Pre-viva procedures

  • The candidate submits a completed submission form (RD1) to the Postgraduate Research Education Team.
  • The candidate submits their thesis electronically in PDF format to the Postgraduate Research Education (PGRE) Team ( This should normally be contained within one document, not divided into separate PDF files.
  • The length of the thesis/dissertation must not exceed the word limits specified on the requirements for an award page including quotations but excluding any appendices and footnotes (as long as the latter does not contain substantive argument). Please note that this is a word limit, not a target. Candidates may make a case to the Dean for approval of an extension to this word limit – you will be informed if this is the case.
  • The thesis/dissertation is sent simultaneously to the external and internal examiners via email. The email contains copies of the forms relating to the examination process. After reading the thesis/dissertation, the examiners are asked to independently complete their initial, individual reports on the forms accompanying the thesis/dissertation and to send them back to the PGRE Team as soon as possible. It is a requirement that these independent reports are received at least one week before the viva takes place, in accordance with University procedures.
  • There should be no contact between the examiners regarding the thesis/dissertation until after the initial reports have been returned and exchanged by the PGRE Team. However, examiners may discuss logistical arrangements for the viva.
  • After the PGRE Team receives both examiners’ reports, the reports will be exchanged between the examiners by the PGRE Team (please do not send your report directly to the other examiner).
  • The internal examiner normally arranges the viva; however, where all parties are attending via video link, the Graduate Administrator will oversee the arrangements, including setting up the viva on Zoom. This should take place no later than two months after the thesis has been sent to the examiners.
  • The internal examiner will have received an electronic copy of the Joint Report (RD4) form, which should be completed as soon as possible after the viva and returned to the PGRE Team.
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