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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
  • Doctoral students only:  Revision and resubmission of the work for a fresh examination or acceptance of the MSc/MLitt without further examination (but possibly suject to corrections)
  • Doctoral students only:  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 Degree Committee (and in certain circumstances the Postgraduate Committee). Student Registry (doctoral and MSc/MLitt students) or your Degree Committee (MPhil) will email your reports to you.

What is the process following my 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 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; 
  • For doctoral and MSc/MLitt students the Degree Committee forwards their decision to the Student Registry who will email you to confirm the result;
  • For Master's students the Degree Commitee 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 or directly by the Degree Committee (for MPhil students).

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 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.
  • Copy in when submitting your corrected thesis so that Student Registry can update your record.

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 for doctoral and MSc/MLitt 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 corrections?

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


Check your examiners' reports to see if corrections need to go to the Internal/External or both Examiners. The time-frame for completing the corrections begins from the date of the email 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.

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 wish 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. The Examiners will decide whether or not a 2nd viva should be held.

If you are unable to meet the submission date for your revised thesis, you must apply to extend it; for more information see Extending Your 'End of Registration Date'

MPhil by Thesis students: Your Degree Committee will email you with the outcome of your viva and will provide inoformation 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.