RESEARCH STUDENT ADMINISTRATION
THE UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS
LEEDS LS2 9JT
TEL: 0113 3434003
Revised September 2012
INSTRUCTIONS TO EXAMINERS APPOINTED TO REPORT ON
APPLICATIONS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION
Please note that under the terms of the Data Protection Act Reports of Examiners may be released
to candidates if requested.
If you require an additional copy of any form please contact the Thesis Examination Section on
0113 3434003 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Templates for all these forms can be
downloaded from: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/rsa/thesissubmissionandexamination/staff/for_staff.html
Sections in this document
1 Examination for the degree of EdD 3
1.1 The Examination 3
1.2 Oral examination 3
1.3 Additional tests 3
1.4 Role of the Supervisor 3
1.5 Learning Outcomes 3
2 Recommendations available to Examiners 4
2.1 Types of Recommendation 4
2.2 Regulation for the award of EdD 4
2.3 Award subject to minor editorial corrections 5
2.4 Award subject to stated minor deficiencies 5
2.5 Referral 5
2.6 Notes for Guidance 6
2.7 Resubmission following referral 6
2.8 Second oral examination on resubmission 6
2.9 Recommendations following resubmission 7
3 Failure 7
4 Separate reports after the oral examination 7
5 Notification to the candidate of the Examiners’ Recommendation 7
6 Thesis length 7
7 Policy on plagiarism 8
Recognising Excellence in Doctoral Research Degree 9
Publication requirements at doctoral & Masters level 10
Supporting disabled PGRs – advice to examiners 11
Appendix I: Learning Outcomes 12
Appendix II: Notes for Guidance Template 13
Appendix III: Structure of the Doctor of Education Degree 15
Appendix IV: Good practice advice for the conduct of oral examinations 17
Documentation required before and after the oral examination
(a) Preliminary Report Form Template:
(b) Final, joint report form template:
(c) Notes for Guidance Template (for referred candidates only):
Examination of a first submission
(a) and (b) must be completed in all cases; (c) must also be completed when the Examiners
recommend that a thesis be referred.
(a) Examiner’s Preliminary Report Form
Before the oral examination, each Examiner must prepare a preliminary report and bring this
to the oral examination. On the day of the oral examination the Examiners should arrange to
meet together before seeing the candidate in order to exchange and discuss the preliminary
reports and then decide upon areas for discussion and any issues on which clarification
should be sought.These reports should be discussed by the Examiners and will assist them in
deciding upon the structure of the examination and in identifying specific topics for discussion.
A copy of the preliminary report form is enclosed with the letters appointing the Examiners.
(b) Final Report and Recommendation of the Examiners
Examiners must complete a joint report immediately after the completion of the oral
examination. The report should be typed using the University template (see top of page) and
include comments on each of the aspects indicated on the form. Before this completed joint
report is returned to Research Student Administration, it should be signed by all the external
and internal examiners and countersigned by the Head of School or Postgraduate Research
Tutor. The Preliminary Report Forms completed by each Examiner should then be attached to
the joint report and sent to RSA.
(c) Form for Notes for Guidance for referred candidates
In the event of a referral the Examiners must prepare Notes for Guidance to provide advice to
the candidate for resubmission. A copy of the notes for guidance prepared for the candidate
should accompany the above reports. These notes must be signed by all examiners, the
Head of School or Postgraduate Research Tutor and the supervisor(s). The Notes for
Guidance must be typed using the University template (see top of page).
Examination of a Resubmission following referral
(a) & (b) must be completed in all cases.
(a) Examiner’s Individual Report Form
Each Examiner is asked to complete the Examiner’s Individual Report form before discussing
the resubmission with the other Examiners (or prior to a second oral examination). Particular
attention should be given to question 2 which asks the Examiners to comment on the extent to
which the candidate has addressed the issues raised in the Notes for Guidance.
