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Finishing Your Doctorate - a guide for students approaching the end of their studies

Learn about about the different stages you will go through to complete your doctorate. Find out about the timescales and the issues you will need to consider.


As you approach the end of your doctoral studies there are many things to consider including finishing off your research, writing and submitting your thesis, preparing for your viva voce examination and completing any corrections before your doctorate is awarded.

This step-by-step guide will help you understand the different stages you will need to go through. If you are completing an MPhil, please contact your supervisor or the Doctoral Programmes Administrator in the Doctoral College for specific advice for finishing your award as the process will be different. They are on hand to provide help and further detailed information about each step.

Timeline for completion of your doctorate

The timeline from when you formally tell us that you intend to submit your thesis or portfolio to when your award is approved, can vary from six to 18 months, depending on the outcome of your viva voce examination. You can see the timeline in full on this diagram.

You should aim to submit in advance of your expected registration end date, in order to allow time for the examination process to be completed before your registration period runs out.

Funding and visa issues

If you are in receipt of funding for a fixed period, you should bear this in mind when considering when to submit. Whilst technically it is still possible to submit your thesis on the last day of your formal registration period, or after your funding ends, you are strongly advised not to do this: you will need extensions to cover the examination period and you will still be required to pay fees until the date you submit your thesis. If you are a Tier 4 visa holder, you may also need to consider that your visa could expire before your viva examination can be held.

For those students who find themselves in financial difficulty, The University of Bath Hardship Fund is available.

Step 1: Decide how to submit your thesis

A doctoral thesis submitted for the award of MPhil, PhD, DBA, DPRP or DHealth may be submitted in one of two differing formats:

  • a traditional thesis consisting of chapters

  • an alternative format thesis which integrates academic papers into the text.

You will need to decide, if you haven’t already, which format you plan to submit. Ideally, you will have discussed with your supervisory team at an appropriately early stage in your studies how you wish to present your work.

The programme regulations for each Degree will describe how the research work may be presented: in a thesis, a portfolio (EngD, and DClinPsy only) or via a body of published works (MD MS only). Only students registered on an EdD prior to 2014 are able to present their work in either a thesis or portfolio format.

Further details of the University’s specifications for Higher Degree Theses and Portfolios can be found in Appendix 6 of QA7. You may also want to read the Alternative Format Thesis FAQs.

You can access the Library’s collection of successful thesis submissions online via the Research Portal. You may wish to look at a few from your department as examples, taking note of content and organisation.

Step 2: Transfer to Writing Up Status

Once you have completed the minimum period of study required for your particular degree as stipulated in Regulation 16, and you have finished the specified amount of work, you may be able to apply for transfer to 'Writing Up' status.

Each Faculty / School has its own requirements for what needs to be in place before you can transfer to writing up status. These are as follows:

  • Engineering - supervisor confirms that you have finished all experimental work and analysis and that you are now writing up the results

  • Science - laboratory work has been completed where appropriate, and the required data has been collected in preparation for writing up

  • Humanities & Social Sciences – a clear outline of the thesis structure, including methodological and analytical approaches to be used, a detailed content of all chapters has been agreed, and, where appropriate, data collection has been completed.

  • School of Management - data collection and analysis has been completed and you have started writing up analysis

Fees associated with writing up

There are two writing up fee levels: Continuation and Administration, both of which are a significant drop from the regular fee rate. The one you choose will depend on the level of supervision you will need and the extent to which you will require access to the Library. Please note that Tier 4 students who wish to stay in the UK to write up are required to transfer to the Continuation fee and maintain regular supervisory contact.

  • Continuation fee - requires continued supervision and use of University facilities at a reduced level.

  • Administration fee - no longer requires supervision or the use of University facilities

Whether you transfer to the Continuation or Administration fee, your supervisor will still be expected to provide a critical proof reading of your thesis, prior to its submission. In addition, a member of the supervisory team will be available for consultation with the Board of Examiners on the day of the examination, and your supervisor will be with you at the point the examiners tell you about the outcome of the exam.

