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This information is for postgraduate research students.

Notification of the result of the viva (oral examination)

Your Examiners are asked not to give any direct indication of the likely outcome of the viva as the official result can be confirmed only by the Degree Committee (and in certain circumstances the Postgraduate Committee). Student Registry (doctoral and MSc/MLitt students) or your Degree Committee (MPhil) will email you with notification of the outcome.

Process following the oral examination

Degree Committee and Postgraduate Committee meeting dates can be found here. Congregation dates can be found here.

With the exception of being offered a lower degree only or outright failure, the steps following your viva are as follows:

  • Your examiners complete a joint report and make a recommendation which is sent to your Degree Committee;
  • Your Degree Committee consider the reports at their next available meeting; 
  • For doctoral and MSc/MLitt students the Degree Committee forward their decision to the Student Registry who will email you to confirm the result;
  • For Master's students the Degree Committee emails you to confirm the result.

If the outcome of your doctoral examination is being offered a lower degree only or outright failure, the first two steps above will apply and Degree Committee will then forward their recommendation to the Postgraduate Committee for consideration at their next meeting. The Postgraduate Committee will email you to confirm the outcome.

Making corrections to a thesis after examination

MPhil by Thesis students: Your Degree Committee will advise about the process for submission of corrections.

Doctoral and MSc/MLitt students: You may need to make corrections to your thesis before full approval can be granted for your degree. This decision will be emailed to you by the Student Registry as soon as possible after the Degree Committee confirms their decision to them.

Once you have received your reports you need to undertake the following:

  • Check the joint report from your Examiners to see if corrections need to go to the Internal/External or both examiners.
  • Put the original and new page numbers on a separate list of corrections for the examiners. For their convenience, the list of corrections should describe precisely how the earlier text has been amended - with page, paragraph and line references. The list should be in page order.
  • You are expected to make all the corrections required by your examiners. If any change has been suggested, rather than required, you should indicate, as part of the list of corrections made, the extent to which you have taken account of such suggestions.
  • Copy in when submitting your corrected thesis so that Student Registry can update your record.
  • Please note that once your Examiner(s) have approved your corrections, it will not be possible to make any further corrections to your thesis - this includes typographical corrections and amendments to preliminary sections. 

If you have been told directly by your examiners or Degree Committee (and not the Student Registry) that you need to undertake corrections, you will need to follow their instructions taking note of the points above.

A brief overview of the corrections process is shown on this corrections map. NB: MSc and MLitt students are not required to submit a hardbound thesis or upload their thesis to Apollo. If you need more time to complete your corrections you will need to request an extension.

How long do I have in which to submit my corrections?

Course Minor corrections Major corrections
PhD/EdD/BusD/MSc/MLitt 3 months 6 months
MPhil by Thesis 3 weeks 6 weeks


The time-frame for completing the corrections begins from the date of the email formally confirming the outcome of your examination. 

Do I need to go through another Degree Committee meeting?

Once you have received a conditional approval subject to corrections you do not need to be considered at a further Degree Committee meeting.

What happens next?

See information on submitting your final hardbound and e-thesis (doctoral students only) and degree approval and conferment.

Once your Examiner(s) have approved your corrections, it will not be possible to make any further corrections to your thesis - this includes typographical corrections and amendments to preliminary sections. 

Revising and Resubmitting the Thesis

Doctoral and MSc/MLitt students: If Student Registry (on behalf of the Postgraduate Committee) confirms that you need to revise and resubmit your thesis for examination, you must respond to the email sent by them to confirm that you intend to do so.

The email from Student Registry will state the deadline for submission of your revised thesis and will have the examiners' reports attached proving details of the revisions you need to make to your thesis. On completion of the revised thesis, you will have to submit it along with all the submission paperwork - in the same way as for the original submission.  See the pages on Submitting the thesis for further information.

Normally the same examiners will examine the revised thesis, but in some cases new examiner(s) may be appointed. If the same examiners are appointed, they will decide whether or not a 2nd viva should be held. If one or both of the Examiners did not previously examine the thesis on its first submission another viva must be held.

If you are unable to meet the submission date for your revised thesis, you must apply for an extension

MPhil by Thesis students: Your Degree Committee will email you with the outcome of your viva and will provide information about the process for re-examination.

Temporary withdrawal/Reinstatement 

If you are unable to undertake corrections or revisions by the given deadline and you have not been granted an extension, you will be temporarily withdrawn from study.

When you have completed your work and wish to submit your corrected or revised thesis, you will need to be reinstated

If you require a visa to return to the UK for reinstatement, or to complete your studies thereafter, please contact the International Student Office as early as possible ( You must not return undertake your viva and/or complete corrections on a general visitor visa.