Learn everything you need to know about drafting and submitting your thesis, preparing for your final progress review and how to finish on time.

Planning for submission

The final stage of your candidature will involve drafting (and re-drafting) your thesis before your final submission. Before reaching this final step you should be aware of what options are available to you regarding extending your candidature (if you need to) and potentially preparing for your Final Progress Review.

Preparing your thesis

We recommend that you visit Graduate Research Hub: Preparing my thesis for information on the required format of your thesis, word limits, details of what to include (and exclude) in your thesis, how to submit a thesis with publication, as well as an overview of the examination process.

Your supervisors and advisory committee will be able to provide you with guidance on any discipline-specific requirements of your thesis.

The faculty recognises that writing up your thesis is a difficult stage in your candidature, and so has multiple thesis boot camps available throughout the year to assist you.

We acknowledge that COVID-19 disruptions may have impacted your thesis. You should discuss these in your thesis and/or include a written statement so that your examiners can understand how your thesis has been impacted. Visit the Graduate Research Hub for further guidance.

Thesis due dates

The expectation is that you will submit your thesis within your expected course duration:

  • PhD: within three years (part-time six years)
  • MPhil/Master of Industrial Research: within 18 months (part-time three years)

Your expected thesis submission date may change during your candidature – for example, if you take leave of absence, change your research degree or change between full and part-time study.

You can check your expected thesis submission date through my.unimelb.

If your research hasn’t gone to plan and you need more time, there is the facility to extend the expected course duration to the maximum course duration as part of your progress review meeting, noting that extensions are provided for a maximum of 6 months (full-time equivalent) at a time.

We strongly recommend that you visit Finishing on Time on the Graduate Research Hub as this includes information on your maximum course duration date, a date which will differ depending on when you enrolled, and which course you’re enrolled in.

Final progress review

If you’ve received an extension of candidature beyond your original expected submission date (and you haven’t already submitted your thesis), your Final Progress Review will be due 6 months (full-time equivalent) prior to your maximum course duration date. This Final Progress Review will provide you and your advisory committee with the opportunity to discuss your ability to submit by your maximum course duration date.

If you’ve had research-related impacts or other compelling and compassionate reasons for identifying why you’re unable to submit by your maximum course duration date, then your Final Progress Review may be used to apply for Late Submission. If there aren’t extenuating circumstances, your advisory committee will detail a research plan to ensure you’re able to submit your thesis by your maximum course duration date.

Remember: if you do not submit your thesis by your maximum course duration date (and you have not applied and been approved for Late Submission) your enrolment will be terminated from the day of your maximum course duration date.

Submission and examination

Submitting your thesis

Before submitting your thesis you will need to register your intention to submit. You can download the Thesis Submission Checklist to assist you. To submit your thesis, you’ll need to present your research findings at a public completion seminar within six months prior to submitting. Please contact your school administrator to book your completion seminar.

More on submitting your thesis

After submitting your thesis

Once you’ve submitted your thesis through the Thesis Examination System (TES) it usually takes between four to six months before you’ll be notified of your result. The examination period is an ideal time to consider applying for a Postgraduate Writing-Up Award.

Faculty of Science Postgraduate Writing-up Award

If you’re ready to submit your thesis, this is a good time to consider applying for the Postgraduate Writing-Up Award. This scholarship supports Faculty of Science PhD and Master of Philosophy graduate researchers that have recently submitted their thesis. The award is valued up to $5000 and is offered annually. Find out more about the Award

More on examinations

Enhance Your Research Experience

There are also ways to Enhance Your Research Experience. Some examples include:

  • Thesis Bootcamps, where you can develop your writing skills and dedicate time to writing up. You’ll be presented with new strategies for successful writing that you’ll be able to apply
  • The Faculty of Science’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition, an annual event where you can practice effective communication by sharing your research with a wide audience
  • The GR Professional Skills Series, where you’ll have an opportunity to hear from professionals and to cultivate those skills and practices required to pursue your individual career path

Making changes to your course

Throughout your degree you’re able to make changes and manage your candidature.

Making changes to your course

Please visit Managing Difficulties for advice on resolving issues during your candidature.