Writing up fee levels can be found here. They are paid on an annual basis.

Approval process

You should consider making an application for transfer to writing up status at the earliest point, as changes of status may take time to be approved. In order to apply to transfer to writing up status and for your fee status to be changed you must:

  • complete the PGR10 form

  • ask your lead supervisor and your Director of Studies to sign the form to authorise the change in your status

  • submit the form to your Doctoral Programmes Administrator in the Doctoral College for consideration by Board of Studies (Doctoral) for formal approval.

Impact of change of status

You should note that if you are in receipt of funding, such as a full studentship or a fee waiver, this funding will end at the point at which you transfer to writing up status. You should also be aware that a change in your status may impact on your liability to pay Council Tax.

Step 3: Notice of intention to submit

At least two months before you intend to submit your thesis or portfolio, and before your registration period ends, you should complete the HD1 form, which can be accessed through your SAMIS in-tray.

By completing this form you are providing formal notice of your intention to submit, which then prompts your supervisors and Director of Studies to start the appointment of examiners process by nominating an appropriate internal and an external examiner. It will also alert the graduation team that you are likely to be completing in the near future, so your name can be added to the invitation list for the next available graduation ceremony.

Most students will receive an email notification, reminding them to complete the HD1 form, six months prior to their registration end date. Students on the DClinPsy programme will be told by their Programme team when and how to complete a version of HD1. If you wish to submit your HD1 form earlier than six months before your end date, please contact your Doctoral Programme Administrator in the Doctoral College.

Step 4: Restriction of access to your thesis

You should talk to your supervisor and/or funder about whether there is a need to restrict access to your thesis. Typical reasons for restricting access can include:

  • contractual agreements with companies or funders to not make findings public for a fixed period

  • deferral of open release of the e-thesis until after a paper’s publication

  • delay in making results public as they are being used to prepare patent applications.

If, for reasons of confidentiality, you want to restrict access to your thesis, it is possible to request a 12 month restriction. This applies to the electronic copy of the final thesis at the point when it is uploaded to the Library repository, Pure.

If you wish to secure a more comprehensive restriction of both the electronic and printed copies, or would like a restriction of a longer duration, you will need to make a formal request for approval from the Board of Studies (Doctoral) using the PGR7 form. On this form you will need to indicate why you need access to be restricted, and for how long.

The University has an open access policy on research outputs, and the expectation is that all theses/ portfolios will be available within the Library repository, therefore you will need to provide some details about why your work should not be shared. You will then need to submit the form to your Doctoral Programmes Administrator in the Doctoral College.

Step 5: Appointment and role of examiners

Your supervisors and your departmental Director of Studies are responsible for nominating a Board of Examiners for the viva voce examination of your thesis or portfolio. This team will consist of an internal examiner who is usually, but not always, an academic from your department, and an external examiner from another university or organisation.

The team of examiners may also consist of an additional examiner, as a condition of funding, or an independent chairperson who can be appointed when the Director of Studies considers that the presence of an additional academic would be of assistance.

Criteria for appointment and role of examiners

For information on the criteria for the appointment of examiners, see section 14 of QA7. You can also find further information in QA7 (section 13) on the role of examiners.

Approval process

Nominations for doctoral examiners will be submitted using the PGR13 form: Appointment of Examiners for Doctoral Research Degrees. This form includes details of who the proposed examiners are and what previous examination experience they have, and it is signed by the lead supervisor and the Director of Studies.

The appointment of examiners needs to be approved by Board of Studies (Doctoral) before a viva voce examination can take place, so this form should be submitted to your Doctoral Programmes Administrator in the Doctoral College in good time prior to the submission of your thesis or portfolio. When you submit your Notice of Intention to Submit form you might want to also check with your lead supervisor that they have begun the process of identifying potential examiners.

Step 6: Final preparation for submission

Word counts

The guidelines on word limits for final theses/portfolios vary by faculty or department. In order to be sure that you stay within any prescribed limits please consult the Doctoral College guidance document on word counts.


