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Submitting your PhD thesis

  1. Your adviser has to come up with an appropriate external. Your adviser should informally check that the proposed external is willing to act as the examiner. Ideally, the external is an expert in your field, and has no connections with you or your adviser.
  2. You fill in forms. You can download them from the university in Word Format . You fill in part A, your advisor fills in part B, you then pass the form to the head of department who will sign them off, from there on the forms will go to the graduate dean and higher degrees office. You should do this in advance of submitting your thesis, so that this paperwork is dealt with whilst you are polishing your thesis.
  3. Submit your thesis to higher degrees and celebrate. From this moment onwards, you and your adviser sit back and wait for everything to be organised.
  4. The external and internal will get a letter confirming that they are indeed going to be the examiners, the internal examiner must then organise the viva. They must find a date that both examiners, you, and preferably also your adviser are available and if appropriate book a meeting room.
  5. The external will be chairing the viva. The internal should brief the external on local procedures before the exam. The adviser can be present if you want them to be present (each university has their own traditions on this, at other universities the adviser will be present unless you explicit request them not to be).
It is important that you and your adviser do note get too involved with the external examiner before the viva. It is often impossible to find an expert in the field who will not have heard of your work and who will not know your adviser and/or you, but at least we can minimise interaction between the external examiner and the adviser prior to the viva. It does not reflect well on any of the parties involved if the external is one of your adviser's mates.