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Submit your thesis


Your thesis must be submitted electronically to the Higher Degree Research Administration Centre (HDRAC). You are required to give three months’ notice of your intention to submit so that the University can arrange your examination. If you have any examiners you would like to recommend, you should inform your supervisor in writing. There is no guarantee, however, that any of your recommended examiners will be selected.

Before you submit your thesis, you should do a thorough check to ensure that your thesis has adhered to the requirements for composition and frontispiece sections. Your thesis will be run through plagiarism detection software before it is handed to the examiners.

Below are the clear instructions provided by HDRAC for submitting your thesis:

You need to submit an electronic copy of your thesis to the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Administration Centre.

Before you submit, make sure your thesis meets the requirements for composition and frontispiece sections.

  1. Log in to CloudStor
    • Select ‘The University of Sydney’ in the list of providers
    • Log in with your UniKey and password
  2. Upload your thesis
    • Select the orange upload icon (+ symbol)
    • Navigate to and select your thesis file. Once uploaded it will appear in the list of documents immediately under the upload icon.
  3. Create a link to your thesis
    • Hover your mouse over the file, select ‘share’ and then check the ‘share link’ box then select public links to create a public link. You can set an optional expiration date for the link, however do not add a password.
    • Email a copy of the link to yourself.
  4. Email your discipline contact from your University student email address
    • In the email title, include your student ID, family name, given names and faculty.
    • Paste the link into the body of the email, no other information is required.
    • Attach your signed Supervisor’s Statement form (docx, 32KB).

This information is taken directly from the University website, and can be found in full at:


Oral examination

You may submit a request – or the Chair of Examination may request you – to undertake an oral examination, also known as an oral defence or ‘viva’.


Visual Arts examination

If your thesis includes a creative work, your examination will need to include the submission of your thesis, an exhibition and an oral exam. Your exhibition and oral examination will be scheduled for the exhibition period closest to your latest date for submission of your thesis.

A comprehensive explanation of a Visual Arts exhibition and oral examination can be found here:


Examination process

After you have submitted your thesis and it has been passed through plagiarism software, it will be sent to the appointed examiners for assessment. The examination process is confidential and is monitored by HDRAC. If you have concerns with delays you should first get in contact with HDRAC for an update. Occasionally there are unforeseen delays, and HDRAC is committed to monitoring and corresponding with the examiners to ensure your examination is timely as possible.



Examiners are required to submit a detailed written report and recommendation for award of your thesis. Sometimes there will be substantial differences between the examiners’ recommendations. If this happens the University will consider all reports and make a recommendation in consultation with an academic committee and your supervisor.

The examiners reports could recommend one of the following outcomes:

  • Award
  • Award with corrections
  • Award with revisions
  • Revise and resubmit for a second examination
  • Not to be awarded a doctoral degree but be awarded another eligible degree
  • No award

Examination results are an academic decision. These decisions are subject to appeal in accordance with the

University of Sydney (Student Appeals Against Academic Decisions) Rule 2006.


Lodging your thesis with the library

HDRAC will send you clear guidelines on how to lodge your thesis with the University library once your degree has been awarded. It is important to understand that once your thesis is lodged at the library no further edits can be made.

After you’ve received your examination outcome and made any necessary edits, you’ll need to submit your final thesis to the Library via the HDRAC. When doing this, there is some essential information that you need to know:

  1. Thesis access level choices. You must select one of two access levels for your thesis:
    1. Open access means that the thesis PDF file is freely available online without restriction.  Selecting open access means that a thesis is available to readers world-wide.
    2. Local access (UniKey restricted) means a record of your thesis is publicly available (author, title and abstract information), however access to the thesis file is only available to staff and students of the University of Sydney through UniKey access.
  2. Remove all signatures. Don’t include any signatures in the final copy of your thesis that you lodge with the Library. Signatures which are included in your thesis, your own and others, can appear in internet search results.
  3. If you notice a mistake or error in your thesis after submission it can’t be edited. Instead you can submit an errata notice outlining any corrections. The errata notice needs to be approved by the Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee and, after approval, is appended to your thesis.
  4. Include all appendices that you submitted for examination. The final marked version of your thesis must be submitted for final lodgement, including any appendices that you wrote or created that were submitted for examination. Appendices can include video, audio, text and data files. The Library can provide advice on selecting file formats that ensure preservation and long-term accessibility of your appendices:


Theses including publications

If the body of your thesis includes published work, you are still required to present a thesis that is a consistent and unified whole. In this sense there is a form of ‘thesis with publications’ available at the University of Sydney. Note, this differs from a ‘thesis by publication’ available at some other Universities.

You must provide evidence to show that you are the author of the publication(s), or where there is joint authorship, identify the parts for which you are responsible. It is acceptable to provide a signed written statement from all authors of a joint work that sets out the contribution made by you.

Published works are required to be placed critically in the context of the thesis. You cannot bundle together a large number of journal articles, write an introduction and conclusion and call it a thesis. You need to check with your department to see if a thesis including publications is possible and find out their specific requirements.

A student is entitled to insist on being allowed to submit their thesis once the form of presentation is adequate, even if the supervisor does not agree the thesis is ready for examination. This includes a thesis with publications. If you have concerns about your supervisor providing a certificate to state the form of thesis is acceptable, you may consider speaking with the Associate Dean, Research in your department, or with your Head of School.

The University has information on submitting a thesis with publications here:

Refer also to the University Thesis and Examination of HDR by Research Policy 2015


SUPRA Support & Advice

If you receive a formal allegation of plagiarism or research misconduct, we advise you to contact SUPRA immediately. If you are unsatisfied with the awarded outcome of your thesis and wish to appeal, please contact SUPRA for support and advice.

The SUPRA office is closed – but you can still get help!

To help protect the health of our community during COVID-19 SUPRA's Student Advice and Advocacy Service, Legal Service and council are working from home. We are working to full capacity and are providing timely and accurate information, advice and support.