Research degrees staff information
Information and forms for appointments
- Appointment of Research Degree Examiners form (Office document, 54kB)
- Changes to oral examinations and-or appointment of an Independent Chair form (Office document, 40kB)- if not included on main form.
- Observers at a viva request form (Office document, 25kB) - if not included in on main form.
- Extended appointment of external examiners for research masters (Office document, 29kB)
Information and forms for examiners and for Independent Chairs
- Guidance for research degree examiners
- Research degree examiners' preliminary report (Office document, 53kB)
- Research degree examiners' final report (Office document, 70kB)
- Independent Chair report (Office document, 36kB)
Other information and forms
Please see the column on the right for the forms on the appointment of examiners and for the reports for examiners and Independent Chairs to complete.
How to appoint examiners
- Examiners for each research student are appointed individually. Supervisors must complete the Appointment of Research Degree Examiners form (Office document, 54kB) (the ARDE form) three months before the candidate's intended submission date. Supervisors should contact the proposed examiners to ensure they are willing to examine the thesis.
- The examiners are approved by the School PGR Director (or nominee), and by the Faculty PGR Director (or nominee).
- It is permissible to change oral examination arrangements, to appoint an Independent Chair, and/or to request observers at the oral examination after the approval of the ARDE form, using the Changes to oral examinations and-or appointment of an Independent Chair form (Office document, 40kB) or the Observers at a viva request form (Office document, 25kB).
Oral examination arrangements during the pandemic
A fully online oral examination has been the standard approach during Covid-19 restrictions. In line with current guidance, it is now also permissible for oral examinations to be partly online (at least two participants in the same room with others attending remotely) or fully in-person. The candidate and the examiners must agree to the arrangements and no pressure must be put on any party to assent to the oral examination being conducted partly online or fully in-person. No participant must be required to attend in person if they do not wish to do so.
- For new examiner appointments, the oral examination arrangements must be detailed in the Appointment of Research Degree Examiners form (Office document, 54kB) (the ARDE form).
- Where the ARDE form has already been approved, a change to the oral examination arrangements must be detailed on the Changes to oral examinations and-or appointment of an Independent Chair form (Office document, 40kB).
It is expected that all face-to-face viva participants on campus comply with the University's health and safety requirements, including the mitigations in relation to the pandemic such as taking Covid-19 tests. All visitors, including external examiners, should be made aware of the measures the University has in place for working on campus during the pandemic.
IT Services can offer advice on appropriate online platforms - please see the video conferencing webpage.
Extended appointment of external examiners for research masters
External examiners for research masters (MScR, MPhil or MMus) may be appointed for a three-year period to examine up to a maximum of 15 candidates over those three years. This approach may be adopted where there are cohort-based programmes or where there are many students studying for a research masters within a specific area. The University’s requirements for making this type of extended appointment are in Section 9.3.3 of the Regulations and Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes.
The Extended appointment of external examiners for research masters (Office document, 29kB) form must be approved by the Faculty PGR Director (or nominee). Examiners appointed for this extended period must also be approved for each individual candidate they will examine on the relevant Appointment of Research Degree Examiners (ARDE) form (as set out above) to ensure that the examiner meets the appointment criteria for each examination, including in relation to having relevant expertise.
The standard external examiner fee will be paid for each individual examination undertaken by an examiner appointed for this extended period.
The Guidance for the examination of MSc by Research students (PDF, 14kB) was developed alongside the regulations on appointing external examiners for research masters.
Request for a non-Turnitin submission of a research degree dissertation for examination
In exceptional circumstances, where there are contractual, security or safety obligations, a research student or a main supervisor may request an exemption from the requirement to submit an electronic copy of a research degree dissertation to Turnitin as part of the examination process (see Section 9.2.3 of the Regulations and Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes)
The request must be made in good time before the planned submission date on the Request for a non-Turnitin submission for examination (Office document, 31kB) form.
Expenses forms for external examiners
External examiners should send completed expenses forms to the responsible adminstrator in the candidate's school.
There is no requirement for the Academic Quality and Policy Office to approve these claims.
Fees for research external examiners
|PhDs and Professional Doctorates
The department the candidate is registered to is responsible for payment of both fees and expenses.
Deferring access to a dissertation
Information on how deferral requests are made and approved is available on the deferred access to dissertations page.
Nominating dissertations for a prize
Every year the Research Degrees Examination Board awards a prize for the best disseration in each Faculty.
Internal and external examiners can nominate suitable dissertations using the Research degree examiners' final report (Office document, 70kB). Nominations are noted at the Research Degrees Examination Board at which the degree is awarded.
Further information is at the Doctoral dissertation prize page.