Examination process

As a candidate of a research higher degree program you are required to submit a thesis for examination. You and your supervisors should familiarise yourselves with the Guidelines for the Preparation of Research Thesis (DOC 199KB). These guidelines provide information on preparation of a thesis for examination prior to submission.

When preparing a thesis for examination, supervisors will provide editorial advice to you. You may also use external editors for proof-reading and editing, but you should

On average, the examination process takes between 4-6 months, but examination times may be extended due to reasons which are outside the control of the University. There is no requirement for international students to remain on-campus during the examination or revision period.

Note: USQ does offer PhD by publications, please refer to the PhD by Publications Guidelines (PDF*63KB) for further information.

Step 1

One month prior to submitting a thesis for examination, you will be required to submit a completed Intention to Submit form (DOC 37KB) to your supervisor.

Step 2

A Faculty representative (normally the Principal Supervisor) will contact prospective examiners and complete a Nomination of Examiner's Form (DOC141KB) at least two weeks before the anticipated submission date. Once approved by the Associate Dean (Research and Research Training) the form is to be forwarded to the Office of Research Graduate Studies (ORGS). 

(Note: A detailed street address must be provided for each nominated examiner. USQ currently couriers the documentation to examiners and the courier is unable to deliver to post office boxes.)

Step 3

You should provide the following documentation to the Office of Research Graduate Studies:

  • four temporary bound thesis copies. All copies must contain original signatures of both you and your supervisory team on the 'Certification of Thesis' page. 

Officially your candidature ends once the thesis is submitted. As a result your access to USQ resources may be limited after submission.

Step 4

The ORGS will courier your thesis copies to the approved examiners. The examiners are asked to return their written reports to ORGS within six (6) weeks of the receipt of the thesis. Communication between examiners is not normally permitted and under no circumstance will any examiner’s details be revealed to other examiners without their consent.

You will normally receive copies of the examiner’s reports but an examiner may request that certain parts of the report not be transmitted. Examiners shall be invited to indicate whether and to what extent, they wish to remain anonymous.

Step 5

When all three of the examiners' reports have been received, they are forwarded to the relevant Faculty’s Associate Dean (Research and Research Training). The Faculty is required to make a recommendation to the Office of Research Graduate Studies on the overall outcome of the examination (DOC 39KB) based on the examiners' reports.

Step 6

Once a decision has been approved by the ORGS, you will be notified of the examination outcome and any required revisions .

Step 7

You should undertake the required revisions and prepare a summary document addressing and/or defending the examiner’s reports by the requested due date. You should submit this and a revised temporary bound copy of the thesis to your Principal Supervisor. An electronic revised copy may be submitted if your Faculty permits this. Please check directly with your Associate Dean (Research and Research Training).

Step 8

Depending on the outcome of the examination, the revised copy is reviewed by the Supervisory Team or a Faculty Review Panel. A recommendation on the award of the degree is then forwarded through the Dean (or nominee) to the ORGS.

(Note: if the outcome of the examination was to rewrite and resubmit for examination, the process is repeated from Step 3.)

Step 9

The recommendation on the award of the degree is forwarded to the Director Research & Innovation for approval. Once the degree has been provisionally awarded, ORGS will notify you and your supervisors in writing. You will be required to supply the following final requirements at least one month prior to your preferred graduation ceremony:

  • A minimum of three (3) permanently-bound copies. Please check with your Faculty if they require more than three copies of the permanently bound thesis.
  • One electronic copy of your final thesis (on CD)

  • The Research Thesis Submission Form (DOC 60KB) (hard copy). It is expected that the final copy of your thesis will be made available immediately to the wider community. Requests to embargo your thesis can be made using this form however students must first have read the Embargo of Research Thesis Guidelines (DOC 39KB).

  • A 100-word abstract and title of your thesis (online) for the Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS)

  • Research Exit Checklist (DOC 48KB)

Note: The permanent bound copies must contain original signatures of both the candidate and the supervisory team on the ‘Certification of Thesis’ page. Scanned or photocopied signatures will not be accepted.

Step 10

Once all the final requirements have been submitted to ORGS, your final grade is awarded and you will be approved for graduation. The Graduation office will contact you closer to the ceremony date to confirm your preference for attendance.

Step 11

Once the degree has been awarded, the thesis copies are updated with the awarding information. Thesis copies are then returned to the respective Faculty to distribute.

  • one copy to the Principal Supervisor
  • one copy to the Faculty
  • unless special instructions have been received, any remaining copies will be returned to the student .Note: The permanent bound copies must contain original signatures of both the candidate and the supervisory team on the ‘Certification of Thesis’ page. Scanned or photocopied signatures will not be accepted.