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.

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

FAQs about Oral Thesis Examinations

Are oral examinations compulsory?

No, except for a very specific group of students. Only students studying in the Institute for Frontier Materials who commence on or after 31 October 2016 will be required to undergo an oral examination. It is not a requirement for any other student. No other area of the University has adopted oral examinations. If they were to introduce oral examinations in the future, only students admitted to the area after that date would be required to undergo an oral examination. It would be made clear in the terms and conditions at the start of your candidature. An oral examination will never be imposed retrospectively on a student who was not admitted under those terms. If, on the other hand, you would like to participate in an oral examination, you could request to do so. You would need the approval of the academic unit because there are some fairly significant logistical arrangements involved and the academic unit would need to be amenable to that.

FAQs Prior to submission

What happens if I get an error and can't start a new examination?

Contact our HDR Adviser.

What are the formatting requirements for submitting my thesis and why is this important?

The requirements can be found on the Examination procedures page.

It is important because 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.

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 PDFForge (http://www.pdfforge.org/).

How do I combine my chapters as one PDF document?

Only one file is required for your thesis submission. Most software packages able you to combine documents (e.g. Word or Excel) and save as a PDF. See How to Merge PDF Files.

Is a COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement required in my thesis for research conducted during or impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

No, it isn’t. You can opt to include a COVID-19 Thesis statement in your thesis and should do so only on advice of your supervisory panel.

If considering a COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement, what impacts can be included?

The focus of the statement is on impact on the research, including:

  • How your planned research activities such as topic, research question, methods and data collection and/or the scope of your research were disrupted or changed due the pandemic. For instance: inability to conduct fieldwork or face-to-face research; access to facilities such as labs, archives or other working spaces; inability to collect or analyse data due to travel restrictions.
  • How the research was shaped by the disruption: the actions or decisions taken to mitigate the disruption; new focus; revised research questions or development; pivoting or adjusting the research project.
  • Any other relevant factors relating to the impact of COVID-19 related disruption on your research.

If I include a COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement at examination, can I remove it for the final library copy?

Yes, you can. The immediate audience of a COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement are the examiners. You can use the statement to explain the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your research. You may opt to include a COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement for examination and remove it from your library copy but you cannot do the reverse. A COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement cannot be included in your library copy if it wasn’t included in the examination copy.

How can a COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement be incorporated into the thesis?

Your supervisors should advise you on the format which best fits the thesis and impact on the research. The options are:

  • Upfront as an additional page in the thesis (no more than 600 0words)
  • Integrated into the thesis in relevant chapters.

The COVID-19 pandemic was difficult personally and I don’t feel that I excelled to the same level that I might have in usual circumstances. Should I address this in the COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement?

No. There were many personal challenges and difficulties caused by the pandemic but it is important that you don’t infer that your research or thesis is inferior or that you’re seeking ‘special consideration’ in the examination. The examiners can’t provide ‘special consideration’: they’re to examine the quality of the research and thesis and if they meet the criteria for recommendation of the award.

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?

I have a DVD or memory stick 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).

What happens if my thesis title changes after I lodge my 'Notice of Intention to Submit'?

Once you lodge your 'Notice of Intention to Submit', you can no longer change the title in the system yourself. Contact our HDR Adviser with your new thesis title and it can be updated for you.

I am unable to submit by the date I indicated in my 'Notice of Intention to Submit', what should I do?

We understand that the date you indicated may change. The date is used to inform your supervisor when the examiners are required. Before any changes to your submission date are made they should be discussed with your supervisor. We know that this date is an estimate but we are asking for your best guess.

If you think you will be submitting more than 8 weeks past your intended submission date, please contact the HDR Adviser. We will try to avoid delays by checking the examiners have been nominated and are still available to examine your thesis. If necessary we will follow up with your supervisor.

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.

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.

It is at your own expense if you wish to print a hard copy of your final thesis. There are a range of companies that provide this service, including DUSA.

FAQs about submitting your thesis for examination

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

My primary supervisor is not in the drop down list of supervisors, what should I do?

Contact our HDR Adviser.

My supervisor has changed since I began my examination in HDR Examinations, what should I do?

Contact our HDR Adviser.

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.

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

Deakin will arrange for a printed version of your PDF to be prepared and bound according to standard formatting and mail it to the examiner.

FAQs After submission

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.

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 Academic Unit should do this in consultation with your principal supervisor. The recommendation is sent to the Thesis Examination Committee for determination of the final outcome, after which you are notified.

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.

FAQs about submitting the Minor Amendments or Library copy of your thesis

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.

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 re-examination, you will have 12 months to make the revisions. You will be enrolled as a part-time student, International students will accrue fees during this period. If you are unsure, please contact our HDR Adviser.

FAQs specifically for International Students

I have just submitted my thesis and would like to stay in Australia while my thesis is being examined but my visa is expiring shortly, what shall I do?

If your intention is to stay in Australia while your thesis is being examined but your visa ends shortly, you can apply for a new student visa. You do not require a new COE.

Please note, this visa is normally only granted for 6 months to cover the interactive marking period from the date you submit your thesis.

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