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Following the extension of the e-theses pilot in October 2017, which introduced a requirement for students to submit an electronic version of their thesis as well as a hard-bound version, a number of concerns were raised about associated options for open access to the e-thesis version.

At its meeting on 6 February 2018, the Board of Graduate Studies received further feedback about the impact of the extended pilot to e-theses and confirmed the following:

E-thesis submission

The Board agreed that the requirement for submission of an e-thesis in addition to the hard-bound version should continue for all doctoral students as of the introduction of the requirement on 02 October 2017

Access to the e-thesis version

The Board agreed to put in place transitional arrangements governing the options for access to the e-thesis version for those doctoral students who have submitted or will submit their e-thesis in this academic year.

Under these transitional arrangements, students who have submitted or who will submit their e-thesis up to and including 30 September 2018 will have the choice of opting to make their thesis open access or to choose managed access to their e-thesis.

The online e-thesis submission process and information for students is being updated to reflect the transitional arrangements for students who have already submitted or who will submit in this academic year. Students who have already submitted their e-thesis will be contacted individually to establish their preference for access to their e-thesis in the light of these changes.


The Board considered concerns raised about open access and requested a review and consultation of the institutional requirements for open access to e-theses. The review will be managed via the University Library (Office of Scholarly Communication) and Student Registry and will include consultation with Degree Committees and the Graduate Union.

In particular, the Board agreed that the open access to e-theses option should be refined with additional advice and guidance and clear criteria governing access management where appropriate. It is anticipated that revised policy, training and guidance over options for access to e-theses will be in place for the next academic year, 2018/19, following additional consultation.

RCUK Training Grant

Please note that students in receipt of RCUK Training Grant funding should be made aware that there are specific grant conditions concerning access to their e-thesis following submission. Consultation will take place with DTP Directors to put in place additional information and guidance to support RCUK Training Grant funded students to comply with their external funder’s requirements.

Further information

Direct advice for students concerning access options for their e-thesis is available via the Office of Scholarly Communication at Should you have any queries or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us.


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