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The Thesis

Please note. This content is from the 2018 Research Student Handbook and should only be used as a guide. Please refer to the 2019 Research Student Handbook PDF for current information.

It is recommended that you discuss the length, composition and format of the thesis with your supervisor at an early stage of candidature and that you take the time to review both the relevant academic program rules and the document ‘specifications for thesis’, which describes in detail the current requirements for the preparation and presentation of a higher degree by research thesis.

As you approach the end of your candidature, you will be able to choose whether you wish your thesis to be examined under the academic program rules and specifications for thesis in place during your year of enrolment, or, those in place at the time you submit for examination.  This selection is made at the time of notifying the Adelaide Graduate Centre of your intention to submit your thesis for examination (3 months prior to the actual submission). 

Program Rules and Specifications for your Thesis

Where possible, it is recommended that you choose to submit under the current rules and specifications for thesis for the following reasons:

  • to ensure that the thesis delivered to examiners is consistent with current national and international expectations of a Doctoral or master by research thesis;
  • the University has, in general, moved to permit greater flexibility in the format of research theses e.g. PhDs may now be submitted in one of the following formats:
    1. Conventional written narrative presented as typescript;
    2. Publication. - a thesis by publication may include publications that have been published and/or accepted and/or submitted for publication and/or unpublished and unsubmitted work written in a manuscript style;
    3. Combination of conventional and publication formats; and
    4. Major Work (creative, musical or visual) (Volume 1) and exegesis (Volume 2).
  • the yearly revisions to the program rules and specifications for thesis document have resulted in greater clarity of doctoral and Master requirements to students, staff and examiners.

In all cases, where your candidature has been lapsed for more than 12 months, approval to submit your thesis for examination will be contingent on the examination proceeding under the academic program rules and specifications that are current at the time of submission.

Current and historical academic program rules and specifications for thesis are maintained on the Calendar.

Scholarship holders.
You are a scholarship student, you may be eligible for an allowance to assist you with the costs of producing your thesis. Please consult your scholarship ‘Conditions of Award’, or contact the Adelaide Graduate Centre for further information.

Presentation of the Thesis and Editing Assistance

While you are ultimately responsible for the content of your thesis, the University would be remiss in permitting a thesis to be sent for examination that was below the standard required for the degree and/or which contained numerous typographical and spelling errors.

Careful proof reading of the text is essential to ensure that such errors have been corrected and you should not rely on your supervisors to undertake this task for you. Textual errors are a source of irritation to examiners and suggest a lack of care and attention on your part. If desired and provided that the assistance is acknowledged in your thesis, you may engage the services of a professional editor to assist you in preparing the thesis.

In such cases the editor, must be provided with a copy of the Australian Standards for Editing Practice (ASEP) and advised to restrict their assistance to the standards for 'Language and Illustrations' and for 'Completeness and Consistency' in accordance with the University's policy.

 Material for professional editing or proofreading may be submitted in hard copy or digitally. However, if, an editor utilises ‘tracked changes’, the document must only be returned to you in hard copy or PDF, to ensure that each suggested change is actively checked before it is included in your thesis, or, rejected.

The ASEP standards are available on the Adelaide Graduate Centre website.

For your convenience, the Graduate Centre maintains a Register of Professional Editors who have been provided with the ASEP requirements.

For further information, please contact the Dean of Graduate Studies.


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