Applying for an Extension to the Maximum End Date of Study (Thesis Submission Deadline).

What is an extension?

An extension to the period of study has the effect of extending the Maximum End Date and therefore the deadline for submission of the thesis. An extension to the Maximum End Date may be appropriate where:

  • progress has been hampered by unforeseen difficulties with facilities or equipment and hence completion of the thesis has been delayed.
  • progress has been hampered by unforeseen difficulties in obtaining or analysing data.

Maximum end date

Students can view their Maximum End Date (Thesis Submission Deadline) on their MyEd Portal.  The maximum period of study may be extended by the award of one or more extensions to the period of study. It is important to note that students who fail to submit a thesis on time, and who have not been granted an interruption or extension, may be deemed to have withdrawn and will have their registration recorded as lapsed.  A student may be granted up to 24 months of extensions to their Maximum End Date. Any single period of extension must not exceed 12 months. 

MyEd portal

Applying for an extension

An application for an extension should be made following discussion by both the student and the principal or lead supervisor. Applications may be made by submitting the application form to the Graduate School office:

  • the form should be completed by the student in the first instance and must be signed by both the student and the principal or lead supervisor. The signature can be provided electronically but must be sent from your University email address. 
  • a plan for project completion and thesis submission must be attached to the application. This should include details of what progress has already been made on the research programme and how near to complete the thesis is, the percentage of each chapter that is complete, and a plan and timetable for completion, with milestones against which progress can be measured (such as completed thesis chapters).
  • applications should be submitted as soon as possible after the problem has emerged or been discussed. Further, it should be submitted to College at least two months before the maximum end date. This is to ensure that the application is processed by College, Academic Affairs and by Edinburgh Global (where appropriate) prior to the end date, and so guarantee that you know whether the extension is granted before you need it. To meet this deadline means submitting the application to the Graduate School 2.5 months before the maximum end date. Applications received after these deadlines will of course be considered, but with no guarantee that you will know whether the extension is granted prior to the end date. If it is not granted, then you may still submit your thesis after the maximum end date on payment of a PhD reinstatement fee (fees for both extensions and reinstatement are here: http://www.ed.ac.uk/student-funding/tuition-fees/postgraduate/other-fees)
  • if you have a visa, you must seek advice from Edinburgh Global on any impact that the extension might have. You will be asked to confirm that you have done so when completing the extension request form.
  • supervisors should note that it is often presumed that the student will be working in full time employment during the period between prescribed and maximum period and that the student is responsible for managing their time to complete by the maximum period; applications based solely on the need for more time to complete may not be considered. 
  • all applications are subject to approval by the Deputy Director of Graduate School.


Edinburgh Global

Continuation fees

If and when a student is granted an extension to their Maximum End Date, they will be charged Continuation Fees.  Continuation Fees are currently charged at £810 per annum (for 2020/21).  Fees are charged when the period of extension begins, not when the extension is awarded.  Unused months will not normally be liable to a fee.

University Continuation fees information