After your viva

What happens next will depend on the outcome of your viva. Below are some possible outcomes, as well as advice about what you should do next.

Pass

Pass subject to typographical corrections

Normally you’ll be informed about these corrections at the viva, or they’ll be marked in the copy of the thesis that the examiners will return to you.

You need to complete these corrections and then upload your thesis to the Research Repository.

Pass subject to three months corrections

You will be asked to implement minor corrections within three months, which should not require you to conduct further research or undertake substantial further work. These can include typographical errors, clarifying points, rephrasing, editing/adding paragraphs, correcting references, etc.

Shortly after the viva, the PGRE team will send you the list of these corrections, which your examiners will have created. Take some time to fully read the corrections and then discuss them with your supervisor. If there are any corrections which you don’t understand or which require further clarification, please contact your internal examiner. Remember your internal examiner and your supervisor are available during your corrections period to support you if you require it.

Once your corrections have been completed, you’ll need to send the updated version of your thesis to your internal examiner via email, and cc in pgresearch@essex.ac.uk. Your examiner may ask you to send the corrections in a specific format, so please liaise with them for clarification on their individual requirements.

Once your corrections have been approved by your examiner, the PGRE Team will seek formal approval by the relevant Deputy Dean and subsequently notify you that you can upload the new thesis to the Research Repository.

Pass subject to six months corrections

This outcome requires you to amend your thesis within six months. This requires you to undertake substantial further work but the corrected thesis does not require full re-examination. Such major corrections include more extensive editorial revisions, the addition of substantial new material, re-writing of substantial parts of the thesis, re-analysis of existing data, etc.

Shortly after the viva, the PGRE team will send you the list of these corrections, which your examiners will have created. Take some time to fully read the corrections and then discuss them with your supervisor. If there are any corrections which require further clarification, please contact your internal examiner. Remember your internal examiner and your supervisor are available during your corrections period to support you if you require it.

Once your corrections have been completed, you’ll need to send the updated version of your thesis to your internal examiner via email, and cc in pgresearch@essex.ac.uk. Your examiner may ask you to send the corrections in a specific format, so please liaise with them for clarification on their individual requirements.

Once your corrections have been approved by your examiner, the PGRE Team will seek formal approval by the relevant Deputy Dean and subsequently notify you that you can upload the new thesis to the Research Repository.

Referral

This outcome means that, at present, you have not met the requirements for the award, and you’ve been permitted to undertake further substantive work on your thesis for submission for re-examination within the next 12 months.

The examiners will provide a statement describing the shortcomings of the thesis and the changes required. These may include, amongst other things, editorial corrections and revisions, rewriting a part, parts or the whole of the thesis and/or conducting further research or experimental work.

During this period it’s really important that you work closely with your supervisor to undertake the work requested by the examiners and that you liaise with the internal examiner if anything is unclear. Whilst in your referral period, you’ll be registered as a student and required to pay the relevant tuition fee.

At the end of your referral period, you must resubmit your amended thesis to the Silberrad Student Centre and the viva process will commence again.

A lower award

If you do not meet the requirements of the degree for which you’re being examined, you may be awarded a lower award or be asked to make further corrections in order to be awarded a lower award.

Further details regarding this can be found in the Principal Regulations for Research Degrees, section 4.33.

Fail

In very rare circumstances, examiners may deem that the thesis hasn’t met the requirements for the various examination outcomes outlined previously, and so recommend the outcome is ‘fail’.

In this instance, the examiners will provide a clear statement describing the reasons for the failure of your thesis.

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Postgraduate Research Education Team