HDR Examinations - FAQs for students

What is HDR Examinations?

HDR Examinations is an online system which enables the entire thesis examination process to be handled electronically, from the point at which you start the process by giving notice of your intention to submit through to the notification of the final outcome.

All the people involved in your examination will use the online system: you, your supervisor, the examiners, the Head of School, the Chair of the Thesis Examination Sub-Committee and the University's Examination Officer.

Secure access using Deakin usernames and passwords is provided. Documents such as the thesis and the examiners' reports are attached to the online system in PDF format.

Why does Deakin use an online examination system?

Deakin introduced the online HDR Examinations system in 2011. It provides a faster examination, has environmental advantages due to the fewer number of theses being shipped and also enables improved tracking for everyone involved. All students must submit their thesis via the online examination system, HDR Examinations.

What happens if one part of the examination process is rejected?

You will receive an email explaining what you are required to do. If you need any further information contact our HDR Adviser.

Are the formatting requirements different if I am submitting online?

No. The requirements for formatting your thesis are the same for both electronic and hard copy submissions which can be found on the Examination procedures page.


It is an option for examiners to request a hard copy of your thesis for examination. Therefore your thesis must be submitted in a standard format to enable printing if required.

How do I convert my thesis into PDF?

Your thesis will need to be changed into a PDF document (preferably unsecured PDF-A) before you can upload and submit it into HDR Examinations.

To change your thesis into a PDF we recommend that you use a university computer and print to Adobe PDF directly from Word.

If are using a computer external to Deakin which does not have Word 2010, then we recommend using the software PDFCreator which can be downloaded free at http://www.pdfforge.org/.

Do I need to print my thesis?

Examination copy

No. You will not normally need to print your thesis unless you want a copy for your own purposes. You will upload your thesis into HDR Examinations as a PDF file and that will be made available to the examiners.

However, some examiners may request a printed copy of the thesis. In that case, you will be asked to choose for Deakin to provide a hard copy, or you may choose to arrange your own printing and binding of the thesis.

Final library copy

No. The Library copy of your thesis is also submitted in PDF format (PDF-A which is an archival quality). Guidelines are provided.

Who takes responsibility for printing if a hard copy is required?

At the time of submitting your thesis you will be asked to select who you wish to print and bind the thesis should it be required. If you choose Deakin then we will arrange for a printed version of your PDF to be prepared and bound according to standard formatting and mail it to the examiner. If you choose to arrange printing and binding yourself, then you are responsible for all aspects of the printing and binding including costs and you will be required to present a final copy to our HDR Adviser for mailing.

If I select Deakin to print my thesis, is there any cost to me?

No. Please note that if you do not choose for Deakin to print your thesis then you will be responsible for all costs incurred to print and bind your thesis for examination.

I would prefer to print my own thesis, is there any cost to me?

Yes. If you choose to arrange printing and binding of your thesis then you are responsible for all costs incurred.

I want to upload my thesis but I can't find the link?

You are unable to see the link that will enable you to upload your thesis because your examination has not reached that step. You cannot submit your thesis until the examiners are nominated, approved and selected. Once these steps are complete you will receive an email notifying you that you may now log on and upload your thesis. Unfortunately it is not an option to do this until all steps up until this point are complete.

Do I still need to complete a candidate declaration form if I am submitting online?

Yes. A signed declaration page must be inserted into every thesis.

How do I insert the candidate declaration page into the thesis?

The candidate declaration page must be signed electronically or printed and signed then scanned into electronic format.

This must be inserted into your thesis using the insert pages option under the document tab. If your version of Adobe does not support this option, insert the page into your thesis as a word document then convert it to PDF.

Where do I find the Digital Thesis Copyright and Access form?

The Digital Thesis Copyright and Access form can be located on the forms and guidelines page.

I have a DVD as an appendix to my thesis, how do I submit it in HDR Examinations?

HDR Examinations was designed so that each student is able to upload their thesis as one single PDF document. If you have additional materials in the form of a DVD, CD, portfolio etc, this should be submitted directly to our HDR Adviser. It will be treated as an appendix to your thesis and considered for assessment.

I'm a DPsych student, how do I submit the professional research component for examination?

The major investigative project component is submitted via HDR Examinations. The professional research component should be prepared following the relevant guidelines, printed and bound then submitted to the School of Psychology.

Doctor of Psychology students can have their thesis preparation costs for the professional research component reimbursed by the School of Psychology (contact the School of Psychology for further information).

How will the outcome of my examination be determined?

Once the examiners have made their recommendations, these will be sent to your Head of School who will be asked to make a recommendation. The Head of School should do this in consultation with your principal supervisor. The recommendation is sent to the Thesis Examination Sub-Committee for determination of the final outcome, after which you are notified.

What are the possible outcomes of my examination?

The recommendations an examiner can make and what they mean are explained on our examination outcomes page.

My degree has been awarded with no amendments required, do I need to submit a library copy?

Yes. If you were awarded your degree outright and do not need to work through any changes with your supervisor, you are still required to upload your final library copy. You may choose to review the examiners notes and make changes, but this is not required.

I have completed my minor revisions, do I upload the thesis with track changes showing?

No. The version you need to upload into HDR Examinations must be your final version with all track changes accepted. Do not upload your thesis with track changes showing. This will be your final library copy submission so it must be in its final form.

After I upload my thesis with minor revisions do I need to upload a final library copy?

No. If your thesis with minor revisions is approved, it automatically becomes your final library copy. You will not have another opportunity to upload another version.

Do I need to submit a library copy if I have submitted my thesis with minor revisions?

No. If your thesis with minor revisions is approved, it automatically becomes your final library copy. You will not have another opportunity to upload another version.

I have just received my result, how long do I have to submit my final thesis?

If your degree has been awarded, you have eight weeks to upload your minor revisions/library copy. If you have to revise your thesis and resubmit it for examination, you cannot submit your final thesis. Depending on whether you are enrolled as a full-time or a part-time, you will have between 6 – 12 months to make revisions. Full-time enrolled students will have 6 months and part-time enrolled students will have 12 months. If you are unsure, please contact our HDR Adviser.

How long does the examination take?

The average examination takes 3 months (from the time you submit the examination copy of the thesis until you are advised about the final outcome). Please be aware that your examination may take longer than this. While the University does its best to minimize the length of examinations, the process is not entirely within our control.

Not all examiners start the examination at the same time, and not all complete it at the same time.

Reasons for lengthy examinations:

  • Examiners are tardy
  • Time of year of submission
  • Thesis exceeds word limit (50,000 words for masters; 100,000 for doctoral)
  • Thesis of poor quality
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