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Information for Students

** Please do not send your thesis to our office as the team are now hybrid working therefore it will not be received. If your examiners require a hard copy we will be in touch with you directly**

If the Coronavirus pandemic affected your research and thesis then please see further information about including an impact statement here: Coronavirus

STAGE 1 - RD1 Form

I am ready to submit my thesis. What next? Who examines me? What forms do I need to complete?

Talk to your supervisor(s) about your readiness to submit and discuss the RD1 form. Ensure your thesis meets the word count requirements, that you and your supervisor have discussed the issue of third party copyright and that you are ready to orally defend your thesis. 

Please plan ahead if there are specific personal deadlines, for example an employment opportunity, funding or fellowship applications or visa issues, you wish to meet. We estimate the average time period from submission of an RD1 Form to the final outcome of a Pass is at least 10 months and frequently a lot longer.

Think about your potential examiners, their level of experience with UK Based PhDs, understanding of your field of study, ability to participate in an Oral Examination and reliability in completing and returning all examiner reports post Oral Examination.

We know it is a lot to think about! It is better to start early and be prepared – take each stage as it comes but be aware of how they interlink and any consequences if a stage is missed or not completed.

Once you have had these discussions with your supervisor you can move on to the RD1 Form. 

Note: paper RD1 forms are no longer accepted

As of 11th April 2022, the way you submit your RD1 form has changed, see below for steps and guidance

  • Your RD1 submission is now undertaken using Student Records.

  • As part of the thesis submission process, you will need to submit an RD1 Examination Entry Form.  This form should be submitted at least four months before you intend to submit your thesis
    Please note the four months commences when the RD1 form has been submitted to the Research Degrees Examinations team either by your supervisor or countersignatory (where applicable)

  • Once you login to Student Records, navigate to 'My Research Degree section' and you should see the 'Submit RD1 form' option.
    This option will automatically become available to you 18 months before your expected submission date for full time students and 24 months before your expected submission date for part time students

  • Please note when you want to start the process, you will be required to launch the task from the 'Postgraduate Research Students home page' as it will not appear in your task list

  • In the student part of the RD1 form you will find personal, course and study information and questions about the thesis

  • Students are required to complete all the neccesary information before the form can be submitted to their supervisor

  • Your supervisor will nominate two examiners, or three if you are on a Joint Degree with one of our partners, and complete all details on the RD1 form. Your supervisor(s) are likely to discuss these nominees with you and will be decided on from their academic knowledge and contacts

For further information on the process and guidance please see our internal webpages which will take you through to the guidance notes:

Why does the RD1 form need to be submitted 4 months before my intended submission date?

The reason for this is your nominated examiners need to go through a process of approval via the Subject Area Board (SAB) and the Research Degrees Examination Board (RDEB) Chair and this can take time; if one, or in rare cases, both of your examiners do not meet the King’s College requirements either one of these parties may suggest an Independent Chair or a new examiner nomination. In either of these cases your supervisor will need to re-think and re-submit the RD1 form, in the case of a new examiner, or nominate an Independent Chair who will need approval and to accept the role. 

We prefer you to have as much time as possible so neither you nor your supervisor(s) are stressed or struggling to find further nominees. The earlier we receive the form the better as our team are very experienced and will get in touch with your supervisor should there be any issues.

 

What is a Field of Study?

The field of study will be printed on your Research Degree Certificate and Award Letter so please ensure that it is accurate and appropriate for your final area of study.

If you are part of the Dickson Poon School of Law the field of study will always be ‘Law’.

If you are part of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery and Palliative Care, the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience or the Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine there is a drop down list of fields of study within the online RD1 form and a list can also be found here:

If you are from any other faculty, please talk to your supervisor(s) about the best field of study for you before completing the RD1 Form.

 

Reasonable adjustments for the oral examination

When completing the RD1 form, there are some questions around disability and reasonable adjustments, you may want to think about whether or not you require any reasonable adjustments for your oral examination. Any responses given in this section can only be viewed by yourself and the Research Degrees Examinations team.

For further information please see here

 

If you are struggling to complete the online RD1 form please contact the Research Degrees Examinations team directly at researchdegrees@kcl.ac.uk 

 

Please click below for further information on:

 

STAGE 2 - Consideration of examiners 

Once your supervisor or countersignatory (where applicable) have submitted the RD1 form to the Research Degrees Examinations team, the form will then be passed onto the Subject Area Board (SAB)

The examiners nominated by your supervisor will be considered by the relevant SAB as per the list below:

The SAB is the Subject Area Board for your area of study. It is made up of academics within your Faculty who scrutinise the RD1 Form and check the examiners are appropriate and suitable for your Oral Examination and to complete all examiner duties. They will advise on the expertise and suitability of the examiner nominees and check any potential conflicts of interest the supervisor, or you as the candidate, may have with the nominees. This is an important part of the quality assurance and integrity of your final award. It means you can be certain of the high standards King's College adhere to when awarding a research degree. 

