Thesis submission and examination

Submission of a thesis is an exciting milestone for both students and supervisors and one that should be celebrated.

Before submitting

Writing a thesis is a lengthy process, often requiring multiple redrafts and revisions.

Drafts should be provided and reviewed on a regular basis to keep up momentum as the submission deadline approaches. Please ensure that all required milestones and program requirements (e.g. professional development hours) have been completed before progressing with your submission.

The information below has been provided to you to make your experience as easy as possible. You may also like to refer to the Graduate Research Thesis Examination Procedures for further insight into the thesis examination process.

The first thing to consider is in what format the thesis will be presented.
We recommend students and main supervisors discuss this as early as possible, and jointly agree on the most appropriate option:

  • Traditional thesis: A similar format to research reports and papers where the research question is proposed, methodology is described and the results are discussed and conclusions established.
  • Thesis including published works: Overall format is the same as a traditional thesis but particular chapters will include any submitted publications. Some Faculties have their own criteria for what can be included in this format.

All theses must use the approved thesis preliminary pages which includes compulsory information such as copyright and authorship declarations. If these pages are not presented correctly, the thesis will not be dispatched to the examiners and the relevant sections will need to be amended.

At Monash each graduate research student has a supervisory team. Of this group, the main supervisor is responsible for approaching potential examiners for their students' thesis. Initial discussions normally take place at the student’s final milestone review and it is recommended that examiners are approached at least 4-6 weeks before expected submission.

An email template is available for use when inviting potential examiners to examine a thesis.

In addition, when considering appropriate examiners, please note that if an examiner is subject to Sanctions laws, we are unable to provide payment for their thesis examination.

There are a range of circumstances that could result in a conflict of interest, potentially restricting the objectivity of the examiners.

Some examples of what we consider conflicts of interest are:

  • Involvement in the student's research, including supervision of the candidate in field or laboratory work or elsewhere during candidature.
  • Previous work in the same department within an institution as the candidate.
  • A previous appointment as an academic staff member at Monash University, including an adjunct academic appointment, during the student’s period of candidature.
  • Holding the position of emeritus or adjunct professor at Monash.
  • Substantial contact with the candidate in any other circumstance which might jeopardise the independence of the examination.
  • Being a close associate (spouse/partner, other relative, friend or business partner) of either the candidate or the supervisor of the candidate.

There is a more comprehensive list of grounds for conflicts of interest which you may wish to review.

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Submitting a thesis for examination

Before submitting a thesis, please make sure the following has been thought of, and/or completed.

To celebrate and recognise the substantial achievement of our students, a graduation booklet is provided to the general public that attend a graduation ceremony. The 100-word summary which is required as part of the submission will be included in the Monash graduation booklet.

Please ensure the summary is written in such a manner that members of the general public can easily understand what the research entails.

Students can access the Author Agreement of the Examinations Portal as many times as necessary. It is also encouraged to record copyright information here at any stage during candidature. Students will be prompted to complete the Author Agreement once they commence the online thesis submission.

Students have two embargo options for their thesis. This means no one will be able to access the thesis for the nominated duration:

One year embargo (subject to approval)

  • To protect information for publishing purposes

Three years embargo (subject to approval)

  • To protect information of commercial value
  • To protect patent applications
  • To protect intellectual property
  • To honour pre-existing contractual agreements that require confidentiality
  • To protect individual rights to privacy (e.g.: cultural sensitivities)

Students can specify when and who can access their final thesis from the University's Research Repository (Bridges). Any third-party copyright material included in the thesis is declared in this section.

You may want to contact the University's Copyright Advisor at University.Copyright@monash.edu if you need further guidance on this.

The specialisation indicates the field of research conducted and appears on academic transcripts. Each Faculty has a list of options available for their students to select.

Once a student has completed their part of the submission, the main supervisor will be notified to:

  • Review the details entered by the student to ensure the submission is ready for examination
  • Complete the Supervisor Statement
  • Provide examiner details
  • Indicate the Monash Chair of Examiners

A student’s status will be changed to 'submitted' once the Supervisor Statement is complete and they will no longer be considered an enrolled student.

The Monash Chair of Examiners is a representative of the students’ Academic unit or Faculty and is responsible for endorsing the submission and approving the examination to commence. If the holder of this position has a possible conflict of interest (eg. previously supervised the student), please contact the local administrator to find an appropriate delegate.

Following endorsement, the Monash Graduate Research Office will complete some final checks and process the submission before dispatching the thesis to the examiners.

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While under examination

The entire examination process normally takes four to six months, however it can take longer.

Examiners are asked to provide a written report and a recommendation for the thesis within 6-8 weeks of them having received it. Communication with the examiners by the students or supervisors is strictly prohibited. The Monash Graduate Research Office will follow up any outstanding examiners' reports, if necessary.  We unfortunately are not able to provide details on the content or status of the reports until both reports have been received and reviewed by the Chair of Examiners.

When ready, reports will be provided to students along with details on what will happen next. It is quite common for examiners to request amendments be made to a thesis. There is no need for concern if examiners have advised changes are required.

When ready, the final thesis is submitted online. Information on how to do so is included in the email with the examiner reports.

Thereafter, reviews will be completed by the student’s main supervisor and the Monash Chair of Examiners before the degree is awarded by the Monash Graduate Research Committee and title is conferred by the University.

Congratulations! Now that the degree has been awarded, students are encouraged to attend a graduation ceremony to celebrate this outstanding achievement with family, friends and colleagues.

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