Submitting your thesis

Below is an overview of the steps involved in submitting a thesis and the examination process. Candidates should refer to the University's Postgraduate Student Handbook, the University of Sydney (Higher Degree by Research) Rule
, the Postgraduate: Degree of Doctor of Philosophy and the SUPRA Thesis Guide for full guidelines.

Three to six months prior to submission

  1. You should discuss your intention to submit and possible examiners with your supervisor, including any individuals whom you would prefer not to examine your thesis.
  2. Complete a Notice of Intention to Submit and lodge the notice with Student Administration. This should be lodged at least three months prior to your intended submission date.

    Notice of intention to submit thesis form

  3. Follow the guidelines for formatting and presentation of your thesis.

Following receipt of the Intention to Submit form the Conservatorium will then arrange for internal and external examiners to be appointed and invited to examine your thesis. If you have indicated electronic submission as your preferred method of submission, the examiners will be asked if they wish to examine electronically. You will then be informed of the required submission format.

Appointing examiners

Examiners for a PhD thesis will generally hold a PhD themselves, be engaged in research and have experience supervising research students or examining theses. However, individuals not meeting these criteria may also be appointed with justification (e.g. expert in their field).

Examiners should also be free from conflict of interest and any bias for or against the candidate. The primary supervisor cannot be an examiner for a candidate.

Two examiners - at least one external - are required to examine a Master of Music thesis. The examiners must be approved by the Faculty and agree to act as examiners before the examination can commence.

Three examiners - at least two being external - are required to examine a Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Musical Arts thesis. The examiners must be approved by the Faculty, endorsed by the University's PhD Award Sub-Committee and agree to act as examiners before the examination can commence.

Submission formats

A bound thesis is the traditional way in which theses are submitted. The thesis may be submitted in temporary or permanent binding. If using temporary binding, the form should be strong enough to withstand postage and handling. The preferred form of temporary binding is 'perfect binding'. Ringback or spiral binding is NOT acceptable for the thesis; but is permitted for composition portfolios.

A thesis submitted in permanent binding shall be on international standard A4 size paper sewn and bound in boards covered with book cloth or buckram or other binding fabric. The title of the thesis, the candidateĀ¹s initials and surname, the title of the degree, the year of submission and the name of the University of Sydney should appear in lettering on the front cover or on the title page. The lettering on the spine, reading from top to bottom, should conform as far as possible to the above except that the name of the University of Sydney may be omitted and the thesis title abbreviated.

Electronic submission is permitted if the examiners agree to examine the thesis in this manner. The structure of the thesis should be the same as the ultimate printed version. The title page information should appear on a label affixed to the CD or on the first page of the PDF document.

Three copies of your thesis - and any accompanying CDs or portfolios - are required for the Master of Music degrees.

Four copies of your thesis - and any accompanying CDs or portfolios - are required for the Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees.

Submission day

When you are ready to submit your thesis, you should lodge the required number of copies with Student Administration.

1. When lodging your thesis for examination you must provide a completed MMus Supervisor's Statement or PhD Supervisor's Statement.

2. A Lodgement Advice will then be signed and a copy of the Advice returned to you as confirmation of submission.

Provided you lodged your Notice of Intention to Submit in the correct timeframe and we have had no difficulties in appointing examiners, your thesis will then be sent out for examination. You will be informed if there is a delay.

The examination process

Examiners are asked to complete their examination within eight weeks of receiving your thesis.

At six weeks the examiner will be given a friendly reminder of the upcoming deadline.

At ten weeks the examiner will be given a reminder and asked to specify a report completion date.

At fourteen weeks the Faculty will generally proceed with the appointment of a replacement examiner.

You will be provided with a status update at the two month mark and again at the three month mark if the examination has not been completed.

Please note that the examination process is confidential. Whilst we can provide you with an update (e.g. two reports have been received and one is expected shortly), we cannot release the names of your examiners or their recommendations during the examination.

Examination outcomes

Once all examiner's reports have been received and considered, the Faculty will make a recommendation as to the outcome. Full details about the recommendation process are contained within the Postgraduate: Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Possible outcomes include:

  • Award without further examination
  • Award with typographical corrections
  • Award subject to emendations
  • Award subject to other conditions
  • Revision and Resubmission
  • Non-award

Submitting your final thesis for lodgement in the library

If you have been required to make typographical corrections or amendments to your thesis, you must obtain written approval from the Associate Dean (Graduate Studies) confirming the changes have been made to their satisfaction and that you may be awarded the degree.

The final copy must be hard bound and printed on acid-free (archival) paper. Lettering on the spine of the volume must give the following information: title of the thesis (may be shortened), your surname and initials, the title of the degree, and name of the University of Sydney. The last can be omitted if preferred.