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Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics & Chemistry


All PhD, MSc and MPhil by thesis candidates must have an oral (viva voce) examination.

The Internal Examiner arranges the oral by contacting the candidate and the External to arrange a mutually convenient time and place. The oral should take place, if possible, within two months of submission of the thesis.

Temporary arrangements during coronavirus outbreak - we understand that face-to-face viva may not be possible at the moment. Examiners will be sent information about viva by video-conference when appointed. If all parties agree a viva may usually be conducted remotely. Alternatively it can be postponed under an in-person examination can take place.

Some examiners like candidates to give a structured presentation (poster or powerpoint) at the start of the viva. This is by no means essential. If you would like the candidate to give a presentation please notify them of the requirements at least two weeks before the scheduled viva date. 

If the candidate has advised us of a disability that they feel might affect the conduct of the oral, we will let you know of any necessary additional requirements or adjustments.


Your pre-viva independent reports

  • these must be written by each examiner, without consultation with the other, BEFORE the oral;
  • they should be sufficiently detailed to allow the Degree Committee to come to a decision about the quality of the work and to give the candidate written feedback;
  • in particular, if you believe the thesis will need to be revised (i.e. fails at the first attempt), your report will need to give details of why the degree should not be awarded and provide remedial advice;
  • at least one A4 page would normally be expected, but not more than 2-3 pages;
  • each report must be accompanied by the coversheet PhD1, MSc1 or MPhil1, on which you indicate your pre-oral recommendation;
  • the report and coversheet should be submitted electronically to the Degree Committee Office.


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Office closures

The DC 'remote' Office will be closed from 3pm on Friday 28 August 2020 for the August Bank Holiday. We reopen at 9am on Tuesday 1 September 2020.

Meetings schedule

Meetings of the Degree Committee and Degree Ceremonies: