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Examination procedures

The following information is for research degree students who are approaching examination.

All students must submit their theses for examination through our online examination system, HDR Examinations.

Before submission

Flowchart of examination process

To view a flowchart that illustrates an overview of the examination process, please select the examination type that relates to you.

Research integrity training

You must complete the compulsory research integrity training before the examination of your thesis can commence. You may attend a workshop or complete the training online.

Creative work examinations

Further detailed information specific to examinations in the Faculty of Arts and Education can be found on the creative work examinations page.

Notice of intention to submit thesis for examination

Students are required to give at least eight weeks notice of their intention to submit a thesis for examination.

Lodgement of the notice of intention to submit thesis for examination is performed by creating a new examination in HDR Examinations. Please log on to HDR Examinations to begin an examination.

Preparation and submission of examination copies

Preparation of thesis

  1. Font not less than 12 point.
  2. Spacing and line length appropriate to font size.
  3. Margins - not less than 45mm on the binding side and other margins must be at least 20 mm to allow for trimming. If an examiner requests a hard copy of your thesis, your thesis will be printed, bound and sent to them, therefore it must be formatted to allow for this.
  4. Tables, diagrams and figures should be inserted in the text as close to the first reference to them as is convenient, with suitable captions.
  5. Length - should not exceed 50,000 words for a masters thesis or 100,000 words for a doctoral thesis including the bibliography, appendices and any notes.
  6. The Thesis Title page must be inserted as page one of your thesis (not numbered). Please do not add any other information to the title page or change the layout.
  7. The Candidate Declaration form must be signed electronically or printed and signed then scanned into electronic format. This must be inserted as the second page of your thesis (not numbered).
  8. 'Thesis by publication' format only - an Authorship Statement needs to be inserted into the thesis if you have included any multi-authored publications. There must be one form inserted for each multi-authored publication included. This statement needs to describe clearly the contributions made by you and by every other author, and must be signed by all authors.
  9. The acknowledgement page (optional) should be inserted as the third page of your thesis (not numbered).
  10. A list of publications (optional) should be inserted as the fourth page of your thesis. Please indicate if each publication was submitted or accepted. A full version of your publication(s) may be included as an appendix to your thesis (not numbered). Note: this will be included in the word limit so you may prefer to provide a link to the publication as an alternative.

Submission of thesis

Your thesis is submitted for examination via HDR Examinations. It must be formatted to meet the guidelines as set out above and uploaded as one single PDF document no greater than 100MB in size. To change your thesis into a PDF we recommend that you use a university computer and print to Adobe PDF directly from Word. Please check the final document to ensure that all figures, tables and contents have converted correctly prior to submission.

At the time of submission you will asked to confirm that you have read and accepted the terms and conditions (PDF, 45.8 KB) for submitting your thesis online. Please ensure that you have read these carefully before submitting your thesis.

If your document exceeds the size limit or you need to submit additional materials for examination please email the HDR Adviser for further information.

Find out what happens after submission

Additional material on the examination process and other information relevant to research degrees students can be found on the how the examination process works website.

Time spent under examination

Examiners are asked to complete the examination and provide their reports within six weeks of receiving the thesis. If they comply with this timetable and there are no problems, the entire process could be completed in approximately three months. In practice, however, it sometimes takes longer because examiners are busy people and may find it difficult to comply with the deadlines given. If you have not received advice on the progress of the examination after four months from the date of submission you should seek information from the HDR Adviser.

Each examiner submits an independent report on the thesis. An examiner may ask that certain questions be put to the student and that the responses be considered by the examiner. The examiner will send the list of questions to the HDR Adviser who will communicate these with you.

Your enrolment

Your enrolment will continue while the thesis is under examination. You will be enrolled by Deakin Research in a 0 load which, in addition to keeping your candidature active, enables you to have access to the Library and IT services. There are no fees for 0 load. If you have to resubmit your thesis for a further examination, then you will be enrolled part-time while you work on this. International students will pay fees for this part-time enrolment.

Consideration of examiners' reports

The process for considering the examiners' reports is set out in the Higher Degrees by Research Assessment Procedure.

The final outcome of examinations is determined by the Thesis Examination Subcommittee (TES), not the examiners. When all the examiners' reports have been received, the Faculty will consider the reports and make a recommendation as a guide to the TES. This process will normally involve consultation with the Head of School and the principal supervisor. The decision on how to respond to the reports from the examiners is made by the TES. The thesis must have the support of two examiners before the TES can recommend that the degree be awarded.

The examiners may require that corrections and amendments be made to the thesis before it is accepted (Recommendation 2.1 or 2.2). These may be minor, such as the correction of typographical errors, or they may involve significant revision of the thesis. If you are required to revise the thesis you should consult with the principal supervisor and the Head of School in making the revisions.

Minor amendments always need to be made to the satisfaction of the Head of School or nominee. A Minor Amendments Template has been designed specifically for this purpose. The completion of this document is not compulsory, but may be helpful for the principal supervisor and Head of School to review the thesis revisions and approve them. Please note that this process should take place outside the online examination system (via email or in person). You should submit your final thesis into the Minor Amendment form in HDR Examinations. The principal supervisor and Head of School will login and officially approve completion of the amendments to their satisfaction. The template, if used, does not need to be submitted into the system.

