Candidates for research higher degree programs are examined by means of submission of a dissertation. You and your supervisors should familiarise yourselves with the Guidelines for the Preparation of Research Dissertations policy. This policy provides information on preparation of a dissertation for examination prior to submission of the dissertation for examination.
When preparing a dissertation for examination, supervisors will provide editorial advice to you. You may also use external editors for proof-reading and editing, but should
On average, the examination process takes between 4-6 months, but Examination times may be extended for a number of reasons which are outside the control of the University. Please ensure you are familiar with the process and the requirements to be submitted to avoid delays. There is no requirement for international students to remain on-campus during the examination or revision period, as the result of the examination will be forwarded to them electronically.
One month prior to submitting a dissertation for examination, you shall give written notice to the Dean of the Faculty (or nominee) of your intention to submit a dissertation for examination on the Intention to Submit form (DOC 79 KB). Such notice shall include:
- the full title of the dissertation
- a countersignature, and certification from your principal supervisor that you have completed all preliminary studies prescribed for the degree.
A Faculty representative (normally the Principal Supervisor) will contact prospective examiners and forward a completed Nomination of Examiner's Form (DOC 140 KB) (with sufficient information, normally a CV, to support each nominated examiner’s qualifications and suitability to examine the dissertation) to the Office of Research and Higher Degrees (ORHD) at least two weeks before the anticipated submission of the dissertation for examination.
(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.)
Provide the following documentation to the Office of Research and Higher Degrees:
You should note:
The ORHD will courier the dissertations to the approved examiners. The examiners are asked to return their written reports to ORHD within six (6) weeks of the receipt of the dissertation. 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. If preservation of anonymity is not requested it shall not normally be preserved.
When all three of the examiners' reports have been received, they are forwarded to the Dean of the Faculty (or nominee). The Faculty is required to make a recommendation to the Research Committee on the overall outcome of the examination (DOC 35KB) based on the examiners' reports.
The Faculty's recommendation is forwarded to the Chair of the Research Committee for approval of the University's decision on the outcome of the examination.
Once a decision has been approved, the ORHD will notify the candidate by letter of advice on the outcome of the examination and instructions on how to undertake the required revisions (if required), and the date by which the revised dissertation should be resubmitted to the Faculty.
The candidate undertakes the required revisions and prepares a summary document outlining the revisions requested by all examiners and how these have been addressed and/or defended. A revised temporary bound copy of the dissertation should be submitted to the Principal Supervisor, together with the summary document by the required date (outlined in the advice letter in Step 7.) An electronic revised copy may be submitted if your Faculty permits this (please check directly with your Associate Dean Research's office).
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 ORHD.
(Note: if the outcome of the examination was to rewrite and resubmit for examination, the process is repeated from Step 3.)
The recommendation on the award of the degree is forwarded to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Scholarship) for approval.
Once approved for provisional awarding of the degree, ORHD will notify you and your supervisors in writing (via the email address you provided at submission). Instructions on the final requirements to be provided by you are included in the advice.
The candidate arranges for permanent binding and submission of final requirements to ORHD. You will be required to supply the following final requirements at least one month prior to your preferred graduation ceremony location:
- A minimum of three (3) permanently-bound copies. Please check with your Department/School/Faculty if they require more than three copies of the permanently bound dissertation.
- One electronic copy of your final dissertation (on CD).
- The Research Dissertation Submission Form (DOC 58KB) (hard copy).
- A 100-word abstract and title of your dissertation (online) for the Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS).
- A Research Exit Checklist (PDF*46KB)
Note: The permanent bound copies must contain original signatures of both the candidate and the supervisory team on the ‘Certification of Dissertation’ page. Scanned or photocopied signatures will not be accepted.
Once all the final requirements have been submitted to ORHD, your final grade is awarded and your degree is approved for graduation eligibility. The Graduation office will contact you closer to the ceremony date to confirm your preference for attendance.
Once the degree has been awarded, the dissertation copies are updated with the awarding information. Dissertation copies are then returned to the respective Faculty to distribute the copies in accordance with the USQ Policy Library.
Please consult the RHD Student Handbook (PDF* 2.1 MB) for further information.
*This file is in Portable Document Format (PDF) which requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. A free copy of Acrobat Reader may be obtained from Adobe. Users who are unable to access information in PDF should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain this information in an alternative format.