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Information for Students

**Please note that the Office has been closed since March 2020 and the team have been working remotely**

** Please do not send your thesis to our office as it will not be recieved. If your examiners require a hard copy we will be in touch with you directly**

For more information on Remote Examinations and Guidance during this coronavirus situation please see the following pages: 

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. 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.

RD1 - examination entry form

The RD1 Form is your Examination Entry Form. It should be submitted four months before your 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 to 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 if they suspect there may be issues with a lack of examiners experience or location.

What is a Field of Study?

The field of study will be printed on your Research Degree Certificate and Outcome 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 list of field of study subjects in the link below.

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.

Please note we cannot process an RD1 Form without the Field of Study field being completed.

For the form to be sent to the SAB it is mandatory that the RD1 is fully completed with signatures from your supervisor, and in certain Faculties, a counter-signatory. Therefore, we require you to submit a fully completed, with all fields filled in, and signed RD1 form to our team at

If you are struggling to download the form due to accessibility issues please contact our team directly at and we will send you an electronic Word copy as an email attachment. Alternatively a signed copy maybe submitted to the below address:

Research Degrees team
Academic Services
8th Floor (to the right of the lift doors)
James Clerk Maxwell Building
Waterloo Campus

Please click below for further information on:

STAGE 2 - Consideration of examiners 

The examiners nominated by your supervisor will be considered by the relevant Subject Area Board (SAB) as per the list above in stage 1.

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.

Please note we cannot process an RD1 Form without the SAB field being correctly completed.

STAGE 3 - Approval of Examiners

I have submitted my RD1 Form. What should I do next? What are the RD Examination team doing?

Please wait!

The team will be processing your form and you will hear from us, via email, when the RD1 has been processed. We receive a very high volume of emails and do not have the resources to personally respond to an RD1 entry email unless it has been requested. The generic email response shows we have received it and will be working on your request, whatever it relates to. As explained previously the RD1 Form must be approved by the SAB and RDEB Chair before your supervisor can organise your Oral Examination.

We will check your RD1 form thoroughly ensuring it has been fully completed and if there are any obvious issues such as a lack of experience in examining UK based PhDs or the location of the examiner, we will contact your supervisor and flag them. We will then send the RD1 Form to the SAB, copying in your supervisor, for approval.

While we are waiting to hear from the SAB, we send an initial “request for information” to your examiners. This means we can be ahead of schedule and notify the examiners of the need to ensure time is available in their schedule to undertake your Oral Examination and write up the Examiner Reports. However, if one, or both, of the examiners are not approved we have not confirmed the appointment or sent them a copy of your thesis. Very rarely at this stage, more likely if there has been no prior contact between your supervisor and the examiner, an examiner may refuse the nomination themselves. When this happens, we will immediately inform your supervisor.

Once the SAB have confirmed their approval of the nominated examiners, we will send the RD1 Form to the RDEB Chair for final approval.

Once we have 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 should always submit their thesis by their deadline even if stages 1 - 3 have not been completed.

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

The Research Degrees 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 exemption email from your Faculty Associate Dean in order to resubmit, or send our team, a revised copy of your thesis. 

Electronic Thesis

Please email a PDF version of your thesis to along with a signed copy of your RD2 form (Previously known as the RD7 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 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 like to receive a print copy of your thesis, in addition to the electronic version. If it is required it will be stated in the “Confirmation of Appointment to Examine” email, copied in to you and your supervisor.

This print copy MUST be sent to your examiners by the Research Degrees Examination team and not by you, your supervisor or a Faculty staff member.

A spiral, comb, velo, wiro or equivalent bound copy is fine. The more expensive blue book binding is not necessary.

The bound copy needs to fit in a padded envelope sized 300 x 440 mm or when you send or drop it in you can use your own envelope.

If you are a research degree candidate whose thesis includes scores, commentary, CDs, DVDs or art work your Faculty will often recommend a box to protect the contents. At this stage, when it is not the final thesis for the Library, it is your choice if you wish to use box binding or other alternatives. It will also need to fit in the padded 300 x 440 mm envelope, or again provide your own envelope or suitable post packaging.

If your deadline date falls on a King's College working day it must be submitted to our Office at the address below. If your deadline falls at the weekend or during office closure then you must submit your print copy by the next working day.

It is your responsibility to produce and submit it to us; you can post it directly from the print service, or drop it in person, to: -

Research Degrees Examination team
Academic Services 
8th Floor 
James Clerk Maxwell Building
57 Waterloo Road

Our counter opening hours are between 9am and 5pm. The door will be locked outside of those hours. 

If your examiners have not requested a print copy of your thesis, we are unable to keep it as we have a very limited, open plan office space and we cannot guarantee the security of your thesis beyond postage. We ensure your thesis is confidentially shredded should a print copy not be required.

We post using standard first-class postage via Royal Mail as per King’s College guidance. We are unable to provide a courier service. We do not have access to King’s College preferred courier service suppliers. Our budget codes are not approved for courier service use.

If you, or your supervisor, have concerns about your examiners location and ability to receive a print copy we advise that they print the copy from the electronic PDF and claim any related expenses via the expenses form once the Oral Examination is complete. As with all expense claims ensure any receipts are kept and submitted.

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 agreed to examine and our Office have received the thesis, both the PDF copy and where relevant the print copy, with a completed RD2 Form our team normally dispatch the thesis to your 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 Office at 

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 our Office 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 within six months of the thesis being dispatched by the Research Degrees team. If there are any issues with the organisation of your Oral Examination your supervisor should contact our Office so we can assist as an exemption request may be required. 

Once a date has been set please email to inform us. This is very helpful as it means we can make a note on your centralised student record, the RD Examination team calendar and if your examiners do not return the full set of completed examiner reports within the stipulated three weeks send a reminder email.

STAGE 7 - Examiner Reports and Outcomes

I have had my Oral Examination. What happens next?

When the Research Degrees Examination Office 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 Office within three weeks. 

If, as above in stage 6, the Office 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. The reminder email will be copied into your supervisor but contact between you, as the candidate, and your examiners must be kept to a minimum. 

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 Examination Office at within three weeks of the Oral Examination taking place.

Please note: The Research Degrees Examination Office has a monthly deadline of the 24th, except in exceptional circumstances such as King's office closures which will be communicated. 

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 initial or final (dependent on outcome) ratification at the end of each month.

You will receive an Outcome email during the first two weeks of the month following ratification. Where there is a Minor Amendments, Major Amendments, Re-Examination or One Month outcome the email will be copied into your supervisor and examiners and the full set of reports will be attached. Where there is a 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 corrections 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.

This date is noted on King's centralised student records system.

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 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

Once amendments have been approved by your examiner(s) by email confirmation, your outcome will be sent to the Research Degrees Examination Board for approval by the end of the month and students will be notified and awarded thereafter.

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 outcome/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

All students are required to submit an electronic version of their thesis, which should be emailed directly to, copying in along with the e-thesis declaration form which can be found here: e-thesis declaration form 

STAGE 10 - Certificates and Graduation

Please note: certificates can only be sent or collected once you have emailed your final e-thesis as per the instructions under stage 9.

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, or alternatively you may collect it from the address below:

Academic Services
8th Floor
James Clerk Maxwell Building
Waterloo Campus

Please click for further information on:


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