A thesis extension, or an extension of registration to a graduate research programme, may be required by a student when they reach the maximum period of registration for their programme. Details of the maximum period of registration for a graduate research programme are outlined in in Academic Regulations 7.9-7.11, 8.11 or 9.10.
If a student submits their thesis before the maximum period of registration for their programme then they do not not need, and are not eligible for, a thesis extension.
The granting of an extension to your registration is a separate matter from any stipend you might receive, please consult your supervisor or your funding agency about the status of a stipend (if applicable).
A series of FAQs for students seeking an extension are given below. Additional information, for graduate research students, can also be found at FAQs for Graduate Research Students or in the Research Student Hub.
We encourage you, where possible to submit your thesis by your planned deadline.
Where you are unable to meet your originally planned deadline, and you have not reached the point of maximum registration to your programme, then you do not need an extension. Your registration will continue and fees will be payable.
If you have reached the maximum period of registration to your programme, and are not able to meet your originally planned submission date, then you can apply for an extension.
If you require an extension to your registration then please discuss this with your supervisor, confirm their support, and discuss your plan for completion.
When you have identified a proposed new date, please note that extensions are typically granted by trimester, then please complete the online request form in your SISWeb (as outlined in FAQ No.2) as directed. This request will be submitted to your School in the first instance. In keeping with normal governance, and if your supervisor and the School is happy to support the extension, the request will be progressed by your School to the Graduate Research Board.
As part of your application, please describe the circumstances that lead to this request including how your research has been impeded, the duration of this delay and how you will be able to complete your work within the timeframe sought. The circumstances for which you may seek an extension can include illness, interruptions to your research outside the control of you or your supervisor and any other extenuating circumstance (for example, bereavement).
Extensions are typically granted by trimester. If you have been granted an extension, please pay attention to the final date as this will be in-line with the thesis submission fee deadlines. If you don't need the full period of time granted then you can still submit before the end of your extension.
You will be be charged fees for the duration of an extension unless you have sought, and been granted, a 'no fee' extension. If you are seeking a 'no fee' extension, for the period of your extension, please indicate this in the appropriate section on the SISWeb form. If you apply for a 'no fee' extension then your application must provide clear reasons for this request and must be supported by a statement from your supervisor and any additional and relevant documentation that you may wish to provide (the Graduate Research Board reserves the right seek clarification on any information provided).
Students seeking a 'no fee' extension must also have reached the maximum number of registered trimesters for their programme, as outlined in Academic Regulations 7.10, 7.11, 8.11 or 9.10.
An extension should ideally be sought at least two months in advance of your originally planned submission date. This is to allow for a timely response before your original submission date has passed.
For example, if you originally planned to submit your thesis in time for the September thesis deadline, but will not be able to submit until December, then you should ideally apply for an extension in early July.
There are many reasons that a student may need to apply for an extension. These include, but are not limited to, circumstances such as:
As part of your application, a student should describe the circumstances that led to this request potentially including the following pieces of information:
Note: If at any time during your programme, you are completely unable to engage with your research for 1 or more trimesters, then a Leave of Absence may be the appropriate application and you should discuss this with your supervisor(s).
Additional information on the supports available to graduate research students can be found on a dedicated, and downloadable, page on the Graduate Studies website.
This application will follow the same process as outlined in Q1. Please note that a request for an additional extension, and specifically a 'no fee' extension, remains a significant request and supporting documentation must to provided for such requests (statement from a supervisor, medical certificates etc). Your supporting documentation should include a detailed plan of completion that has been agreed with your suprevisor (or that forms part of the supporting statement from your supervisor).
A useful summary of guidance and policies on research degree programmes at UCD