Teaching

Instructions to Candidates for the Examination of Research Degrees
(including the Postgraduate Diploma by Research and Training)

Approved by the Graduate School Board 4 March 2014 and including all revisions up to July 2018

To be eligible to be admitted to the examination for the degree of Master by research and thesis or degree of PhD or degree of Doctor of Medicine or Master of Surgery or Postgraduate Diploma by Research and Training a candidate must have fulfilled the requirements as to registration and programme of training and research which are prescribed in the Regulations for Research Programmes of Study.

The form of examination for the degree of Master by research and thesis, the degree of PhD, the degree of Doctor of Medicine, the degree of Master of Surgery and the Postgraduate Diploma by Research and Training is described in the Regulations for Research Programmes of Study. The following instructions are intended to supplement these Regulations and, in particular, to provide candidates with the further information which they require in order to present a thesis for examination.

1. Notice of Submission

Candidates must give notice at least two months in advance of their intention to submit a thesis for examination on a form, which is available from their Schools. Candidates are asked to check that the form and spelling of their name in the Notice of Submission form corresponds with that in which they are registered at the University since it will be used in recommendations for the award of the degree.

2. Examination of Theses

2.1 Where submission of a thesis for examination is required, the candidate must have three identical copies of the thesis prepared and bound in the manner indicated in paragraph 5.3 below and an electronic copy of the thesis. Two copies of the bound thesis and the electronic copy must be submitted for examination to their school; the third bound copy should be retained by the candidate and brought to any oral examination which may be required. The electronic copy of the thesis may be run through text matching software in order to detect plagiarism.

2.2 Where examination is of research comprised in whole or in part by practice as research, the format and composition of the student’s thesis will have been agreed in advance between the student, supervisory team and Director of Graduate Studies. Although practice will be examined under conditions appropriate to the subject, it is essential that students also submit documentation of their practice which can form an accessible and lasting record; this should be included with the soft and hard bound copies.

2.3 Where a thesis is based in whole or in part on collaborative research, the extent of this collaboration must be clearly indicated in the thesis. Any material which the candidate has previously presented and which has been accepted for the award of an academic qualification at this University or elsewhere must be clearly identified in the thesis.

2.4 Where candidates for the award of MPhil or PhD or MD or MSurg or DEng choose to submit a thesis comprised exclusively of published papers or materials submitted for publication during the period of registration, this work should form a coherent description of a unified body of research. In such cases the candidate will be required to provide a statement indicating the context of the research, its main aims and a discussion of the main results or conclusions. For copyright guidance see 6.4.

2.5 The result of the examination for a successful candidate will not be published in any form either by way of a pass list or any official communication from the University until the School has verified receipt of the thesis:

a) that is presented in the manner prescribed in paragraph 5.2 below;

b) that has been certified by the Internal Examiner as being a copy of the thesis which he/she had approved as Examiner.

2.6 The candidate may be required by the School to provide a second copy bound as described in paragraph 6.4.

2.7 Copies of theses submitted for examination should be sent to the candidate's School.

3. Written Examination

Where a candidate is required to take a written examination, it is his/her responsibility to find out from their School the time and place of this examination.

4. Length of Theses

4.1 Candidates should note that conciseness of presentation is an essential part of the "appropriate ability in the organisation and presentation" of their material, which they are required to demonstrate in accordance with the assessment criteria for research degrees outlined in the Regulations for Research Programmes of Study. Candidates should not, therefore, regard the maximum length specified as a target length.

4.2 The length of a written thesis should be in accordance with the following:

4.2.1 Master by Research and Thesis
In the Faculty of Humanities:
for the degree of MPhil: not more than 60,000 words
for the degree of MA: not more than 40,000 words

In the Faculty of Sciences:
for the degree of MSc: normally between 130 and 150 pages
for the degree of MPhil: normally between 140 and 200 pages

In the Faculty of Social Sciences:
The required word count will be set by each School.

4.2.2 PhD
In the Faculty of Sciences:
normally between 160 and 225 pages but not more than 250 pages, including diagrams;

In the Faculty of Social Sciences:
The required word count will be set by each School.

In the Faculty of Humanities:
not more than 100,000 words;

For Candidates registered on practice-based programmes:
between 30,000 and 40,000 words

4.2.3 Doctor of Medicine or Master of Surgery
In the Faculty of Sciences:
normally between 140 and 200 pages.

4.2.4 Postgraduate Diploma by Research and Training (Sciences)
Candidates should note that conciseness of presentation is an essential part of the “appropriate ability in the organisation and presentation” of their material which they are required to demonstrate in accordance with the assessment criteria for research programmes of study outlined in the Regulations for Research Programmes of Study and that the dissertation should be about 80 pages in length and not more than 130 pages except in exceptional circumstances.