(b) Final Report and Recommendation of the Examiners for resubmissions
Examiners must complete a joint report after considering the resubmission or immediately
after the completion of any second oral examination. The report should be typed and include
comments on each of the aspects indicated on the form. Before this completed joint report is
returned to RSA, it should be signed by all the external and internal examiners and
countersigned by the Head of School or Postgraduate Research Tutor. The Individual Report
Forms completed by each Examiner should then be attached to the joint final report and sent
ADVICE FOR THE GUIDANCE OF EXAMINERS
1 The Examination of the Thesis
1.1 Examiners are specifically asked to bear in mind that the thesis submitted for examination
for the degree of EdD represents part of the requirements for the degree.
A separate statement about the structure of the EdD degree and the thesis
component of the degree is attached.
1.2 In addition to presenting a thesis, candidates in all subjects are required to present
themselves for an oral examination on matters relevant to their thesis. On the first
occasion that a thesis is submitted the Examiners must, in all cases, conduct an
oral examination at which candidates are required to present themselves and
answer questions posed by the Examiners (for arrangements on resubmission see
The examination must be conducted in English. All appointed examiners must be present
at the oral examination1.
Those present at the oral examination will be the candidate, the External Examiner(s), the
Internal Examiner(s) and the supervisor (as an observer if it is decided that they should be
present (see 1.4 below).The Board will not normally agree to a viva being held except in
the presence of a current member of staff or a recently retired member of staff of this
University appointed by the Board as an internal examiner
Good practice guidelines for the conduct of oral examinations is given in Appendix
1.3 The examiners may require the candidate to pass any tests which they prescribe.
1.4. Role of the Supervisor
A supervisor may be present as an observer at the oral examination but will have no
deliberative rights. In cases where a candidate has more than one supervisor, normally
only one supervisor is permitted to attend the oral examination. If a supervisor is not
attending the oral examination, he or she should nevertheless be available for
consultation to provide any information requested by the examiners.
1.5 Learning Outcomes
The University has approved Learning Outcomes which came into effect in 2003-2004.
They are applicable for the first time for those candidates commencing study in and
after September 2003 - the candidate’s commencement date is provided on the front of
the Examiners’ Report Form to assist Examiners. The Learning Outcomes are attached
to these Instructions as Appendix II and any comments from the Examiners are invited on
Part 2 of the Report Form2.
1 The Graduate Board has a policy on the use of video conferencing for an oral examination (certain conditions apply):
Examiners will not be expected to monitor/assess all the Learning Outcomes at the time of the oral examination. The
main emphasis of the oral examination will be upon the research achievement and it may be difficult at that stage to
assess expertise in transferable and subject/professional skills. An ongoing process of student monitoring and
evaluation should therefore be recorded within the Faculty/School indicating progress in relation to Learning Outcomes.
The Examiners may ask that the School make available these written reports and records at the oral examination to
enable them to audit the arrangements that have been made.
2.1. Types of Recommendation
The Ordinances, Regulations and Programmes of Study for Research Degrees are
published at http://www.leeds.ac.uk/rsa/handbooks.html and contains the formal
regulations and requirements for all of the University’s research degrees.
Examiners are asked to submit one of the following recommendations:
(a) that the degree of EdD be awarded (See 2.2 below)
(b) that, subject to minor editorial corrections, the degree of EdD be awarded (see 2.3
(c) that, subject to the correction of stated minor deficiencies in the thesis, the degree
of EdD be awarded (See 2.4 below)
(d) that the application be referred (See 2.5 and 2.6 below)
(e) that the degree of EdD be not awarded (See 3 below)
N.B. No candidate may be recommended for a degree other than that for which he/she
2.2. Award of EdD*
A separate statement about the structure of the EdD degree and the thesis component of
the degree is attached as Annex A.
Candidates are required to study modules totalling 150 credits and must achieve marks at
or above 60% in 60% of their credits and no mark below 50% in the remaining 40% of
To qualify for the award of the degree of Doctor of Education each candidate must
complete the requirements of the prescribed programme of study, training,
professional practice and supervised research in education3, must meet the
required learning outcomes and satisfy the examiners that his/her achievement is
of sufficient merit and that his/her thesis contains evidence of originality and
independent critical ability and matter suitable for publication through:
(a) presenting a thesis on the subject of his/her advanced study and research, and
(b) presenting him/herself for an oral examination and such other tests as the
examiners may prescribe.
