Doctoral Thesis submission for examination

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

  • Submit a PDF of your thesis to the Postgraduate Office and we will send it to your thesis examiners. 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
  • Ensure that your fees up to date
  • Complete the Thesis submission declaration form after 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. 
  • If needed complete and return the Co-authorship form - Doctoral

Please note: If you're away from Christchurch (either in NZ or overseas) on approved study away from Christchurch 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 we have examined your thesis and awarded a degree, we deposit a copy of your thesis in the University Library and it is available for public access. It is possible to embargo thesis 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 Doctoral 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 Postgraduate Office. Before the thesis is sent out the student will also need to complete the Notification of Examiners Form (Doctoral) showing agreement of chosen examiners, if they haven't already completed that part of the Doctoral Examiner Request Form. 

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 the Postgraduate Office sends the thesis to the examiners. 

Organisation of the Doctoral Oral Examination

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

We will discuss the date of the oral examination with you when we appoint the examiners. The oral examination will usually be held by video-link, however, where students and supervisors explicitly request face-to-face oral exams these can still occur with approval by the Dean. Normally, you will receive the written reports five to ten days before your oral examination. 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 you receive the written reports on the thesis, you normally proceed to the oral examination.  After the oral examination, we may ask you 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.