4.3 Practise as Research

Where examination is of research comprised in whole or in part by practise as research, the format and composition of the student’s thesis will have been agreed in advance between the student, supervisory team and Director of Graduate Studies.

Additional Information

4.4 The total number of pages or words referred to above may be taken as excluding bibliographies, references, appendices, quotations, footnotes and any supplementary material (tables of results etc), which it may be desirable to submit for ease of reference, but which do not form an essential part of the main text of the thesis.

4.5 Unless approval has been obtained from the appropriate Faculty Committee, the length of a thesis must not be greater than the specified maximum.

4.6 A thesis that exceeds the maximum length specified without permission will not be examined.

4.7 Candidates are strongly advised to discuss the expected length of their thesis with their supervisor before making detailed arrangements for submission.

5. Presentation of Theses for Examination

5.1 Candidates should consult the School if they are in doubt about the acceptability of the presentation of their thesis or have any other questions concerning layout, format, binding, order of contents, etc. The attention of candidates is particularly drawn to the fact that all copies of the thesis must be clearly legible and properly corrected after proofreading.

5.2 Bibliographies and references should be laid out as required by each School. Support for candidates regarding referencing is available from the UELT website (see http://www.kent.ac.uk/ai/styleguides.html).

5.3 The three copies required to be produced for examination must be bound in a ‘perfect’ binding with card covers; on the front cover of which the candidate’s name, the name of the degree for which the thesis is submitted and the title of the thesis shall appear. The cover should also show the total word count.

5.4 The thesis must be typed or printed on one side of A4 paper of good quality with a margin of not less than 40mm on the binding edge of the page; other margins must be at least 15mm. The size of character used in the main text, including displayed material, must not be smaller than 10pt (or 10 pitch or equivalent) and no characters, for example subscripts and superscripts, may be smaller than 7pt (or 15 pitch or equivalent). Candidates for the award of MPhil, PhD, MD or MSurg and submitting published works or works submitted for publication may reproduce the publication for inclusion in the thesis so long as the reproduced works are of such a standard as described above. If there are diagrams, maps and similar documents which cannot be incorporated into the body of the thesis, they may be submitted in a portfolio of any size which must also bear the name of the candidate, the name of the degree for which the thesis is submitted, the year of submission and the title of the thesis. Each copy must be complete, containing all necessary maps, photographs, diagrams etc. and accompanied by its own portfolio (if appropriate).

6. Deposit of Awarded Thesis in the University Library

6.1 Successful research candidates are required to deposit a digital copy of the thesis via Moodle through their School for preservation, within three months of completion. The thesis will be preserved and publically accessible in the Kent Academic Repository1. Note that the research degree is not awarded until the candidate has electronically deposited his/her thesis, therefore, failure to deposit will prevent the award of the research degree.

6.2 Candidates need to make decisions about redaction, embargoes, sensitive material and Creative Commons licences before using the Thesis Deposit Point in Moodle. They should refer to the library’s thesis pages (see https://www-test.kent.ac.uk/library/research/your-thesis/index.html) for help with these decisions and for advice about the process.

6.3 Print Deposit in University Library

6.3.1 Candidates have the option of additionally presenting a bound copy of the thesis to the University Library. The copy of the thesis, certified by the internal examiner, must be bound in a sewn binding of boards with cloth back and coloured dark red for MPhil and Masters theses, dark blue for PhD theses and MD/MSurg theses. The binding should be coloured dark red for a postgraduate diploma by research and training.

6.3.2 Each volume must bear on its spine the name of the candidate (initials of forenames and full surname), the name of the degree for which the thesis is submitted and the year of submission, and on its front cover the title of the thesis. The lettering on the spine must be stamped in a downward direction or alternatively, where the width of the spine allows, in a horizontal direction. All lettering must be stamped in gold in the normal combination of upper and lower case type.

6.4 Copyright

Candidates are encouraged to consider any copyright implications as early as possible when writing their thesis, particularly regarding the use of material for which they do not own the copyright. Further advice is available on the library’s thesis pages2 and by emailing copyright@kent.ac.uk


7. Contact with Examiners

Under no circumstances should candidates contact their Internal or External Examiners, or any Independent Observer, about their research degree examination outside of the formal examination process. The School should make this clear to the candidate when the examiners are appointed.

 



1. https://kar.kent.ac.uk

2. https://www-test.kent.ac.uk/library/research/your-thesis/index.html

 

 

 

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Last Updated: 16/07/2018