Assessment of Examiners’ Reports
Examiners of Masters dissertations and PhD theses are asked to recommend one of the following outcomes:
(A) that the dissertation/thesis be passed without the need for corrections and the degree be awarded;
(B) that the dissertation/thesis be passed and the degree be awarded only after specified changes have been made to the text of the dissertation;
(C) that the dissertation/thesis is unsatisfactory and should be substantially revised and resubmitted for examination;
(D) that the dissertation/thesis be rejected, and the degree be not awarded.
In addition, in the case of a Masters dissertation, the examiners are asked to clearly indicate if a distinction should be awarded, or whether or not the examiner would object to the award of a distinction should the other examiners so recommend. Distinctions are not awarded to PhD theses.
In the case of Masters degrees, the examiners‟ reports are submitted to the Head of Department who writes a consolidated report, taking all examiners‟ comments into account. He/she makes a recommendation to the Dean on the outcome of the examination process in terms of categories A, B, C or D above, and whether a distinction should be awarded or not. Normally, to receive a distinction, all three examiners need to be unanimous in their recommendation. The Dean, in consultation with the Masters Degree Committee, will then make the final decision on the outcome. In the case of Doctoral degrees, the reports are received by a Committee of Assessors, chaired by the Dean, who evaluate the reports and recommend a result (categories A, B, C, or D – see above) to the Doctoral Degrees Board who makes the final decision.
In the case of Masters by coursework and dissertation, to obtain the degree with distinction, a candidate must obtain a distinction in each of the coursework and dissertation components. Likewise, both components must be separately passed to achieve an overall pass.
After a decision is reached, the Faculty Office (Masters) or Doctoral Degrees Board (PhD) sends a letter to the candidate, the Head of Department and the supervisor informing them of the outcome.
Where improvements and corrections are required, the student must consult with the supervisor for advice on what needs to be done. It is the responsibility of the supervisor and the Head of Department and, in the case of Masters dissertations, the Dean to sign off on these once the candidate has completed the necessary revisions. Such corrections should be completed within six months (Masters) or one year (PhD) of notification. It is important to note that in the event of a C result, the candidate has only one chance of resubmission, i.e. option C is not available in the re-examination.
Once a decision is taken to award the degree, copies of the dissertation/thesis are lodged on the open shelves of the library.