When you order a thesis it will either be immediately available for download or writing to hard copy or it will need to be digitised.
About 200 theses are added annually through requests to make theses Open Access or via requests to digitize a thesis in printed format. Guidance on searching for theses in i Discover can be found here.
Requests for consultation of printed theses, not available online, should be made at the Manuscripts Reading Room (Email: [email protected]: 44 (0)1223 333143).
If an item is embargoed, make a note of the embargo date and check back once this date is Electronic versions of non-UK theses may be available from the institution at which they were submitted, sometimes on an open access basis from the institutional repository.
A good starting point for discovering freely available electronic theses and dissertations beyond the UK is the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) , which facilitates searching across institutions.