Plagiarism is a serious academic offence. You will have by now completed the academic integrity training and are expected to be aware of the rules around plagiarism.

All theses are checked for plagiarism using appropriate software. Whether it is detected by the supervisor when proof-reading a draft copy, or by the examiners in a thesis actually submitted for examination, QA53 (Examination and Assessment Offences) outlines the investigation process that will be followed if a suspected plagiarism offence is detected. The viva examination cannot go ahead until the investigation is completed, and where plagiarism is found to have taken place this may result in a disciplinary hearing where an appropriate penalty will be decided.

For a refresher on academic integrity whilst writing your thesis, see the Library guide on citing references and how to avoid plagiarism.

Seeking advice from your supervisor on draft(s)

The lead supervisor is responsible for advising you on the format of the thesis to be adopted and for carrying out a critical reading of the draft. When you are ready, your lead supervisor should read a complete draft of your thesis or portfolio and advise you of any changes or additions that should be made prior to submission. You may need to produce more than one draft before it is finalised.

You should give your supervisors not less than two weeks notice that you will be providing them with a copy of the draft thesis. They will need at least six weeks to read the draft and make their comments. The supervisor’s opinion is only advisory, and you have the right to decide whether to make any of the edits they recommend, and to decide when you are ready to submit your work for examination (subject to the requirements of the Regulations for the degree for which you are registered). Addressing the comments made by your supervisor does not guarantee that your thesis/portfolio will subsequently be passed by the examiners.

Specification for submission

There are detailed specifications for the presentation of a thesis or portfolio for examination and these can be found in Appendix 6 of QA7. Please take note of these before submitting your work.

Printing / binding costs

You will need to print one hard-bound copy after the examination is completed. Information on the prices and process for printing your thesis/portfolio can be found here. You will be expected to bear the cost of printing this copy and as such may wish to speak with your supervisor about what assistance might be available.

Step 7: Submission of your thesis/portfolio

What do I submit?

You are required to submit your thesis/portfolio in electronic format to the Doctoral College Submission page in Moodle where it will be checked for plagiarism. If an investigation into a potential plagiarism offence has to take place, the examination process will be stopped until this is concluded.

You will also need to complete the HD2 form: Record of submission of a thesis or portfolio, and email it to your Doctoral Programmes Administrator. Upon receipt of the HD2 form, and your submission onto Moodle, the Doctoral College will email you, your supervisor and the Director of Studies to formally confirm receipt of your submission.

When do I submit?

You are strongly advised to submit before the last day of your formal registration period so that the examination process can be completed before your registration ends, and if you are a Tier 4 visa holder, before your visa runs out.

If you do not submit before your registration end date, you will have to seek permission from Board of Studies to re-register as a student.

Your registration end date can be found on your SAMIS page or you can check this with your Doctoral College Programme Administrator.

If your visa runs out before the examination process is complete, you may be required to obtain a new visa (such as a short-term study visa) or return to your home country. If this happens, it may be possible to return to the UK at a later date to attend the viva voce examination in person, or alternatively a video conference can be arranged to facilitate the examination. Find out more about visas.

What happens to my tuition fees after I submit?

Tuition fees will no longer be incurred but may still be charged from the point of submission. Depending on the outcome of your viva examination, and the level of access you may need to supervision and resources in order to complete your corrections/revisions, you may be charged a writing up fee for the corrections period.

Do I have to start paying Council Tax after I submit?

Full-time students are exempt from paying Council Tax until their expected, or actual, end date of registration. If you submit your thesis/portfolio on, or close to, your end date, you will need to contact your Doctoral Programmes Administrator to request an examination extension, which will extend your end of registration date. The actual end date of registration will then be the day of the Board of Studies (Doctoral) meeting where your final award is approved.

Step 8: Preparing for the viva voce examination

Purpose of the viva voce

The main purpose of the viva voce is for you to defend the content of your thesis/portfolio and demonstrate your understanding of the broader aspects of the field of research and the subject of the thesis. It is an essential part of the examination process, and you must pass the viva as well as present a satisfactory thesis/portfolio in order to gain the award.