Please see the programme of study entry in the Ordinance and Regulations booklet for further
2.3 Award subject to minor editorial corrections
If the thesis is found to contain minor errors and therefore requires minor alterations
(which must be specifically confined to the correction of trivial errors,
typographical errors, simple mistakes of fact or the insertion of headings or other
‘signpost’ material for the sake of clarity) the examiners may recommend the award of
the degree on condition that the minor errors are corrected to the satisfaction of the
internal examiner. A candidate is normally required to correct minor errors within four
weeks of the date of the oral examination.
The Internal Examiner must confirm that the corrections have been completed
satisfactorily by signing the Thesis Deposit Form4. The name of the student can not
appear on a pass list until such confirmation has been received.
2.4 Award subject to the correction of stated minor deficiencies
If the thesis is found to contain deficiencies, which are minor in nature and which can be
corrected within a period of twelve weeks from the date of the oral examination, the
examiners may recommend the award of the degree on the condition that the stated
minor deficiencies are corrected to the satisfaction of the internal examiner, after
consultation with the external examiner if he/she wishes to be consulted. The examiners’
report should explain clearly the nature of the deficiencies. The internal examiner is
responsible for ensuring that the candidate is provided with clear guidance on the
deficiencies which must be corrected in writing within one working day of the oral
The Internal Examiner must confirm that the corrections have been completed
satisfactorily by signing the Thesis Deposit Form5. The name of the student can not
appear on a pass list until such confirmation has been received.
An unsatisfactory thesis should be referred when, despite certain defects in the thesis
itself and/or the candidate’s performance in the oral examination (and such other tests as
may have been prescribed), there is evidence of the potential of a successful EdD
submission from the independence, originality, scope and significance of the candidate’s
research; if the application does not possess this potential, the examiners should send
forward a recommendation that the degree be not awarded (See 3 below).
The decision to ‘refer’ a thesis is normally interpreted as signifying that, although the
thesis is potentially of a standard to merit the award of the degree concerned, certain
sections and/or aspects of the thesis are in need of alteration and improvement and
the alterations are such that the candidate will be able to complete them within a
reasonable time. A thesis may also be referred in circumstances where a candidate does
not completely satisfy the examiners through their performance at the oral examination
(and in such other tests as the examiners may have prescribed) that the award of the
degree is justified at this stage.
Even if the examiners are aware that the candidate’s personal circumstances are such
that revision of the thesis is unlikely, a decision to refer the thesis should be forwarded if it
is believed that the submission and the candidate are potentially of the necessary
This form should be provided to the Internal Examiner by the candidate along with the
corrections for checking
2.6 Notes for Guidance
Where the examiners recommend referral for resubmission, in addition to preparing the
report of the examination which must clearly state the reasons for referral, the
examiners must prepare notes for the guidance. The form to be completed is attached
and can also be downloaded from
These notes must:
a) provide a brief summary of the reasons for the referral;
b) provide brief feedback to the candidate under each of the criteria for the award of
c) clearly specify the sections or aspects of the thesis which are in need of
All parts of this document, including the attached pages, must be typed.
The Notes must be submitted at the same time as the report of the examination for
consideration by the Graduate Board’s Examinations Group within 10 working days of the
The Notes for Guidance must clearly indicate the necessary and sufficient
conditions which, if complied with by the candidate and provided that the thesis as
a whole is satisfactory, will lead to a recommendation by the examiners that the
degree be awarded. It is essential that the Notes for Guidance are sufficiently
detailed to give the candidate suitable guidance to achieve the required standard.
However, the detail in the Notes should not stifle the initiative of the candidate. The
Notes for Guidance may not necessarily include specific editorial comment.
The Notes for Guidance should not be issued by the School to the candidate. The Notes
for Guidance will be issued by Research Student Administration after the Graduate
Board’s Examinations Group has scrutinised them together with the examiners’ report.
