How long it takes for you to get your degree?


I am an oversea student at Imperial college.

I have passed my viva, made the corrections and I just submitted the final version of my thesis to the system 2 days ago, usually how long it takes for me to get my PhD degree awarded? can I get my degree by the end of this year?

Many thanks in advance!


At my university research degrees are conferred by the Senate, which meets every couple of months. So it was very soon afterwards that I was officially a Dr.

Graduation happened a little later, but that's really a formality with UK PhD degrees.

You should ask the authorities at your university what the procedure is. For example if you are waiting for graduation (when you will have the degree certificate in your hand, or posted to you) then is there a winter ceremony at your university, or will you have to wait for the summer, etc.

But, again, graduation really is a formality for UK PhD degrees. So once it's conferred by the university, and all tidied up, you are definitely officially a Dr :) Even if you might still be waiting for that bit of paper to prove it ...


Ooh actually I did get a letter from Senate confirming the degree had been awarded. So I had a bit of paper, even while waiting for graduation and the degree certificate.

It was the first thing I ever got addressed to me as Dr :)


I was told it's the letter that's important. After the corrections have been approved, the recommendation goes to Senate, who then send you a letter. This letter is proof of the degree, the graduation is juts a formality.


So when can you say you got your PhD like for your CV? After your viva? Or can you put the year of when you submit your thesis if say your viva is after Christmas?


You don't have your PhD until any corrections are approved and signed off.

And, strictly speaking, you don't have it until it's conferred by Senate.

So i f submitting before Christmas you can't put that as the year you got your PhD. It would be the next one, all going well.

Though you can put in a CV that you submitted on a particular date.


Not to alarm you, but universities are becoming increasingly bureaucratic and there can be delays. Based on my experience, and because the Christmas holidays are coming I would say you will not get the paperwork done this year (it took me 4 months from the point you are currently at).

My university required the work to be approved by the examiners, approved by the Faculty research committee and approved by the University research committee. There were plenty of delays:

- I had to wait 7 months for my viva
- No Faculty research committee meeting had been scheduled (it took them 3 weeks just to schedule it)
- No University research committee meeting had been scheduled
- The admin paperwork was incorrect when it went to the University committee (one examiner had not done something)
- The new Deputy Vice-Chancellor decided to change the rules and wanted to sign every PhD off himself
- Three weeks from University committee to getting a letter (still waiting for the certificate)

I eventually sat outside the VC's office until someone sat up and took notice.


Thanks that's what I thought. I wanted it done before the end of the year but it doesn't look like that is going to happen! Nevermind there isn't much I can do about it.