The joint report should normally be completed on the day of the oral examination or immediately after the examiners have conferred as to the quality of the thesis where no oral is held. The joint report need not be as detailed as the individual reports but should briefly summarise the examiners’ conclusions on the work and should summarise the issues covered and comment on the candidate’s performance in the oral examination (if held) in sufficient detail to enable the Chair of the appropriate Faculty Education Committee to judge how the joint recommendation relates to the recommendations made in the individual reports. If a candidate has submitted a Covid-19 impact statement, examiners are asked to confirm in the joint report that this has been considered.
The Examination Advisor (if one is appointed) should complete the relevant section of the joint report of the examiners. If the examiners recommend that the degree for which the student has submitted be awarded, no more than a signature and a brief summary comment on the viva from the Examination Advisor may be necessary. If it was necessary for the Examination Advisor to intervene at any stage, this should be noted in the report and the circumstances explained.
If the decision is for resubmission, to award a lesser degree or no degree at all, a longer report is likely to be required, especially if the performance in the viva had a bearing on this decision. The Examination Advisor is not expected to provide a full transcript of discussions. It is up to the examiners to explain why the student's performance in the viva was unsatisfactory. The Examination Advisor should be able to say that the viva was conducted fairly and that the student was given adequate opportunity to answer the questions put by the examiners.
Examiners should ensure that there is no unnecessary delay between the examination of a thesis and the submission of the joint report on the work. It is the responsibility of the internal examiner or examination advisor to ensure that all reports are submitted promptly, together with any list of corrections or notes of guidance for resubmission, to the Doctoral College.
In accordance with Regulation 38.7(5), in the unlikely event that the examiners cannot agree on a joint recommendation on the thesis, an external adjudicator, who shall be external to the University will be appointed. The decision of this external adjudicator will normally be expected to prevail (see paragraph (7) of Regulation 38.7).