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Doctoral theses: submission and authorisation of defence

The website of the UPC’s Libraries, Publications and Archives Service includes a specific section with useful recommendations on publishing in specialised journals, guidelines for producing a doctoral thesis and information on how to publish theses in TDX (Theses and Dissertations Online).

The title of a doctoral thesis may be modified when the thesis is submitted, provided that the new title is directly related to the thesis proposal originally approved. The title specified on all of the forms related to the submission of a thesis must be the same as the one indicated on the cover of the thesis submitted to initiate the defence authorisation process. Once a thesis has been submitted, the title may not be changed.

PLEASE NOTE: All of the forms required can be downloaded from the  Doctoral School website.

Thesis type

Before applying to defend your thesis, check whether you need to complete any other procedures beforehand based on specific requirements that apply to your thesis type:


Applying to defend a thesis

STAGE 1 – Estimated length: 30 days

When a student and their thesis supervisor believe that the student’s thesis is ready for presentation, the following documents must be submitted to the Academic Management Service for doctoral studies of the Barcelona East School of Engineering:

1) A copy of the thesis in PDF format. This document must be uploaded at Atenea PhD.

2) Authorisation (ADT form) signed by all of the thesis supervisors.

3) A thesis summary in Catalan or Spanish and one in English (i.e. two copies of the thesis SUMMARY form). This summary must include UNESCO codes (min. one; max. four). Maximum length: 4,000 characters. We will need the hard copy of the form (signed by the doctoral student) and the electronic files (unsigned). This summary will be published on the Doctoral School website. After the thesis defence process has been completed, the University will also add it to the TESEO database of the Spanish Ministry of Education.

As a general rule, thesis supervisors must propose two experts in the research area of the thesis (external to the UPC) to prepare a report before the thesis is submitted (to be sent to The academic committee will assess their proposal and, if it is accepted, send instructions to the reviewers to prepare the report. Reviewers may be professors or researchers attached to national or international bodies, except when an International Doctorate mention is requested, in which case they must be attached to a foreign university or research centre.

Reviewers have a maximum of 30 days to prepare their report. Comments and/or corrections made by reviewers will be sent to the doctoral student concerned and their thesis supervisor so that this input can be taken into account in the final version of the thesis.

PLEASE NOTE: Given that papers published in JCR-indexed journals have already undergone a review process, article-based theses will be exempt from external review unless the doctoral student concerned applies for an International Doctorate mention.

In parallel with Stage 1

While the reviewers are reading your doctoral thesis and preparing their report, you must submit the following documents to the EEBE Academic Service:

4) Valid national identity document, foreigner identity card or passport (original and photocopy).

5) Enrolment application for thesis submission (form M).

6) Your doctoral student activity report, signed by your tutor and thesis supervisor or co-supervisors. You can use the file generated by the Atenea PhD platform. Your doctoral student activity report should include only information on activities you have completed since enrolling in your doctoral programme. This document is not a curriculum vitae.

7) Statement by the author so that the thesis can be added to the TDX repository.

A) OPTIONAL: Request for temporary thesis embargo. If you have a patent application pending or will be publishing a paper related to your thesis, you can request that open-access publication of the full text of the thesis be postponed until a specific date (using the temporary thesis embargo form). The thesis embargo period is generally six months to a year.

B) OPTIONAL: If you are requesting the inclusion of an International Doctorate mention on your doctoral degree certificate, you must submit the following documents:

• An application for the International Doctorate mention.
• A statement confirming the period of study or research.
• The original certificate for the period of study or research. (Photocopies are not valid; the original certificate will be retained by the UPC.)

More information and forms related to the International Doctorate mention can be found, here.

STAGE 2 – Estimated length: 7 days

The Academic Management Service will request the following from your thesis supervisor:

8) Proposed composition of the examination committee. See the section here for further details concerning the composition of the examination committee, assessment and appointment of members. After the examiners have been contacted by the thesis supervisor, the Academic Management Service will request that each member provide their personal details (national identity document, foreigner identity card or passport) and their curriculum vitae if it is not available online (in the ORCID registry or elsewhere) or is incomplete.

9) A report on the quality of the thesis.


Once the report from the reviewers has been received, you will have to make any corrections required and take the following steps:

  • Upload the FINAL VERSION of your thesis in electronic format (PDF) at Atenea PhD. Your thesis will be checked using plagiarism detection software. No further changes may be made to the final version you upload. No printed copies are required..
  • All forms must be signed by the doctoral student and their thesis supervisors. The coordinator, on behalf of the academic committee, will review the proposed composition of the examination committee and sign the documents related to the submission of the thesis. The EEBE Academic Service will arrange to have these documents signed by the coordinator. The thesis defence enrolment will then be processed. Doctoral students must present proof of payment of the corresponding fee for the thesis submission procedure to be initiated.


STAGE 3 – Length: about 60 working days

The doctoral thesis will be kept on deposit at the Doctoral School for 10 working days. During this period, any PhD holder may view the thesis and make any comments they deem appropriate.

Details of theses on deposit will be published on the Doctoral School website. The EEBE Academic Service will inform PhD holders in the relevant department and the doctoral student concerned that the thesis has been deposited.
Bear in mind that the thesis defence must be scheduled at least 45 working days after the start date of the deposit period. More time may be required if there are delays in the steps involved in the process. Non-teaching periods and the last days of July do not count towards the calculation of this 45-day period (see calendar).

After the deposit period has ended, the Doctoral School will appoint the examination committee and authorise the defence of the thesis. At this point, printed copies of the thesis for the examiners will need to be provided.


The Academic Management Service will take the following steps:


  • On behalf of the academic committee for the programme, and in accordance with the prevision of the thesis supervisor, the Academic Management Service will inform the Doctoral School of the date, time and location of the thesis defence. This notification must be given at least 10 working days in advance of the defence date.
  • The Academic Management Service will send the appointment notice, the thesis in electronic format and the candidate’s doctoral student activity report to the examiners (including substitutes) and notify them of the date, time and location of the thesis defence. Copies of the thesis may also be sent by post.
  • All of the examiners who have to travel to attend the thesis defence will be contacted and, in accordance with the budget approved by the Doctoral School, accommodation services will be purchased or reserved as appropriate. Accommodation and/or travel services will not be reserved or purchased until the examination committee has been appointed
  • The thesis defence will be publicly announced within the department.
  • Doctoral thesis assessment forms and other documents will be provided to the secretary of the examination committee.

More information can be found here in the “Defence and assessment” section of the Doctoral School website.