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Academic Registry and Council Secretariat

Request an extension of your thesis submission date


This webpage and the extensions application form have been updated as of 10 July 2020. These changes take into account issues raised by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The main changes made are:

  • The guidance notes on the form have been re-organised and updated.
  • “Covid-19 disruption to study” has been added to the reasons for requesting an extension.
  • Normally an extension can be applied for on one occasion only except in exceptional circumstances. Where the reason for the extension is due to the Covid-19 pandemic more than one extension can be applied for.
  • The evidence requested in support of the application has been reduced. Students are asked to provide a timetable for completion of all work on the thesis and the proposed new thesis submission deadline. Draft thesis chapters are not required.
  • Statements have been included in the approval sections for the primary supervisor and Director of Graduate Studies


Students in their final 12 months of study or who have writing up status may apply for an extension to the period of registration and the thesis submission deadline.

Please read the guidance here and the notes on the extension request form (link at the end of this page) carefully before requesting an extension.


  • You may request an extension of up to one year if your studies are being affected by circumstances beyond your control.
  • Extensions can be granted in periods of whole months.
  • Extensions may be permitted for a number of reasons, including illness, maternity/paternity/adoption leave, personal reasons and financial difficulties.
  • Normally only one application is permitted except in exceptional circumstances, for example if the reason is due to Covid-19 issues.
  • Requests should normally be applied for at the latest 3 months in advance of the current thesis submission deadline
  • Students who have taken up employment during their writing-up year or final 12 months of study may apply for an extension.
  • An extension will not be approved solely to allow students to take up training, work placements, or teaching opportunities.
  • Extensions will not be approved for students who are not making adequate progress.

If you will not be able to work on your research programme at all for a period of time it may be more appropriate to request permission to interrupt your studies.

Application process

First, discuss your application with your Primary Supervisor to review your progress to date and to develop a timetable for completion of all work on the thesis and to agree a new thesis submission deadline.

On the form please explain how circumstances beyond your control make it impossible for you to complete the thesis by your current thesis submission date, and attach your timetable for completion of all work on the thesis and the proposed new thesis submission deadline. The thesis completion plan should include a table of contents, chapter headings and timetable for thesis completion for each chapter. Please use the template provided here

Requests for extensions must be approved by your Primary Supervisor and the school/institute Director of Graduate Studies. Your Primary supervisor and the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) will review your application and, if they support your request, the DGS will forward the application to the Research Degrees Office by email to

Your request will be considered and the decision made by the Research Degrees Programmes and Examinations Board. When a decision has been made on your application, the Research Degrees Office will notify you and your school/institute.

The form and timetable are at the bottom of this page

Immigration permission

If you have Student Immigration Permission (formerly a Tier 4 visa) you may need to apply for an extension of your visa. Please see the Advice and Counselling Guide before completing this form.

UKRI Research Council funded students

Students who receive their stipend funding from grants awarded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI – the Research Councils) should check the UKRI doctoral training grant terms and conditions with their Doctoral Training Manager before applying for an extension. UKRI monitors the thesis submission rates of its funded students. Please refer to Council specific guidance for further detail. The terms and conditions of UKRI funding take precedence over the Queen Mary Academic Regulations.

Writing-up status

Students in their final 12 months of study who have not already transferred to writing-up status should discuss with their supervisor submitting an application to transfer to writing-up status using the online form in MySIS. A student who is in writing-up status by the time of the start of the extension period will not pay fees for the extended period of study.

Word document form to extend your period of registration: Extension of Registration form updated 2021 [DOC 34KB]

Timetable: Extension request - timetable [DOC 23KB]

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