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What are the possible outcomes from the oral examination?

Possible outcomes:

  • Unconditional approval
  • Conditional approval - subject to submission of a hard bound copy for the library, or subject to minor or major corrections
  • Revision and resubmission of the work for a fresh examination
  • Revision and resubmission of the work for a fresh examination or acceptance of the MSc/MLitt without further examination (but possibly suject to corrections)
  • Not to be allowed to revise the thesis, but offered the MSc/MLitt without further revision or examination (but possibly subject to corrections)
  • Outright failure

When will I know the result of my oral examination?

Your Examiners are asked not to give any direct indication of the likely outcome of the examination as the official result can be confirmed only by the Postgraduate Committee, following the meeting of your Degree Committee. Student Registry will email your reports to you, copying in your Supervisor.

What is the process following my oral examination?

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

With the exception of being offered a lower degree only or outright failure, the steps following your oral examination 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 
  • The Degree Committee forwards their decision to the Postgraduate Committee
  • Student Registry (on behalf of the Postgraduate Committee) emails you to confirm the result

If the outcome of your 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

The Postgraduate Committee may confirm that you 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 (PhD2) from your Examiners to see if corrections need to go to the Internal/External or both Examiners.
  • Ask your Examiners if they will accept an electronic copy of the corrected thesis - some prefer a new soft bound thesis.
  • Put the original and new page numbers on a separate list of corrections for the Examiners. For the convenience of the Examiners, 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 a 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.

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. 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 Minor Corrections?

You have 3 months in which to submit your corrected thesis and list of corrections to your Examiner(s). Check your reports to see if corrections need to go to the Internal/External or both Examiners. The 3 month deadline begins from the date of the email from Student Registry confirming the outcome of your examination. Count on three months from the date of the email to work out the due date for corrections.

How long do I have in which to submit my Major Corrections?

You have 6 months in which to submit your corrected thesis and list of corrections to your Examiner(s). Check your reports to see if corrections need to go to the Internal/External or both Examiners. The 6 month deadline begins from the date of the email from Student Registry confirming the outcome of your examination. Count on six months from the date of the email to work out the due date for corrections.

Do I need to go through another Degree Committee meeting?

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

Revising and Resubmitting the Thesis

If the Student Registry (on behalf of the Postgraduate Committee) confirmed that you need to revise and resubmit your thesis for examination, you must respond to the email sent by the Student Registry to confirm that this is what you wish to do.

The email will state the deadline for submission of your revised thesis.

You must then begin work on revising your thesis, taking full account of what your Examiners require you to do.

The examination of a revised thesis begins afresh, possibly with new Examiners, and may include an oral or written examination on the revised thesis.

On completion of the revised thesis, candidates will have to submit two copies to the Student Registry along with all the submission paperwork - as if this was a first submission.  See the pages on Submitting the thesis for further information.

If candidates are unable to meet their new submission date, they must apply to extend it; for more information see Extending Your 'End of Registration Date'

Reinstatement 

If you are unable to undertake corrections or revisions by the given deadline, 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 (international.students@admin.cam.ac.uk). You must not return undertake your viva and/or complete corrections on a general visitor visa.