Submission deadlines for research students


The Research Degree regulations set out the submission deadlines for postgraduate research students who started after 2006.


Thesis submission deadlines

  PhD  MPhil Masters by Research  Doctorate of Medicine (Research)
Full-time 4 years
(3 years + 1 writing up year)
3 years
(2 years + 1 writing up year)

1 year

3 years

Part-time 8 years
(6 years + 2 writing up years)
6 years
(4 years + 2 writing up years)
2 years 6 years

Please note the following exceptions:

  • If you are funded by the AHRC and your funding started after 1 September 2019, you must submit your thesis before the end of your funding period. This take precedence over the College timelines above.
  • If you are member of the ISG CDT, you have 5 years full time in which to submit (4 years + 1 writing up year) 


How is my thesis submission deadline calculated?

Your thesis submission deadline is calculated from the start date on your student record and is based on whether you are studying full or part time.

It is therefore very important that this start date is recorded correctly. If you are not sure what your official start date or your submission deadline is, please contact the Doctoral School for clarification.

If your official start date is incorrect, make sure you submit a Change of start date form within the first 6 months of your study.  If you are sponsored on a Tier 4 visa, however, you are not permitted to change your official start date once you have arrived in the UK. 

How can I check my submission deadline?

If you are not sure what your submission deadline is, please contact the Doctoral School.

The Doctoral School also sends a reminder of the deadline to all postgraduate researchers approx. 6 months before their submission deadline.

What can affect my thesis submission deadline?

Your thesis submission deadline will be affected if you: 

In all cases, the relevant paperwork must be submitted so that your student record can be updated officially. The Doctoral School will inform you of your new submission deadline once they have processed your change in registration.

What happens if I miss my submission deadline?

According to the Research Degree regulations section 15 (2), your registration with the College may be terminated if you miss the deadline.

If you are struggling to meet your submission deadline, please contact your supervisor/s as soon as possible, and discuss your concerns with them. In the event of a non-submission, the Doctoral School will conduct checks and inform you, your supervisory team, and PGR Department Lead that your record may be closed in line with the Research Degree Regulations. We therefore encourage you to contact your supervisor, and where appropriate contact Wellbeing Services, if you are experiencing any difficulty.

Is it possible to submit too early?

Yes -  If you are on a PhD, MPhil or Doctorate of Medicine (Research) programme, you are not permitted to submit your thesis until you have been registered at Royal Holloway for a  minimum of two years full-time (or part-time equivalent).

What other deadlines should I be aware of?

  • Upgrade:  You must complete your first attempt at upgrade from MPhil to PhD within 20 months full-time (or part-time equivalent.  If you fail this first attempt, your second and final attempt must be within 24 months full-time (or part-time equivalent).  For ISG CDT students, the deadlines are 26 months and 30 months respectively.
  • Exam entry:  It is recommended that you submit your exam entry form to the Doctoral School  two months prior to the submission of your thesis.  This allows time for your examiners to to be appointed and invited before you submit.








Contact us

By email: 

By phone:

  • 01784 276886
  • Manned 10am-4pm, Tuesday to Thursday

In person:

  • Visit our helpdesk in room S-105, Founder's South Tower
  • Open 10am-4pm on Tuesdays