All higher degree by research students should be aware of the HDR Policy and HDR Examination Procedures applicable to the examination of a thesis.
You are not only examined on the basis of your understanding of a body of existing knowledge but will be also be examined by individuals who must judge the approach to research, construction of hypotheses, argument and analysis. If the degree is awarded, you will become the peer of the examiners.
Two examiners are appointed for a research masters or doctoral degree thesis, both of whom must be external to the University, from different institutions, and have no actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest with you, your supervisors or each other.
Examiners will be experts of international standing in the discipline and will be active in research/scholarship thus ensuring that their knowledge of the field or area of professional practice is current. They must hold a qualification equivalent to or higher than the degree for which the thesis is being examined.
The appointment of the examiners must be approved by the College and the Office of Graduate Research. Before examiners are approved, you are given the opportunity to object to any examiners who you do NOT wish to examine your thesis. This can be done on your intention to submit milestone in Inspire.
Examiners identities are not revealed to you until after the examination process, and only if the examiner does not want to remain anonymous.
More detailed information about the appointment of examiners can be found in HDR Policy and HDR Examination Procedures.
An examiner is given 6 weeks to examine your thesis, however at times this can be delayed depending on the individual circumstances of the examiner. Once both of your examiners' reports are received they will be considered by the Dean of Graduate Research and you will be notified of the results.
Examiners will be asked to write and upload a written report on the quality of the thesis and recommend one of the following grades in Inspire:
|A:||Award: that the degree should be awarded, subject to satisfying any coursework requirements (if applicable);|
Award: that the degree should be awarded, subject to the completion of minor amendments to the thesis (specified by the examiner) to be carried out to the satisfaction of the supervisor, college HDR coordinator and the Dean of Graduate Research and subject to satisfying any coursework requirements (if applicable);
Note: Minor amendments may include the correction of spelling or typographical errors and small changes to the text.
Award: that the degree should be awarded, subject to the completion of major amendments to the thesis (specified by the examiner) to be carried out to the satisfaction of the supervisor, college HDR coordinator and the Dean of Graduate Research and subject to satisfying any coursework requirements (if applicable);
Note: Major amendments apply when an examiner is assured that the thesis is sound, but the amendments suggest changes to the structure and/or substance of some chapters of the thesis to improve the thesis without re-examination.
|D:||Resubmit: that the degree should not be awarded but the student should be permitted to revise and resubmit the thesis for re-examination. A thesis may be resubmitted for examination only once;|
|E:||Award alternate degree: that in the case of a student who has submitted a thesis for the degree of PhD or professional doctorate an appropriate masters degree or designated exit award should be awarded;|
|F:||Non Award: that the degree should not be awarded and the student should not be allowed to present for the degree again.|
Further details can be found in the HDR Policy and HDR Examination Procedures.
When the examiners agree
After receiving the examiners' reports, the Dean of Graduate Research determines the final outcome of the examination. If both examiners have recommended the award of the degree without any amendments (A grade), the Dean of Graduate Research will recommend that the degree be awarded.
If both examiners have recommended the award of the degree subject to minor or major amendments (B or C grade), or if one examiner recommends that the thesis be passed, and the other recommends that the thesis be passed subject to minor or major amendments (B or C grade), your supervisor and the HDR Coordinator of your College (or nominee) ensures that the amendments are made. The Dean of Graduate Research will then normally recommend the award of the degree.
If both examiners are unanimous in making any of the other remaining recommendations above (D, E or F grades), the examiners' reports are then referred to the University Higher Degrees Research Committee (UHDRC), which will make a decision on the outcome of the examination.
When the examiners don't agree
When examiners are not unanimous in making any other recommendations above, you and your supervisor will be provided with copies of the examiner reports. In consultation with you, your supervisor will be invited to write a statement in response to the differing examiner recommendations. Your examination will be then be referred to the University Higher Degrees Research Committee (UHDRC) who will determine your final examination result. The UHDRC may engage a third examiner to provide the committee with additional expertise and insight.
The following examination diagram and matrix may be helpful tools to assist with understanding this process.
You can appeal your examination grade to the Student Appeals Committee if you fall into one of the categories below:
An appeal may only be made on one or more of the following grounds:
For further information on appeals refer to the HDR Policy and HDR Examination Procedures.
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