Following this The Chair of the Research Degrees Examination Board will then take the final decision on appointment.

 

STAGE 3 - Approval of Examiners

I have submitted my RD1 Form. What should I do next? What are the Research Degrees Examinations team doing?

Please be patient whilst your supervisor and countersignatory (where applicable) complete their sections of the RD1 form

Checking the status of your RD1 form

  • To check the status of your form, you can log back into Student Records and click on the My Research Degree section' and the 'Submit RD1 form' option again

  • If the form has been with your supervisor a while, we suggest you get in touch with them in the first instance, as there maybe a valid reason why it has not been submitted

  • If the form has been with the countersignatory for a while (for those faculties that have this role) we suggest you ask your supervisor to contact the countersignatory to move this along

Once the RD1 form has been submitted to the Research Degrees Examinations team

We will check your RD1 form thoroughly ensuring it has been fully completed and if there are any obvious issues i.e. lack of experience in examining UK based Research Degrees or other regulatory matters, we will send the form back to your supervisor and flag the issues.

Providing all is fine, we will submit the RD1 form to the SAB.

SAB members then get the opportunity to consider the nominated examiners and provide their comments before a decision is made.

If the SAB require further information from your supervisor they can return the form to your supervisor, requesting the information before it is resubmitted.

The Research Degrees Examinations team will formally contact the examiners, inviting them to examine your thesis, only once the SAB have endorsed them.

If the examiners are unavailble or refuse to examine, we will return the RD1 form to your supervisor and inform them to seek new nominations, this will need to go back through the countersignatory (where applicable) and to the SAB.

Once examiners have responded and are able to examine your thesis and the SAB have endorsed them, we will seek final approval from the Chair of the Research Degrees Examination Board (RDEB Chair)

Following all approvals, we will send your examiners a “Confirmation of Appointment to Examine” email. This email will be copied into you and your supervisor for your records.

STAGE 4 - Thesis submission

What next? What is an RD2 Form?

Please note: Students may submit their thesis before their examiners are approved and must submit by their thesis submission deadline.

Please note: Theses for examining must be submitted to the Research Degrees Examinations team to dispatch, under no circumstances should students or supervisors email or post the thesis to the examiners.

The Research Degrees Examinations team can also only accept the first submission; if you need to resubmit the thesis for first examination for any reason you will require an approval email from your Faculty Associate Dean in order to resubmit, or send our team, a revised copy of your thesis. 

 

Electronic Thesis - for examiners

Please email a PDF version of your thesis to researchdegrees@kcl.ac.uk along with a signed copy of your RD2 form.  The PDF version will be emailed to your examiners in the dispatch email.

If your deadline falls on a weekend or during office closure/public holidays you are still required to email a PDF version of your thesis to researchdegrees@kcl.ac.uk no later than your deadline.

We must receive the PDF version of your thesis no later than 23:59 UK time.

 

Soft bound Thesis

Some examiners may prefer to work from a printed version of the student's thesis rather than the PDF, if this is the case:

  • The Research Degrees Examinations team will in the first instance check with the examiner if they would be happy to print the thesis themselves. If the examiner is happy to do this and is able to, they can claim back the expenses following the examination

  • If the examiner is unable to print the thesis, the Research Degrees Examinations team will contact the student to make arrangements for a print version to be posted directly to the examiner(s) or via a binders

  • It is the students' responsibility to get their thesis printed and bound if examiners require a copy. Students may only claim back postage costs.

PRINT COPIES MUST NOT BE POSTED PRIOR TO OFFICIAL DISPATCH BY THE RESEARCH DEGREES EXAMINATION TEAM

 

Please click below for further information on:

 

Please note: If your student ID is due to expire please contact the student services team. 

STAGE 5 - Thesis dispatch

Once the examiner nominations have been approved and the examiners have agreed to examine and providing the Research Degrees Examinations team have received a PDF of your thesis and a completed RD2 form we will normally dispatch your thesis to the examiners within two weeks.

You and your supervisor will be copied into the Dispatch of Thesis email to the examiners. If you have not received this email within 4 weeks of original submission of the RD2 form and your examiners have been approved and appointed please email our team at researchdegrees@kcl.ac.uk 

Note: that your thesis will only be dispatched providing it meets all the regulatory requirements, for e.g is submitted on time, is within the word limit etc. If for some reason it does not meet the requirements the Research Degrees Examination team will get in touch with you and your supervisor to complete an exemption request, which will need to be approved before your thesis can be dispatched. 

The PGR exemption form can be found here

Please note: If your student ID is due to expire please contact the student services team.

STAGE 6 - Oral examination

Who organises my Oral Examination? What are the time limits?

Please note the oral examination should not be arranged prior to the dispatch of the thesis.

When you and your supervisor receive the Dispatch of Thesis email your supervisor can start to organise the Oral Examination. Please note the Research Degrees Examinations team is not involved in the organisation of your Oral Examination and we are unable to answer queries about the location, date or time of your Oral Examination. 

