Submitting your Thesis

Read the steps you need to complete to submit your thesis for examination.

Submission deadlines

Due date of your thesis

Your thesis has a 'due date'. Full-time students must submit the thesis for examination within four years of initial registration.Half-time students must submit within six years.

Only in exceptional circumstances will you be granted an extension to the due date.

Minimum registration

The minimum registration period is 36 months full time (or equivalent).

In exceptional circumstances you may be permitted to submit early. You must apply in writing to the Dean FGR and have the approval of your Associate Dean (PGR) in your home Faculty.

Before you submit your thesis for examination

Three months before you submit

  • check that you are registered (you must be registered when you submit your thesis and for the three months immediately prior to submission)
  • inform your Victoria supervisor and your school of your intention to submit
  • provide your supervisors with an abstract of your thesis which may be forwarded to potential examiners.
Your school requires advance notice of your submission to allow time for examiners to be nominated and approved. If you do not do give three months' notice, the examination process will be delayed.

Read about the process of appointing examiners.

Review of your thesis

Your Victoria supervisor is required to read and comment on a final draft of your thesis before you submit. You should allow at least four weeks for this.

Supervisors' Approval for Submission

The Victoria supervisor must sign a statement that all supervisors agree that your thesis is suitable for submission.

In some cases, your supervisory team may require you to make modifications to your thesis before approval for submission can be given. Reasons for withholding approval may include:

  • inadequate English
  • inadequate references or bibliography
  • lack of an abstract
  • lack of table of contents
  • failure to comply with the regulations on thesis length
  • failure to meet other formal requirements.

Disagreement between you and your supervisors

If there is some dispute about the modifications you are asked to make or your readiness to submit, the matter will be referred to the Dean of Graduate Research. The Dean FGR may suggest an independent internal scrutineer.

Printing and binding your thesis

Paper and PDF

You are required to submit paper and electronic (PDF) versions of your thesis. Printing from the PDF version will ensure that the print and electronic versions are identical.

Before you print

Before you print out your thesis, we advise you to:

  1. read our guidelines on presentation and proofreading
  2. convert the thesis to PDF
  3. proofread the PDF document
  4. correct any errors or inconsistencies in the original and create a new PDF file.

Please keep the original non-PDF version of your thesis. You may be required to make changes.

Converting to PDF

If you use Word 2007, the Save As option will allow you to convert to PDF. OpenOffice and LibreOffice have good PDF export tools. Otherwise, you can download and install something like PDFCreator or use an online conversion website.

Printing the final version for submission

  • Print three copies.
  • Use white A4 paper.
  • You may use both sides of the paper, though it is then recommended that each chapter start on a right-hand page.


The copies of your thesis you submit for examination may be in a temporary soft binding.

Note that the final version for deposit in the Library must be hard bound.

Depositing your thesis in the Library.

Submitting your thesis

You are solely responsible for the content, style, presentation, production and binding of the thesis that is submitted, and for promptly making any required amendments after examination.

Your thesis cannot be accepted for examination unless:

  • you are registered and have been registered for the three months immediately prior to submission.
  • you provide all the documentation listed below.

What to submit

You must submit:

  • three paper copies of the thesis in a temporary soft binding
  • one electronic copy of the thesis - this should be a single pdf file and should be identical in content and layout to the hard copies (please read our advice on printing your thesis above).

You must also submit the following documents along with your thesis:

  • completed copies of the three forms available for download below (the application for examination, supervisors statement, and the statement on authorship and thesis length)
  • any approvals you may have received to withhold access to your thesis or or to exceed the 100,000 word limit.

Where to submit

Please make an appointment with the Examinations Team to submit your thesis by emailing Take everything to the Faculty of Graduate Research Office, 10 Kelburn Parade, from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday. You should allow 20 minutes to complete the submission process. If you can't submit in person, you may ask someone to submit on your behalf.

Bring the PDF copy on a CD or memory stick. Otherwise, email the PDF version before you submit the hardcopies to If you submit by email, please include your name and student ID number in the subject line.

What happens when you submit

When you submit your thesis, the FGR will:

  • provide you with information about the next steps.
  • check that you have all the documentation listed above
  • check that your registration is up-to-date
  • check that your examiners have been approved
  • ask you to sign the register of submitted theses
  • give you a receipt for your thesis

pdf220KBSubmitting Your PhD Thesis for Examination (downloadable guide)

After submission and before your oral

Before your oral examination

The document below contains important information about the period following submission and about the preparations that need to be made for your oral examination.