Quality Manual

Procedures for Assessment

1.  Policy

Every research student and those members of academic staff eligible to act as Internal or External Examiners will receive information on the University's procedures for assessing research degree submissions.

A student wishing to submit a thesis for examination must give formal notice to Student Services, (Central Administration Office at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus or Graduate School for the University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus) of the intention to submit (see below for form and Submission Pack). The form can also be submitted to the candidate’s School for onward transmission to Student Services. Student Services, UNMC Administration Office or the Graduate School at UNNC will make arrangements for the nomination and appointment of Examiners (see below for form) and, provided that the thesis has been submitted, will forward the thesis to the Examiners within one week of receiving the Examiners’ written agreement to act. See below for guidance notes on presentation of the thesis.

2.  Criteria for award of qualifications

Research degrees will be awarded at Masters or Doctoral level to students who have demonstrated that they satisfy the relevant qualification descriptors contained in the University of Nottingham Qualifications Framework. The thesis should be presented in a satisfactory manner. The subject matter must be clearly and precisely expressed, its arguments logical and intelligible, and its language appropriate. It must show that the student not only has ideas, but also has the ability of putting them into suitable words.

The thesis must be written by the student and be the result of the student's own work. The requirement does not preclude a student obtaining limited assistance with the routine collection and/or processing of data under guidelines and instructions clearly devised by the student. When such help is obtained it should be with the prior approval of the supervisor who must be satisfied that the spirit of the 'own work' requirement is not breached.  Students are encouraged to publish papers in advance of submission of their thesis and prior publication of papers arising from the research being undertaken should not prejudice the assessment of this thesis.

In exceptional circumstances, when it may be appropriate for a student who has completed the required registered period of study to submit for the degree by publications (see below for guidance), an application for permission to do so may be made to Student Services, who will take forward the case made, with written support from the Head of School or Department, to the University.

3.  Examiners' reports

The Examiners should submit independent reports to Student Services, (Central Administration Office at UNMC or Graduate School at UNNC) or Head of School on the submission before the viva voce examination takes place [see below]. The reports need not be provided in a standard format but must be written in English and word-processed or typed and must include the name and School of the student, the degree sought, the signature, name (printed), position of the Examiner (ie Internal or External) and the date. They should contain a full and frank assessment of the merits and weaknesses of the thesis in the light of the criteria described above. It is suggested that a favourable report should normally fill at least one side of A4 paper. It is particularly important that the merits and shortcomings of a submission are provided in full and in detail if the report is unfavourable and, therefore, a lengthier report might be expected. It should be noted that Examiners' Independent and Joint reports will be given to the candidate when the examination outcome is notified and circulated to staff and students as part of the University's Appeals procedures if relevant.

4.  Feedback to candidate and examiners' report

Following a viva voce examination (if conducted, see 'Viva Voce Examinations'), the student should be given immediate informal feedback on the outcome of the examination and should be advised that more formal details will be transmitted later in writing.  The Internal Examiner should also write to the student formally conveying the joint views of the Examiners on the submission, describing in detail the academic and presentational reasons for their recommendation, and (if appropriate) providing clear advice about what matters should be addressed in any resubmission.

5.  Approval of examiners' report*

The Joint Report Form shall be forwarded by the examiners to the Head of School for approval and  signature and s/he shall forward the independent and joint report forms to Student Services for approval by the University.  *NB the same procedure shall be followed with respect to students who submit their theses for examination at UNMC or UNNC.  The Central Administration Office or Graduate School should also receive copies of the examiners' reports (including Head of School's signature) for information only.  Staff in Student Services shall be responsible for ensuring that staff at UNMC or UNNC are kept informed of the University's decision concerning such submissions.

Student Services will write to the student within one week of the University's decision being made, informing him/her of the recommendation that the degree be awarded (or not) and advising him/her of the procedures for graduating, or for lodging an appeal, as appropriate.






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