Overview of the Supervisor's Role in the MPhil/PhD Examination Process
For more detailed information, please refer to the sections below.
If you have any queries at any point of the process, please do not hesitate to contact us.
- Research degree students who wish to submit for a PhD are required to have a first attempt at an upgrade from the MPhil to PhD programme within the first 20 months of study (Full-time) or 40 months (Part-time). Should the first attempt not be successful, students have an opportunity for a second, and final attempt at an upgrade from MPhil to PhD before the end of their second year of study ( 24 months Full-time) or four years (48 months Part-time).
- Once your student has completed their upgrade, please send the completed by internal mail to Student Administration or email to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can update their record.
- Please note that students must have upgraded in order to be eligible to be entered for the PhD examination.
- If your student is unable to upgrade within the deadlines set out above due to extenuating circumstances, the Department may consider applying for a waiver of regulations. For further information please contact the Academic Quality and Policy Office.
- The MPhil/PhD Examination Entry Form must be submitted to Student Administration two months prior to submission.
- For resubmissions, theEntry Form for MPhil/PhD Resubmissions should be submitted instead.
- For WORD 2010 or MAC users, a form which can be completed electronically is available by emailing email@example.com.
- All relevant pages must be signed. You, as the supervisor, and your Department's Director of Graduate Studies should sign the final page of the form. Electronic signatures are acceptable but typed names are not.
Nomination of Examiners - Section D of Entry Form
- Guidance on the Appointment of MPhil/PhD Examiners
- Nomination of Examiners Flowchart
- Please note that you should nominate one internal examiner from within the University of London (including Royal Holloway) and one examiner external to the University of London.
- In exceptional cases, you may nominate two external examiners if an appropriate internal examiner cannot be nominated. If this is the case, please include a supporting statement.
- For further guidance on nominating examiners, please refer to paragraph 12 of the Research Degree Regulations.
- The details of the nominated examiners will be sent to the College Board of Examiners Executive Committee for approval. You will be informed once the nominated examiners have been approved.
Nomination of an Independent Chair (if applicable) - Section D of Entry Form
- If your student has extenuating circumstances which may prevent them form submitting by their deadline, the Department may consider applying for an extension to the writing-up period. For further information, please contact the Academic Quality and Policy Office.
There are three options for restricting access to either the print and/or electronic versions of their finalised thesis:
- Your student may restrict access to the print and/or electronic version of their thesis for a period of up to two years without any formal justification or approval. If they wish to do this, they will need to select this option on their MPhil/PhD Examination Entry Form.
- Where documentary evidence of commercial funding and/or commercial sensitivity is provided, they can specify a restriction of access to the print and/or electronic version of their finalised thesis for a period of 2-5 years. If they wish to do this, they will need to select this option on their MPhil/PhD Examination Entry Form and submit the relevant evidence. This request must be approved by you as their supervisor. You will need to submit a supporting statement.
- If they wish to restrict access to their finalised thesis for more than 2 years and point 2 doesn’t apply, you or your student must submit a written request to Student Administration. If they wish to do this, they will need to select this option on their MPhil/PhD Examination Entry Form and submit the required statement. The request will be considered by their Dean of Faculty.
It is a requirement that either an audio recording will be made of the viva or the viva will be conducted in the presence of an Independent Chair.
Each Department has opted for a particular method:
- Audio recording of viva: School of Biological Sciences, Classics, Computer Science, Criminology and Sociology, Drama and Theatre Studies, Earth Sciences, Economics, English, Geography, History, Mathematics and Information Security, Media Arts, School of Modern Languages, Music, Physics, Politics and International Relations, Psychology and Social Work.
- Independent Chair and audio recording of viva: School of Management:
- The audio recording should only be made during the viva between your student and the examiners. No recording should be made of any discussion held before or after the viva when the student is not present.
- The recording should only be listened to in the event of an appeal made against the viva outcome, and only by a small number of staff who are involved in the investigation into the appeal.
- The recording must be kept securely for 2 months after the student has been informed of the outcome, after which time it must be destroyed.
- The Independent Chair will normally be a member of staff of the College and normally from your Department (but must not be a member of the student's supervisory team).
- The role of the Independent Chair is to ensure that the viva is conducted fairly and in accordance with the College’s regulations and policies.
The Independent Chair must be nominated in section D of your student's Examination Entry Form and their nomination must go to the Faculty Dean for approval.
- The Independent Chair must complete an Independent Chair Report form at the end of the viva to confirm whether the examination has been conducted in line with the College's regulations and policies. This form should be returned to Student Administration directly after the viva.
- If the Independent Chair is unable to attend the viva as planned, the viva must be recorded.
Report forms to be completed by the examiners:
Please note that the Preliminary Report form should be submitted to Student Administration by the examiners before the viva and the other forms should be submitted by the examiners to Student Administration within two weeks of the viva.
- After your student is awarded or is given a resubmission decision, you will be sent a copy of their award letter and a copy of the examiners’ reports. Please note that students should not be sent a copy of their examiners' Preliminary Reports.
- If your student is given a 'resubmission within 18 months' decision, they will be sent a Resubmission Letter clearly stating their resubmission deadline. Please note that failure to resubmit by this deadline will normally result in the failure of the degree. Please refer to the Research Degree Regulations for further details.
- Student Administration will email reminders to both the candidate and the supervisor 2 months and 1 month before the deadline to reduce the possibility of the deadline being missed.
MPhil/PhD Examination Entry Form
- If your student is given a 'resubmission within 18 months' decision, their Entry Form for MPhil/PhD Resubmission should be submitted to Student Administration at least two months prior to your student submitting.
If the examiners for the resubmission are the same as for the first submission, please make sure that this is indicated in Section D (Nomination of Examiners) of the form. If the examiners have already been approved for the first submission, we will not need to sent their details to the College Board of Examiners Executive Committee for approval. However, please ensure up to date contact details for both examiners are provided on the entry form.
- If a second viva is required, you will be asked to arrange the viva.
- Please note that vivas should be held either at the Egham campus of Royal Holloway or at Bedford Square or Senate House in London.
- A waiver will need to be applied for via the Academic Quality and Policy Office if you wish for the viva to be held at a different location.
- Once this has been arranged, please inform Student Administration of the date and location of the viva so that we can update our records and ensure that the examiners’ Preliminary Reports are received prior to the viva.