which the information has been derived and, if any part of the thesis or portfolio results from joint work with other persons. If so, the extent to which the thesis or portfolio has drawn on the work of those others and the portion of the thesis or portfolio which you claim to be your own original work.

Incorporation of published work (‘papers style thesis’)
You may incorporate, as an integral part of the thesis, any of your work published before the submission of the thesis, provided that the greater proportion of the work for the thesis has been carried out after registration for the degree and under supervision. Candidates submitting a ‘papers-style’ thesis are required to include a declaration confirming their contribution to each paper, especially in cases where the co-author is a supervisor. Examiners will be asked to pay particular attention to consistency or otherwise in the quality of those parts of the thesis which have not been submitted for publication (linking chapters).

Example 1: Work submitted elsewhere for examination

I hereby declare that this thesis has not been and will not be, submitted in whole or in part to another University for the award of any other degree. However, the thesis incorporates to the extent indicated below, material already submitted as part of required coursework and/or for the degree of:

...................................................................................................................................................

In ...................................................................................................................................... (subject)

which was awarded by...........................................................................................................(institution)

Signature:..................................................................................................................................

Example 2: Work not submitted elsewhere for examination

I hereby declare that this thesis has not been and will not be, submitted in whole or in part to another University for the award of any other degree.

Signature:………………………………………

Plagiarism, collusion and other forms of misconduct

It is an offence for any student to be guilty of, or party to, collusion, plagiarism or any other form of misconduct in an examination or work which is submitted for assessment. It is also an offence to commit any form of misconduct during the course of your research. The main types of misconduct are defined as follows:

  • Plagiarism
    Plagiarism is the use, without acknowledgement, of the intellectual work of other people, and the act of representing the ideas or discoveries of another as one’s own in written work submitted for assessment. To copy sentences, phrases or even striking expressions without acknowledgement of the source (either by inadequate citation or failure to indicate verbatim quotations), is plagiarism; to paraphrase without acknowledgement is likewise plagiarism. Where such copying or paraphrase has occurred the mere mention of the source in the bibliography shall not be deemed sufficient acknowledgement; each such instance must be referred specifically to its source. Verbatim quotations must be either in inverted commas, or indented, and directly acknowledged.

  • Fraud
    Deliberate deception, usually involving the invention of data or the fabrication of results or observations. It does not include unintentional error or professional differences in interpretation or judgement of data.

  • Collusion
    Collusion is the preparation or production of work for assessment jointly with another person or persons unless explicitly permitted. An act of collusion is understood to encompass those who actively assist others as well as those who derive benefit from others’ work. Where joint preparation is permitted but joint production is not, the submitted work must be produced solely by the candidate making the submission. Where joint production or joint preparation and production of work for assessment is specifically permitted, this will be stated explicitly in the relevant course documentation. This does not preclude collaborative working arrangements (e.g. experimental research in laboratories) where this is permitted by the School; however, the student is required to acknowledge in the thesis where the results of collaborative work are presented and outline the contributions made by each party.

  • Interference
    Intentional damage to, or removal of, the research-related property of another.

  • Non-compliance
    With requirements governing research - intentional non-compliance with the terms and conditions governing the award of external funding for research or with the University’s policies and procedures relating to research, including accounting requirements, ethics, and health and safety regulations.

    At the time you submit your thesis, you will be asked to sign a statement to confirm that you understand the definition of plagiarism and that the sources used in your thesis have been fully acknowledged.

    Allegations or complaints of misconduct committed by research students will be investigated by the appropriate authority, depending on the timing and nature of the allegation. Where a student is found guilty of misconduct, a range of penalties may be applied, up to and including disqualification from eligibility for the award for the most serious offences. For details about the procedures for the consideration of misconduct by research students or others engaged in research, please see the University's Research and Knowledge exchange policies.

 

Turnitin for Doctoral Researchers
Turnitin, the text-matching service can be accessed via the Doctoral School. Turnitin enables you to check the text in chapters or sections of your thesis or research reports, to ensure that material from other sources have all been identified and referenced. Turnitin does this by comparing your submitted text with its enormous database of digital text from journals, books, conference proceedings, web pages, and archived student papers. You then have a confidential and detailed report on text similarities, which you can use to identify material taken from other sources. The site also provides links to helpful resources such as copyright and referencing information and guidance for researchers. 

