Once you have been recommended for award by your board of examiners you will need to submit your final thesis to Open Research Exeter (ORE) before your award can be formally approved.

ORE is the University's repository of all research carried out at Exeter. Depositing your thesis in the collection will ensure it is made publicly visible, or open access. There are many benefits of making your research papers and thesis available via open access; it:

  • Increases citations and exposure of your research.
  • Helps to build your research career.
  • Increases chances for further funding opportunities and collaborations.
  • Meets the transparency/openness agenda.

Before depositing your thesis it is important that you read the depositing guide for postgraduate researchers‌.

Once your thesis is deposited in the ORE the full content of your thesis will be freely available online unless you request an embargo.

You will need to consider an embargo if your work contains politically sensitive material, or commercially sensitive material. The University’s Intellectual Property Policy provides guidance on the ownership, management and commercialisation of research results. For more information see the intellectual property and commercialisation pages in the Research Toolkit.

You may also want to consider an embargo if you want to publish papers from your thesis

The standard embargo period is 18 months, although an extended embargo of up to five years can be authorised in exceptional circumstances

Should an embargo be in place information in the thesis such as the title, author and abstract will still be publically available and accessible via search engines such as Google. It is recommended you still include an abstract in your record to give an overview of the research to those interested in your work, however if you feel the abstract could compromise you or somebody else in some way you may be able to deposit the full text

Request for embargos must be made to the Postgraduate Research Administration Office via your submission form, with a letter of support from your supervisor. Once approved you must still deposit the digital copy of your thesis in ORE and indicate the terms of the embargo on the online deposit form by noting the date when the embargo will expire, as well as confirmation of the reason for your embargo

When depositing in ORE it is important that your personal details on the thesis match those on your University Student Record, including your full name. The Postgraduate Research Administration Office will check the submission and contact you if there are any discrepancies before it is added to the archive. Once the process has been completed successfully you will receive an email confirmation.

Once you have received email confirmation that you have successfully deposited your thesis into ORE, the final stage in the award process is the formal approval of your award by the Vice Chancellor’s Executive Group (VCEG)

VCEG Award Lists for research students are prepared and signed by the Vice Chancellor every Monday throughout the year. Where the Monday is a Bank Holiday this will be done on the Tuesday. No VCEG will be held during the University Closure period at Christmas.

You will be sent an email by the Postgraduate Administration Office once your award has been formally approved.

Your graduation day is a special occasion to celebrate your academic achievements at the University of Exeter.

The University will have a summer graduation, normally in July, in both Exeter and Cornwall, and a winter graduation, normally in December, in Exeter only.

Should your award date have already passed, or be in the run-up to the graduation dates you will be invited to register for the day via your Exeter and personal email address. It is important that you ensure you are eligible to graduate by having you award formally approved approximately one month before the date of the graduation, and any outstanding academic-related debt cleared approximately 2 weeks before the date of the graduation. Should either of requirements not be completed you will need to wait until the next graduation date.

For more information about Graduation Ceremonies and to register to attend please visit the Graduation website.

You can choose whether to receive your degree certificate at a Graduation Ceremony or is absentia which means that your certificate will be posted to your home address. It is important to note that your certificate can only be issued after the official date of award, and so once you have received email confirmation from the Postgraduate Research Office.

You will certificate will display your full name, and the full details

Award documentation can only be issued after the official date of award.

You can then choose whether to receive your degree certificate at a Graduation Ceremony or in absentia which means that your certificate will be posted to you.

If you would like to attend a Winter Graduation Ceremony in December 2016 you must ensure that your examination has been completed and your final thesis submitted by Monday 7th November 2016.

For information about our Graduation Ceremonies and to register to attend please visit the Graduation website