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Preparing for examination

Conditions relating to the assessment of theses and research projects are outlined in the Edith Cowan University Rules (Admission, Enrolment and Academic Progress), Part VI – Courses requiring submission of theses.

Doctoral degree candidates commencing on or after 1 January 2018 are required to undertake an oral examination of the thesis as part of their thesis examination. Candidates commencing prior to 1 January 2018 may elect to undertake an oral examination of the thesis as part of their thesis examination in consultation with their supervisors.

You should take the following steps prior to submitting your thesis for examination.

Nomination of examiners

To avoid delays in the process, you and your supervisor should complete and submit a Nomination of Examiner form at least 4 weeks prior to submitting your thesis for examination. Please note the following:

  • Your supervisor cannot be an examiner for your thesis;
  • Your examiners should be independent of you and your supervisor and have no conflict of interest in examining your thesis. For more information, download the Conflict of Interest Guidelines.
  • Your supervisor should contact your proposed examiners prior to nomination to determine their availability. For doctoral candidates with an oral exam component, your supervisor should contact Panel Chairs to determine their availability;
  • For more information on examiner selection criteria and approval process download the Nomination of Examiners form;
  • The nomination of examination process also involves submitting a 100 word summary (or abstract) of your research. The abstract will be included in the Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement.
  • Submit your Nomination of Examiners form to your GRS Coordinator Research Student Support for approval by the Associate Dean (Research);
  • The form will then be sent to Student Administration.

Number of examiners

The University requires you to have a minimum number of examiners for your thesis:

  • Masters by Research students require two examiners. Both must be external to the University;
  • Professional Doctorate and Doctor of Philosophy students commencing prior to 01 January 2018 and not undertaking an oral exam require three examiners. All examiners must be external to the University; and
  • Professional Doctorate and Doctor of Philosophy students commencing after 01 January 2018 or who opt into an oral exam require two examiners. All examiners must be external to the University.

Formatting your thesis

Once you’ve finalised the writing of your thesis you’ll need to ensure that the formatting complies with ECU requirements. See the Thesis formatting for examination web page for more information.

Submitting your thesis

When your thesis is ready for examination, you should provide the following information to Student Administration.

  • Thesis Submission Form approved by your Principal Supervisor;
  • An electronic copy of your thesis or exegesis and if hard copies are required the requisite number of copies spiral bound; and
  • Students  with non-traditional formats, creative works or additional components that are separate to the thesis or exegesis should contact Student Administration for advice on submission requirements.
  • Please contact the Assessments and Student Records office if you do not receive an email acknowledging receipt of your submitted thesis within 72 hours.

Examiners are asked not to return your thesis after examination, but to make all comments in an examination report and to destroy the thesis. You may request that the thesis be returned if:

  • a confidentiality agreement has been established which covers material contained in the thesis; or
  • original drawings, illustrations or diagrams contained within the document are not easily reproduced.

After the Associate Dean (Research) has approved your nomination of examiners and Student Administration has received all required documentation and components, your thesis will be sent out for examination.

During the examination process, you and your supervisors should not attempt to contact the examiners.


Student Administration
Building 34, Level 2
270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup WA 6027
Telephone: (61 8) 6304 3911
Facsimile: (61 8) 6304 2055

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