Regulations - Higher Doctorates

Procedure for the Examination of Higher Doctorates

This procedure applies to the examination of the Degrees of Doctor of Engineering, Doctor of Laws, Doctor of Literature and Doctor of Science, and should be read in conjunction with the Higher Doctorate Examination Procedures.

Consideration of Applications to be Examined

1 As soon as possible after an application to be examined has been lodged with the Dean of Graduate Studies and has been determined to meet initial requirements, the application will be forwarded to the relevant Faculty Dean or delegate (“the faculty”) for further consideration.

2 The faculty will appoint an Examination Committee of three senior academics who have a general understanding of the applicant’s field of research. At least two members of the Committee must be academic members of the University, one of whom will be nominated to chair the Examination Committee.

3 The Examination Committee will investigate the information provided, including the quality and nature of the submission for examination, will seek input from the Dean of the faculty, and will make a recommendation to the Dean of Graduate Studies within one month that the faculty:

a will allow the applicant to be admitted to candidature for the higher doctorate


b will not allow the applicant to be admitted to candidature for the higher doctorate.

Notification of Assessment of Application and Intention to Submit

4 The Dean of Graduate Studies will advise the applicant of the faculty’s decision and, if the application has been accepted, will request written notification of the applicant’s intention to proceed with candidature and submission. The submission of work to be examined must be received by the Dean of Graduate Studies within three months of the notification that the application was accepted.

5 The examination will not proceed until receipt of the candidate’s written notification of intention to proceed and payment of fees as set out in Schedule B of the Fees Statute.

Appointment of Examiners

6 Upon payment of fees and receipt of the candidate’s written notification of intention to proceed, the Dean of Graduate Studies will request that the faculty nominate three external examiners. The nominations should be made within three months of the request. The examiners must be of authoritative standing and international eminence in the field of the submitted work and must be active in research. At least one examiner shall be resident outside New Zealand. Examiners must not have engaged in substantial collaboration with the candidate. Any involvement with the candidate by the examiner which could constitute a conflict of interest should be declared at the outset. The appointment of all examiners must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies.


7 The candidate shall lodge at the School of Graduate Studies:

a three copies of the work to be examined


b a statutory declaration which shall:

(i) state the extent to which the work is the candidate’s own, and (in the case of a conjoint work) identify as clearly as possible which parts are the candidate’s own


(ii) declare that the work in substantially its present form has not been submitted or accepted previously for the award of a degree or diploma in this or any other tertiary institution, and is not being submitted for a degree or diploma in any other tertiary institution or for another degree or diploma at this institution.


8 The degree will be awarded solely on consideration of the submitted works upon which the candidate’s claim to the degree is based.

9 In order to qualify for the degree, the submitted works must provide sufficient evidence that the candidate has made an original contribution of special excellence to their discipline such that they are considered to have authoritative standing and international eminence in their field.

10 Examiners will be requested to report to the Dean of Graduate Studies on the submission within three months of receipt and recommend whether the candidate:

a should be awarded the degree


b should not be awarded the degree.

11 The reports of all examiners will be forwarded to the Examination Committee for consideration of whether or not to admit the candidate to the degree.

12 If the examiners’ recommendations differ, the Examination Committee may invite the examiners to consult and provide a written report or reports on the outcome of their consultation. If, after such consultation, the differences remain unresolved, the Examination Committee may recommend to the Dean of Graduate Studies that a further independent external examiner be appointed to report on areas of conflict.

13 The Examination Committee shall recommend an outcome based on the examiners’ reports to the Dean of Graduate Studies. The Dean of Graduate Studies will determine the result of the examination and notify the candidate of the decision.

14 An unsuccessful submission may not be presented for re-examination until at least five years after initial submission and must include new material.

Deposit of Submission in the Library

15 On successful completion of the examination of the submitted work, and when possible, two bound copies will be deposited in the University Library by the School of Graduate Studies. The first bound copy will remain in the Library for reference purposes; the second copy may be borrowed by members of the Library, or sent to other libraries on inter-library loan. The third copy will be returned to the candidate.


16 Candidates who have satisfied the requirements for any award of the University shall be admitted to that award.