Major amendments involve a re-examination by external examiners. As far as practicable any re-examination will be by the original examiners. If any of them are not available, one or more new examiners may need to be appointed so that the University can be sure of receiving sufficient reports to determine an outcome.

After the examination

The HDR Adviser will release the final result through HDR Examinations after the outcome has been determined by the TES. You will receive an email notification through HDR Examinations and will be able to login and view the examiners' reports. At the completion of the examination process you will be given the names of the examiners unless an examiner has asked that his or her name be kept confidential. You must then submit the library copy of the thesis in the format described under Preparation and lodgement of library copies section on the Examination procedures page.

Preparation and lodgement of library copies

After your thesis has been examined and any necessary changes made and approved, you will need to prepare a copy for the Library following the instructions below.

Preparation of thesis

  1. The Thesis Title page must be inserted as page one of your thesis (not numbered). Please do not add any other information to the title page or change the layout. Please note this is the same form as step 2.
  2. One of the following Access forms must be signed, dated and inserted as page two of your thesis: Access to Thesis A. Access to Thesis B, C and D - cannot be used without the prior approval of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research). Please contact the HDR Adviser if you wish to complete an Access to Thesis B, C or D form.
  3. The Candidate Declaration form must be signed and inserted as the third page of your thesis (not numbered). Please note this is the same declaration form that you will have inserted into your examination copy.
  4. An Authorship Statement needs to be inserted into the thesis if you have included any multi-authored publications. There must be one form inserted for each multi-authored publication. This statement needs to describe clearly the contributions made by you and by every other author, and must be signed by all authors.
  5. The acknowledgement page (optional) should be inserted as the fourth page of your thesis (not numbered).
  6. A list of publications (optional) should be inserted as the fifth page of your thesis. Please indicate if each publication was submitted or accepted. A full version of your publication(s) may be included as an appendix to your thesis (not numbered). Note: this will be included in the word limit so you may prefer to provide a link to the publication as an alternative.
  7. Digital Thesis Copyright and Access form - this relates to the copyright of your thesis and accessibility of your thesis via the world wide web. The form cannot be changed in any way and is not bound into the thesis. This form must be completed and signed then uploaded via HDR Examinations at the time of your final thesis submission.

Final form and submission of the thesis

An electronic copy of the final version of the thesis is required for lodgement with the University Library before the degree can be awarded. 

The library copy of your thesis is submitted via HDR Examinations. It must be formatted to meet the guidelines as set out above and uploaded as one single PDF document not secured (preferably PDFA) no greater than 100MB in size. To change your thesis into a PDF we recommend that you use a university computer and print to Adobe PDF directly from Word. Please check the final document to ensure that all figures, tables and contents have converted correctly prior to submission.

In addition you are required to upload the Digital Thesis Copyright and Access form (PDF). Students may elect to make the entire thesis available online through Deakin Research Online, or limit access to the citation, abstract and metadata only. If online access is limited to the citation, abstract and metadata, the Library will make individual digital copies available for consultation, loan and limited copying in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968. Request for a complete restriction of access for a limited period of time to facilitate the commercial exploitation of material, or for other compelling reasons, may be made to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) or nominee (Schedule E: Restricted Access to Thesis). A signed Digital Thesis Copyright and Access form must be submitted and dated when the final copy for lodgement with the Library is provided.

Your summary of thesis for graduation is also submitted via HDR Examinations at the time of submission. This summary will appear in the Graduation Ceremonies Program. It should focus on the outcomes of the research, be in plain English and contain a maximum of fifty words.

If your document exceeds the size limit or you need to submit additional materials for examination please email the HDR Adviser for further information.

Find out what happens after lodgement

Graduation/Conferral

Once you have submitted your library copy into HDR Examinations and it has been approved, the HDR Adviser will seek approval of the degree from the Chair, Research and Research Training Committee and the Academic Board. This can take a few weeks depending on the time of year you submit. Once received, Graduations will be advised that that you are now eligible to graduate and they will contact you within 28 days. There are three graduation ceremonies each year, in April, October and December. The December ceremony is for international and/or School of Medicine students only. Depending on the timing and length of the examination process, it may not always be possible for you to graduate at the ceremony of your choice. Students should discuss the options with the HDR Adviser.

Please note that doctoral graduands may not use the title "Doctor" until the degree has been conferred. If you are unable to attend a graduation ceremony or require conferral of your degree prior to the next graduation ceremony, it may be possible to have your degree conferred at a University Council meeting. Please contact the HDR Adviser for further information.

Final documents

Once Graduations are advised that you are eligible to graduate, you will be issued your final documents(s). Domestic and international students will be sent their final transcript via post. International students will also receive a completion letter in addition to their transcript. Please ensure that your postal address details are up-to-date in StudentConnect.

Students will be presented their final testamur at their graduation ceremony. Students who have their degree conferred at Council or graduate in absentia will be sent their testamur via post.

Need help?

If you need help with the examination process, refer to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) pages for students, staff and examiners.

If you still require assistance, email our HDR Adviser or phone +61 3 522 73492 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

If you require technical help with HDR Examinations, please phone +61 3 522 72633 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

Note: If your postal or email address changes during the examination period, please follow the instructions on the Research Degrees - Doctoral and Masters page to ensure you notify us of any changes.


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