The University of Newcastle, Australia


UON depends upon partnerships with eminent thesis examiners to maintain its standards of research excellence. In return, we commit to provide you with clarity on the requirements and process of UON thesis examination, and to protect your rights at all times.

The Thesis Examination Guidelines includes information on the thesis format and examination process at UON.

The UON Rules Governing Research Higher Degrees stipulate the conditions attached to the types of thesis that candidates may submit.

Please refer to the Research Thesis with a Creative Component Procedures for the expected standards of a research thesis with a creative component and the process for presentation and examination.

UON will normally appoint two examiners per thesis. Each will be an internationally recognised expert in the candidate’s area of research.

If you are currently a temporary resident of Australia, you will be asked to advise us at the time of your appointment. This will help us ensure you are not in breach of your visa conditions, as well as ensuring that the University is compliant with current immigration legislation.

The University requires examiners to provide their examination report within two months of receipt of the thesis. Each examiner is sent an Examiner’s report form to complete, upon which they may recommend one outcome:

  • AWARD - The thesis does not require any amendments and should be classified as passed.
  • MINOR CORRECTIONS REQUIRED - The thesis requires the correction of errors of presentation (such as editorial, formatting and typographical mistakes) and minor deficiencies (such as missing words, additional references, and clearer explanations) as detailed by the examiner. The errors identified do not affect the quality or the outcomes of the research undertaken. The examiner thus recommends the thesis be passed conditionally subject to specified minor corrections being made to the satisfaction of the supervisor(s) only.
  • MAJOR CORRECTIONS REQUIRED - The thesis requires a number of important corrections as detailed in the examiner's report. (Areas identified for major correction may relate to further explanation or justification of hypotheses, inclusion of additional data, revised literature review, clarification of results, expansion of discussion, substantial textual changes to improve the clarity of argument, removal of significant amount of unnecessary or erroneous information). The corrections will not alter the research outcomes but will improve the quality of the thesis and the way in which the research has been reported. The examiner thus recommends the thesis be passed conditionally subject to specified major corrections being made to the satisfaction of the supervisor(s), the School and the Faculty.
  • REVISE AND RESUBMIT FOR FURTHER EXAMINATION BY THE ORIGINAL EXAMINERS - The candidate is required to re-enrol for up to 12 months and carry out further work and make substantive revisions and amendments to the thesis. The revised thesis is to be re-examined by the original examiners. The further work may include new experiments or data collection, additional analyses, revision of the scientific method or any essential work that may alter the conclusions drawn in the thesis. The examiner's report will include details of the major shortcomings which the revised thesis should address. The candidate will be permitted to revise and resubmit this thesis once only.
  • FAIL - the thesis be classified as failed, without right to resubmit the thesis, on the basis that a significant amount of additional research work and/or major, substantive revision will not raise the thesis to an acceptable standard.

In addition to a completed Examiner report form, you are asked to return a detailed examiner’s report as a separate typed document. This will provide an independent critical appraisal of the thesis and to identify, as appropriate, its strengths and weaknesses in relation to the stated thesis objectives.

Examiners undertake to maintain confidentiality with regard to the content of the thesis and of their report until such time as the University has made a determination on the award. Examiners also agree to not contact the supervisors or the candidate during the examination period.

Australian examiners: Your payment will be processed upon receipt of the thesis examination report and a completed Australian Examiners' Honorarium Payment Form.

You may wish to also complete the Tax File Number declaration, to avoid being taxed at the higher bracket. Alternatively, examiners with ABNs can invoice UON for the full amount. Note that only ABNs registered with GST may include GST in the tax invoice.

International examiners: Payment action will be initiated once your examination report has been received. You may be contacted by the University’s Treasury Operations if they require specific details from you.

It is crucial that all examiners act with integrity and in the academic interests of the institution. Conflicts of interest (COI) must be avoided so that a thesis may be assessed independently and free from any perception of bias or preferential treatment.

It is important to note the following:

  • a COI may be with the institution, the supervisor or the candidate.
  • the existence of a COI does not automatically preclude a nominee being approved by the Dean of Graduate Research as a thesis examiner. When considering a nominee, the Dean looks at the nature and severity of any COI (or perceived COI).

All examiners and potential examiners are asked to refer to the UON Examiners Conflict of Interest Guidelines for examples of COI. The aim of the Guidelines is to protect the candidate, examiner and the university against potential negative perceptions during the thesis examination process.