Chapter 8: Thesis and Examination Matters
8.3 Appendix 1- Thesis Submission and Examination Process
PhD candidates should refer to the 'Doctoral Information Handbook' for their preparation and submission requirements.
8.3.1 Stage 1 - Submission
Preparing for submission of your Masters thesis
A research candidate about to submit a thesis is advised to read the appropriate sections in this 'Survival Guide' and if in doubt on any point should also consult the ARGS . Masters candidates are required to follow the guidelines outlined under the heading 'Preparation and Presentation of a Masters Thesis' in this chapter and this appendix.
The research candidate organises a pre-submission appointment with the main supervisor and the Graduate Coordinator to complete and sign the necessary documentation. Three forms are required at the time of submission:
'Masters Thesis Submission' form - candidate completes and signs Section A to enable the examination process to begin. The supervisor completes and signs Section B to certify that the research and writing embodied in the thesis is that of the research candidate, except where otherwise acknowledged in the thesis, that the thesis is properly presented and is prima facie worthy of examination and that the thesis is within the stipulated word length for the course. IF the supervisor has any reservations, s/he will state this in writing and the candidate needs to countersign the form in Section B to indicate that you are aware of the supervisor's reservations. This form is to be submitted with the thesis to the ARGS. In cases where the supervisor is not prepared to sign off on a thesis, see under the heading 'Submission' above.
'Library Release Authorisation' form - the candidate needs to complete and sign, then the supervisor signs to ratify on behalf of the school. This form is to be submitted with the thesis to the ARGS so that the thesis can be distributed after successful examination and binding.
'Nomination of Examiners' form -Your Supervisor informally contacts the examiners to ask if they would be prepared to act as examiners, that they can complete the examination within 6 weeks and to check the examiners' contact details on the form are correct (address, email and telephone). Once completed the School forwards the Nomination of Examiners form to the ARGS - this form is not to be left with the candidate (for compliance with Privacy legislation). For more information on 'Appointment of Examiners' see Section 8.1 above under that title in this chapter.
Submission of the thesis for examination
The research candidate submits three copies of the thesis, the completed 'Masters Thesis Submission' form and the 'Library Release Authorisation' form to the Arts Research Graduate School office, room W205, Menzies Building, Clayton Campus.
Candidates can request a photo be taken at the ARGS, free of charge, at the time of submission as a reminder of this important event.
The School Graduate Coordinator, Graduate Administrator or the candidate's Supervisor submits the 'Nomination of Examiners' form to the ARGS on the day of submission or as soon as possible.
Candidates on Scholarships
Candidates in receipt of scholarships must notify the MRGS that they have submitted their thesis on the day they submit. Failure to do so will result in a claim for any overpayment which may occur.
ARGS Checks the Submission
Once submitted, the ARGS staff will check that the thesis contains the contents specified (in Section 8.1 under the heading 'Word Processing, Printing and Binding' in this chapter) and that the thesis falls within the appropriate thesis word length (see Section 8.1 under the heading 'Length' in this chapter). If the thesis is under/over length the Supervisor needs to write to the ARGSC to explain the reasons for the length and to seek permission on the candidate's behalf to submit an under/over length thesis. When informally contacting the examiners, the supervisor needs to advise them of any irregular word length.
If the theses and the paperwork satisfy the requirements for submission, the thesis examination process will commence. If the thesis fails to meet the stipulated requirements or the submission forms are incomplete, the theses and forms will be returned to the School and the candidate will be asked to arrange for corrections.
8.3.2. Stage 2 - Examination
ARGS Sends the Thesis to the Appointed Examiners
Each of your examiners receives:
One copy of the thesis
One 'Masters Thesis Examiner's Report' form
Instructions for examiners
A letter requesting the examiner notify ARGS if they are unable to return the report within six weeks.
ARGS Notifies the Candidate of Examiners
The candidate is sent a letter informing of the official appointment of the examiners' and that the thesis has been sent out for examination. This letter contains specific advice about the University's strict policy that all communication with examiners on any matter relating to thesis examination must be through the ARGS and that infringement of this rule risks disqualification of the thesis.
ARGS Reminds Examiners to Return 'Masters Thesis Examiners Report'
If one or both of the examiners' 'Masters Thesis Examiner's Reports' is not received within the stipulated timeframe, the ARGS sends a reminder letter to the examiner(s) seeking advice on the expected examination completion date.