The approved Notes will be issued as quickly as possible by Research Student
Administration. Departments/Schools are not permitted to issue informal notes for
guidance to the candidate. If any oral advice is given before the Board has approved the
official guidance, it must be stressed to the candidate that the advice given is informal.
2.7 Resubmission following Referral
Candidates for the degree of EdD whose theses are referred are required to re-submit
themselves for examination within a period of 18 months (from the date of the approval of
the Notes for Guidance by the Graduate Board) and to pay a re-examination fee.
The Internal Examiner does not take a supervisory role during the referral period. He or
she may, however, be required to provide clarification of the Notes for Guidance.
If the Examiners’ recommendation is that the thesis be referred, it is the practice for the
original examining team to act again, except in exceptional circumstances.
2.8 Second oral examination following resubmission
All examiners consider the re-submission and a second oral examination may be held
if the examiners deem it appropriate. However, it should be noted that if, after reading
the resubmitted thesis, the examiners reach a preliminary view that the candidate has not
fulfilled the requirements for the award of the degree for which they submitted, it is
essential that a second oral examination be held to ensure that the candidate is given
every opportunity to defend the work.
If, on submission for re-examination, the alterations and improvements required have
been carried out to the satisfaction of the examiners and the thesis as a whole remains
satisfactory, a recommendation should then be forwarded for the award of the degree.
2.9 Recommendations following resubmission
Candidates are not permitted to present themselves for re-examination on more than one
occasion and on resubmission a candidate will either:
(i) Be recommended for the award of the degree of EdD (subject in some cases to
minor editorial corrections or the correction of stated minor deficiencies);
In the event of a recommendation that a degree be not awarded the Report of the
Examiners may be released to the candidate. Examiners are asked to ensure that a clear
summary of the reasons for failure is provided. In the case of a recommendation for failure
on a first submission the Examiners’ Report must also include an explicit statement
explaining why referral for resubmission was not an option.
The decision to ‘fail’ a submission should be reached solely on academic grounds as it
implies that the thesis is itself irredeemable or that the candidate does not possess the
necessary academic abilities. It should accordingly not take any account of personal
circumstances which may have a bearing on the candidate’s opportunity to revise the
4. Separate Reports after the Oral Examination
In the exceptional circumstances of a failure to reach agreement in the recommendation
and report, the Examiners may submit separate independent final reports.
5. Notification to the Candidate of the Examiners’ Recommendation
Examiners are advised to inform the candidate and the supervisor(s) of the
recommendation that they are making without waiting for official confirmation of the result
by the Examinations Group of the Graduate Board, provided that it is made clear that it is
subject to the approval of the Examinations Group of the Board. The process of notifying
the candidate and the supervisor of the outcome of the examination should normally take
place after the oral examination but, in any event, must take place within 24 hours of the
6. Thesis Length
During their assessment of a submission, examiners are asked to bear in mind that all
research students have been given the following advice by the Graduate Board:
“During the examination of your thesis your examiners will be considering both the quality
and value of your work and the way in which you have chosen to present your review,
results, arguments and conclusions. Your ability to express your findings in a clear and
concise manner will be under examination and excessive length or too discursive a style
will be judged a weakness. Your supervisor is, of course, best placed to advise you on the
desirable length and form of your submission. The University expects that theses will
normally not exceed the following maximum lengths:
EdD 55,000 words(185 pages)
Please note that the above limits include all appendices & footnotes but not
Many Schools will expect theses to be substantially shorter than these limits and your own
School may well have its own stipulated maximum. It is accepted that in some disciplines
it may be necessary to exceed the stipulated limit in individual cases. If you believe you
cannot avoid exceeding the above maximum length, or the maximum length specified by
your School, you should talk to your Supervisor and then, if necessary, the Postgraduate
Research Tutor will seek approval from the Graduate Board. It is therefore in your own
interests to consider the question of overall length during the initial stages of thesis
7. Policy on plagiarism
The University of Leeds has procedures for the investigation of allegations of plagiarism
identified by examiners in a thesis submission. An extract from this is provided below. The
full policy can be accessed at:
Extract from the Procedures for investigating plagiarism in research degree work prior to,
and within, the submission for a research degree:
D Procedure following an allegation of plagiarism in a thesis submitted for
16 Where the examiners of a research degree thesis identify evidence of plagiarism
within a thesis submission, the examiners should proceed to/continue with the oral
examination and broach their suspicions of plagiarism fully with the candidate who
should be given the opportunity to defend the work.