Where examiners or internal assessors of your work request so, an electronic copy of your thesis will be requested to be submitted through Turnitin. The resulting originality report will be shared with you and all involved.

Support for research students in preparing for the viva

Schools will ensure that students are offered support in preparation for the viva (for example participation at a suitable workshop, offer of a mock viva or reference to relevant written guidance materials).

Your principal source of support in preparation for the viva should be your main supervisor, though input from others involved in your supervision is also encouraged.

The opportunity to present and defend academic work should take place regularly and form part of Annual Review.

Centrally-run workshops on preparation for the viva are available to all students. Details can be found on the Doctoral School website.

 

The examination process

Overview of the examination process

Your thesis will be examined by at least one internal and at least one external examiner. One copy of your thesis or portfolio will be sent by the Research Student Administration Office to each of your examiners and the remaining copy will be kept in the Research Student Administration Office.

As part of the examination process you will be required to attend a viva-voce examination in defence of your thesis or portfolio. The internal examiner will contact both you and the external examiner to arrange a mutually convenient time to hold the viva-voce examination. Please note that if you refuse to agree a time, or if you do not attend at the agreed time, you risk failure of the examination and the examiners will have the right to go ahead and conduct the examination and make a recommendation to the Examination Board, on the basis of the evidence before them, i.e. the thesis alone.

Your supervisor, with your agreement, may be invited by the examiners to attend your viva-voce examination. If a supervisor does attend a viva-voce examination they should only contribute to the discussion if directly addressed by the examiners.

If anyone additional attends at a viva-voce examination as an observer this must be approved by the Director of Doctoral Studies of your School and on the condition that they play no part in the examination. Your consent must be obtained, and the rationale for the additional person attending must be clearly explained to you in advance, and confirmed at the outset of the viva.

Where it is School or departmental level policy, or where there are particular circumstances that warrant it, an independent chair may be employed at your viva-voce examination. Where this is the case, you will be notified in advance.

The examination is normally held approximately 3-4 months after the time of submission of your thesis. If you will be unavailable to attend the viva-voce examination for any period of time you should inform the Research Student Administration Office at the time of submission.

If you are unable to attend your viva-voce examination due to illness, you should inform the internal examiner and the Research Student Administration Office as soon as possible in order than an alternative date may be arranged.

In exceptional circumstances a viva may be conducted via Skype or videoconference. These arrangements must be approved by the Research Degrees Examination Board well in advance. Contact the Research Student Administration Office for details.

Please note that you may not make contact with your examiners at any time as this may result in the examination being invalidated.

The basis of assessment

In order to decide whether you have met the required standard for the degree for which you are being examined, your examiners will be guided by the assessment criteria for your degree which are outlined in detail in the Appendix of the Handbook and Regulations for Doctoral Researchers. They will also take into account the doctoral-level qualification descriptors produced by the Quality Assurance Agency, which specify standards and characteristics that are expected of those who are awarded doctoral-level qualifications.

The outcome of the viva examination

The role of the Research Degrees Examination Board
The role of the Research Degrees Examination Board is to formally appoint examiners on behalf of Senate and to consider the recommendations made by those examiners on the outcome of the doctoral examination. The Research Degrees Examination Board will then make a recommendation to Senate on the award of the degree, and the Research Student Administration Office will communicate the result to the student.

Most of the work of the Research Degrees Examination Board is carried out by the Chair and the Vice-Chair, who are each appointed by Doctoral Studies Committee for a 3-year term, and who between them must have experience of graduate work at research degree level in both the humanities and social sciences and in science or engineering. The Chair has discretion to call a meeting of the full Research Degrees Examination Board to consider any cases where the recommendation of the examiners, following the viva, does not appear to be straightforward.