The examiners will test your ability to defend the work presented for examination. They need to ensure that your work is robust and that you fully understand the implications of your findings. They want to check the foundations of your research to ensure that the basic assumptions underpinning the work are sound, and that nothing major has been overlooked. Being able to discuss the work with you in person is of particular help if there is disagreement between the examiners about the outcome, or when the decision is marginal.

Think about the viva voce as more than an examination. It is an opportunity for you to discuss and develop ideas with experts in the field, to receive guidance on future publication plans and to receive constructive feedback on your work.

When should the examination take place?

The viva voce examination should normally take place within three months of the submission of the thesis/portfolio. Efforts will be made, where possible, to arrange the viva examination on a date convenient to all parties involved, and to minimise the amount of time a student has to wait for a viva examination.

You will be advised of the date of the examination as soon as possible after the thesis has been submitted. As a minimum, you will be given at least one week’s notice of the date of the exam. Those Tier 4 students on an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) course who are coming back to the UK for their viva examination may require more notice, so that they can apply and receive their new ATAS certificate. The Doctoral Programmes Administrator for your department or programme/supervisor will work with the examiners to check availability and agree a date and time.

Where should the examination take place?

The venue for the viva voce examination will vary by discipline. In some cases it will take place in the office of the internal examiner. In other cases a room may be booked. In all cases, the venue should be a quiet, comfortable environment free from interruptions.

Video Conferencing

In certain circumstances, the use of video conferencing facilities may be permitted for your viva examination, although some programmes may have their own expectations with regards to the use of these facilities. This might be an option if you or your examiner are based outside the UK and for reasons of cost, time or restricted mobility are unable to travel to the University of Bath in order to participate in the viva exam at an appropriate time. Should you require further advice on this, or should you want to take advantage of this facility, you should contact your Doctoral Programmes Administrator as soon as you are notified of your viva date.

For further information on the use of video conferencing in viva examinations see QA7 Appendix 3.

Who will attend?

In line with UK practice, the viva voce will be a closed examination rather than a public event. You and the examiners will attend, along with an independent Chairperson if they have been appointed. You may ask that your supervisor is permitted to attend the viva voce examination to provide moral support or reassurance, but they must not play an active role in the examination. If you want your supervisor to be in attendance you will need to notify the Doctoral College on your HD2 form at the point of submission.

Some departments may also require you to undertake a public lecture or presentation before your viva voce. Please contact your supervisor for further information about whether this applies to you.

Can I ask for adjustments to help me participate in the viva examination?

The University is responsible for ensuring that appropriate facilities are made available should you need them. Please raise details of any reasonable adjustments that you may require to enable you to participate fully in the viva examination at your earliest opportunity. These adjustments can be related to a long-standing disability or a short-term medical issue, for example a back problem. Student Services can provide you with advice about adjustments and will generate a Disability Action Plan to record the adjustments where appropriate.

Tips and advice for your viva voce

The following tips and advice will help you to prepare:

  • expect to be challenged!
  • be active - anticipate the questions that are likely to be asked in the viva examination
  • use your research skills to identify commonly asked questions, and, after they’ve proof-read the thesis, ask your supervisors to suggest some potential questions too
  • be prepared to discuss both the strengths and weaknesses of your work
  • if you’ve presented your work at a conference or departmental seminar consider the questions that other researchers have raised about your work
  • re-familiarise yourself with your examiners’ work in the field, as this can help you anticipate some of their likely questions
  • be ready to summarise their most significant findings or area of greatest strength in your thesis
  • be objective, and identify any areas of weaknesses within the body of work and be ready to discuss these, too
  • ask your supervisory team, fellow researchers, or doctoral students in your office to hold a practice viva voce examination, in order to gain experience in answering questions about your work.
  • re-read the thesis, particularly the first chapters that you wrote, in order to familiarise yourself with the contents once more
  • attend the DoctoralSkills workshop 'Preparing for your doctoral viva'. You'll discuss what is expected of you in the examination and there will be a Q&A session with experienced examiners. Alternatively, you can complete the online learning module. Find out more by emailing DoctoralSkills.

