Standing Order 22

Senior Doctoral Degrees

Instructions for the Conduct of Examinations for the Degrees of DLitt, DSc,  DScEcon and LLD

1 Candidates for the degrees of DLitt, DSc, DScEcon and LLD shall send to the Pro Vice-Chancellor three copies of the works they desire to submit to the judgement of the University.  The works may be forwarded to the Pro Vice-Chancellor at any time during the academic year, but a candidate whose works are received after 31 January in any year ought not to expect, ordinarily, to be admitted to a degree in that year.

2 All works submitted by a candidate for one of the above degrees shall be considered by an Internal Committee consisting of:

(i) The Vice-Chancellor, and
(ii) two other persons appointed by the Vice-Chancellor (normally one Pro Vice-Chancellor and a senior academic in a relevant subject area).

3 If satisfied that a prima facie case has been established for referring the works for detailed examination for the degree in question, the Internal Committee shall appoint three assessors.  If the Internal Committee is not satisfied it shall inform the Pro Vice-Chancellor, who shall notify the candidate: two-thirds of the fee paid shall be returned to the candidate, together with three copies of the work concerned.

4 Members of the Internal Committee and the assessors should be entirely independent of the candidate and each other.  Assessors should declare an interest if they:
(i) plan to employ the candidate
(ii) plan to co-publish with the candidate
(iii) are involved, or have been, with the candidate in a close personal relationship of any kind
(iv) have a close personal, professional or contractual relationship with any other member of the examination committee.

5 Each of the three appointed assessors shall send to the Pro Vice-Chancellor a detailed and independent report as to the scope, quality and originality of the works, stating whether in their opinion the degree should be awarded.

6 The reports of the three assessors shall be submitted by the Pro Vice-Chancellor to the Internal Committee which shall present a report, including a recommendation as to the award of the degree, to the Research Degrees Board.  The Research Degrees Board shall make the final decision on the candidature.

7 In making their report on the candidature for the doctorate, referees are requested to consider the following questions, viz:

(i) Does the candidate’s work show command of the subject?

(ii) Does the work possess originality and merit worthy of the degree for which it has been submitted?

(iii) Does the work make a substantial contribution to the advancement of knowledge of such a nature as to make the candidate an acknowledged expert in the field covered?

(iv) Can the candidate be considered worthy of the award of the degree?

(It would assist the University materially in the final consideration of the work if, in answering these questions, assessors would express briefly the principal reasons that have led them to their conclusions).

8 Assessors shall be reminded that the purpose of requiring publication is to ensure that the work submitted has been available for criticism by relevant experts, and that assessors are given discretion to disregard any of the work submitted if, in their opinion, the work has not been so available for criticism either on account of its inaccessibility or because it has been submitted for the degree at too short an interval after its publication.

9 The written reports of the assessors shall be deposited in the archives of the University.