PhD Thesis Examiner Guidelines (2011/2016 PhD Statutes only)


Examiners of theses submitted by PhD candidates registered under the 2011 or 2016 PhD Statute at the University. For all other theses, please see the Doctoral Examination Procedures.


To provide further information for examiners of PhD theses. Mandatory policy and procedures can be found in the document PhD Thesis Examiner Policy and Procedures


Preparation of reports

  • A template is available to guide examiners on how to structure their written report and will be provided with the thesis – see Examiner’s Report on Doctoral Thesis template
  • The Board of Graduate Studies relies on the examiners’ reports as a means of assessing whether or not the criteria for a PhD degree listed in Regulation 1e of the 2011 or 2016 PhD Statute have been met
  • Part 2 of the examiner’s report should therefore address these criteria specifically and also summarise the nature of the achievements and/or deficiencies in what the candidate has written
  • Lists of typographical errors, while welcome, are not expected
  • If an examiner recommends revisions under Regulations 9giii-iv of the 2011 or 2016 PhD Statute, then it is important to give clear reasons for this and also to indicate the issues which should be addressed and/or the nature and extent of any improvements needed to make the thesis acceptable
  • If the recommendation is to award the degree, whether with minor corrections, revisions, or a straight award, then it is helpful to suggest questions which might be put at the oral examination
  • Suggestions for improvements to the research which might assist in future work or publication are also welcome
  • If a report has not been received within two months, the School of Graduate Studies will send a reminder to the examiner and advise him or her that unless the report is received within two further months the appointment as examiner will be terminated. If the report has not been received within two months of the date of the reminder, the Board of Graduate Studies may appoint a replacement examiner
  • Examiners are not required to return theses that were submitted for examination purposes

Consideration of reports

  • If there is a disagreement between examiners, the Examination Committee may seek further clarification from examiners, and may also ask them to consult with each other and report in writing on the outcome


The following definitions apply to this document:

Examination Committee is the committee formed for the purpose of considering the examiners’ reports. It comprises the academic head, an associate dean (postgraduate), and the HoD nominee

PhD candidates are students enrolled in a Doctor of Philosophy at the University

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
Date approved:
March 2018
Review date:
March 2021