Thesis as a Series of Papers

Presenting a thesis in the format of a thesis as a series of papers is available in some disciplines for some research candidates. Students should speak to their department to see if this is available and appropriate for them. 

Thesis requirements

The thesis as a series of paper consists of a minimum of three papers of publishable quality, preceded by a substantial introduction and a conclusion. The student must use the introductory section of their thesis to outline the context of the research and to set the overarching, unifying question which the thesis addresses. The introductory section should include a literature review and an outline of the methodologies employed. The overall work must constitute a coherent and continuous thesis, rather than a series of disconnected papers.

The thesis will include a summary or abstract of the work not exceeding 300 words in length. The thesis and summary must normally be in English. This does not include quotations. The Dean may approve, at admission to the programme of study, a request for the thesis to be in another language.


A thesis will normally consist of an investigation by one author of a unified theme of research. Where a thesis includes any work that has been written or produced in collaboration with another person(s), the candidate must explicitly acknowledge this, and must state, normally in a preface to the thesis, the extent and nature of the contribution of the other person(s). This applies whether or not the co-written or co-produced work has been published in any format before the examination of the thesis.

In case of co-authorship the candidate has to be the sole author of at least one of the papers and has to be the main contributor to the research and production of the other papers. Additionally, a co-authored thesis has to be submitted together with a ‘Statement of Authorship’ form.


A candidate must clearly identify all sources, published and unpublished, from which material in the thesis is derived, and must supply full references to all sources, in an appropriate format, both in the body of the text and in the bibliography or reference list.

A candidate must ensure that their thesis does not contain material the publication of which may lead to liability under English law, specifically (but not limited to): intellectual property law; data protection law; defamation law; and discrimination law

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Postgraduate Research Education Team