Further information about the viva voce

There are several useful resources in the library catalogue, the following list may be accessed online: Murray, R., (2009) How to Survive Your Viva: Defending a Thesis in an Oral Examination. Mansfield, N., (2007) Final hurdle: a guide to a successful viva. Potter, S., (2006) Doing postgraduate research.

The following Vitae guides may also prove helpful:

ATAS requirements

If you are a visa-holding student on an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) course coming back to the UK for your viva voce examination on a short-term study visa, you will need to ensure that a new ATAS certificate has been applied for, and received, in good time before making your new visa application. This includes nationals who are able to ask for permission to enter the UK on arrival at the border, rather than apply for a visa in advance. If you return to the UK for your viva voce without having a new ATAS certificate in place then it may not be possible to proceed with the examination.

Step 9: Examiners' role in the viva voce

What do the examiners do?

Once appointed, internal and external examiners will read your thesis and each complete a preliminary report which records their initial independent thoughts on the work presented for examination. The examiners will refer back to these reports when they ask you questions in the viva voce examination. After the viva examination is concluded, the examiners will ask you to leave the room whilst they make their decision. You will be called back in, with your supervisor, to hear the examiners’ recommended outcome of the examination.

Examiners are asked to assess doctoral candidates' research and confirm their research as:

  • making an original and significant contribution to knowledge
  • giving evidence of originality of mind and critical judgement in a particular subject
  • containing material worthy of peer-reviewed publication
  • being satisfactory in its literary and/or technical presentation and structure with a full bibliography and references
  • demonstrating an understanding of the context of the research: this must include, as appropriate for the subject of the thesis, the scientific, engineering, commercial and social contexts

And passing a viva voce examination on the broader aspects of the field of research in addition to the subject of the thesis

Examiners' Report

On the day of the viva the examiners will complete an Examiners’ Report, which summarises how the examination went, their recommended outcome, and any minor corrections or revisions that are required. It is not always possible for these to be outlined in detail on the day of the examination, so the full list of corrections/revisions may be supplied by the examiners up to two weeks later.

The Examiners Report, and corrections list, goes to Board of Studies (Doctoral) for consideration and approval, and until this point their recommendations are only provisional. The official outcome of the examination will be confirmed to you by email from the Doctoral College/Secretary of the Board of Studies (Doctoral).

More information about the role and responsibilities of the Board of Examiners and how the examination will be conducted can be found in the Guidelines for Research Examiners.

Contact with examiners

You should have no contact with your examiners prior to the viva voce examination, other than with the internal examiner to arrange the date and time of your examination. After the examination, advice and supervision in support of any required corrections or revisions will be provided by your supervisors, not the examiners. If needed, your supervisor or the Doctoral College can liaise with examiners on your behalf.

Please note that examiners usually need between four and six weeks to read a thesis and prepare for the examination. Later, when presented with a corrected thesis, the internal examiner may take up to four weeks to determine whether the corrections have been done satisfactorily. Examiners should not be pressured to set an early viva date, or examine to a foreshortened schedule.

Step 10: Possible outcomes of the viva voce examination

The Board of Examiners will agree a recommended outcome following your viva examination. The list of potential outcomes of the examination are set out fully in both QA7 Section 17 and Regulation 16 but in summary, the examiners can recommend to:

  • award the degree
  • award the degree subject to satisfactory completion of minor corrections. These will either be of a trivial or typographical nature, or of a significant or substantial nature (but do not require major re-working of the intellectual content of the thesis/portfolio)
  • award the degree subject to satisfactory performance at a second viva voce examination and the satisfactory completion of any minor corrections to the thesis/portfolio. If the recommendation is to attend a second viva, the date will be arranged at the convenience of all involved
  • request that a revised thesis/portfolio be submitted before recommendation of the award can be considered. The Examiners may require the student to undergo a second viva voce examination, but may choose not make this decision until the revised thesis has been received and considered
  • award a lower degree (MPhil), subject to any minor revisions to the thesis/portfolio (not currently available for the DBA)
  • defer the decision to a Board of Examiners for the taught stage of the programme (for DBA, DHealth, DPRP and EdD)

Communication of the recommendation

You will be informed verbally of the recommended outcome by your examiners following the viva examination. Your supervisor should be in attendance at this point. The outcome is unconfirmed, and subject to approval by the Board of Studies (Doctoral).

