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Graduate School

Arrangements for the Oral Examination

Who Needs an Oral Examination?

All candidates for doctoral and higher masters degrees are required to attend an oral examination after the first submission of their thesis. In the case of MTheol, MJur, MSc and MA degrees, an oral examination shall be held at the discretion of the examiners.

There is no requirement for the examiners of a resubmitted thesis to hold a second oral examination, however, a second oral examination can be held if one or both of the examiners considers this to be necessary to the examination process, or in cases where the first oral examination was not satisfactory.

Organising the Oral Examination

Normally, the internal examiner (or internal advisor where one is appointed) is responsible for arranging the oral examination. This includes notifying the Academic Support Office and the candidate of the arrangements. Your supervisory team will be consulted and will normally be expected to be available for the oral examination and, at the invitation of the examiners, to attend all or any part of the oral examination as an observer.

The oral examination should normally be held in University and both examiners must normally be present. An oral examination cannot be held by telephone.

Oral Examination Training

Preparation for the oral examination should be given via your supervisory team. Your supervisory team should ensure that you understand the requirements and purpose of the oral examination and that you are adequately prepared for the oral examination and if necessary arrange practice in oral examination techniques.

At Institutional level, sessions on preparation for the oral examination are provided through the Postgraduate Research Training Programme. Further details on these sessions can be found via the Training course booking system at http://www.dur.ac.uk/training.course/ and in the Postgraduate Research Training Handbook.