17 Following the oral examination the examiners may:
(i) Recommend the award of the degree, or other appropriate
recommendation (where the examiners are satisfied that no plagiarism has
(ii) Recommend that the thesis be referred for resubmission (where the
examiners conclude that an act of plagiarism has been committed but are
satisfied that it is a minor offence as a result of poor scholarship);
(iii) Recommend that the thesis be failed due to a lack of originality (where it is
the conclusion of the examiners that a serious or deliberate act of
plagiarism has been committed);
(iv) Forward the case for further investigation by the Graduate Board (where
the examiners are unable to reach a conclusion on whether an act of
plagiarism has been committed).
18 Should the examiners feel that it is not appropriate for the oral examination to
proceed the details of the allegation must be forwarded, with further details, to the
Senior Administrator in Research Student Administration for further investigation
by the Graduate Board.
8 Recognising Research Excellence in Doctoral Research Submissions
The University has considered arrangements by which research excellence in doctoral research degree
submissions can be recognised. Research excellence would be expected to principally reflect outstanding
achievement in the thesis and oral examination at a level significantly above what would be expected for
the award of a doctoral degree (highly original, high level of critical thought, outstanding presentation of the
work), where the candidate has fulfilled all requirements for the degree either without corrections (straight
pass) or with minor editorial corrections. Evidence might also be identified from associated research
outputs which might include: major theoretical contribution; acceptance for publication of sections in major
journals; patents; prizes for completed work; marketable software; original equipment; new therapies;
major exhibitions or performances arising from the practical part of a practice-based degree.
Examiners are invited to comment on any research excellence which is identified in the submission
in the Examiners’ Report Form and provide further information in support of this recommendation.
If the recommendation is approved by the Examinations Group the text provided by the examiners
in this section will be included in a letter of congratulations sent to the candidate from the Dean of
Comments from previous reports have been reproduced here to illustrate the types of examples examiners
may wish to cite.
The writing is excellent: the style is readable and engaging, and the proof-reading is fantastic. The
overall presentation is almost flawless – indeed, the examiners have rarely seen a thesis as
expertly presented as this one. The candidate performed excellently. She was articulate,
thoughtful, able to discuss complex issues at length and with control, capable of defending her
ideas under intensive questioning. Her professional demeanour and confidence were exemplary.
(Faculty of Arts)
The thesis is immaculately presented with virtually no grammatical or typographical errors. The
scholarship is formidable, with a notable range of critical material handled in a prose that is
complex, but never convoluted or problematically dense. In terms of presentation, it is one of the
best theses that either examiner has ever seen. It is scholarship of the highest order. The is an
excellent example of a student who has produced work that is meaningful in more than one
discipline and both examiners would like to commend him for all the work he has put in to
producing an outstanding piece of scholarship. (Faculty of Arts)
It is the judgement of both of the examiners that this is one of the most striking and original pieces
of work that they have ever read. It is highly ambitious, using the theory in a very challenging way
so that the initial review is not simply a statement of others’ ideas but is combined in order to show
clearly linkages between approaches in terms of power, order and change. (….) This allows for a
critical/imaginative take on a number of existing accounts of IR and the possibility for the author to
make a genuine contribution to scholarship. It is the judgement of the examiners that there is
extensive material within the thesis which has the potential for publication. Overall the piece is
highly coherent and clearly conforms to the expectations of academic scholarship. (Faculty of
The candidate showed outstanding critical ability throughout the thesis and during the viva. Much
of the thesis (chapters 3 and 4) have already been published in international, peer-reviewed
journals of the highest quality. The remaining data chapter will be submitted for publication shortly,
and both examiners agree that this is sensible. Written style and overall presentation of the thesis
– outstanding. Performance in the oral examination - outstanding. (Faculty of Biological Sciences)
There is a series of literature review, conceptual and empirical pieces that can be generated from
the thesis. We anticipate 4 to 6 papers which are likely to be 3* rated and above. The written style
is incisive, measured and thorough. The presentation is outstanding and was a pleasure to read.