The Research Degrees Examination Board becomes involved with a research student’s progress at various points during the examination process:

  • at the time of the appointment of examiners (at least two months before the thesis is submitted);
  • when they have received the individual and joint reports of the internal and external examiners for consideration of the recommended outcome (several weeks after the viva);
  • when they recommend the award of the degree to Senate (after all corrections requested by the examiners have been made to the thesis and approved by the examiners).

Please note that the only definitive notification of the outcome of your examination is from the Research Student Administration Office. Any informal indication by your examiners of your performance is not definitive.

Successful Attainment of the Award
If the examiners recommend that you be awarded the degree unconditionally, the copy of your thesis that has been retained by the Research Student Administration Office will be returned to you. You should then submit one hard copy of your thesis in the approved style for final binding and one electronic (PDF) copy.

Revision and Re-submission of a Thesis or Portfolio, Including Corrections
If you have not met the standard required for the award at the first attempt you will be required by the Examination Board to revise and resubmit your thesis or portfolio for re-examination within one year. The Research Student Administration Office will write to you to inform you of the recommended revisions and of the date by which your thesis or portfolio must be resubmitted. This deadline may not be extended.

You will be asked to confirm your acceptance of the decision of the Examination Board of revision and resubmission and pay any appropriate fees. You should consult your supervisor regarding the recommended revisions but you must not communicate with the examiners during the period of revision. Your revised thesis must be submitted to the Research Student Administration Office who will arrange for a second examination.

If your thesis or portfolio is referred for corrections only, you must return your corrected thesis to the Research Student Administration Office who will seek approval from your examiners.

Once you have resubmitted your thesis for re-examination, you will not be able to revert to the original offer made by the Examination Board following your original examination.

Unsuccessful Candidates
If you are unsuccessful in your examination, the University will retain one copy of the thesis which shall become the property of the University.

Submission of the final version of your thesis or portfolio

On request, the Research Student Administration Office will return copies of your thesis to you:

  • by recorded delivery, if you live in the United Kingdom;
  • by registered surface mail or by insured mail (if you live outside the United Kingdom)
  • or you may collect your thesis in person from the Research Student Administration Office.

Please note that the Research Student Administration Office are unable to take responsibility for the safe delivery of theses by post, we would be happy to make alternative arrangements for you but they would be at your own expense. As a precaution we advise you to retain a copy of any work submitted for examination.

On successful completion of the examination process you must submit an electronic copy of your thesis or portfolio. You must not change the thesis title at this stage unless your joint examiners’ report has specifically requested a change.

IT Services have several electronic guides that relate to creating and managing PDFs.

The electronic version of your thesis will be uploaded into the institutional repository, Sussex Research Online, where it will be available for download via open access.

Your thesis and open access: copyright, confidential sources and embargoes

University Institutional Repository and the British Library
On the successful completion of your examination, you are required to submit one hard and one electronic (PDF) copy of your thesis or portfolio, both of which become the property of the University. The hard copy will be retained by your department or School.

In line with the University’s policies on open access the electronic copy will be used to allow public access to your thesis via the University’s Institutional Repository, Sussex Research Online. Sussex University Library will no longer hold printed hard copies of theses. An electronic copy of your thesis will also be uploaded to the Electronic Theses Online Service (EThOS) run by the British Library. This service offers free access to the full text of UK theses, allowing your research to be made available to the wider scholarly community more easily. The thesis will be free to download, although the requestor may opt to pay for a print copy or a copy on CD. You will be requested to complete an EThOs deposit form upon submitting your thesis.

Third Party Copyright and Confidential Sources
Before submitting the hard and electronic copies of your thesis, you should check that you are able to use any third party material e.g. photographs, images, diagrams, maps and long extracts from other works.

While you are permitted to use third party material in a thesis for the purposes of examination, you do not automatically have permission to make these materials freely available online. Under copyright law, making a thesis available online is considered a form of ‘publishing’ as it makes the work available to the public. Every attempt should be made, at the earliest opportunity, to gain permission from the rights holder to include such material. All permission should be obtained in writing and an electronic copy of the correspondence should be submitted along with the electronic copy of your thesis.

Further information on third party copyright permissions, including what to do if permission is not granted, is available from the Library's Introduction to Copyright.

