skip to content

Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics & Chemistry


What should we tell the candidate?

Please do not explicitly tell the candidate the outcome at the end of the oral. Of course, the majority of candidates will be able to judge how things went from the conduct of the oral so you may indicate if you are going to recommend a pass, but please make clear it is not the official outcome.

The final decision on the outcome lies with the Degree Committee (and Postgraduate Committee in cases of a fail or award lower degree decision). In a very few cases these Committees may vary in their opinion after reading your reports. The official outcome must be conveyed to the candidate by the Degree Committee (MPhil) or Student Registry on behalf of the Degree Committee (PhD).


Your recommendation

The outcomes you may recommend after the oral are outlined in the Guide to Examiners.

If you are in doubt about the distinction between Corrections and Revision, please see section 5 of the Guide.

When deciding whether corrections are minor or substantial, bear in mind the nature of the corrections and the time the candidate is normally allowed to complete the work (noted on the joint report coversheet). The clock starts running from the date of formal notification of the result of the examination from the Degree Committee (MPhil) or Student Registry (MSc & PhD).

If recommending revision and re-examination, your report will need to include sufficient advice about the remedial work needed to allow the candidate a fair chance of meeting your requirements on second examination. If further experimental work is needed, you should make this clear; if this is very demanding, you might consider whether a candidate who has been examined for the PhD might be approved for the MSc without further work (other than correction of the thesis) and indicate this by choosing the relevant outcome on the coversheet. The revised examination will usually include a viva but in some circumstances the oral can be waived (see Examining a revised thesis).


Your joint report

Immediately after the oral, the two examiners should write a brief joint report on the oral and record the recommended outcome on the coversheet (PhD2, MSc2 or MPhil2).

Should the examiners’ pre-viva recommendations differ significantly, or one or both examiners wished to reserve judgement on their recommendation until after the viva, the joint report should clearly articulate how any concerns were addressed and how the joint recommendation was reached.

If you cannot agree on your recommendation, or if either of you has changed your recommendation since making your independent report, please make the reasons clear in your joint report.

If you can't find the page you are looking for or find a broken link do let us know (please use the email link in the 'Contact us' section below).

Office closures

The Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics & Chemistry will be closed from 5pm on Thursday 28 March 2024 and will reopen again on Tuesday 2 April 2024.
Research degree theses should still be submitted by your submission deadline even if that falls over the holiday period.