After the oral examination: recommendations and reports

After the oral examination, the examiners complete a report that is sent to Research Services for Faculty approval. Unless there is some disagreement between the examiners as to the appropriate recommendation (a very rare occurrence), this is a joint report, to which the preliminary reports completed by each examiner prior to the examination are appended.  If the examiners fail to agree on a recommendation a third examiner, external to the University, is normally appointed.  Research Services must be informed immediately so that arrangements for this can be made.

Examiners must clearly indicate their recommendation concerning the award or non-award of the degree. The recommendations open to the examiners following the oral examination are as follows for the degree of PhD (options for other degrees may vary and are set out in the Guidance Notes for Examiners):

  • that the degree be awarded without the need for any corrections to the thesis;
  • that the degree be awarded once specified minor amendments have been completed to the satisfaction of the examiners;
  • that the degree be not now awarded, but that the candidate be allowed to undergo a further oral examination without modification of the form or content of the thesis;
  • that the degree be not now awarded, but that the candidate be allowed to submit a revised thesis after such modification of form or content as the examiners may prescribe, with/without oral re-examination;
  • that the degree be not awarded.

In addition, examiners for the degree of PhD may also make either of the following recommendations:

  • that the degree of PhD be not awarded, but that the degree of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) be awarded (subject only to the necessary changes to the cover and title page of the thesis);
  • that the degree of PhD be not awarded, but that the candidate be allowed to submit a revised thesis for the degree of MPhil after such modification of form or content as the examiners may prescribe, with/without oral re-examination.

Once completed and signed, the report form should be returned to Research Services within two weeks of the date of oral examination. Where minor amendments are required, the joint report form should be completed, signed and dated and returned to Research Services, within two weeks, minus the separate minor amendments sheet, which should be detached and retained until the amendments have been completed to the examiners' satisfaction. One of the examiners should be designated to approve the amendments once they have been completed. The agreed examiner should then sign and date the separate minor amendments sheet and return it immediately to Research Services.