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Thesis submission

Once you have completed your thesis, you will need to submit it for examination.

Notice of intent to submit

Four months before your latest date for submission, we will send you instructions on completing your Notice of Intent to Submit.

This outlines the date you plan to submit your thesis and needs to be completed three months before your expected submission date. You can lodge your notice using the Notice of intent to submit form.

Your supervisor will nominate examiners and usually provide them with your thesis abstract. Prospective examiners will need to formally accept this invitation. Your supervisor will organise any additional examination requirements. This may be the case if your thesis contains highly confidential information, musical scores, an exhibition of artwork or is in a language other than English.

If you want to submit your thesis after your earliest date for submission but more than three months before your latest date for submission, contact HDRAC. If you want to submit your thesis before your earliest date for submission, contact us for advice.

Mode of Examination

There are three different ways of having your thesis examined. A student has the right to select a relevant mode of examination, subject to supervisor endorsement and faculty/school approval; so you should discuss with your supervisors the possible selection of examination mode. At the notice of Intention to Submit stage, you will be asked to select from

  1. Oral Examination – in this mode, the examiners consider the thesis and prepare a short preliminary report as well as note any questions arising from the thesis review. The student then attends a private discussion with the examiners, moderating a Chair of Examination who convenes the examination, to respond to the examiners questions. In most cases, the student will know the examiners’ recommendation immediately after the oral examination.
  2. Thesis-Only Examination - here, the examiners each write an extensive stand-alone review of the thesis. When all of the examiners’ reports are received, the relevant officers and committees looking after your examination will consider the reports and advise the student accordingly.
  3. Exhibition Examination – this mode of examination is currently only available to students in the visual arts (FASS – SLAM). Here, the students present a piece of art subsequent to the submission of a written thesis component (sometimes referred to as an ‘exegesis’). The examination consists of a presentation by the student, consideration of the art piece by the examiners and a final oral examination of the research done.

Thesis examined under emergency conditions is a new provision available to students severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Further information on this provision can be found in the Thesis and Examination of Higher Degrees by Research Policy 2015. Related documents that will be required are below:

It may be possible for you to change your selection of examination after the Intention to Submit has been lodged. You will need to request this with your Chair of Examination.

Sydney College of the Arts

Thesis only submission

If you have a thesis-only examination (no exhibition), you should provide a Notice of Intent to Submit as described above and follow the steps to submit your thesis set out below.

Thesis including an exhibition

If your thesis submission includes an exhibition, alternative arrangements need to be made to accommodate your exhibition and an oral examination.

You need to provide a Notice of Intent to Submit as described above. You will also need to follow the steps to submit your thesis.

Your exhibition and oral examination will need to occur during the examination exhibition period closest to your latest completion date. We will allocate you to a period unless approval for an alternative venue has been given.

Latest completion date Examination period Thesis submission date Examination exhibition period
28 February September 28 February 8-11 September
31 March September 31 March 8-11 September
30 June September 30 June 8-11 September
30 September May 2021 30 September To be confirmed
31 December May 2021 31 December To be confirmed

The Graduate School Director and gallery staff allocate you an exhibition space based on the information provided in your Notice of Intent to Submit.

You will meet with the responsible studio and technical supervisor and your research supervisor to complete a Technical & equipment requirements form and risk assessment. Your exhibition specifications need to be approved by the SCA Work Heath & Safety Committee and you need to observe the terms and conditions, installation requirements and schedule provided by the Graduate School.

We will try to meet your space and equipment requirements, however we can’t guarantee all requirements can be met due to the large and complex nature of the exhibition.

Oral examination

You need to complete an oral examination to:

  • test your comprehension of the field of study described in your written component and presented in your exhibition
  • clarify points of principle or detail in your written component and exhibition
  • assess your contribution to the content and presentation of the creative work and your written component.

One week before your oral examination your examiners will send you interim reports on your research paper. This will help you prepare for your presentation. The reports are confidential and can’t be published in any form without consent.

On the day of your examination, the Chair of the examination will meet you 20 minutes before your examination time to help you set up.

Your oral examination will take about two hours and consists of four sections.

  1. Contextualisation of your work
    You need to talk about the lead-up to your examination work and work produced during your candidature including themes, issues and any problems. Examiners will ask you background questions.
  2. Examination of creative work
    You will discuss your creative work and site of the exhibition.
  3. Discussion of written component and related matters
    Examiners will ask you questions about your research paper and raise any points for clarification. You will have the opportunity to raise any points you think the examiners might have missed about either the creative or written work.
  4. Examiners confer
    You will be asked to leave the examination room. The Chair of the examination will facilitate a discussion with the examiners on your recommended result. After about 15 minutes you will be recalled and the Chair will close the examination.

Once the Faculty receives the Chair’s report and any final reports, a final recommendation on your result will be made. We will notify you of this outcome.

Submit 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.

  • Log in to CloudStor
  • Select ‘The University of Sydney’ in the list of providers
  • Log in with your UniKey and password
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, 38KB).


Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre

  • HDRAC is closed for in-person enquiries

    Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building, Darlington Campus


Find your discipline contact

Opening hours:
9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Last updated: 08 December 2021

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