PhD oral examiners

The oral examination (viva voce) is an integral part of the PhD examination process at UC and only in the most exceptional of cases will the Dean of Postgraduate Research waive the requirements for an oral examination.

The purpose of the PhD oral examination is twofold:

  • It is a formal examination at the end of which the decision on whether to recommend the award of the PhD is made. Determinations are also made on what revisions to the PhD, if any, are necessary and whether further consultations between examiners are required.
  • It provides an academic forum in which the PhD student’s research may be discussed with the examiner(s) and supervisor(s) present in a constructive and supportive manner.

A senior member of the academic staff of the relevant Department/School is appointed as the organiser of the oral examination. The Organiser will be responsible for maintaining the integrity of the oral examination process and will act as a neutral chair at the examination. Guidelines for the Oral Organiser are available at the link below.

Oral Chair Guidelines

At the conclusion of the oral examination, the oral chair makes a recommendation to the Dean of Postgraduate Research in regard to the award of the degree, through completion of the final examiners report form which is available below*. They may inform the candidate of the recommendation but the oral organiser should indicate that the final determination of the outcome of the PhD examination process rests with the Dean of Postgraduate Research. The Dean will inform the candidate of the outcome as soon as is possible after the receipt of this report. Where amendments to the thesis are required before the award of the degree, the Dean will provide the candidate with a list of the required amendments, the date by which the candidate is to submit amendments to the Postgraduate Office, and details of who the examiners have given delegated authority to check that the required amendments are satisfactorily completed.

Oral Exam Joint Report Form

See also