It must be organised by your supervisor within three months of the thesis being dispatched by the Research Degrees Examinations team. If there are any issues with the organisation of your Oral Examination your supervisor should email researchdegrees@kcl.ac.uk so we can assist as an exemption request may be required. 

Once a date and format for the oral examination has been agreed, your supervisor must complete the Oral examination consent form this form notifies our team of the date of your examination, the format and who the facilitator is (if applicable).

Please see Guidance for oral examinations for further information

 

STAGE 7 - Examiner Reports and Outcomes

I have had my Oral Examination. What happens next?

When the Research Degrees Examinations team send the 'Dispatch of Thesis' email to your examiners, which you and your supervisor are copied in to, it carefully details the expectations of the examiners including the requisite forms to be completed and returned to our team within three weeks of the examination taking place.

If, as above in stage 6, the Research Degrees Examination team are made aware of your Oral examination date we can send a reminder email to your examiners requesting they complete and return the mandatory forms and reports. 

There are four forms that examiners are required to complete:

  • Preliminary Report from each examiner (prior to your Oral Examination);

  • Decision Form (following the Oral Examination);

  • Joint Examiners Report (following the Oral Examination);

  • List of Amendments (where applicable, for any outcome other than a Pass and even where corrections were given directly at the Oral examination).

The Decision form must be the form sent to the examiners as part of the Dispatch of Thesis email as it contains pertinent information relating to the type of research degree you undertook and is amended when regulations undergo the yearly revisions.

A full set of completed reports must be sent to the Research Degrees Examinations team at researchdegrees@kcl.ac.uk within three weeks of the Oral examination taking place.

Please note:  The deadline for the monthly ratification of outcomes is the 24th of each month. All outcomes are ratified at the end of each month and students are emailed their outcomes within the first 2 weeks of the month following ratification

Following receipt of the full set of completed examiner reports a cohort for each month is formed. The examiner recommended outcome is sent to the Research Degrees Examination Board (RDEB) Chair for ratification at the end of each month.

You will receive an Outcome email withing the first two weeks of the month following ratification. Where there are Minor amendments, Major amendments or One Month amendments the outcome email will be copied into your supervisor and examiners and the full set of reports will be attached.

Where there is a Re-examination or Pass outcome, following satisfactory corrections or outright, you and your supervisor will be copied into the email.

Your Outcome email details all next steps - please read it carefully to see who to submit your amendments to and links to useful information.

Please note: the official start date of your amendments period is the date of when your outcome email is sent to you.

Your deadline date will be specified in that email, you are required to submit your amendments no later than 23:59 UK time on your deadline date.

Please click below for further information on:

STAGE 8 - Approval of Amendments

Amendments to the thesis must be approved by who ever is responsible for checking them i.e. either one or both of your examiners (this will be stated in the outcome email sent to the student, as to whom they should be sent to for checking)

Approval of the amendments must be emailed to
researchdegrees@kcl.ac.uk by who ever is responsible for checking them as per above.

Please note: the deadline for the approval of amendments is the 24th of each month. All outcomes are ratified at the end of each month and students are emailed their outcomes within the first 2 weeks of the month following ratification

Once amendments have been approved by your examiner(s) by email confirmation, your outcome will be sent to the Research Degrees Examination Board Chair for approval by the end of the month and students will be emailed their outcome and award letter within the first 2 weeks of the month following ratification. 

STAGE 9 - Award

All degrees are awarded for the 1st of the month following ratification by the Research Degrees Examination Board.

All students who have been awarded will be emailed an award letter within the first two weeks of the month - The letter will state what you have been awarded and your date of award. It will also include the below:

Final E-Thesis - to be submitted after award

All students are required to submit an electronic version of their thesis, which must be emailed directly to
theses@kcl.ac.uk
 and e-thesis@kcl.ac.uk 

Along with the final e-thesis students are required to complete an e-thesis declaration form which can be found here: e-thesis declaration form 

Please note the e-thesis declaration form is only to be completed when submitting your final thesis to the library and does not need to be submitted for the examining version

STAGE 10 - Certificates

Please note: certificates are produced by the Boards and Awards team and they will only be dispatched once you have emailed your final
e-thesis as per the instructions under stage 9 above.

It can take up to 3 months to receive your certificate from the date of your award. The certificate will be posted to your home address, as per your student record.

If you have a certificate specific query then please visit the knowledge articles here

If you are not able to solve your query using the knowledge articles then please log a case using the knowledge articles and a student services representative will respond as soon as possible.  

Please be advised that the Boards and Awards team we will require your case number to respond to specific queries.

STAGE 11 - Graduation Ceremonies

Please note: graduation ceremonies are organised by the Graduations team.

For further information please visit the Graduation webpages here

NOTE: Student's who wish to attend the summer graduation ceremonies must be awarded by 1st June (for all those within FoDOCS) and 1st July for all other faculties. 

Please only book your place once you have been emailed your award letter as per stage 9 above.

Students who have not been awarded by the dates above will have their places cancelled by the Graduations team.

 

 

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