Research degrees staff information

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

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.

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

Research Masters £130
PhDs and Professional Doctorates
Higher 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.

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