Information for Thesis Submission

This page collects (hopefully) all the information for IPPP PhD students about submitting your thesis. Most of the information you need is on the university page here, which details what forms you need to fill in and what your thesis should look like (i.e. margins, layout, etc.). Broken down, these are the following main things you need to do:

Writing your thesis

You can use this template which is a version of the template from Maths which has been floating around for years, adapted for the IPPP. With it, you can easily create your own thesis repo on GitHub as it is set up as a GitHub template repo (don’t just fork the repo (unless you want make changes to the template to merge back in) as then it will be a public repo and nosy people can look at what you write 😉). Alternatively, if you want to use it on Overleaf, you can download all the files as a “.zip” and upload them to Overleaf.

Decide on examiners

Discuss potential examiners with your supervisor: the internal examiner can be anyone from the IPPP and does not need to be an expert in your topic, the external will be the one to ask more technical questions during your viva. The main information you will need to find out is how many people your two examiners have supervised, and how many vivas they’ve done.
If your examiners do not have enough experience, you will need an independent chair which is another person from the IPPP. They just sit in on the viva and help if the examiners have any questions about the structure of the viva.

Once you’ve decided, sorting out the specifics is your supervisor’s role. This includes doing the admin stuff with the Uni, and arranging for the external examiner to come to Durham (you’ll need to agree on the best date for the viva with them).

Handing in and printing

Official information on handing in is here. There’s a form you have to fill out and have your supervisor sign.

To get a physical copy for your viva, send an email to the Physics Communications office and they will print and bind your thesis in up to 3 copies for free (it’s billed to the IPPP).

Preparing for your viva

As your viva approaches, you might want to start preparing for it. A few useful resources:

Corrections and resubmissions

Once you have passed your viva, you may be asked to do “minor” or “major” corrections. Your examiners will give you a list of things to change (usually as an annotated copy of your thesis) that you need to address. Correcting and resubmitting your thesis goes roughly as follows:

  1. Receive your corrections from PG-Admin, or directly from your supervisors. This usually takes about a week;
  2. Do your corrections! Bear in mind that they are suggestions, and you are not required to follow all of them;
  3. Send your corrections to both your examiners, if possible with the changes highlighted to make it easier to check;
  4. If your examiners are happy with your corrections, your internal will need to email PG-Admin telling them that they have accepted them. If not, go to step 2;
  5. You will then receive an email from PG-Admin asking you to upload your corrected thesis to the Durham e-Theses website and return a short questionnaire.

That’s it! Now you will receive a confirmation that your thesis has been accepted, as well as a confirmation that you have been included in the pass list for the next graduation ceremony.
It is important that if you want to participate in the summer graduation ceremony, your corrections have to be fully accepted around 6 weeks before graduation (in 2024 this meant before the 31st of May).