Master’s Thesis

Thesis documents must adhere to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (FGSPA) minimum format requirements, as well as any specific program and/or Faculty requirements format requirements. FGSPA E-Thesis format requirements can be found here.

Per the Graduate Calendar, if a thesis or major research paper or project is to be edited by a professional editor, the student must obtain written permission from their supervisor and the Graduate Program Director. The extent of editing provided must not exceed the guidelines set out by the Editors’ Association of Canada in its Guidelines for Ethical Editing of Theses/Dissertations found here. Graduate programs may require the student to submit a marked-up copy of the major research paper, project or thesis along with the final version to demonstrate the editing that has occurred. If an editor is used, the specific acknowledgement must be included in the major research paper, project, or thesis. 

Master’s Thesis Processes and Procedures

As per the Graduate Calendar, key components of the thesis process that students should be aware of include:

  • Review Relevant Policies
    Graduate students and supervisors are required to complete an Intellectual Property Form indicating their agreement with University policies and guidelines or indicating any specific arrangements made that differ from these policies and guidelines. Students may also want to review the Intellectual Property Checklist to ensure that all relevant IP matters are discussed with their supervisor. Graduate students and supervisors should also discuss other relevant University policies, including the Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy and the Occupational Health and Safety Policy
  • Supervisory Committee
    In addition to their graduate supervisor, students completing a Master’s thesis will have a thesis supervisory committee. The thesis supervisory committee comprises a minimum of three members: the graduate supervisor and two additional faculty members. The composition of the committee is determined by the graduate supervisor in consultation with their graduate student and approved by the Graduate Program Director. The committee must be in place and operational by no later than the proposal stage of the major essay, project or thesis. For more information, please visit the Graduate Calendar.
  • Thesis Proposal
    Graduate students completing a major research paper, project or thesis must submit and have a proposal of research approved by their supervisory committee in accordance with their graduate program’s procedures.
  • Ethics Approval
    Following approval of the research design, human or animal ethics approval (or any other necessary approval) must be secured prior to the commencement of the research study. As part of the application for human ethics clearance, graduate students must provide a certificate of completion verifying that they have completed the Course on Research Ethics (CORE) online tutorial. The online tutorial can be found here. Although CORE training is not mandatory for students who do not intend to engage in research with human participants, these students are still encouraged to complete the tutorial to learn more about identifying ethical issues in the design, conduct and oversight of research.
  • Thesis Defence
    Graduate thesis defences will typically be open defences. The arrangements for a thesis defence will commence once all members of the supervisory committee have signed off, indicating their approval that the student and the thesis are ready for defence. The examination committee of a Master’s thesis defence will minimally comprise the supervisory committee and an external examiner from outside the university or from outside the program but within the University. The approval of the external examiner is the responsibility of the Faculty Dean or designate. The External Examiner Approval form can be found here. The thesis defence will typically occur four to six weeks following the external examiner’s receipt of the thesis document. External examiners produce a report identifying whether or not the thesis is ready for defence. This report is then shared with the examination committee and the graduate student prior to the defence. The recommended format and procedures for a master’s thesis defence are outlined by the Faculty of Graduate Studies (Masters Thesis Defence Recommendations).
    Additionally, each graduate program will publish its approved Master’s defence procedures. The Faculty Dean or designate will chair the Master’s defences. Following a thesis defence, students should typically be given two to four weeks to complete minor revisions, which are to be approved by the graduate supervisor, or four to twelve weeks to complete major revisions, which are to be approved by the graduate supervisor and the chair of the defence. For more information about Thesis Defences, please visit the Graduate Calendar.
  •  Submission of Thesis to Digital Repository
    When the thesis is in its final form (following defence), has been approved by the graduate program, and meets FGS Thesis Format Specifications (E-Thesis Format Specifications), the student will submit the thesis to the Brock University Digital Repository for review by FGS. The approved thesis must be deposited to the Brock University Digital Repository for a degree to be conferred.


  • Review the following information
    • Check with your graduate program regarding deadline dates for thesis submission to graduate at Spring or Fall convocation.
    • Review FGS eThesis Format Specifications and any specific program/Faculty requirements.
    • Under certain circumstances (e.g. to protect confidential commercial information, patentable material, pending application), the Dean of Graduate Studies may approve to delay the web access/display of your thesis for up to twelve months from the date of a successful defence. The application for this request can be found here:  Request to Restrict the Circulation of Thesis
  • Final approval from Committee
    • Ensure that your thesis has received final acceptance/approval by your Examining Committee and your graduate program before submitting it electronically to the FGS for final approval. The FGSPA will not review theses if acceptance/approval of the thesis has not been received.

Thesis Binding Options

Students and programs may wish to purchase bound copies of theses. We have sourced on-campus providers that offer thesis-binding services. However, you are not restricted to using these providers and are welcome to use any other provider. Any arrangements for the binding of hardcopy theses are arranged directly with the vendor and not through FGSPA or the Library.

View fellow students submissions to the digital repository

Brock University’s Digital Repository is an online archive showcasing and preserving the Brock community’s scholarly output as well as items from the Library’s Special Collections and Archives. Researchers can disseminate their work by depositing it in this Open Access repository, which provides free, immediate access to users while also allowing Brock scholars to track downloads and views of their scholarship.