Postgraduate Thesis Submission Information

If you are looking for information on writing a thesis, a good place to start is SUPRA's "The Thesis Guide" available in hard format at SUPRA (Building G10, Raglan St, Darlington Campus). This publication is a practical guide not just for thesis writing but also for issues regarding supervision, university policies, researching, options for candidature and the thesis submission and examination process. If you require more information on the requirements for postgraduate research or coursework degrees, you can view the University's Postgraduate Research and Coursework Handbook.

When considering the format, length, font, referencing etc of your thesis, it is a good idea to look at previously submitted and examined theses from within your department. The School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences does recommend a general guide for PhD theses as follows:

  • No. of pages: 150-300
  • Referencing System: References should be numbered in order of appearance in the text, this is preferred over the more old-fashioned method of references cited alphabetically at end of thesis.
  • Style Guides: Font: Courier or Times preferred. 12 point (10 point for figure legends). Double space. 2.5cm margins.
  • No. copies / Acid Free: Four / One minimum
  • Electronic Submission: No

If you are a PhD candidate through the Faculty of Medicine, their guidelines are:

  • No. of words: maximum 100 000
  • Referencing System: determined by student and supervisor
  • Style Guides: determined by student and supervisor
  • No. copies / Acid Free: Four / One
  • Electronic Submission: No

Inclusion of Publications in Thesis

If you have been successful enough in your PhD to publish a decent number of papers during your candidature, you may include these in the body of your thesis provided that the thesis is unified and the publications are adequately placed in the context of the appropriate field of study. For example, you may write an Introduction followed by your published papers and then tie it all in to a general Discussion. This may save a lot of time, but you need to get special permission from the Faculty as well as acknowledge the sections of work that you or your colleagues are responsible for.

Thesis Submission Checklist

  • Notice of Intention to Submit - this form must be submitted to Faculty 3 months prior to the date you intend to submit. This form is available online from the Science Faculty. This form is important because it sets the wheels of the Faculty in motion for appointment of examiners. You are entitled to discuss potential examiners with your supervisor and HOD for recommendation to the Faculty.
  • For Supervisors:
    NEW Statement of Supervisor on Submission of Doctoral Thesis
    NEW Appointment of Examiners Form
    Please see here for details.

When you're ready to submit:

  • Supervisor's certificate stating whether, in the supervisor's opinion, the thesis is satisfactory.
  • Four copies in temporary or permanent binding (but NOT ring-back or spiral bound)
  • Four copies of 300 word summary
  • On the front cover or title page: title of the thesis, your initials and surname, title of the degree, year of submission and name of University of Sydney. The lettering on the spine (from top to bottom) should be very similar except that you can omit the University of Sydney and abbreviate the thesis title.
  • In the thesis you need to state:
    * Sources from which your information is derived (ie referencing)
    * Animal and human ethical approvals obtained
    * The extent to which the work of others has been made use of
    * Portion of the work that you claim as original

Where do I hand all this stuff in?

Hand it all over to the Faculty Office. You will have to sign a release statement (so your thesis will be available to the public after examination) and then you will receive a receipt which you can use to claim thesis preparation expenses.

How long will the examination process take?

Provided there have been no delays on your part to notify the Faculty of your intention to submit, the Faculty will appoint Examiners within 4 weeks of submission. This involves invitation of the Examiners by the Registrar, and then on acceptance of this, dissemination of the thesis to them for examination.

The Examiners are then required to examine the thesis and submit a report within 2 months. If the Faculty has not received reports from an examiner by the 14th week after despatch, the Faculty will advise the examiner that they have to submit the report within 2 weeks otherwise it will appoint another examiner.

Generally, after the Faculty has received all 3 examiners reports, they are forwarded to your supervisor and HOD for recommendations (ie whether to Award without further conditions, Award subject to typographical corrections or Award the degree subject to emendations). This recommendation then has to be endorsed by the Faculty PhD Award Subcommittee and run past the Dean of Faculty before you are notified of the decision. Then of course you need to make the corrections and submit one permanently bound acid free copy of your thesis for the Library collection.

If you want to track the progress of your thesis examination, contact the making sure to include your name and student ID.

Dates of submission

You can't submit your PhD thesis earlier than the end of the 6th semester of candidature or later than the 8th (16th) semester of candidature if you have been a full time (part-time) student.