Policy HDR Thesis Submission and Examination Procedure

HDR Thesis Submission and Examination Procedure

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Intent & Scope

To outline the process to submit and arrange for the examination or re-examination of a thesis produced by a candidate for a Higher Degree by Research (HDR), PhD by Prior Publication or a Higher Doctorate.


Terms mentioned in this document and not defined here are defined in the Policy Glossary in the Learning and Teaching domain of the University Policy Library, and in the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Requirements.


  1. The candidate must have a “subject status” of “enrolled” in the Student Management System to submit the thesis.
  2. On thesis submission the candidate must be placed ‘Under Examination’ in the Student Management System.
  3. To minimise the examination period it is important that the nomination of examiners has been finalised prior to thesis submission as outlined in the HDR Nomination of Examiners Procedure.
  4. When submitting their thesis, a candidate must submit the following to the HDR Administrative Officer in their College:
    1. An electronic copy of the thesis in both a Word and single pdf document
    2. SUB-FORM-01 HDR Thesis Submission and Release Form completed and signed by the candidate and the Advisory Panel.
  5. In exceptional cases when the candidate elects to submit the thesis for examination without the relevant certification of advisors, the candidate must have been provided with written advice of the reasons for refusing to sign this certification by the Advisory Panel and responded to this advice in writing. Copy of this correspondence must be submitted with the thesis.
  6. The HDR Administrative Officer in the candidate’s College will check the thesis and the required documentation is complete and sends the copies of the thesis and the documentation to the Graduate Research School.
  7. The Graduate Research School will contact the nominated examiners and confirm no conflict of interest, and continued willingness to examine the thesis.
  8. The Graduate Research School will send the thesis out for examination to the appointed examiners with the examiner information, and assessment form.
  9. The Graduate Research School will advise the candidate when the thesis has been sent to the examiners.  During thesis examination the candidate and advisors must not have contact with the examiners.
  10. From the time of submission of the thesis to the Graduate Research School for examination or re-examination, all communication regarding the examination of the thesis must be conducted through the Graduate Research School.
  11. In the process of examination, the examiners may consult with one another through the Graduate Research School, but must submit separate reports.
  12. Examiners will be asked to ascertain whether a thesis conforms to the learning outcomes of the relevant degree as described in the Australian Qualifications Framework and detailed in the relevant Guidelines for Examiners provided to examiners with the thesis.
  13. Each examiner will be asked to submit an Examiner's Report form which includes the criteria to be used in making summative and formative recommendations to the University, and detailed comments on the quality, significance, originality, cohesiveness and presentation of the thesis (normally in a written report). Examiners will be asked to complete their reports within six weeks of receipt of the thesis.
  14. If an examiner is not satisfied with any aspect of the thesis, he/she may submit written questions, via the Graduate Research School, to which the candidate will be required to respond in writing. A copy of the questions and answers will be sent to the other examiners.
  15. The University will endeavour to have the results of the examination process advised to candidates within eight to ten weeks of submission. However, examinations can sometimes take considerably longer than this time because the University has no control over external examiners.
  16. If the examiner has not submitted their report within three months of the date of their receiving the thesis, the Dean, Graduate Research, in consultation with the Primary Advisor may appoint an alternative examiner, normally the nominated replacement examiner.
  17. The examiners’ reports and examination outcomes will be handled by the Graduate Research School in accordance with the HDR Consideration of Examiner Reports Procedure.
  18. If the candidate/advisors wish to have an oral examination, examiners may finalise recommendations concerning the thesis after the oral examination has been held as outlined in the Guidelines for Conducting an Oral Examination.
  19. The examination procedure outlined above may only be varied with approval from the Dean, Graduate Research if:
    1. The candidate is enrolled under a Cotutelle or Conjoint Degree Agreement with another University and this variation is specified in the Agreement; or
    2. Part of the material to be examined is not ‘print on paper’, necessitating a variation in the examination procedure.

Related policy instruments



NOTE: Printed copies of this procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainResearch Education

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research

Approval Authority

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research

Date for next Major Review

November 2019

Revision History

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date





Merged Thesis Submission and

Examination Procedures.

Contact person

Dean, Graduate Research