ARGS Receives 'Masters Thesis Examiners' Reports'
The examiners return their reports and your theses to ARGS. The examiners can recommend on of the following outcomes:
Pass straight award - See Scenario A1
- Pass subject to the completion of amendments - See Scenario A2
Revise and resubmit - See Scenario
Fail - See Scenario C and/or D
8.3.3. Stage 3 - Possible Masters Thesis Examination Outcomes
In summary, this section outlines the process for the following outcomes or scenarios:
- straight award
- subject to the completion of amendments
Revise and Resubmit (R&R)
Scenario a - Both Examiners Recommend the Masters Thesis Pass with Either Straight Award (Scenario A1) or Subject to the Completion of Amendments (Scenario A2)
Scenario A1 - Pass - Straight Award
Research candidate is awarded the degree without further examination.
ARGS returns two unbound copies of the examined thesis to the research candidate with a letter requesting that the candidate bind two copies. These two bound copies are then returned to the ARGS (you are advised to bind an extra copy for personal use as binding in quantity is cost effective).
The third unbound copy is returned to the candidate once ARGS receives the two bound copies (if you hand-deliver these copies you can collect the unbound copy).
ARGS sends one bound copy to your school and one to the Library. Each bound copy contains the 'Library Release Authorisation' form signed at the time of submission.
See 'Completion' below.
Scenario A2 - Pass Subject to the Completion of Amendments
Candidate is awarded the degree subject to the completion of amendments requested by one or both examiners.
ARGS returns two unbound copies of the original thesis to the candidate, with a letter advising the candidate to discuss the amendments with the supervisor before attending to them. On completion of amendments the candidate organises binding and returns TWO AMENDED AND BOUND copies to ARGS.
ARGS sends one bound copy and a 'Library Release Authorisation' form to the school and asks the graduate coordinator to certify the successful completion of amendments. The school retains this bound copy. If the school graduate coordinator does not certify the amendments, the candidate needs to make the required changes in both copies to the satisfaction of the graduate coordinator of the school. When the graduate coordinator is satisfied with these amendments s/he notifies ARGS of the successful completion of the amendments.
ARGS sends the remaining thesis copy to the Library with a 'Library Release Authorisation' form. ARGS returns the originally submitted unbound copy of the thesis to the candidate.
The candidate has successfully completed the examination process. The ARGS will send the candidate a letter with your overall grade (you will not receive a mark, only a grade). For more information on the overall grade see section 8.2 under the heading ''Grades and Marks'.
Candidates can then download an 'Application to Graduate' form located at: www.monash.edu.au/graduations/apply.html
which should be completed and returned to Student Services. You are free to graduate at the next available Arts Graduation ceremony. You should inform your supervisor of your graduation date if possible. Once you have graduated, either in person or in absentia, you can use your degree and your postnominals.
Scenario B - One or Both Examiners Recommend Revise and Resubmit and/or an Adjudicator Recommends Revise and Resubmit
If one or both examiners recommend the candidate revise and resubmit the thesis, an Advisory Panel will be convened to decide on one of the following:
Appoint an external adjudicator
- Scenario B1
If the Advisory Panel decides that revise and resubmit is the likely outcome of adjudication, the candidate may be asked to revise and resubmit without going to adjudication - Scenario B2
Thesis is sent to an adjudicator who recommends revise and resubmit - Scenario B3
To read more about Advisory Panels see section 8.1 above, under the heading 'Advisory Panels':
Scenario B1 - One Examiner Recommends the Thesis Pass and the Other Examiner Recommends the Candidate Revise and Resubmit the Thesis - Appointment of Adjudicator
In these cases, an Advisory Panel will normally appoint an external adjudicator to decide on one or other of the examiners results. If an adjudicator is appointed, a letter will be sent from the ARGS inviting the candidate to respond to the examiners' comments within a stipulated timeframe. More information on Adjudication can be found in Section 8.1 above, under the heading 'Divergent Recommendations by Examiners'. The candidate, within the timeframe stipulated, either submits this response to ARGS or notifies ARGS that no response will be submitted.
The Adjudicator is sent the following:
- Candidate's response if one has been submitted
- Two anonymous 'Masters Thesis Examiners Reports'
- A copy of the thesis
- Instructions for adjudication
- A letter requesting the adjudicator to notify ARGS if they are unable to return the report within 6 weeks
ARGS sends a letter to the candidate informing of the adjudicator's name and that the thesis has been sent out for adjudication.
If the adjudicator's report is not received within the stipulated timeframe, ARGS sends a reminder letter to the adjudicator seeking advice on when the completion of the adjudication is likely.
Once ARGS receives the adjudicator's report, the Advisory Panel is re-convened to consider the adjudicator's recommendation.
The adjudicator cannot impose a new recommendation on the candidate but is asked to choose between the recommendations of the examiners. In the case of Scenario B1, an adjudicator may recommend the following:
Pass - Straight award (return to Scenario A1 above) OR
subject to completion of amendments (return to Scenario A2 above)
Revise and resubmit (see Scenario B2 below)
Scenario B2 - Both Examiners or an Advisory Panel Recommend Revise and Resubmit
If both examiners recommend that the candidate revise and resubmit the thesis, or if an Advisory Panel in the case of Scenario B1 decides that the likely outcome of adjudication is revise and resubmit, the candidate will be requested to re-enrol for a specified period to work on the revisions under supervision.
After the supervisor approves the revisions, the candidate submits two or three copies (ARGS will advise the candidate of the number of copies required) of the revised thesis in temporary binding to the ARGS as described above under the heading STAGE 1 - Submission.
ARGS returns the thesis to the dissenting examiner (or both examiners if both recommended revise and resubmit). The dissenting examiner(s) receive:
- One copy of the thesis
- One 'Masters Thesis Examiner's Report' form
- Instructions for examination
- A letter that requests the examiner(s) notify ARGS if they are unable to return the report within 6 weeks.
ARGS notifies the candidate that the thesis has been forwarded to the dissenting examiner(s) for re-examination.
If the reports are not received within the stipulated timeframe, ARGS sends a reminder letter to the dissenting examiner(s) seeking advice on when completion of the re-examination is likely.
ARGS receives the examiners' reports, which will recommend one of the following:
Pass - Straight Award (See Scenario A1 above)
- Pass - subject to completion of amendments (See Scenario A2 above)
and Resubmit (See Scenario B above: dependent on the outcome of examiners'
Fail (See Scenario C & D below)
PLEASE NOTE: Research candidates can revise and resubmit twice only.
Scenario B3 - Adjudicator Recommends Revise and Resubmit
If an Adjudicator recommends revise and resubmit, an Advisory Panel will be convened to decide on the timeframe for re-enrolment for the revisions, supervisory arrangements for the revision and who will examine the revised thesis - normally this will be the dissenting examiner and/or the Adjudicator who then becomes the second examiner. The candidate will be asked to re-enrol and discuss the best approach to revisions with the supervisor. After the supervisor approves the revisions, the candidate is required to submit the revised thesis as described above under the heading STAGE 1 -'Submission'. The Advisory Panel would have already determined the examiners and so the 'Nomination of Examiners' form is not required in this case.
The examiners will be asked to make a recommendation; all options are available to the examiners; see Stage 2 'Examination' above.
PLEASE NOTE: Research candidates can revise and resubmit twice only.
Scenario C - One Examiner Recommends Fail and One Examiner Recommends Revise and Resubmit or One Examiner Recommends Fail and One Examiner Recommends Pass.
The ARGS convenes an Advisory Panel and in most cases an Adjudicator will be appointed. To see the composition of an advisory panel see under Section 8.1.11 above.
The possible outcomes of adjudication when one examiner recommends FAIL and one examiner recommends REVISE AND RESUBMIT, can only be fail or revise and resubmit.
The possible outcomes of Adjudication when one examiner recommends the candidate FAIL the thesis and one examiner recommends the candidate PASS the thesis, can only be pass/pass subject to amendments or fail.
If the adjudicator recommends FAIL, see Scenario D below.
If the adjudicator recommends REVISE AND RESUBMIT, see Scenario B3 above.
If the adjudicator recommends PASS, see Scenario A above.
Scenario D - Both Examiners Recommend the Candidate Fail the Thesis
The ARGS convenes an Advisory Panel comprising the same members as described in Scenario B. The Advisory Panel recommends the degree not be awarded.
ARGS sends a letter to the candidate advising that the Masters thesis has failed the examination process and that the degree cannot be awarded, which means you are not permitted to use postnominals gained from a successful thesis examination.
The two copies of the thesis can be destroyed or returned to the candidate, but one copy must be kept in the Faculty for 25 years.
Only candidates who started prior to 2000 in an approved discipline can undertake a 75% thesis.