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 documentation

The supervisor(s) will, in liaison with you, complete the Examination Arrangements documentation which includes the Examination Arrangements Application and the Examiner Nomination forms (EXA and EXN respectively). 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.

Please note that the examination panel consists of an internal examiner, an external examiner and a Chair. If the student is employed by the Trust, the panel will consist of an internal examiner, two external examiners and a Chair..

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.

Ethical approval letter

Your examination arrangements form should be accompanied by a letter 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. 

Please be aware that if you have changed your thesis title or if your original registered proposal has changed substantially you may need to seek an amendment to your research ethics approval from the relevant body. Failure to report such changes may lead to an academic misconduct. Please contact the Academic Quality office or the relevant ethical approval awarding body for further guidance.

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 ethical approval 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.

Submitting your thesis to TurnitIn

Currently, due to the COVID-19 crisis, students are not required to submit hard bound copies of their thesis and all students MUST SUBMIT THEIR THESIS ELECTRONICALLY BY UPLOADING THE FINAL DOCUMENTATION ELECTRONICALLY AS A PDF DOCUMENT via the thesis submission Moodle page:

It is recommended that you submit your thesis to Turnitin at least three days before your submission hand-in date.

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

Format of your thesis 

  • 40-60K words
  • 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.
  • The submissions must include a copy of the Turnitin receipt.

Please be advised that students MUST submit the final thesis EITHER before the final thesis submission date OR when they receive a letter confirming the approval of exam arrangements. 

If you have any queries regarding your thesis submission or about the viva exam process, please do not hesitate to contact Academic Quality -


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:

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.

Fees during the examination period

In terms of doctoral students examined by viva-voce, no further charges will be applied for students who have minor corrections to compete after the viva (normally this is three months) because during this period, students require little in the way of supervision. However, it is recognised that for students who essentially fail the viva and are referred for a period of 12 months are required to make more significant amendments and will therefore require significant supervision.  With this in mind, students will be charged the continuing student fee for the 12-month period of the referral.  Please be advised, that students opting to submit before the one-year deadline will not be offered a fee rebate.