Theses Submission Procedure at Edinburgh University
The supervision of a thesis is performed by 3 supervisors:
1. Principal Supervisor
2. Secondary Supervisor
3. Independent Advisor
The Principal Supervisor will be the main contact for the student, but the other supervisors may need to see work occasionally.
The examiners for any thesis consist of one internal examiner and one external examiner. If the PhD student is also a member of staff from the university, an additional external examiner is required.
The result of a Viva may be one of the following:
1. No corrections – The thesis is in a good enough state to be submitted with no changes.
2. Minor corrections – The thesis is basically good enough, but contains some errors that must be corrected.
3. Corrections – The thesis can be brought up to standard with a little work.
4. Resubmit – The thesis is inadequate, and a considerable amount of additional work is required, which may mean taking another year over the work.
5. MPhil – The thesis is greatly inadequate, and the recommendation is that an MPhil is awarded instead of a PhD.
6. Fail – The thesis is irredeemable, and the student fails.
Once a Viva has been completed, one of the above will be recommended by the examiners, and once proceedings based on that result have been completed, the awards body may go on to award the student with the relevant degree.
Once a student has passed their Viva, the awards body is free to award the student with the relevant degree (PhD or MPhil). This is done as follows:
1. The examiners make their recommendations to the College Post Graduate Office.
2. The College Post Graduate Studies Committee makes its recommendations to the University Post Graduate Office. It is at this stage that the real decision to award is made.
3. The Senatus Post Graduate Committee awards the degree based on recommendations from the College Post Graduate Office and the examiners. This stage largely acts as a rubber stamp for the decision made in step 2.
Note that the word “supervisor” in this section refers to the entire supervision entity laid out in the section Thesis Supervision.
The following details what is expected of the student in each year of their PhD (working on an assumption of 3 years).
1. A Transfer/1st Year Report
2. A presentation to the school/department to which they belong.
1. 2nd Year Report.
2. Thesis plan.
1. Complete Intention to Submit form, to be handed to the supervisor or school X weeks before actually submitting the thesis.
2. Author the thesis, with extensive consultation with the supervisor.
3. Provide 2 first submission copies of the thesis (one to the internal and one to the external examiner). In addition 6 copies of the abstract must be provided to the school’s Post Graduate Office. Note that the student does not require the supervisor’s permission to submit.
4. Attend a Viva arranged by the school, supervisor and examiners. Note that the student may request that the supervisor not be present at the Viva.
5. Receive report by examiners following Viva, detailing the changes required before final submission.
6. Complete the required work in consultation with the supervisor.
7. Hand in a final submission (in hard back).
The following details what is expected of the supervisory body in each year of the student’s PhD (working on an assumption of 3 years).
1. Receive and review the Transfer/1st Year Report.
2. Attend and review the presentation.
1. Receive and review the 2nd Year Report.
2. Assist in the creation of a Thesis Plan.
1. Receive Intention to Submit form, and liase with the school in order to arrange examiners for the thesis.
2. Consult with the student in preparing the first submission of the thesis.
3. Once the thesis is submitted, liase with the Head of Department and the examiners in order to organise the Viva.
4. The supervisor may attend the Viva if the student has not requested that they do not attend.
5. Consult with the student over the revisions required following the Viva.
The following is required of both internal and external examiners:
1. Receive a copy of the first submission of the thesis.
2. Read thesis and write report with suggestion for award.
3. Consult with supervisor and Head of Department to arrange Viva date.
4. Perform Viva, and allocate any additional work.
5. Write report with suggestion for award.