Information ServicesAccess restrictions & moratoriums

Restricting access to your thesis

Once you've successfully submitted you thesis, we will add it to the Library’s collections.

Print theses are held in the Library and are available for consultation. Digital theses are made available to all online, under Open Access.

You may wish to restrict access to your thesis for a limited period of time. In this case you should apply for a moratorium.


You might want to request a moratorium for your thesis if, for example:

  • your thesis has been commercially sponsored and an agreement signed which does not permit the thesis to be made publicly available
  • your thesis contains material that was obtained under a promise of confidentiality
  • the release of your thesis might endanger the physical or mental health or the safety of an individual

If this is the case, you should discuss with your supervisor how to place a moratorium on your thesis. If necessary you should fill in and submit the Moratorium request form (Word doc).

A moratorium at the University of Strathclyde can last for up to five years. A moratorium applies to both the print and digital versions of a thesis.

Further information is available in the Postgraduate Research Degree Regulations and the Policy and Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research Study (pdf).

Freedom of Information Act

Because theses can be requested under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, grounds for placing a moratorium on a thesis can relate to one of the exemption provisions within the Act. A detailed list and guidance on the scope of exemptions is available from the Scottish Information Commissioner.

You should talk to your supervisor in order to establish whether there is a need to restrict access to your thesis for Freedom of Information (FOI) reasons. They will be able to advise if one of the exemptions permitted under the Act is applicable. If you need further help with this you should contact the University of Strathclyde FOI office.

Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations

Theses may also be requested under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs). If you think you may need to restrict access to your thesis in relation to environmental information you should again talk to your supervisor about an EIR exception, rather than an FoI exemption.

Information about EIR exemptions is available from Scottish Statutory Instrument 2004 No.520.

For more information

If you have any questions about access restrictions please contact the Library cataloguing team: