Academic Manual

Conduct of the Oral Examination

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2.6 Conduct of the Oral Examination

  2.6.1 Format of the Oral Examination

1.
The oral examination will usually consider the student portfolio, including the outcomes of practicum assignments and assessments, related coursework and the research dissertation.
2.
All oral examinations shall be conducted in the English Language.
3.
If an oral examination is prescribed for the assessment of an element, all students enrolled on the element are expected to be examined accordingly.
4.
Decisions relating to failed performance in the practicum assignment can be informed by an additional oral examination. This possibility should be clearly indicated to students as part of programme documentation. The outcome from the oral examination should inform the decisions of the Board of Examiners, alongside other assessments relevant to that assignment.
5.
Where individual programmes examine only specific elements of the portfolio in the oral examination, this will be specified in their regulations.


   2.6.2 Conduct of the Research Degree Examination

1.
The examiners will prepare independent preliminary reports on the thesis, conduct an oral examination and submit a final, joint and summary report to UCL. A report of the oral examination will normally be made to the Board of Examiners of the programme.
2.
The oral examination shall normally be conducted in London.
  Further guidance
1.
The examiners shall prepare independent preliminary reports on the thesis to assist in conducting the oral examination. After the examination copies of the preliminary reports together with the final, joint report should be submitted to the Student Centre in UCL Student and Registry Services. The final report will be released to students. Examiner report forms and procedural information are available from the individual programme.
2.
Each final, joint report by the examiners shall indicate whether the thesis meets the requirements specified in Section 2.3, and shall include a statement on the examiners' judgment of the student's performance. Examiners have the right to make comments in confidence to UCL in a separate report. Such comments should not be concerned with the performance of the student but may cover matters which they wish to draw to the attention of UCL.
3.
All matters relating to the examination must be treated as confidential. Examiners are not permitted to divulge the content of material contained in a student's thesis until such time as any restrictions on access to the thesis, which have been granted by UCL, have been removed.
4.
The supervisor does not have the right to participate in discussion of students at the Board of Examiners but may contribute if invited to do so by the examiners.

  2.6.3 Outcomes of the Oral Examination

1.
Students must submit a thesis and any other aspects of the portfolio requested by the examiners and be examined orally.
2.
The following options are open to examiners in determining the result of an examination:
  a)
If the thesis fulfils the criteria (set out in Section 2.3) and the student satisfies the examiners in all other parts of the examination, the examiners will report that the student has passed the research component of the award.
  b)
If the thesis otherwise satisfies the criteria (set out in Section 2.3) but requires minor amendments and if the student satisfies the examiners in all other parts of the examination, the examiners may require the student to make, within a maximum of one month, amendments specified by them. The amended thesis shall be submitted to the examiners or one of their number nominated by them for confirmation that the amendments are satisfactory.
  c)
If the thesis otherwise satisfies the criteria set out above, but requires stipulated amendments and if the student satisfies the examiners in all other parts of the examination, the examiners may require the student to make, within a maximum of three months, amendments specified by them. The amended thesis shall be submitted to the examiners or one of their number nominated by them for confirmation that the amendments are satisfactory.
  d)
If the thesis, though inadequate, shall seem of sufficient merit to justify such action, the examiners may determine that the student be permitted to re-present their thesis in a revised form within a maximum of 12 months. The examiners may at their discretion exempt from a further oral examination, on re-presentation of their thesis, a student who under this regulation has been permitted to re-present it in a revised form. Examiners may refer a thesis for a maximum of 12 months for re-submission in a revised form, on one occasion only.
  e)
The examiners may determine that the student has not satisfied them in the examination and hence has not passed the research component of the award, and is not therefore eligible for the award of a professional doctorate.
  f)
The examiners shall not, save in very exceptional circumstances, make any of the above decisions without submitting the student to an oral examination on at least one occasion.
  g)
The award of a professional doctorate is conditional upon students passing all specified elements of their programme of study.
  Further guidance
1.
Students should refer to individual programme regulations for guidance on deadlines for resubmission of the thesis, which may be shorter than the maximum periods identified here.
2.
Some professional doctorate programmes have an exit award other than a professional doctorate. Where this is the case, and examiners consider that a student has not met the requirements of a professional doctorate, they may recommend that the Board of Examiners confers this alternative exit award.