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PhD Examination - stage one - appointment of examiners



Appointment of Examiners

Each PhD is examined by two Examiners who are appointed by the Degree Committee, in consultation with your Supervisor. One of the Examiners is always from outside the University (the 'External' Examiner); the other is customarily a member of the University of Cambridge (the 'Internal' Examiner). 

The research subject is provisionally approved at the point of admission to the degree and confirmed more specifically when you are formally registered for a research degree. When you apply for Examiners to be appointed, the Degree Committee asks for a precise dissertation title to be proposed for their approval. The supervisor may also be invited to indicate his or her support for this title.   


Appointment of Examiners application form 

In the History Faculty specifically, at least 4 months, and ideally 6 months, before submitting the thesis, please complete the Faculty Appointment of Examiners form and email it to the Degree Committee Office along with:

- a 1-2 page summary of the thesis, 

-  any viva requests (see the appointment of examiners form)

Please see Student Registry note here regarding summaries and dissertation titles.

To note:  it is entirely at the discretion of the examiners whether viva requests can, or cannot, be met.  There may be valid reasons why examiners cannot accommodate such requests and candidates should respect this decision if it is made.

Further preparations

It is a good idea to review the Submission of thesis checklist at this point.

If students require examination access arrangements, it would be best to begin such considerations.

Students are advised to start reviewing "PhD Examination - stage two - preparation and submission of thesis"

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The appointment of examiners process

Your Supervisor will be contacted by the Degree Committee Office to provide examiner suggestions for Degree Committee approval.   To note, Degree Committee can overturn or amend supervisor suggestions where it deems it necessary.

After Degree Committee have made their decisions, potential examiners will be invited to act and the student is also contacted at this point.

If examiners decline to act, Degree Committee approval of further examiner options received from the supervisor may be required, hence the desire for this process to begin at least 4-6 months before submission.

Students are informed of their examiners' names when they submit the thesis for examination.

What is the next stage?

Please proceed to stage two: preparation and submission of thesis


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