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Examination

All MPhil, PhD and ThD candidates proceed to the award by research and thesis alone. For DMin candidates 20% of the award is by coursework and 80% by research and thesis.

Examination Process

Examiners should be suggested by the supervisor after discussion with the candidate but the candidate is not informed who is approached or appointed. When the examiners’ reports are received, the names of the examiners will be made available to the candidate unless an examiner requests otherwise. At the request of a candidate the College will agree that a certain person will not be appointed as an examiner if there is a reasonable expectation that the person would have a conflict of interest.

The supervisor conveys suggestions for examiners to the Sydney College of Divinity Research Director. The examiners are appointed by the Research Committee at its first meeting following receipt of the thesis. It would be unusual for the Committee to depart completely from the supervisor’s suggestions.

Once the examiners have agreed to examine the thesis, they are normally expected to return their report within two months of having received the thesis.

For a DMin, PhD or ThD thesis three expert examiners are appointed, all external to the College, at least two of international standing. For an MPhil thesis two expert examiners are appointed, both external to the College.

The examiners’ reports are addressed to the Research Director and received by the Research Committee. Five categories of response are available:

  1. that the award be granted
  2. that minor amendments be made to the thesis to the satisfaction of the Research Committee
  3. that major amendments be made to the thesis to the satisfaction of the Research Committee
  4. that a significantly revised thesis be re-submitted for examination
  5. that the award not be granted.

Category a

In the case of unanimous agreement the Committee will normally resolve to recommend award of the degree outright and send the reports to both the candidate and the supervisor for their information.

Category b & c

The reports will be sent by the Research Director to the supervisor, who is invited to write a response addressed to the Committee concerned. In light of both the examiners’ reports and the supervisor’s response, the Committee determines what instructions are to be given to the candidate and the date for amendments to be completed. The Research Director then advises the candidate and the supervisor accordingly. Candidates should make amendments in consultation with the supervisor.

When the amendments have been completed satisfactorily, the supervisor will inform the Research Director, and the Research Director will inform the Committee.

Category d

The reports will be sent by the Research Director to the supervisor, who is invited to write a response addressed to the Committee concerned. In light of both the examiners’ reports and the supervisor’s response, the Committee determines what instructions are to be given to the candidate and the date for re-submission. The Research Director then advises the candidate and the supervisor accordingly. When revision is invited, the supervisor will continue in the normal supervisory role until resubmission and re-examination.

In light of the examiners’ reports and completion of any other required work, the Research Committee recommends accordingly to the SCD Academic Board, which then sends its own recommendation on to SCD Council for confirmation, and the candidate is invited to graduate.

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