Doctoral Examination Appeal Procedures


Doctoral candidates and former doctoral candidates wishing to appeal the outcome of a doctoral examination (other than coursework component examinations within named doctorates), except:

  • (former) candidates governed by programme regulations that came into effect prior to 2020. Such (former) candidates must consult the appeal provisions of the applicable programme regulations.


To detail the procedures that apply to the submission, consideration and determination of appeals as to the outcome of a doctoral examination (other than coursework component examinations).


1. The examination of coursework components of named doctorates is not eligible for appeal under these procedures.  

2. A (former) doctoral candidate may appeal the outcome of a doctoral examination only on the grounds that the result was materially impacted by a procedural flaw in the examination process.

3. The appeal must be lodged by the (former) candidate, or by a proxy acting on the authority of the (former) candidate, within two months of the date of notification (to the candidate) of the outcome of the doctoral examination.

4. The appeal must state clearly the procedural grounds relied on by the (former) candidate, and all relevant and supporting documentation must be attached.

5.   No person with a procedural role in the (former) candidate’s examination process may be involved in the consideration and determination of the appeal.

6.  The Dean of Graduate Studies (“the Dean”), or a nominee appointed by the Dean for the purposes of these procedures, will consider the appeal and may seek further information and/or evidence relating to the (former) candidate’s appeal and/or examination. The Dean, or their nominee, will then make a report and recommendation to the Provost.

7. Material from the (former) candidate’s appeal may be shared with third parties for the purposes of clause 6.

8.  Subject to clause 9, the (former) candidate will be provided with a copy of the report and recommendation prior to its dispatch to the Provost.

9.   Material relevant to the consideration of the appeal may be withheld from the candidate on grounds consistent with the Privacy Act. 

10.    Where the (former) candidate wishes to supply a comment on the report and recommendation for consideration by the Provost, the (former) candidate must supply such comment to the Dean or their nominee within seven calendar days of the electronic dispatch of the report and recommendation to the (former) candidate.

11.  The (former) candidate is prohibited from introducing any further grounds or material for consideration in any comment supplied under clause 10.

12. The Dean, or their nominee, will collate, and dispatch to the Provost, the (former) candidate’s appeal, the report and recommendation on the appeal, including any material withheld from the (former) candidate under clause 97, and any comment supplied by the (former) candidate in accordance with clause 10.

13. The Provost may seek clarification of, and/or further evidence relating to, the material dispatched under clause 12. 

14.  Where the Provost obtains clarification and/or further evidence from a person other than the (former) candidate, the (former) candidate will be advised in accordance with the provisions of clause 9 and may comment within a period of time determined by the Provost. 

15.  The Provost will consider all material supplied pursuant to clauses 12-14 and determine the appeal. 

16.  The Provost will convey the outcome of the appeal, and the reasons for the outcome, in writing to the (former) candidate.

17.  The determination of the appeal by the Provost under clause 14 is the final decision on the appeal and may involve re-examination of the work.

18. The supervisors, Academic Head, Associate Dean/Director (Postgraduate Research) and School of Graduate Studies will be notified of the outcome of the appeal.  


The following definitions apply to this document:

Academic Head refers to the head of the relevant academic unit, or their nominee for the purposes of doctoral matters.

Academic unit refers to the unit in which the (former) candidate is/was enrolled.

Associate Dean/Director (Postgraduate Research) normally refers to the person holding that role (or equivalent) in the faculty or Large Scale Research Institute (LSRI) in which the candidate is enrolled, or to that person’s nominee in the case of an LSRI or one-department faculty, but the role may also be carried out by the person holding that role in another faculty or LSRI or by a person holding another associate dean/director role within the same faculty or LSRI.

Doctoral candidate, for the purposes of these procedures, is a person who has been notified of a doctoral examination outcome other than non-award of the doctoral degree, but who has not yet fulfilled the requirements for the award of the degree and has not had their candidature (status as a candidate) terminated.

Former doctoral candidate, for the purposes of these procedures, is a person who has been notified that the doctoral degree will not be awarded, or a person who has fulfilled the requirements for the award of the doctoral degree.

Supervisors refers to the persons appointed to supervise the doctoral thesis.

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.  

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Content manager: School of Graduate Studies
Dean of Graduate Studies
Approved by:
Board of Graduate Studies, Senate and Council
Date approved:
October 2021
Review date:
October 2024