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Submitting your thesis

At the end of the examination process all successful PhD and MPhil candidates are required to submit the final version of their thesis to the appropriate College Postgraduate Office.

Before you submit your thesis

The University has an expectation that a PhD thesis is a document available for public consultation. As such, unless a legitimate reason for restricting access to the thesis exists, all PhD theses will be made publicly available on the internet via the Edinburgh Research Archive (ERA).

It is highly recommended that you discuss with your primary supervisor the implications of publishing your thesis online in ERA. If your thesis contains confidential or sensitive data it may not be appropriate to make the full text freely available online. Similarly if there is the intention to publish the whole, or extracts from, your thesis you may want to restrict access to the electronic version.

How to submit the final version of your PhD thesis

Candidates are obliged to submit one hardbound, and one PDF copy of final version of their thesis. From 1st March 2017 the Library will prefer online submission of the PDF instead of handing in a CD with the hardbound copy.

Submitting the PDF version

Before you visit the College Office with your hardbound thesis and forms you need to deposit the electronic copy online.

  • Go to Pure and log in with your EASE account
  • Click on the green ‘Add new’ button on the top right and select ‘Doctoral Thesis’, or alternatively click on ‘Student theses’ on the left-hand-side navigation bar followed by ‘Doctoral Thesis’
  • The record should be auto-populated with most of your thesis award information. Please check for completeness, and add in the title of your thesis in the appropriate box.
  • Upload your electronic thesis files by clicking on the ‘Add document’ button.
  • If you require an embargo for the PDF add the date and reason in the appropriate boxes. The initial embargo length is one year from date of graduation. The date will be checked by Library staff and changed if a different value is added without permission.
  • Supplementary data can be added alongside the thesis text. Change the ‘Type’ to ‘Supplementary materials’ and upload the files as described above.
  • The record Visibility needs to be set to 'Backend - Restricted to Pure users' 
  • To finish, set the status to 'Entry in progress', click the blue ‘Save’ button at the bottom of the screen and the submission is ready for validation by college office staff.

Submitting the hardbound version

Candidates should hand in the following to their College Postgraduate Office:

  • One hardbound version of the thesis conforming to the Regulatory Standards for the Format and Binding of Theses and Portfolios of Musical Compositions. The Postgraduate Research Degree Assessment Regulations have further information.
  • One completed ‘Access to Thesis’ form. Only fill in Page 2 if you are requesting a restriction to the hardbound version and have permission from your Head of School.

Data preservation and sharing

If your thesis has supplementary data (for example images, videos, source code or analytical data) we would like to store a copy of this data alongside the thesis text. We do this to try and preserve the fullest record of the work as possible. Datasets should be supported by good accompanying documentation which is appropriate to your subject discipline. The UK Data Archive (UKDA) offers some specialist advice in this area. We do not routinely allow public access to this data; however, if you wish to share your data with others we recommend the Edinburgh DataShare service.

Edinburgh Datashare

If you have a lot of supplementary files - for example lots of images, data in multiple spreadsheets or video formats - we don't recommend depositing them in PURE. Instead, contact the Scholarly Communications Team and we can advise the best way to send them to us.

Requesting Thesis Restrictions

You can restrict access to the electronic version of your thesis for one year without any special permissions. However, should you need the electronic embargo to be longer than one year then this must be negotiated with the Library by speaking with the Scholarly Communications Team using the contact details below.

Restricting access to the hard copy is not routinely allowed and requires special permission from your Head of School. This can be requested by filling in page 2 of the ‘Access to Thesis’ form.

Further help and information

Scholarly Communications Team

Contact details



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