You will have 30 days from the date of written notification of the outcome of the examination to complete minor corrections of a trivial or typographical nature and return them to the internal examiner.

In cases where the examiners require substantial amounts of work to be completed, the examiners will send their report and the details of the corrections/revisions to the Board of Studies (Doctoral) for consideration.

The Board of Studies (Doctoral) is responsible for checking that the examiners’ recommended outcome is supported by what is written in their report, and that any significant minor corrections or thesis revisions specified by the examiners may reasonably be expected to be completed within the time allowed. Written notification of the outcome of the exam will then be sent to you, and you will have up to 12 weeks to complete minor corrections of a more substantial nature, or up to 12 months to complete a revised thesis. You can find out more about Corrections in Step 12.

It is important that you meet the deadline for submission of your corrections or revised thesis, failure to do so may result in a fail outcome. In exceptional circumstances you may request an extension to the deadline for submitting the corrected or revised thesis/portfolio. Please contact your Doctoral Programme Administrator for information. If you have a disability access plan that relates to your ability to meet the deadline, please contact your Doctoral Programme Administrator.

Step 11: Approval by Board of Studies (Doctoral)

The Board of Studies (Doctoral) normally meets approximately every four-six weeks. You will receive formal notification of the outcome of your examination shortly after it is approved by Committee.

You are permitted to use your new academic title of ‘Doctor’ from the point at which you are awarded your degree by the Board of Studies (Doctoral). You will no longer hold student status from the date of the Board of Studies meeting where your award is approved.


You can appeal against an academic decision made by the Board of Studies (Doctoral) about your degree award. Regulation 17 sets out the grounds, process and timescales for which you can do this.

If you wish to raise an issue you are encouraged to:

-seek advice from the University Independent Advisors for Postgraduate Research Students

-speak to the Doctoral College.

Step 12: Corrections to your Thesis or Portfolio

No Corrections

If no corrections are required, you will need to submit a hardbound copy of your final thesis/ portfolio to your Doctoral Programme Administrator in the Doctoral College and an electronic copy to Pure, before the outcome of your viva examination can be approved by the Board of Studies (Doctoral) - see Step 13, below.

Minor Corrections

Depending on the outcome of your examination, you may be required to complete some minor corrections. It is uncommon for a thesis or portfolio to be accepted without requiring some form of correction following the examination. Minor corrections can either be trivial or typographical where you are normally given 30 days in which to make the changes. They can also be more substantial, where you normally receive up to 12 weeks to complete them.

When the minor corrections are completed, you will need to submit the corrected thesis to Moodle.

The internal examiner will then determine, on behalf of the Board of Examiners, whether the corrections have been completed satisfactorily, and whether you may now receive the award. It may help your examiner to do this if you complete the corrections in a different colour ink, and/or provide a document listing how each of the required changes has been addressed.

The internal examiner will update the examiners’ recommended outcome, and inform the Doctoral College. The Doctoral College will email you to inform you of the recommended final outcome that will go to Board of Studies (Doctoral) for approval. When you receive this email, you should start the process of printing a hardbound copy of your thesis and uploading an electronic version to PURE (see Step 13 below).

Revised thesis/portfolio

If the recommendation is to submit a revised thesis/portfolio, you will be given a reasonable time frame to complete the work, usually up to 12 months. You may also be required to attend a second viva. Before this deadline expires, the revised thesis or portfolio should be submitted to Moodle and paper copies presented to your Doctoral Programmes Administrator in the Doctoral College, in the same way as you did for the first submission.

