Formalities and Rules

  • Make sure you find out all the formalities involved for submitting, this is Britain, there are many J. For instance there are ‘thesis submission’ and ‘examination entry’ forms that needs to be filled out and submitted three months before you submit. The final thesis title has to be as you submit it in this form and cannot be changed. You must contact the post-graduate section in the registry and fill out the relevant forms (http://www.soas.ac.uk/registry/pgresearch/staff/ and http://www.soas.ac.uk/registry/pgresearch/examprocedures/; contact: pgresearch@soas.ac.uk ). The summary of requirements from their checklist document is provided below. Also consult the Research Degree Examinations Office (enquiries@london.ac.uk)in the Senate House building Room NBQ1. Their website (http://www.lon.ac.uk/research_degrees.html) also contains some very useful information. The website also has links to .pdf documents containing guidelines for submission and binding and also a list of University of London approved binders.
  • Process for Research Degree examinations (MPhil and PhD)

    1. At least three months before a candidate is intending on submitting their thesis for examination, the appropriate examination entry forms (RDE01) and thesis submission forms (RDE03) should be downloaded from the website or requested from pgresearch@soas.ac.uk.
    2. These should be completed and signed by the candidate and the appropriate supervisor and returned in hard-copy to the Postgraduate Research Section of the Registry (Room V106, Vernon Square) at least two months before the intended date of submission.
    3. The candidate should ensure that his/her supervisor has a description of the thesis (of approximately 300 words) as this is required on the form for nominating the examiners.
    4. Upon receipt of the Examination Entry form (RDE01), the Registry will email the Nomination of Examiners form (RDE02) to the named supervisor.
    5. Once approved the proposed examiners are contacted to ask formally if they would be willing to act. This process should take around 15 working days.
    6. When the candidate is ready to submit their thesis to the Postgraduate Research Section of the Registry (V106, Vernon Square), they should, if not already done so, download the Thesis Submission form (RDE03) or request it from pgresearch@soas.ac.uk. This form will need to be submitted at the same time as the two bound copies of the thesis (see Theses for Research Degrees notes).
    7. Once the theses have been received by the Postgraduate Research Section, they will be sent to the nominated examiners within 10 working days of their receipt, and the candidate’s supervisor will be notified of this and requested to set a date for the examination.
    8. Once the details of the date and time of the viva have been set, the supervisor will notify the candidate, examiners and the Postgraduate Research Section.
    9. At the viva, five possible outcomes are possible (for further details, you should contact the Postgraduate Research Section): pass; pass with minor corrections; not pass, but with major corrections; not pass, but with recommendation of award of MPhil (if sitting for the PhD degree); fail.
    10. Should the outcome be “pass”, then the examiners will notify the Postgraduate Research Section. An award letter will be issued to you within one month of receipt of the examiners reports and the correctly bound theses (see Theses for Research Degrees notes).
    11. Should the outcome be “pass with minor corrections”, you will be notified of this at your viva, and will be informed as to what the corrections are, either directly by the examiners, or through your supervisor. You should submit your corrected thesis to the person you were informed would be responsible for confirming that these meet the requirements. The three month period you have for completing these will be from the date of the viva.
    12. Should the outcome be “pass with major corrections”, you should be notified of this at the viva, and will receive a letter confirming this, together with copies of the examiners reports. You should submit the corrected thesis together with new Examination entry forms to the Postgraduate Research and will be required to pay the re-entry fee (contact the Postgraduate Research Section to find out how to make this payment), within a maximum of 18 months of the date of the letter. An extension to this deadline will not be given.
    13. Should the outcome be a recommendation for the award of MPhil to be made (if you had submitted to the PhD degree), then you have the choice of accepting this award, not accepting, or appealing against the decision. If you wish to make an appeal you should contact the Postgraduate Research Section for instructions.
    14. Should the outcome be “fail”, then you will not be allowed to re-submit for examination, but do reserve the right to appeal against this decision. You should contact the Postgraduate Research Section for further information in this eventuality.
    15. Your degree diploma will be issued by the Diploma Production Office in Stewart House (refer to the University of London website for contact details), around three months after your confirmation of award letter date.
    16. In order to be included in the July Graduation ceremony, you should have been issued your confirmation of award letter by May of that year at the very latest.
    17. For all queries regarding the examinations process you should contact:

    Jason Harrison
    Postgraduate Research Section
    Registry

    Visiting address: Vernon Square, Penton Rise, London WC1X 9EW
    Postal address: Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

    Email: pgresearch@soas.ac.uk

    Tel: 0207 074 5117

    Fax: 0207 074 5089

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