The Research Degree Examination Process - Frequently Asked Questions

I resubmitted my revised thesis more than six weeks ago, but I’ve heard nothing since. Can you let me know what’s happening?

Firstly, did you resubmit directly to your examiners or ask your School, Institute or supervisor to pass your thesis to your examiners? If you did, did you inform the RSST or MSGS?

When you submit your thesis to the RSST or MSGS, we log the date it was received and the date it was posted to the examiner(s). From that, we determine a “chase” date and contact the examiners if we have not received their reports by that date.

The most common reason why students have not heard the outcome of a resubmission is that they have sent their revised thesis directly to the examiners and have not informed the RSST or MSGS.

If we don’t know you have resubmitted, we don’t know to contact your examiners!

In other cases, the delay is usually due to the current workload of the examiner, or their availability, (you may have submitted during an examiner’s period of leave, for example). Please be assured that we will still continue to contact your examiner(s) to remind them of their obligation.

We’re having difficulty in finding examiners and my deadline is approaching. What should I do?

Submit by your deadline!

We encourage students and supervisors to begin the approval process well before the submission deadline to try to avoid potential delays such as this. But if your thesis is ready for examination you should still aim to submit by your deadline regardless of whether examiners have been appointed. The RSST or MSGS will keep your thesis safe until such time examiners have been appointed and approved.

After my viva my examiners recommended that I resubmit within (1, 6 or 12) months, but I’ve had no formal confirmation from the RSST or MSGS. Why?

After the viva, it’s usual for both examiners to consult and sign the Joint Report, and often they will take some time to put together a comprehensive list of revisions for you, especially where they recommend a 6 months or 12 months resubmission. We tend not to chase for an outstanding Joint Report until 2 weeks after the viva has taken place; and when we do receive a the report, it must be signed off by the Dean of Postgraduate Studies.

Also, we can’t formally advise you of the result until we have all the necessary reports: an independent Preliminary Report from each examiner, and their Joint Report. You may have already had your viva, but if one of your examiners has not yet submitted their preliminary report, we must track that down before we can contact you.

We actively chase any outstanding reports. In the meantime, if the examiners handed any corrections to you following the viva, you can begin working on them. Your resubmission deadline will be based on the date we send you formal notification of your outcome, not on the date of your viva, so you will not be given less time to complete your corrections if there is any delay to the Joint Report.

When is my viva taking place?

The date of your viva is arranged by your supervisor in consultation with you and your examiners. If several weeks have passed since you first submitted, and a date has not yet been fixed, please contact your supervisor or the Postgraduate Research secretary in your School or Institute for information. Do not contact your examiners directly.

I haven’t received my parchment yet. When will I receive it?

Parchments are issued by the Congregations Office typically 6 to 8 weeks after your Pass List has been issued, but possibly longer if your Pass List coincides with the busy Congregations periods. If you have already confirmed the correct postal address, you should contact the Congregations Office directly with your enquiry.

Can I see a copy of my preliminary reports?

You cannot see your preliminary reports in advance of the oral examination. However, we make examiners aware that preliminary reports will be made available to students after the oral examination if they are requested under the provisions of the Data Protection Act. If you wish to request copies of your preliminary reports after your viva, please follow the instructions here.

My latest submission date falls on a weekend, or during a University closure period. When should I submit?

In either case you’re not required to submit before the weekend or closure period.

If you are due to submit on a Saturday or a Sunday, you can submit the following Monday.

If you are due to submit on a day when the University is closed, you can submit on the day the University re-opens.

Do I have to submit my thesis in person?

No. You can arrange for a friend, colleague, family member, etc., to submit your thesis on your behalf. If you are using the University’s Print Services, you can ask them to deliver the bound thesis to the RSST or MSGS. Or, you can post your thesis to the RSST or MSGS.