Appointment criteria for research degree examiners

Eligibility to be an external examiner

The external examiner for a research degree should be:

  • research active with appropriate expertise
  • normally employed in an HE institution (if not, including Emeritus Professors, a case as to their suitability needs to be made)
  • a senior member of staff and/or an experienced examiner (if not, a senior and experienced internal examiner must be appointed)
  • qualified to the level at which they are being appointed to examine (if not, a case as to their suitability needs to be made).

The external examiner should not:

  • have been a former member of the academic staff or a student of the University or Partner Institution in the past five years
  • have been involved in the supervision of the student
  • have a professional or personal relationship with the student, the student’s supervisor or the internal examiner that might give rise to a conflict of interest.

Eligibility to be an internal examiner

The internal examiner for a research degree should be:

  • a member of the academic or research staff of the University or Partner Institution
  • research active with appropriate expertise
  • normally have a degree, or equivalent, at the level at which they are being appointed to examine (if not a case as to their suitability needs to be made). A Professor with appropriate publications would be considered to be ‘equivalent’ and a case would not need to be made.

The internal examiner should not:

  • have been the student’s supervisor (main, joint or secondary) other than acting as a temporary supervisor for a period of up to a year but not in the final 12 months before submission of the thesis
  • have been a member of the Supervisory Panel during the final six months before submission of the thesis
  • have a professional or personal relationship with the student or the external examiner that might give rise to a conflict of interest
  • be the partner or a close relative of the supervisor (main, joint or secondary).
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Postgraduate Research Education Team