The candidate’s doctoral studies and training has been exemplary. This has been reflected in a
thesis of a high standard which has been produced by a young scholar who is worthy of a doctoral
award. The recommendation was a straight-forward decision and both examiners concurred
wholeheartedly. The student’s performance is a tribute to the supervisory panel that has seen this
candidate progress form student to doctoral scholar. (Faculty of Business)
8 Publication requirements at doctoral level
For the benefit of examiners the following guidance is given on the publication requirements at
doctoral and Masters level:
Level Publication requirement
Doctoral Publication requirement: “Matter suitable for publication”
At doctoral level, the expectation is that the thesis will contain original work which is of
publishable quality in appropriate, peer-reviewed journals (or publication in other form as
appropriate for the field of research e.g. monograph).
When commenting on the extent to which the thesis contains matter suitable for
publication, Examiners are invited to comment on work which has already been published
and/or may comment on parts of the thesis which may form the basis of an appropriate
publication following some reworking.
MPhil Publication requirement: “Material at a level suitable for publication”
and It is acknowledged that the breadth and depth of critical analysis shown at MPhil and
Masters by Research level might be more limited than that at doctoral level on account of
Masters the much narrower focus of the research, less extensive range of sources and shorter
However it is expected that the quality of the research demonstrated would still be still be
at a level suitable for publication (in reputable journals/publications as appropriate to the
field of research). It is expected that the work could contribute an element towards a
broader published work even if there might not be the volume of work needed for
publication by itself.
When commenting on the extent to which the thesis contains material at a level suitable
for publication, Examiners are invited to comment on work which has already been
published and/or may comment on parts of the thesis which could be suitable for
publication following some reworking, and/or which could contribute an element towards a
broader published work even if it is unlikely to be published by itself.
9. Supporting Disabled Postgraduate Research Candidates – advice to examiners
Disabled postgraduate research degree candidates, and their supervisors and examiners, can
access a wide range of support from the Disability Team. A link to the Guide for Examiners
published by the Equality Unit can be found on the Supporting Disabled PGR students page of
the RSA website: (www.leeds.ac.uk/rsa/support/disability.html).
Information on any reasonable adjustments should be made available to the examiners following
discussions between the student, the supervisor, the Postgraduate Research Tutor and the
University’s Disability Team. The Internal Examiner has responsibility for facilitating on the day any
reasonable adjustments to the oral examination, which will have been agreed upon in advance.
These arrangements ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to the oral examination so that
disabled PGR students are not disadvantaged by the process for examination. However the same
academic standards for the award of the particular research degree must be upheld and the thesis
must meet the criteria and standard expected for qualification concerned.
Please see the Guide for Examiners published by the Equality Unit for further advice. Guidance on
these arrangements can also be sought from the Thesis Examination Section of RSA
The University's 'generic' learning outcomes/level indicators for its different academic awards
have been developed in the expectation that the learning outcomes will be achieved
irrespective of the manner and location of the research and/or delivery of the programme
followed by the students concerned. These general statements will be subject to continuous
review by the Graduate Board.5
All students who commenced study prior to September 2011 started their development with
learning outcomes which were based upon the Joint Statement of the Research
Councils’/AHRC’s Skills Training Requirements for Research Students6.
For students commencing study from September 2011 onwards the University’s learning
outcomes must be viewed in the context of the Researcher Development Statement and
Researcher Development Framework.
