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Award recommendations for the Doctorate are made by the examination committee, comprising the examiners together with a neutral convenor, a senior academic with supervision and examination experience, appointed by the Graduate Research School. Examiners each write an independent report on the thesis; once these have been returned they are circulated confidentially amongst the examination committee, and it is only at this point that the examiners know each other's identities. Equally the candidate is only aware of the examiners' identities once the oral examination has been organised. The candidate and supervisor will also receive a copy of the examiners’ reports 5-10 working days prior to the oral examination. The candidate's oral examination (also called a viva voce), is facilitated by the convenor. During the oral, the candidate usually defends the thesis in front of two examiners, generally the NZ and internal examiners. The third examiner, usually the overseas examiner, does not normally participate in the oral directly. However, if the examination panel feel it is important that they are present this can be arranged. Supervisors act in a supportive but not participatory role during the oral examination. They should assist the student post-exam in accordance with the outcome of the oral which can be a pass, emendations, re-examination or fail. The most common outcome is emendations, and in this case a clear list of required emendations must be drawn up by the convenor in consultation with the examiners, along with a timeframe for completing them and a nominated examiner to oversee that they have been completed.
Examination in the creative arts have some specific reporting requirements, detailed in the Guidelines for Examiners of Doctoral Thesis involving Creative Works. The examination process varies according to the form the creative component embodies. The examiners write a thesis assessment report examining both the exegesis, and exhibition/installation/performance, and finally attend an oral examination.
The Doctoral Research Committee considers the recommendations from examination committees on a regular basis at its monthly meetings. Where the recommendation is a pass, the Doctoral Research Committee will approve the award of the Doctorate subject to receipt of one amended digital copy of the thesis by the Graduate Research School for the public record, at which point the doctoral programme is 'completed'. Thereafter, graduation may proceed. Candidates whose research is assessed by the examiners as being of an exceptionally high standard may be considered for inclusion on the Dean's List. Any appeal against an examination outcome must be made within three months of formal notification of the examination result by the Graduate Research School.
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Last updated on Wednesday 13 January 2021