Extension to your deadline

It is important that you meet the deadline for submission of your corrections or revised thesis, failure to do so may result in a fail outcome. In exceptional circumstances you may request an extension to the deadline for submitting the corrected or revised thesis/portfolio. Please contact your Doctoral Programme Administrator for information. If you have a disability access plan that relates to your ability to meet the deadline, please contact your Doctoral Programme Administrator.

Step 13: Submitting Your Final Thesis or Portfolio

Submitting a hardbound thesis/portfolio

Once your examination has been successfully completed, the final version of your thesis or portfolio should be submitted in hardbound copy to your Doctoral Programmes Administrator in the Doctoral College, along with a completed HD3 form before the final outcome can be approved by the Board of Studies (Doctoral).

You need to check the requirements for the colour of the hardbound case before proceeding with binding - see section 5iii of the thesis specifications document. Your hardbound thesis/ portfolio will be deposited in the Library by your Doctoral Programmes Administrator, and access will be subject to any approved restrictions. You are expected to cover the cost of printing the hardbound thesis yourself. Find further information about printing and binding a thesis here.

Uploading electronic thesis/portfolio to Pure

You will need to make the electronic copy of your thesis or portfolio publicly available by uploading it to the University’s research information system Pure. The Library provides guidance on how to deposit your thesis with the library, including details on how to request a 12 month restriction to the electronic version.

Step 14: Graduation

You will be contacted about the graduation ceremonies by email.

If you receive an invitation but have yet to have your final award approved, these invitations will be provisional. Deadlines for actions that must be completed before you are eligible to attend a graduation ceremony can be found here.

Your Bath student email address will be deactivated a short time after the Board of Studies (Doctoral) approves your award, so it is really important that you provide an alternate contact address within your SAMIS record. You may wish to switch to BathMail which is an email address that is exclusive to University of Bath graduates. Graduating students will automatically be sent a BathMail username and password to their student email account before it is deactivated.

Graduation Ceremony

The University holds graduation ceremonies twice a year, in December/January and July. Find more information on the dates of future ceremonies.

See eligibility to attend graduation ceremonies and doctoral deadlines for graduation ceremonies for more information.


If you are interested in attending a specific ceremony, please contact your Doctoral Programmes Administrator who will be able to inform you of the deadline for that ceremony.

See doctoral deadlines for graduation ceremonies, for more information on the next ceremony.

Preparation for Graduation

You can find out further information about how to prepare for your graduation ceremony. You should not book your travel until you have received confirmation that your successful outcome has been approved by Board of Studies (Doctoral) and the Graduation team have confirmed you have a place at the ceremony.


Your degree certificate will be generated once the Vice Chancellor formally confers the award, following Board of Studies approval. Conferment is timed so that certificates can be released for the graduation ceremonies. If you decide not to attend a ceremony, or your ceremony is a while away, you can find out more information about receiving your certificate here.

Your Graduation certificate will include the following information: - your full name

  • degree awarded (such as Doctor of Philosophy)

  • date awarded

  • signatures from the Vice Chancellor, Director of Academic Registry and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International & Doctoral)

Please note that the University of Bath Doctoral certificate does not specify the subject studied.

Alumnus status

All graduates, former staff and students who have studied at Bath for at least one semester are members of our alumni community. Alumni receive invitations to events, regular updates about the latest news from campus and opportunities to get involved with University life.

There are University of Bath alumni groups or networks in more than 40 different locations around the world. Activities vary in each city or country, from an online network to a Chapter - where an international volunteer committee organises a programme of events for local alumni. Getting involved can be a great way to make new contacts and widen your social or professional circle.

University of Bath alumni can use the Sports Training Village and Library, which offer discounted membership and special rates to alumni. Alumni are also able to use the University Careers Service. To access these services you will need to provide your alumni ID number or other proof of alumni status, available by contacting the Alumni Relations team.

Further information

During the above timeline, you may also be thinking about your next steps after your doctorate, in terms of your career. The University Careers Service can provide support and guidance and specialist careers information.

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