LEARNING OUTCOMES (for candidates commencing study before 01 September 2011)
On completion of the research programme students should have shown evidence of
to discover, interpret and communicate new knowledge through original research and/or
scholarship of publishable quality which would satisfy peer review;
to present and defend research outcomes which extend the forefront of a discipline or
relevant area of professional/clinical practice;
to demonstrate systematic and extensive knowledge of the subject area and expertise in
generic and subject/professional skills;
to take a proactive and self reflective role in working and to develop professional
relationships with others where appropriate;
to independently and proactively formulate ideas and hypotheses and to design, develop,
implement and execute plans by which to evaluate these;
to critically and creatively evaluate current issues, research and advanced scholarship in
Revised learning outcomes will be published for those candidates commencing study from
September 2011 onwards.
This form can be downloaded from the following web address:
THE UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS
NOTES FOR GUIDANCE FOR REFERRED CANDIDATES
To Be Returned To Research Student Administration, Together With The Report Of
The Examiners, As Soon As Possible After The Examination
THIS DOCUMENT WILL BE GIVEN TO THE CANDIDATE
Notes for the guidance of a EdD candidate whose first submission for the degree has
been referred for revision.
This form should be completed by the examiners for any EdD candidate whose submission
they recommend be referred for revision. The examiners should bear in mind that the
candidate does not usually receive the joint Examiners’ report submitted to the Graduate
Board and these Notes should provide clear and sufficient information to enable the
candidate to revise the thesis for resubmission. The form should be forwarded to Research
Student Administration and will be copied to the candidate after approval by the Graduate
Board. It should be noted that the Notes should not be given to the candidate until Graduate
Board approval has been obtained. Any advice provided for the candidate, prior to Graduate
Board approval of the Notes, must be given on an informal basis.
Examiners and candidates should bear in mind:
(i) that a submission for a research degree cannot be referred on more than one
occasion and on resubmission a candidate will either fail or pass (subject in some
cases to minor editorial corrections or the correction of stated minor deficiencies);
(ii) that candidates whose theses are referred are required to re-submit themselves for
examination within a period of 18 months from the date of approval of the Notes for
Guidance by the Graduate Board.
Name of candidate -
School: SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
Title of thesis:
Date of examination:
The Examiners must complete the Notes for Guidance overleaf:
NOTES FOR GUIDANCE FORM
The Notes for Guidance must clearly indicate the necessary and sufficient conditions which, if complied
with by the candidate and providing the thesis as a whole is satisfactory, will lead to a recommendation by
the examiners that the degree be awarded. The Notes for Guidance are to assist the candidate in the
process of revision and resubmission of their thesis but may not necessarily include specific editorial
(a) (i) provide a brief summary of the reasons for the referral:
(ii) provide brief feedback to the candidate under each of the criteria for the award of the degree:
Independent Critical Ability:
Matter Suitable for
Overall style and
Presentation of the thesis:
Performance at the Oral
(b) clearly specify the sections or aspects of the thesis which are in need of improvement and
provide guidance for the candidate to prepare the thesis for resubmission.
Please provide this information on separate page(s) (which must be typed) and indicate the
number of additional pages below
State the number of additional pages
Date: Date: Date:
External Examiner(s) Internal Examiner(s) Supervisor(s)
Approved on behalf of
Head of School/ Date of Approval:
Postgraduate Research Tutor
Thesis Examination: Degree of Doctor of Education
Information for Examiners
STRUCTURE OF THE DOCTOR OF EDUCATION DEGREE
The EdD consists of two parts: taught modules and research. Normally students complete the
taught modules in the first phase of the programme, at the same time beginning to outline their
research proposal. In the second phase of their study they focus on their research under the
supervision of their supervisor(s).
Content of Programme of Study
Candidates are required to study modules totalling 150 credits7 (this will normally be 5 x 30 credit
modules). The composition of the taught modular courses will be as follows:
2 x 30 credits research methods modules (in exceptional circumstances, candidates may
request the Management Committee to consider the substitution of 30 credits of research
methods modules by 30 credits of specialist research methods modules)
2 x 30 credits thesis-related specialist content modules
1 x 30 credits research method or thesis-related specialist content module
Up to three (90 credits) of the total five modules (150 credits) may be directed studies.
The modules available are listed in the University’s Taught Postgraduate Catalogue.
