Submitting your thesis

Find out how to submit your doctoral thesis for examination.

Before you submit your thesis for examination

A doctoral degree represents at least 3 years of full-time study at an advanced level. You must have been registered (i.e., not on suspension) for a minimum of 36 months full-time (or equivalent) before your thesis can be submitted for examination.

If you are not ready to submit your thesis within 4 years full-time (or equivalent) you must apply for an extension of time.

We recommend that you inform your Victoria supervisor and your school of your intention to submit three months ahead of time. This advanced notice allows time for your examiners to be nominated and approved prior to your submission. You will need to provide your supervisor with an abstract of your thesis to send to potential examiners.

Learn more about the process of appointing examiners.

Before submission check that you:

  • are currently registered and will have been registered for the three months immediately prior to submission
  • inform your Victoria supervisor of your intention to submit ahead of time and discuss how long they will need to review your final draft. In some cases, your supervisory team may require you to make modifications to your thesis before approval for submission can be given. The Victoria supervisor must sign a statement that all supervisors agree that your thesis is suitable for submission. If there is some dispute about the modifications you are asked to make, or about your readiness to submit, your School Research Committee will endeavour to resolve this.
  • Consider the University’s guidelines on presentation of your thesis
  • Read the University’s guidelines on for including publications in a doctoral thesis
  • Check your thesis length

If relevant, you may apply to the Dean FGR for permission to withhold access to your thesis or extend your word count. Please complete the relevant form and email it to PhD-Exams@vuw.ac.nz.

Submitting your thesis

As of January 2022, the PhD thesis submission for examination process is moving from paper-based forms to electronic Microsoft Forms. We will still accept the original forms emailed to PhD-Exams@vuw.ac.nz for January submissions, if you have already started completing these.

If your thesis includes sections or chapters that have been published, or that have been accepted for publication, please complete the Declaration for including a publication in a thesis Microsoft Form. This form can be completed prior to your submission. It will go to your Primary Supervisor for approval. You can submit your thesis even if you are waiting on your supervisor to sign off on this form.

Please submit a PDF of your thesis via the Doctoral Thesis Submission for Examination Microsoft Form. Once you have completed this form, it will notify the Examination Team of your submission, and will go to your Primary Supervisor for approval. The Examinations Team will process your submission once your supervisor has signed off on it. As long as you submit the form by your submission deadline, your submission will be counted as having been submitted on time, even if your supervisor does not approve the submission immediately.

The Examinations Team will contact you as soon as possible. If you have not heard from us two business days after your submission, you can email PhD-Exams@vuw.ac.nz to follow up.