Submission of theses

Covid 19 - Thesis submission information

The aims of a doctoral thesis are to make an original contribution to knowledge and demonstrate that its author has gained the necessary knowledge of the discipline as well as technical ability to become an independent researcher.

With this in mind, the emphasis should always be on quality and not quantity. The limitations brought by the Covid 19 global pandemic have exacerbated the need to focus on these elements. UKRI has recently issued guidance advising students to adjust their projects to complete a doctoral-level qualification within the funded period.  The Quality Assurance Agency has also published guidance for students and supervisors on doctoral standards in the light of Covid-19.

Similarly, the University of Sheffield has issued guidance to students indicating that it is acceptable to amend projects to suit current circumstances, even though they may be rather different to what was initially planned. The pandemic has changed ways of working throughout the globe, and adjustments to PGR projects are just a part of it. Students will be given the option to provide information to examiners on the impact Covid has had their projects. Examiners, in turn, will be reminded of the University guidance that "judgement of the thesis should be based on what may reasonably be expected of a diligent and capable candidate after completion of the prescribed period of research and with due regard to the University’s criteria for the award of the degree".


Procedures for thesis submission have changed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. We are now requesting that all students submit their thesis electronically through Google forms, via the PGR thesis submission form and there is no longer a requirement to also provide hard copies of the thesis.

Please submit your thesis and a copy of your final Turnitin receipt via the Google Form link
PGR Thesis submission prior to your submission deadline. You can also upload any supporting materials that form part of your thesis examination (e.g. supplemental data, audio recordings, Covid impact form, list of corrections in the case of a resubmission).  Please note that, depending on your thesis file size and your internet speed, the submission upload may take a few minutes. Please be patient and do not refresh the screen.

If you have a Doctoral Development Programme (DDP) ePortfolio summary ready to submit, please email a copy to Further details can be found on the DDP Portal.  A fully completed Access to Thesis form must also be submitted to Research Services before we can award your degree.  Please note that these documents are not required for thesis submission, so please do not delay your thesis submission if they have not yet been completed.

To ensure that the submission is dealt with promptly, please ensure the file name of your thesis is in the format 'Surname, Forename, Registration number' and that any supplemental files that form part of the examination are clearly labelled so they can be identified easily. Students will receive email confirmation of their thesis submission. 

Students experiencing difficulties in submitting should contact in the first instance for advice. If you are submitting your thesis from a country that does not allow access to Google Forms, please submit a pdf of your thesis and Turnitin receipt by email to

Preparing to submit

Whilst the responsibility for the writing, preparation and submission of the thesis rests with the student, it is expected that the supervisor will read and comment on the draft, with a view to enabling the student to produce a thesis which is coherent, well-documented and written in good English. Ideally, the student and supervisor should be in agreement as to when the thesis is ready for submission. Ultimately, however, the final responsibility rests with the student.

Occasionally, a student may choose to submit their thesis without the knowledge or approval of the supervisor. Whilst students are within their rights to do so, this is not recommended. The University strongly recommends that all students take account of the academic advice given to them by their supervisor and inform their supervisor when they intend to submit. Failure to do so is likely to compromise the quality of the thesis and will also result in delays in the examination process if examiners have not been appointed at the time of submission.

Please note that if a student’s time limit for submission falls on a weekend or a University closure day, they will still be required to submit their thesis to Research Services electronically via the PGR thesis submission form by their deadline.

Number of copies required

First submissions and resubmissions

Students must submit their thesis to Research Services, who will ensure that it is despatched to the examiners, along with the relevant forms and guidance.

Under no circumstances should a copy of the thesis be sent direct to the examiners by either the student or the student’s department.

An electronic submission will be in the form of a pdf of the thesis and a copy of the final Turnitin submission receipt, both of which should be uploaded via the PGR Thesis Submission form prior to the submission deadline. 

To ensure that the submission is dealt with promptly, please ensure the file name of your thesis is in the format 'Surname, Forename, Registration number' and that any supplemental files that form part of the examination are clearly labelled so they can be identified easily. Students will receive email confirmation of their thesis submission.

Staff candidates are required to pay a fee on submission of the thesis. In 2020-21 this will be £480.

Payments required upon submission of a thesis may be made online. Online Payments

UCard from submission of thesis

Should a student’s time limit run out once they have submitted their thesis (but before their award has been made), they can go to SSiD (located in the Students’ Union) in order to have& their UCard renewed for the interim period.
Following examination, if a student is required to make any further amendments to their thesis or to resubmit their thesis, then their time limit will be changed accordingly and they will be able to extend their UCard in line with the new time limit on their student record.

Thesis despatch

Theses will be sent out to examiners electronically, along with reports and guidance notes, as soon as the Turnitin report has been checked and the thesis has been cleared for examination. Theses will normally be despatched to the examiners within three working days of receipt of confirmation that the Turnitin originality report is acceptable and provided the examiners have been formally appointed by the faculty. Thesis despatch will be delayed if the student has not submitted to Turnitin or if examiners have not yet been nominated or appointed by the faculty.