Candidates are required to study modules totalling 150 credits and must achieve marks at or
above 60% in 60% of their credits and no mark below 50% in the remaining 40% of their credits.
An individual taught module profile is attached to the Examiners’ report.
EdD students undertake research in their specialist area, and submit a thesis of approximately
55, 000 words. From the beginning of their studies, EdD students are assigned a supervisor or
supervisors, and consideration of the research element of the degree starts from early in the
Each EdD student is first enrolled as a provisional EdD student, and goes before an upgrading
panel, normally within 24 months of full-time or 36 months of part-time study. A thesis
preparation component of 5-6000 words is prepared by the student, under the guidance of the
supervisor(s), to support their application for upgrading from provisional to full EdD status. It
includes details of the modular work undertaken and the way in which this relates to their thesis,
together with a detailed research proposal. This work is assessed as part of the upgrading
process. Once upgrading is successfully achieved, the student proceeds to the main research
phase of the degree, and to the writing of their thesis.
The EdD thesis is less widely-ranging in scope than the PhD thesis, and is typically closely
related to the candidate’s professional context and concerns. However, it is of equivalent
standard to the PhD thesis and is judged on the criteria of independent critical ability and
originality in its contribution to the field of study. It is also expected that the thesis will contain
material suitable for publication.
Candidates are required to submit a thesis for examination of up to 55,000 words in length in the
area of their specialist field of study and satisfy the examiners as specified in Ordinance X and its
In the absence of Accredited Prior Learning (APL).
Good practice guidelines for the conduct of oral examinations
Examiners may find the following good-practice guidance helpful for the viva. The Examiners should:
consider the layout of the room (table, chairs, availability of a whiteboard/pens, refreshments etc)
and practicalities such as ensuring all mobile phones are switched off and placing a do not disturb
sign on the door. There should be a room where the candidate can wait during the examiners’
discussions. Unless required for the purposes of a presentation/demonstration by the candidate,
the use of electronic equipment/devices during the viva by candidates or examiners is not
invite the candidate into the room and introduce those present and their roles in the viva (the
Supervisor, if present, is not involved in the decision making process). Aim to put the candidate at
ease as far as possible;
explain the purpose of the viva and go through the format for the examination and how things will
explain the possible recommendations the Examiners can make (see below);
explain to the candidate that after the viva s/he will be asked to withdraw from the room (along
with the supervisor, if present as an observer) whilst the examiners confer on their decision before
asking them to return;
ask the candidate if they have any questions and advise him/her to seek clarification should any
part of the process or the questioning be unclear;
allow the candidate time to collect their thoughts and develop responses to the questions posed
by the examiners. Allow the candidate to consult their copy of the thesis during the viva if it helps
although the viva will normally run continuously, respect any request a candidate may make for a
short break and may wish to suggest a break in the case of longer vivas (for example should a
viva reach two hours). In the event of a candidate becoming distressed, Examiners are advised to
offer the candidate a break in order to compose him/herself before continuing with the viva. If a
candidate is unable to continue, Examiners must contact RSA (34003);
at the close of the examination ask the candidate if they feel the examination has covered all
points they were expecting and give them the opportunity to raise any points in relation to the
thesis which they feel were not covered;
on completing the viva, ask the candidate (and Supervisor if attending) to leave the room
in order for the Examiners to discuss the final recommendation on the basis of the thesis
and the viva;
invite the candidate (and supervisor if attending) back into the room and inform them of
the recommendation. A single recommendation must be made (usually one of the
following, but there are variations between different degree programmes which are set
out in the appropriate “Instructions to Examiners”):
Pass subject to the correction of minor editorial corrections;
Pass subject to the correction of stated minor deficiencies;
Referred for resubmission;
Fail (see section;
inform the candidate & Supervisor of the outcome of the viva and that it is subject to
confirmation by the Graduate Board. If you are unable to reach a decision at the viva you
must do this within 24 hours of the examination and inform the candidate and supervisor;
outline the next stages in the process to the candidate, depending on the outcome of the
viva, including communication of any corrections to the thesis.