For both new theses and resubmitted theses an electronic version will be sent to each examiner as soon as possible after submission. Candidates may also submit a Covid-19 impact statement, setting out details of the impact of the pandemic on their research. This will be sent to examiners with the thesis. Examiners are asked to prepare an independent report on the thesis before any oral examination or conferral with the other examiner has taken place. After the final decision on the thesis has been reached a joint report is required which sets out the examiners’ final recommendation.
Examiners will receive a copy of the independent and joint report forms and an expenses claim form (expense form applicable to external examiners only). Forms are also available at Forms for examiners. An oral examination is required for the first submission of all theses except for Master’s degrees by research where the holding of an oral is at the discretion of the examiners. If revisions to the thesis are required (either minor/major corrections or a resubmission) a separate set of notes for guidance jointly agreed by the examiners must be prepared for the candidate and returned as soon as possible together with the independent and joint reports to the Doctoral College. Guidance notes should be presented as a single agreed set of notes which clearly set out the amendments required. In the case of minor/major corrections it is the responsibility of the examiners to inform the candidate of the revisions required and the deadline (see Section 8.1).
The University expects the examiners to act expeditiously in completing the examination process and has set the following deadlines by which the different stages of the process should normally be completed:
|Viva||PhD/MPhil/MD/EdD/EngD first submission – within 4 months of examiners’ receipt of thesis
PhD/MPhil/MD/EdD/EngD resubmission or Master’s by Research (if viva required) – within 2 months of examiners’ receipt of thesis
|Completion of examiners’ independent reports||At least one week prior to the viva (where held)
If no viva held, for example in the case of Master’s by Research or if examiners do not require a second viva in the case of a resubmission, within 2 months of examiners’ receipt of thesis
|Completion of joint examiners’ report||Within 2 weeks of viva (if held). If no viva held, within 1 month of completion of independent reports|
|Review of examiners’ recommendations by Chair of relevant Faculty Education Committee||Within 2 weeks Chair’s receipt of examiners’ reports|
Whilst recognising that examiners will have many other commitments, examiners are asked to adhere to these time limits if at all possible as delays in the examination process can cause considerable distress to candidates, especially if they are required to resubmit the thesis. If it appears that the specified time period will be exceeded, the Doctoral College should be informed immediately so that the situation can be explained to the candidate.
It is recognised that further delays may occur should it be necessary for the Chair of the Faculty Education Committee to refer the examiners' recommendations to an external adjudicator.