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Appendix 9: Guidance for Examiners on Degree Outcomes

Satisfied criteria

The thesis has satisfied the criteria for the intended award (as set out in section 2 of the PoRD).

No corrections

The thesis can be deposited without any changes.

Three-month corrections 

This option should be used for minor corrections ie corrections which are matters of detail and/or simple to address and can comfortably be completed within three months or less. 

This option might include editorial changes such as resolving grammatical or typographic errors or presentational issues, and correcting references. It might also include adding/removing/rewriting shorter sections of text to improve clarity.

Examiners must be aware that once a candidate has submitted the final version of their corrected thesis by the specified deadline, no further revisions can be made. To avoid jeopardy for the candidate, therefore, it is vital that examiners ensure that required changes are academically straightforward and/or that they give the candidate very clear directions about the required changes and/or that they recommend that the candidate should consult with the internal examiner about the direction or appropriateness of changes made well in advance of the deadline for the submission of the corrected thesis.

Six-month corrections 

This option should be used for major corrections ie corrections which require more time and/or are more complex to address than three-month corrections but can comfortably be completed within six months or less.  

This option might include adding/rewriting longer sections of text to improve clarity/strengthen an argument and/or undertaking some limited re-analysis/re-interpretation of existing data. 

This option can also be used if it is clear that the PGR has other commitments (such as full-time work) such that completing minor corrections within three months could be difficult. 

Examiners must be aware that once a candidate has submitted the final version of their corrected thesis by the specified deadline, no further revisions can be made. To avoid jeopardy for the candidate, therefore, it is vital that examiners ensure that required changes are academically straightforward and/or that they give the candidate very clear directions about the required changes and/or that they recommend that the candidate should consult with the internal examiner about the direction or appropriateness of changes made well in advance of the deadline for the submission of the corrected thesis.

MA/MSc (by research)

There are no minor/corrections options for the MA/MSc (by research) - all corrections should be able to be completed within two months.

Not yet satisfied criteria

The thesis has not yet satisfied the criteria for the intended award (as set out in section 2 of the PoRD) but there is genuine potential for it to do so after further work that is achievable within the designated timeframe for revision and resubmission. A re-examination is required to determine if the criteria for the intended award have been met.

Revise and resubmit within 12 months (four months for MA/MSc (by research))

A revise and resubmit outcome is not a fail but indicates there are concerns about the intellectual basis of the thesis, such that a substantive re-working or re-interpretation of content is required. 

This option might involve the candidate being required to re-write several thesis chapters and/or undertake a substantial re-analysis and/or re-interpretation of existing data.

This option might also include a requirement for data generation/collection but this should be limited and achievable within the timeframe and available resources. 

This option should only be used where there is clear evidence in the thesis as it stands (and/or from the oral examination, where applicable) of the potential to meet the criteria for the intended award - including sufficient evidence of original work in the case of a PhD/MPhil - AND the further work required could realistically be completed within 12 months (or 4 months for an MA/MSc (by research)). 

Not satisfied criteria

The thesis has not satisfied the criteria for the intended award (as set out in section 2 of the PoRD) and does not have the potential to do within the designated timeframe for revision and resubmission.

Lower award without corrections

This option should be used where the thesis meets the criteria for a lower award with no changes required. 

Lower award with corrections

This option should be used where the thesis meets the criteria for a lower award with corrections. 

Failure

This option should be used where the thesis does not meet the criteria for a lower award or no lower award is available.