Your viva and submitting your final thesis

This unit specification describes how your thesis will be assessed by the examiners. 

Much of the information available in the Unit Specification is taken from the UEL-Trust Research Degree Regulations but it is a useful guide regarding your thesis and the viva examination. Please read this document thoroughly.


Your examination arrangements must be approved before you intend to submit your thesis. The process of approval takes about two to three months, and this should be factored in. This means your supervisor should submit examination arrangements well ahead of when you intend to submit your thesis. Please see the deadline dates for the TSRDSC here. If your examination cannot take place within six months of approval, you must re-apply for examination arrangements.

Sample timeline for examination arrangements:

Examination arrangements sample timeline

Please note that, where examination arrangements are not approved the first time they are submitted for approval at either Trust or University level, this will delay the process. If forms are submitted separately, in an incomplete state or are not fully hand-signed, this will delay the approval process.

Examination arrangements (EXA) form

The supervisor(s) will, in liaison with you, complete the Examination Arrangements Form. The date of your viva (month and year) must be at least seven weeks after your thesis is submitted, and within six months of approval of the examination arrangements.

Viva via video link

In exceptional circumstances it may be possible for one or more of your examiners to attend the examination via video link. Please bear in mind that this will be considered as part of the examination arrangements and may be rejected if it is felt that it will put you at a disadvantage in your examination as a result. Details and guidance can be found at the UEL Graduate School/Tavistock webpage.

Examiner nomination (EXN) forms

The supervisor(s) will also need to decide on the panel of examiners and ensure that the Examiner Nomination Form is completed for each examiner. This cannot be done by you as the panel of examiners must be impartial.

If you are employed by the Trust then you must have two external examiners, all other applicants have one external. All applicants must have one internal examiner.

UREC ethical approval letter

Your examination arrangements form should be accompanied by a letter from UREC confirming your ethical approval status.

Change of thesis title application

If your thesis title has changed in any way to the title that was initially registered, you must also complete and submit a Change of Thesis Title (ACT) form along with the above.

Submitting your examination arrangements for approval

At least two months (depending on the deadlines for the TSRDSC) before you wish to submit your thesis, your supervisor must submit the completed and signed examination arrangements form, the examiner nomination forms and UREC letter (and thesis title change form where applicable) to The forms must be fully hand-signed and completed and submitted together. Any submissions that are missing information or forms, or are not fully signed risk being returned after committee, significantly delaying approval.

Please note that once your examination arrangements have been submitted you are under exam conditions and must not have contact with your examiners.


Your thesis must be analysed by the originality software ‘Turnitin’ before you can submit it. A copy of the receipt from Turnitin must be submitted with the thesis.

Please contact Simon Kear when you are ready to begin the Turnitin submission process.

It is recommended that you submit your thesis to Turnitin at least three days before you are due to hand in your bound hard copy to ensure you have safely received your digital receipt.

Please note that you do not need to include your appendices in the Turnitin version which has a maximum file size of 20MB (although in every other way the Turnitin version must be identical to  the bound version).

Submitting your thesis

You will receive a letter confirming your exam arrangements have been approved. At this point you may submit your thesis.

You must submit copies of your thesis (a copy for each examiner plus one) to the Trust (not to the examiners) at least 7 weeks before the date of your viva.

Your copies must be bound securely (soft bound or spiral bound for example).

  • The font should be sans serif (for example Helvetica or Ariel) and size 12.
  • The text should be 1.5 or double-spaced (except for quotations and footnotes which can be single-spaced).
  • Pages should be clearly numbered.

Please include a copy of the turnitin receipt with your submission.

The viva examination

The examination panel are required to consider your thesis and complete a preliminary report (PGR(A) form before they attend the examination.

The panel then meet half an hour before your examination begins, to discuss your thesis and any questions that they would like to ask. The examination itself usually takes between one and two hours. At the end of the examination, it is likely that you will leave the room to allow them to discuss the decision they wish to make. Once they have made a decision, you will be invited back into the room where they will inform you of their decision.

If you would like more information about how they reach that decision, please see the Code of Practice and the UEL-Tavi Research Degree Regulations and the unit specification.

After your Viva

After your viva, it is quite normal to be required by the examiners to make amendments to your thesis. If this is the case, you must submit your amended thesis to the Academic Governance and Quality Assurance office by the date specified in our email to you.

The final version of the thesis should be emailed as a PDF to The final version must include your UREC approval letter embedded either in the methodology section or appendices of your thesis.

You will also be asked to submit the following forms with your final thesis:

If you would like to request restricted access (due to confidentiality concerns) please also complete this Thesis Access Declaration – Confidential Status Request form.

This unit specification describes how your thesis will be assessed by the examiners. Much of the information available in the Unit Specification is taken from the UEL-Trust Research Degree Regulations but it is a useful guide regarding your thesis and the viva examination. Please do read this document thoroughly.