Many British theses are available via British Library's Ethos service (Electronic Theses Online System)
How do I access Ethos and order theses?
The Ethos website can be accessed at ethos.bl.uk.
Anyone can search Ethos, but you will need to register and login before ordering and downloading theses. We are unable to do this for you, as you personally have to accept the terms and conditions of supply and undertake not to quote the work without proper citation.
There are instructions on the home page on how to order theses via the Ethos website. From here you will be able to download theses already on the system and order theses not yet digitised.
Is there a charge for downloads?
If the thesis is already on the system, it may be downloaded free of charge, once you have registered and logged in.
What if the thesis is not on the system?
If the thesis is not on the system, many institutions offer a digitisation-on-demand service of the print thesis via Ethos, for which they may charge. These institutions are shown in bold in the list of 'Which institutions are taking part?' on the Ethos homepage.
If there is no charge, you may order the thesis yourself, once you have registered. If there is a charge, you will need to submit an ILL request and and we will then order the thesis on your behalf and pay the charge. We will notify you when the thesis is available for download.
To submit an ILL request for a thesis, select 'Book' as 'Request type'. In the 'Place of Publication' field, enter the name of the awarding university, in the 'Publisher' field, 'PhD thesis' and in the 'Year of publication' field the date of the thesis.
What do I do if the awarding institution is not on the Ethos list or does not offer a digitisation-on-demand service?
Some British institutions may have a loan copy of the thesis you require which they may loan to us. These theses will always be for use in the library only.
Some British theses may be available in British Library's Reading Rooms at St Pancras. To view a thesis there you will need a British Library pass - you will also need to check with the British Library beforehand that it is available for you to consult.
Copies of theses from the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford may be purchased via their imaging services departments. For these theses you need to submit an ILL request, selecting 'Book' as the 'Request type'. In the 'Place of Publication' field, enter the name of the awarding university, in the 'Publisher' field, 'PhD thesis' and in the 'Year of publication' field the date of the thesis. We will order the thesis for you and notify you when it is available for download. This can take a couple of months or more as we have to contact the author of the thesis for their permission to digitise. If you need to view the thesis urgently we suggest therefore, that it may be quicker to go in person to the awarding university, and view the thesis there, but do check beforehand that it is available for you to do so.
Some institutions will not lend theses - in these instances there is no alternative to visiting the awarding institution.