Here we explain how to access copies of research theses that UCL Library Services holds. There is also an increasing number of open access thesis repositories available online.
- Theses held in UCL Library
- Open access repositories containing the full text of selected research theses
- Indexes of completed theses
- Obtaining copies of research theses
- Thesis binders
- Open Access for Thesis: how to deposit
University of London theses
The Library holds a copy of most research degree theses completed by students registered at UCL and awarded by the UoL, including many from students at Schools and Institutes prior to merger with UCL. Theses are listed by author on the Library catalogue, Explore: they are shelved in our off-campus Store and may be retrieved for consultation (24-hour notice required) by completing the store request form or via the request link on Explore. Theses are not available for loan, either to individuals or via interlibrary loan.
Some UoL research degree theses submitted by UCL students in the areas of classical, Germanic, Latin American studies; history and law are not held: check the UoL School of Advanced Study catalogue for availability.
UCL started to award its own degrees to students registering from 2007/2008. Print copies of research theses are catalogued by author in Explore and shelved in Store; electronic versions are in many cases available on open access in UCL Discovery.
If you wish to access a thesis recorded in UCL Discovery for which the full text is subject to an access restriction or not present, it is best to contact the author directly to request a copy privately. If this is not possible, please contact the UCL Open Access Team.
If a thesis is not available via UCL Discovery or EThOS (see below) then it might be possible to obtain a copy from our interlibrary loan service via your home university interlibrary loan department. Please contact your university library and ask them to enquire about this service with UCL's Interlibrary Loan service; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Library does not normally hold print copies of any theses in the following categories:
- MA, MSc, MRes, LLM theses.
- Diploma theses.
- Undergraduate dissertations.
- Theses submitted at other universities or colleges.
A growing number of open access thesis repositories is becoming available including:
- ProQuest, holds many full text theses. You can search for dissertations and theses there.
- UCL Discovery, UCL's open access research repository, includes theses alongside other UCL publications. You can search for theses, or browse a list.
- EThOS, a database run by the British Library that aims to record all UK doctoral theses, with links to access an electronic version of the full text where available. The digitisation of theses that only exist in print form can often be requested, depending on the awarding institution and for a fee: UCL supports this process for UCL-held theses.
- The DART-Europe E-theses Portal, holds details of open access electronic theses stored in repositories across Europe.
- Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations, includes links to a number of international search tools and portals.
Video - Using PhD theses in research: EThOS
ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (PQDT Global)
PQDT Global contains over a million full-text dissertations and theses from 1861 onwards that are available for download in PDF format. The collection includes PQDT UK and Ireland content.
Many UK universities now decline to lend research theses. You may visit the awarding university or, increasingly, obtain an electronic version either from the university itself or from EThOS (see above).
Theses awarded by universities worldwide may be requested via UCL Library Services Interlending and Document Supply service. The normal charge for this service applies. Please note that theses are never available for loan: they must be consulted on Library premises only.
UCL Registry maintains a list of thesis binders.
Candidates for UCL research degrees are required to deposit an electronic copy of their final thesis in UCL's Research Publications Service (RPS), to be made open access in UCL's institutional repository, UCL Discovery. Theses are amongst the most highly-downloaded items in UCL Discovery. Making your thesis open access will mean that it is accessible worldwide, to anyone who wants to read it.
It is also possible, but not mandatory, to submit a print copy of your thesis to the Library for storage and preservation if you wish. We recommend submitting the print copy in cases where the electronic copy cannot be made openly available online in UCL Discovery, but you wish the print copy to be accessible to members of the Library.
Please refer to our guidance on how to deposit for further information on the submission procedures.