Throughout your research candidature you will work toward producing your final thesis. There are some key points to keep in mind when you start this process.
Your thesis must be a coherent and cohesive whole. You can submit a thesis including publications but we don't accept thesis by publication. Refer to the relevant Thesis and Examination policy (pdf, 392KB) and discuss this with your supervisor.
There are also certain formatting and referencing requirements that are outlined below.
You can also find more general information on research skills, planning and writing your thesis in the research skills for HDR students page. This includes literature reviews, writing up results and theses including publications.
You can use an editor to prepare your thesis for submission. Make sure you discuss your plans with your supervisor and provide your editor with a copy of the University’s Thesis Submission and Examination Procedures 2020 (pdf, 180KB).
When you use an editor:
You will find information on word limits in the below policies and procedures, or in your faculty or school handbook.
Word limits include footnotes and all material in the main body of the thesis. Bibliographies and appendices are not included in the overall word count.
If you have questions about formatting, you can speak to your supervisor or postgraduate coordinator.
The frontispiece includes the parts of your thesis before the main content.
The following upper limits apply to your title and abstract content:
Login to Sydney Student (go to ‘My studies’, then 'Research details') to update and maintain your thesis title and thesis abstract.
If your thesis contains material you have previously published, you need to discuss an authorship attribution statement with your supervisor and submit this statement as part of your final thesis submission. It should indicate the name and publication details of the published work, as well as specify your contribution.
Such a statement typically appears in the frontispiece of your thesis.
If the publication in which your work has previously appeared has a convention about author order, then you need to include this information after each relevant attribution statement (for example, Journal of XXXX requires that the lead author must be corresponding author).
This only applies where you have made a substantial contribution to the paper. You cannot present minor contributions to published works in the main body of your thesis – these can only be included as appendices.
Example: Chapters published as papers/edited book chapters
Chapter x of this thesis is published as [citation].
I designed the study, analysed the data and wrote the drafts of the MS.
Chapter y of this thesis is published as [citation].
I designed the study, extracted the data and wrote the drafts of the MS.
Chapter z of this thesis is published as [citation].
I co-designed the study with the co-authors, interpreted the analysis done by A.N. Other and wrote the drafts of the MS.
Example: Published material distributed through the thesis
This thesis contains material published in [citation]. This is section x.y; figure s.t, and pages p-q of section y.z. I did... [describe your role].
You and your supervisor need to attest to an authorship attribution statement under the Thesis and Examination Policy and Procedures 2020 (pdf, 185KB). The following are suggested:
In addition to the statements above, in cases where I am not the corresponding author of a published item, permission to include the published material has been granted by the corresponding author.
Student Name, Signature, Date
As supervisor for the candidature upon which this thesis is based, I can confirm that the authorship attribution statements above are correct.
Supervisor Name, Signature, Date
Your thesis title page should state:
You need to include a statement of originality, usually placed after the title page, for example:
This is to certify that to the best of my knowledge, the content of this thesis is my own work. This thesis has not been submitted for any degree or other purposes.
I certify that the intellectual content of this thesis is the product of my own work and that all the assistance received in preparing this thesis and sources have been acknowledged.
*you should only include the signature in the copy you submit for examination, not the library copy.
You should refer to the Thesis and Examination of Higher Degrees by Research Procedures 2020 (pdf, 180KB) for information about the inclusion of published material you wrote, or contributed to as an author. This includes use of citations and quotations.
If your thesis contains material you have previously published, an authorship attribution statement, outlined above, may be included.
More information can be found in the Thesis and Examination of Higher Degrees by Research Policy 2015 (pdf, 194KB) and the University of Sydney (Higher Degree by Research) Rule 2011 (pdf, 877KB).
The responsibilities of all researchers, academic staff and students are outlined in our Research Code of Conduct 2019 (pdf, 484KB). This defines research misconduct and breaches of the Code related to plagiarism.
You need to submit your thesis as a pdf file. This is the required format for us to submit your thesis into Turnitin for similarity detection. If we receive a file in another format, then the conversion to pdf will not be controlled by you and may result in unacceptable or undesirable formatting changes. Be aware, once a thesis file is submitted for examination, it is not possible to withdraw it for revisions unless under the provisions of the Thesis and Examination of Higher Degree by Research Students Policy 2015.