The Nature of Confidential Sources
The following are examples of sources of confidential information which may be encountered by students, intended to illustrate the kinds of material which may be termed confidential, and to offer guidance on the problems which such material presents:

  • Information from documents or files which were produced under the authority of a public agency or Government department, and made available by private agencies, such as firms, or individuals, with or without conditions;
  • Information from letters written by individuals in a public or private capacity which have not been published or available in a public archive for more than one hundred years;
  • Information from interviews with individuals about the activities and/or personnel of public or private organisations.
  • Any material which is protected by copyright should also be considered to determine whether it is also confidential.

In the course of their research, students may obtain information from confidential sources, and then face decisions about how to take account of the information, and how to clear it for publication. The problems should not be put aside until the thesis has been written. It is important to realise that a thesis is legally considered to have been published as soon as it is made available to anyone at all, and therefore it cannot be written as a private document.

Treatment of Confidential Sources
Given that a thesis is a publication it cannot, without permission, include quotations from, or citations of, documents or letters or oral statements which are confidential. Students who have obtained confidential information should proceed as follows:

  • Every effort should be made to find published sources which make points or substantiate data which have been encountered in confidential sources.
  • Some institutions allow a researcher to consult records on condition that manuscripts of any material intended for publication are submitted to them for approval prior to publication; in such cases, copies of the letter stating conditions of access and signifying approval of the thesis manuscript should be included when the thesis is submitted for examination.
  • Students may be given documents or letters held by a private individual who is an employee, or former employee, of some public or private institution. If students wish to quote from or cite documents or letters belonging to such private collectors, they should obtain written permission from the originators of the letters or documents, whether personal or institutional.
  • In many cases, the amount of confidential material which students will obtain in the course of their research can be dealt with simply, but if students intend to base their theses to a large extent on such sources, then they should discuss this matter carefully with their supervisor at the outset of their studies and continue to review outstanding copyright matters on an annual basis as their thesis progresses keeping a record of any actions that need to be taken prior to submission).
  • The Researcher Development Programme includes regular copyright workshops run by the Library which are specifically intended to assist research students by raising awareness and understanding of the copyright issues involved in e-theses submission.

When a thesis is submitted, it is subject to the following arrangements:

  1. it is made available for use in the electronic University Repository, Sussex Research Online;
  2. it is automatically uploaded to the British Library ‘EThOS’ service and hence becomes publicly available for download subject to the acceptance of the EThOS End User Licence Agreement;
  3. details of the thesis, sometimes including abstracts, are sent to various national, international and subject bodies, and to bibliographies.

There may be valid reasons for restricting access to your thesis. Usually this will be for a limited period. Below are some common reasons why you may need to restrict access to your thesis:

  • You have an agreement with a publisher to publish all or part of your thesis;
  • Your thesis contains commercially sensitive information that may prejudice the commercial interests of another person or company;
  • Your thesis contains material that was obtained under a promise of confidentiality;
  • Your thesis contains sensitive material about an individual or individuals that may endanger their physical or mental well-being.

All requests for an embargo should be discussed in the first instance with your supervisor who will advise you on how to proceed. Access may, with the approval of the Director of Doctoral Studies, be restricted for a period of up to two years.

If your thesis contains material for which you do not have cleared copyright, you may remove that material to separate volume which will be permanently embargoed. However you must make every effort to obtain copyright during the preparation of your thesis.

Graduation

You will be asked to complete an end-of-programme evaluation form following your submission which will provide an opportunity for feedback to the Doctoral School on the working of your examination process, as well as some overall reflections on your experience as a research student during your time at Sussex.

Graduation ceremonies are currently held in January and July. You will be sent details of the next appropriate ceremony based on the expected date of your viva.

Please note there is no guarantee that you will have completed in time to be eligible to graduate at the ceremony you have been sent the details for, as the process of submitting, examining and correcting your thesis typically takes several months.

In order to graduate, you must have no outstanding academic commitments. If you are asked by your examiners to make corrections to your thesis after your viva, these corrections must be completed and approved by the Research Degrees Examination Board before you will be eligible to graduate. Visit Sussex' s Graduation pages for more details about your ceremony.