Doctor of Fine Arts Examination Procedures


This document applies only to candidates registered under the 2006 DocFA regulations at the University and individuals involved in their examination.


To outline the procedures for examination of DocFA candidates registered under the 2006 DocFA regulations.


  • For the DocFA, the thesis comprises the creative work supported by written documentation
  • The thesis will normally be an exhibition, performance or publication of creative work in the chosen area of specialisation and will include supporting written documentation focusing on aspects such as origins of the work, structures and techniques used, and artistic theories underpinning the work
  • The written documentation is part of the material to be examined and, with the written permission of the main supervisor, may be supported by other media such as photographic, audio and video recordings
  • Candidates need to keep in mind that the written documentation is the first impression that the examiners have of the creative work. A poorly presented, inadequately researched and badly written document will not create a good first impression
  • Supporting material such as a catalogue, photographs etc should represent best professional practice



1. At least one month prior to the date of the oral examination, the candidate must submit three temporary-bound copies of their written documentation to the School of Graduate Studies, along with a declaration of originality (DOC9A)

2. An examination committee is to be formed in accordance with the PhD Statute


3. Each examiner must assess the written submission and independently examine the creative work prior to the oral examination

4. The oral examination is to take place while the creative work is available for examination and on or near the site of that work

5. Both examiners must attend the oral examination, along with the candidate, the academic head nominee, and an independent chair

Note: With the candidate’s permission, the main or co-supervisor may attend the oral examination as an observer

6. During the oral examination, the examiners are to ask the candidate questions about the overall thesis and any of its constituent parts

Note: The examination normally takes between one and two hours

7. After the oral examination each examiner must send the School of Graduate Studies an independently written report on the quality of the thesis

8. Reports must be sent within two months of the oral examination

9. The examiners must include with their reports one of the following recommendations:

  • to award the degree
  • to permit the candidate to revise the thesis and resubmit it for examination on one further occasion only
  • not to award the degree

10. The Board of Graduate Studies is to make the final decision as to the award of the degree after considering all of the reports of the examiners and the Examination Committee


11. If the recommendation is to resubmit, candidates must revise and resubmit the work for re-examination within 12 months

12. During this period, candidates must re-enrol and pay fees

Deposit in the Library

13. On successful completion of the examination, the candidate must deposit three hard-bound copies of the written documentation with the School of Graduate Studies, for deposit in the Library


The following definitions apply to this document:

Academic head is the head of the academic unit in which the candidate is registered

Thesis comprises the creative work supported by written documentation

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Owner: Dean of Graduate Studies
Content manager: School of Graduate Studies
Approved by: Dean of Graduate Studies
Approval date: July 2015
Review date: July 2018