Guidance and resources for supervisors, including what the University requirements are on thesis format, giving feedback to your student on their writing, the process for thesis submission, links to forms, and tips from experienced supervisors.
At the University of Bath your student will be asked to submit either a thesis or portfolio depending on their discipline or programme. The thesis can be written in two formats, traditional or alternative (see QA7: Appendix 6).
There are a number of expectations on both the lead supervisor and the rest of the supervision team with regards to the preparation and writing of the thesis or portfolio, as highlighted in QA7 (Appendix 1 and Section 12). This includes:
- discussion with the student regarding suitable thesis or portfolio formats (theses submitted for the degrees of MPhil, DBA, EdD, DHealth and PhD may include academic papers in accordance with the alternative format specified in the Specification for Higher Degree Theses and Portfolios)
- finalisation of the thesis title
- guidance on writing and advice on submission
- undertake a critical reading of the draft thesis/portfolio and providing feedback to the student
Supporting your student with their academic writing
Regulation 16 states that a doctoral thesis/ portfolio submitted for examination should satisfy the Board of Examiners 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 the candidate must pass a viva voce examination conducted by the examiners on the broader aspects of the field of research in addition to the subject of the thesis/portfolio.
The University has developed guidance to detail the specifications for the presentation of Higher Degree Theses or Portfolios. Students have the option of submitting an alternative format thesis - you can find out further information through the Alternative Format Thesis FAQs. You can find out further information about word limits in the Guidance on word counts for final thesis/portfolio. The Library has also published a guide to citing references.
“It is worth discussing the thesis by publication format option early on in the PhD process (ideally within the first three months) – emphasising that this doesn’t mean the chapters/ studies have to be published by the time they submit, but that it will greatly speed up the process of publishing their work and streamline the thesis.“
Further resources and support
- The DoctoralSkills programme has a range of resources and training courses on academic writing, including writing a thesis in an alternative format
- The Skills Centre provides a range of support on developing academic writing, including drop-in sessions and one-to -one tutorials with a professional writing tutor
- The Library provides extensive advice to students on how to submit the thesis/portfolio
- Guidance on preparing a thesis for submission can be found in QA7 (Section 12), including information on thesis format, specifications, student and supervisor responsibilities and restricting access to thesis
- Full specifications for higher degree theses and portfolios is found in QA7 (Appendix 6)
- Regulation 16 provides guidance on the specification of the thesis and thesis submission
- Article by Rowena Murray, author of How to Write a Thesis (available in University of Bath library) on Supporting Students’ Writing and Publication
- Vitae have produced a checklist of advice for supervisors on writing up
- The University of Sheffield’s coaching tools to help with thesis writing - includes practical downloadable templates for organising literature, planning, and getting over writing blocks
- The thesis whisperer – an excellent blog newspaper dedicated to the topic of doing a thesis and is edited by Dr Inger Mewburn, Director of research training at the Australian National University
- Patter by Pat Thomson,Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham, which contains articles on many aspects of academia and research, including a thesis writing feedback calendar, supervision and writing feedback/ advice and writing centred supervision
- Transfer to 'Writing up' PGR10 (there is further guidance about writing up fees here).
- Change of Thesis Title PGR11
- Notice of Intention to Submit a Thesis for a Higher Degree HD1 Form (completed by student through SAMIS in tray task)
- Record of Submission of a Thesis for examination for a Higher Degree (HD2 Form)
- Record of Submission of the archive copy of a thesis for a Higher Degree (HD3 form)
- Restriction of Access to a Thesis PGR7