Submitting your thesis


Thesis submissions over the Christmas holidays

If your thesis submission/corrections deadline falls between 21 December 2019 and 1 January 2020, please see the thesis submissions on University closed days webpages for further information on when you should submit your thesis.

 Number of copies for examination

  • For examination: two printed soft bound (temporary bound) copies of your thesis are required for examination. Where additional examiners have been appointed, extra soft bound copies of your thesis will be required for each examiner.
  • An electronic copy to your School for a Turnitin check.

 Forms needed for submission

To submit your thesis, you must ensure that you complete and submit the following documents with the copies of your thesis: 

 Turnitin check

Before the final thesis is submitted to the RSA team for examination you should contact the PGR administrator with your School for information on the process to be followed for submitting the final copy of your thesis through Turnitin. A signed copy of the Declarations form (PDF - 75KB) should be submitted to your School to confirm that the copy submitted to Turnitin is an exact copy of the copy submitted for examination.

The electronic copy for the Turnitin check should be submitted at the same time as you submit your paper copies for examination.

If you have any queries regarding the Turnitin process, please contact the PGR administrator within your School.

 Word count

Regulation 7.4.2 (d) confirms the maximum permitted number of words for each research degree. The stated maximum number of words excludes tables, diagrams (including associated legends), appendices, references, footnotes and endnotes, the bibliography and any bound published material.

For those who commenced their programme of study on a one year MPhil (by research only) or MPhil(B) (research with taught modules) prior to the beginning of the 2012 - 2013 academic year, the maximum number of words in the thesis is as stated in Regulation 7.4.2 (d) for the MA/MSc by Research for the one year MPhil (two year part time) by research alone and as for MRes for one year MPhil(B) (two year part time) programmes.

If you anticipate that your thesis will exceed the stated word count you may apply to the Research Progress & Awards Sub Panel for permission to exceed the stated word count. Permission is only granted in exceptional circumstances and you are advised to discuss this with your supervisor at an early stage. 

University Regulation 7.4.2 (d) states:  The maximum number of words in the thesis or report is shown in the table below. The calculation of the word length excludes: abstract, acknowledgements, contents pages, appendices, tables, diagrams and figures (including associated legends), the list of references, bibliography, footnotes and endnotes and any bound published material.


1-year MPhil (Mode B) or MRes

1-year MPhil (Mode A)

2-year MPhil or MLitt

Professional Doctorate

eg EdD


PhD with Integrated Study


Arts and Law, Social Sciences








Dentistry, Health Sciences and Medicine; Life & Environmental Sciences; Engineering & Physical Sciences








*Registered Students conducting research in certain specified areas within the Colleges of Medical and Dental Sciences and Life and Environmental Sciences may on occasion be permitted to have higher word limits, i.e. 80,000 for a PhD thesis and 60,000 for an MPhil thesis, 40,000 for an MA/MSc by research and 20,000 for an MRes thesis. Such permission will be granted for sound academic reasons and notified to the Senate or delegated authority at the beginning of the Registered Student's registration.  If the editing of a text together with a narrative constitutes the thesis then the wordage of the text should not be included in the wordage of the thesis.

For further details see thesis word limits in the presenting your thesis web page.

 Where to submit

You can submit your thesis in person at the Aston Webb Student Hub. Please see the Student Hub webpages for full details of where to submit your thesis.

Alternatively, you can post your thesis to the following address: Research Student Administration, Registry, Aston Webb Building, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT.

Please note that it you are posting your thesis, it must by received by Research Student Administration by your submission deadline.

 If you cannot submit by the deadline

You may apply to the Research Progress & Awards Sub Panel for an extension to your maximum period of study.

Further information and an extension request form and guidance notes can be found at on the extensions web page.

 Length of time taken to examine thesis

It is normally expected that the examination process will take approximately two months from submission. However, it should be stressed that this is very dependent on individual examiners and their availability and, therefore, it may not always be possible to adhere to these time constraints.

The Research Student Administration team will formally notify you by letter when your thesis has been sent out for examination of the names of your examiners and the chairperson for the viva.

 Can't find what you were looking for?

To contact the Research Student Administration team with general enquiries relating to the submission of your thesis please submit an online enquiry.



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