Submitting a thesis

The ultimate milestone for any higher degree research (HDR) student is submitting the final thesis. The thesis is a significant piece of research and is the culmination of years of work, collaboration, and discovery. However, finalising your HDR program involves more than submitting your thesis. It is important you and your supervisor are both familiar with the examination and administrative processes around finishing your degree. 

Notification of intent to submit

Prior to your thesis submission, you must complete a Notification of Intent to Submit milestone. This milestone type is available alongside your other HDR Milestone eForms. It is recommended you complete your Nomination of Intent to Submit 2-3 months prior to you intended submission date. Before submission, make sure you have completed the Notification of Intent to Submit Student Checklist

Accompanying the release of the new Notification of Intent to Submit Milestone, a series of support videos are available as guidance for students and staff. The first video is an overview of the process, and the subsequent videos provide more detail on the three sections of the eForm workflow

Overview Video

Video A - Notification of Intent to Submit - Candidate and Primary Supervisor

Thesis submission

The HDR Submission and Examination of Theses Procedure provides comprehensive information on many aspects of the thesis submission and examination process, including: 

  • The process which you must follow to submit your thesis;
  • the format your thesis must be submitted in;
  • requirements for the different types of these accepted under the Research Awards Rule.

You can now submit your thesis using the Thesis Submission milestone. This milestone type is available alongside your other HDR Milestone eForms once your Notification of Intent to Submit milestone has been reviewed by your Primary Supervisor. 

Some academic areas have additional requirements for the submission of a thesis. Students should confirm such requirements with their supervisor.

Some students with research scholarships are also eligible for a thesis allowance that contributes to the cost of thesis production (such as printing and editing costs). Students should look at the conditions of award supplied at the time of scholarship offer, or contact their local HDR Administrator for more information.

Students using professional editing services should familiarise themselves with the Editing of Theses Guideline. A good place to start to find a suitable editor is the Canberra Society of Editors.

A series of support videos are available for guidance for students and staff. The following video steps through completing the Thesis Submission milestone eform:

Thesis Submission Candidate support video

UPDATE from 7 July 2023: For candidates who have not submitted a Nomination of Intention to submit Milestone by the 7 July 2023 you will be required from this date to also upload an iThenticate Similarity Report within the Thesis Submission eform. Further information on how to access iThenticate and generate a similarity report prior to your final thesis submission can be found at the ANU HDR candidate iThenticate page.

Thesis examination

The thesis examination itself is undertaken by at least two nominated expert reviewers with international standing in the relevant academic field(s). Students may be invited to suggest or comment on the suitability of possible examiners, but must not participate in the final decision about the examiners.

Examiners are required to recommend one of the following outcomes:

  • that the student be granted the award;
  • that the student be granted the award subject to corrections or revisions required by the examiners in the thesis to be made to the satisfaction of the Delegated Authority in the copy intended for deposit with the University Library;
  • that the student be permitted to submit a revised thesis for re-examination;
  • that the student be failed.

Once your thesis has been examined, you will be notified of the examiners' recommendations. 

The Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire (PREQ), and why you should complete it!

After you submit your thesis you will receive an invitation to complete the PREQ. This survey collects information about your experience of your HDR program and is used to improve HDR programs and activities across ANU. Keep an eye on your inbox for your invitation.

Preparing for post-HDR life

After submission, some HDR students experience 'the submission cliff'. After working incredibly hard, it can be hard to know what to do with yourself once the thesis is out of your life!

Here are some quick resources that can help you prepare for your own transition: 

  • the ANU Careers Centre offers a range of services for HDR students transitioning into the workforce;
  • Thesis Whispererblog post on how to prepare yourself and how to handle the transition;
  • Check out what ANU Alumni have been doing after graduation for some inspiration.