B5-17 Re-examination

  • 17.1 On the recommendation of the examiners and with the approval of the Research Degrees Sub-Committee, one re-examination may be permitted for a candidate who fails to satisfy the examiners at the first examination and this must include an oral examination. Where appropriate, an approved alternative examination (see paragraph 16.3.1) or any further examination required under paragraph 16.5.9.

    17.2 The candidate shall submit the thesis for re-examination within the period of six months from the date the examiners’ report was issued by the Research Degrees Team following the final part of the first examination. Unless the revised thesis is of exceptional quality and the examiners agree that the degree may be conferred without a second Viva, all re-examinations must include a second oral examination. The re-examination shall take place within six months of the date of this dispensation (see paragraph 16.2.4), however the Research Degree Sub-Committee may, where there are good reasons, approve an extension of the re-submission period.

    17.3 The Research Degrees Sub-Committee may require that an additional external examiner be appointed for the re-examination.

    17.4 The submission of the revised thesis and the re-examination process shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements for the first examination.

    17.5 The candidate shall follow the guidance for submission as detailed in Section 15 and unless otherwise stated, produce the same number of copies of the revised thesis as at the first examination. These should be resubmitted to the Research Degrees Team with RDSC-Sub form and a copy of the abstract.

    17.6 The preliminary assessment of the thesis will be undertaken as detailed in Section 16.2. If the Research Degree Sub-Committee has not appointed an additional examiner, the thesis will be sent to the original examination team for re-examination against the final report and recommendations approved following the first viva. The second oral examination should take place within the maximum deadline of three months from the date the examiners receive the thesis and each examiner should submit an independent preliminary report to the Research Degrees Team at least one week before the date of the second oral examination.

    17.7 Where the examiners agree that the revisions to the thesis are of exceptional quality, they may recommend that no further oral examination is required and the degree may be conferred. However, in all other cases a second oral examination must be held and following that oral examination, they may recommend that the degree be awarded subject to minor or major amendments being completed as indicated in the original report and reiterated in their report following re-examination.

    17.8 Arrangements for the second oral examination should be carried out in the same way as for the first examinations and stated in Sections 16.3 and 16.5.

    17.9 There are five forms of re-examination:

    (a)    where the candidate’s revised thesis is of exceptionally high quality and the performance in the first oral or approved alternative examination (see paragraph 16.3.1) or further examination (see paragraph 16.5.10) was satisfactory, the examiners may agree that the degree may be conferred and no further oral examination will be necessary;
    (b)    where the candidate’s performance in the first oral or approved alternative examination or further examination was unsatisfactory and the thesis was also unsatisfactory, any re-examination shall include a re-examination of the thesis and an oral or approved alternative examination;
    (c)    where on the first examination the candidate’s thesis was so unsatisfactory that the Research Degrees Sub-Committee dispensed with the oral examination (see paragraph 16.2.4), any re-examination shall include a re-examination of the thesis and an oral or approved alternative examination;
    (d)    where on the first examination the candidate’s thesis was satisfactory but the performance in the oral and/or other examination(s) was not satisfactory the candidate shall be re-examined in the oral and/or other examination(s), subject to the time limits prescribed in sub-paragraph 17.2, without being requested to revise and re-submit the thesis;
    (e) where on the first examination the thesis was satisfactory but the candidate’s performance in relation to the other requirements for the award of the degree was not satisfactory, the examiners may propose instead a different form of re-examination to test the candidate’s abilities; such an examination may take place only with the approval of the Research Degrees Sub-Committee.

    7.10 The timescale for examining a resubmitted thesis shall be the same as for the first examination with the oral examination being held within three months of the date of receipt of the thesis.

    17.11 Where the thesis is deemed of such high quality that the degree may be awarded without a second oral examination, the examiners must notify the Research Degree Team normally within two months from the date of receipt of the thesis and within a maximum of three months.

    17.12 In the case of a re-examination under sub-paragraphs 17.5(a), (b) or (c), each examiner shall read and examine the revised thesis and submit, on the appropriate form, an independent preliminary report on it to the Research Degrees Team before any oral or alternative form of examination is held. In completing the preliminary report, each examiner shall consider whether the revised thesis provisionally satisfies the requirements of the degree and where possible make an appropriate provisional recommendation subject to the outcome of any oral examination. This report will constitute the basis of any further revisions should they be required.

    17.13 Following the re-examination of the thesis and further oral or other examination if required, the examiners shall, where they are in agreement, make their joint report and recommendation relating to the award of the degree on the appropriate form - RDSC-MA/MSc/LLM by Research(B). This shall be submitted to the Research Degrees Team as soon as possible after the completion of the oral examination and definitely within 24 hours of the completion of the examination or within one week after the examiners have reached their joint decision where no further oral examination is being held. Where the examiners are not in agreement, separate reports and recommendations shall be submitted.

    17.14 The preliminary reports and joint recommendation of the examiners shall together provide sufficiently detailed comments on the scope and quality of the work to enable the Research Degrees Sub-Committee to satisfy itself that the recommendation chosen in paragraph 17.10 is correct.

    17.15 Following the completion of the re-examination the examiners may recommend that:

    (a)    the candidate be awarded the degree;
    (b)    the candidate be awarded the degree subject to minor amendments being made to the thesis (see paragraph 17.12);
    (c)    the candidate be awarded the degree subject to major amendments being made to the thesis (see paragraph 17.12);
    (d)    the candidate be not awarded the degree (see paragraph 17.14); or

    17.16 Where an oral examination has taken place, the examiners shall inform the candidate of their recommendation on the result of the re-examination but they shall make it clear that the decision rests with the Research Degrees Sub-Committee. Where no further oral examination has been held, following the receipt of the examiners’ final report and recommendation, the Research Degrees Team shall notify the candidate of the outcome of the re-examination and shall copy this to the examiners, supervisors and Faculty Postgraduate Research Tutor.

    17.17 Where the examiners are satisfied that the candidate has in general reached the standard required for the degree, but consider that the candidate’s thesis requires some minor or major amendments and corrections, the examiners shall recommend that the degree be awarded subject to the candidate amending the thesis to the satisfaction of the internal and/or external examiner. The internal examiner¬¬¬ shall collate all the examiners’ comments as a Word document and shall produce an agreed written list of the amendments and corrections required to the thesis. This should be sent by post or emailed to the Research Degrees Team within two weeks of the date of the oral examination and once approved, the report shall be sent to the candidate.

    17.18 The candidate should send the amended thesis to the internal examiner to approve the corrections within one month of receiving the report for minor amendments or three months for major amendments. The internal examiner should notify the candidate and the Research Degrees Team of their decision by letter or email, within a maximum of one months of receipt of the thesis. The final approved thesis shall then be submitted to the Research Degree Team within one month of the date the examiner formally approved the revisions, together with a copy of the notification from the examiner confirming that the amended thesis meets the examiners’ requirements.

    17.19 Where the examiners recommend that the degree be not awarded, the examiners shall prepare an agreed statement of the deficiencies of the thesis and the reason for their recommendation, which shall be submitted to the Research Degrees Team for approval by the Chair of the Research Degrees Sub-Committee. The report will then be sent to the candidate by the Research Degree Team.

    17.20 The Research Degrees Sub-Committee shall make a decision on the examiners’ recommendation in relation to the re-examination in accordance with the requirements of Section 16.5.