Doctoral thesis submission for examination

Below is an overview of the thesis submission process. To submit your thesis for examination you must:

  • Ensure that your enrolment and fees are up to date
  • Complete the Thesis submission declaration form in discussion with your supervisors. As part of this process you are required to sign off that you've submitted your thesis through Turnitin (which checks for plagiarism). See the Turnitin Guidelines for further information. 
  • Submit a PDF of your thesis to Te Kura Tāura. If you would like help on how to format your thesis take a look at the library's webpage on the Format of a Thesis
  • If needed, also complete and submit Co-authorship form

Please note: If you're away from Christchurch (either in NZ or overseas) on approved extramural study at the time of thesis submission you do not have to return to UC to submit your thesis.

Take a look at What Happens After You Submit Your PhD/Doctoral Thesis (DOC, 101KB)

Once your examination process has been completed we deposit a copy of your thesis in the University Library and it is available for public access. It is possible to embargo theses for a period of time (usually no more than 24 months) if necessary (e.g., due to contractual arrangements with external agencies). For more information on the availability of theses for consultation and copying, and the related form and policy, see restrictions on the use of your thesis (Library website).

Appointment of examiners 

When you submit your thesis for examination, we ask your supervisors to nominate examiners to the Dean of Postgraduate Research who formally appoints these examiners. The underlying principle is to ensure independent experts examine your thesis in a fair and transparent manner. For further information, see Selection of Thesis Examiners (DOC, 19KB).

The student and supervisors will discuss who the examiners might be and then the supervisor completes the Doctoral examiner request form and returns this to the Graduate School. Before the thesis is sent out the student will also need to complete the section of the form called Notification of Examiners Form (Doctoral) showing agreement to the chosen examiners.

Supervisors are also required to submit a Supervisor certificate at this stage. 

For doctoral examinations we aim to receive the written reports approximately eight weeks after Te Kura Tāura sends the thesis to the examiners. Sometimes there are unavoidable delays, such as examiner illness, and we will endeavour to keep you informed of these as best as we can. 

Organisation of the oral examination

The oral examination is an important part of the examination for the award of a doctorate in which the examiners will ask questions for clarification and elaboration.

There will be a proposed date at the time time of your thesis submission, however this date can only be confirmed once the reports are both received and the Dean approves the recommendation to proceed with the oral examination. The oral examination will usually be held online (by video call), however, face-to-face oral exams may be suitable in some circumstances. Normally, you will receive the written reports five to ten days before your oral examination so you can prepare your responses. A senior academic will be appointed as the chair of your oral examination – they will oversee the organisation and running of the examination and will communicate with you about arrangements.

After the oral examination, you may need to complete some final amendments to your written thesis before you submit it to the University Library and we can confer your degree. See the Oral Examination Information Sheet for more information.