Annex 10 - The guidance from research degree examiners on corrections and resubmissions

  1. Examiners must provide clear, comprehensive guidance on corrections and resubmissions to candidates. The guidance must indicate the necessary conditions required from the candidate, which – if met – will lead to the examiners making a recommendation for the award. The following points aim to assist examiners in setting out their guidance.

  2. The guidance must specify the parts of the work where improvement is needed. This must be sufficiently detailed to give the candidate enough direction to achieve the required standard, while allowing room for the candidate to use their initiative. Guidance for the correction of minor errors will necessarily be narrower and more detailed, including specific editorial comments where needed.

  3. The guidance must be clear and explicit to provide appropriate direction to the candidate. It must not include language to suggest that the improvements required are optional. Phrases such as ‘the candidate might wish to consider’ and general vague statements are to be avoided.

  4. The guidance must define the limit of the changes required, which the examiners must deem to be achievable within the time permitted for their recommended outcome (see Section 9.5).

  5. There must be joint guidance from the examiners that represents their combined view of the work. The examiners must agree exactly what the candidate is required to do and communicate this in their combined guidance, which they must sense check to ensure that it is coherent and complete. A separate list from each examiner is not permissible as this may lead to inconsistencies and duplication. (If, exceptionally, the examiners cannot agree on a joint report, they should submit separate final reports.)

  6. Examiners should arrange the guidance appropriately in relation to the nature of the improvements required based on, for example, chapters or specific aspects across the work.

  7. Examiners must not direct candidates to undertake further work beyond the requirements of the award. Publications, for example, are not part of the criteria for a research degree and so the preparation of publications must not be included as part of the guidance.
  8. When the candidate provides the revised dissertation, examiners must only consider whether the corrections required by them, as set out in their guidance, have been satisfactorily completed. Examiners should not raise new points at this stage unless the candidate has introduced a new problem in undertaking the revisions.