Requirements for award of your degree and graduation



Deadline for December 2023 Graduation

In order to be eligible to graduate in December 2023, you must have completed all requirements of your degree, as set out in the 'Before you can graduate' section below, by Friday 3rd November 2023If you are unable to complete all requirements by this date, your graduation will be automatically deferred to July 2024.

Change to requirement to deposit final hardbound thesis

From 1st January 2024, there will no longer be a requirement in University Regulations to deposit a hardbound copy of your final thesis in order for your degree to be formally conferred at a degree congregation. Therefore any PGRs graduating at the July 2024 graduation ceremonies onwards will not be required to deposit a hardbound copy of the final thesis. PGRs graduating in December 2023 will still be required to deposit a hardbound copy of the final thesis.

For more information on this change in University Regulations, please see the Changes to thesis deposit webpage.

Before you can graduate

Your degree cannot be conferred on you until: 

  • Corrections/revisions to your thesis have been made and certified as satisfactory by the appropriate examiners and you have received an official email from Research Student Administration confirming this; 
  • One hard bound copy of the final thesis, which must be hard bound in accordance with University requirements as set out in the Guide to Presenting your Thesis, has been submitted. This is not applicable to MRes programmes;
  • An electronic copy of your thesis submitted to Library Services. This is not applicable to MRes programmes;
  • All outstanding debts with the University have been cleared

Once your degree has been conferred on you, you are able to use the title of Dr.

Distribution of final copies of your thesis

Once you have been notified by the Research Student Administration (RSA) team of the successful outcome of the examination of your thesis your formal registration with the University is deemed to have ended. Your identity card will become invalid regardless of the dates on your University ID card.

In accordance with University regulations you are required to submit:

Please send the email confirming submission of thesis for hardbinding to Research Student Administration ensuring that your name, student ID number and School are clearly stated in the email heading.

The final hardbound copy of your thesis is sent to the University Library via the Print Me shop.

You should also check with your school and supervisor whether they also require a hardbound copy of your final thesis.

You are free to copy and informally distribute the unpublished thesis as you wish. However, there are exceptions to this, for example, if the thesis contains confidential material or if a sponsor or other third party claimed some rights to it. For further information on restricted access, see the notice of intention to submit web pages.

You are not required to submit a final hardbound copy and electronic copy of your thesis if you are on an MRes programme.

Use of University facilities

Once you have been notified in writing by the RSA team of the successful outcome of the examination of your thesis, your formal registration with the University ceases. As a result you will no longer be able to use University facilities as a student.

Information regarding access to your student IT account can be found in the Knowledge Base.

You still have access to support from the University’s Careers Network for up to two years after graduation. If you are looking for support with career options or job hunting after your research degree, visit the Careers Network graduate web pages to find out how to register and access the support available.

For further information on graduation ceremonies, please see the degree congregations web pages.

Birmingham PhD Video Abstracts

The University Graduate School is offering all doctoral researchers who are graduating this December the chance to submit a short video about your research. This is an excellent opportunity to raise your profile and showcase your thesis to potential employers. Find out more on our webpage.

Find out more

If you have any questions about the requirements for award of your degree that have not been answered on this page, please contact the RSA team by submitting an online enquiry.


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