Information for Examiners

All awards by the University are expected to meet the expectations as defined by the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.

The University offers a number of Research Degree programmes which include:

  • Master of Science by Research (Level 7)
  • Master of Arts by Research (Level 7)
  • Master of Philosophy (Level 7) Alternate award only via Progress Review or Examination
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Level 8)
  • Doctor of Business Administration (Level 8)
  • Doctor of Engineering (Level 8)

The University may also offer further Research Awards as defined within Section 3 of the University’s Academic Regulations, provided that they are listed within the Framework Specification.

As an examiner your role is key in ensuring that candidates through their Thesis and Viva voce examination can demonstrate the requirements set out in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications for the respective level. 

Details of this are explained in the Examination of Research Degrees Guidance notes (pdf)

The University sets some basic requirements for all thesis submissions which are defined within Section 8 of the University’s Academic Regulations.

In addition to a traditional thesis the University also allows candidates to use published work and alternative forms of research artefacts as part of their Thesis Submission. You can find more details in the Thesis & Submission: Information and Guidance. These allow candidates to use a combination of traditional written thesis and/or portfolio of research artefacts or practice. All of which must be assessed and meet the expectations as defined within the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.

All Postgraduate Research Examinations at the University will consist of an Examination Panel which includes and Independent Chair, and at least 2 examiners of which a minimum of one must be external. Where a Candidate is a member of university staff there must be at least 2 external examiners as defined within Section 8 of the Academic Regulations and Postgraduate Research Examination and Award Procedure (doc).

The Roles and Responsibilities of each of the Members of the Examination Panel are defined within the Postgraduate Research Examination and Award Procedure (doc).

Independent Chairs will be allocated from a list of trained and experience staff by the Doctoral College, Guidance for Independent Chairs (pdf), which also sets out their role within the examination process.

In advance of each Examination, examiners are expected to complete a Preliminary Report (pdf) following reading the thesis. These reports should be submitted to the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development in line with the Postgraduate Research Examination and Award Procedure (doc). The reports will be only be shared with the other examiner(s) at the preliminary meeting on the day of the examination and will support the oral examination of the candidate and are only based on the thesis as presented. 

At the end of each Examination, examiners will be required to complete a report outlining their recommendations and the joint decision of the examiners. The decision of examiners should be based on both the thesis submitted and the candidate's oral examination and defence of their research. The University defines procedures for the recommendation for awards:

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