Western Graduate & Postdoctoral  Studies

Examination

ETD Fast Facts

Preliminary Examination of the Thesis

An e-mail instructing how to access your thesis will be sent to each examiner one business day after your submission is received. Examiners are given a digital copy of your work in PDF format and the option to request a paper copy of your thesis should they choose.  If requested, paper copies will generally arrive in one business day to anyone located at Western and are couriered to external examiners.  

All examiners are required to perform a preliminary examination of your thesis. Examiners may identify issues in form or content for exploration or clarification at the oral examination. The results from preliminary examinations are not shown to you or your supervisory team in advance of the oral examination.

Preparing for the Examination

All candidates are required to attend an oral examination after the successful preliminary examination of their thesis. Details confirming the date and location will be included in communications with you relating to your preliminary examination.

Preparation for the oral examination should be given via your supervisory team. Your supervisory team should ensure that you understand the requirements and purpose of the oral examination and that you are adequately prepared for the oral examination and if necessary arrange practice in oral examination techniques.

As part of your training as a research student, your supervisory team will have encouraged you to present your work to staff/graduate seminars, and in other public forums (poster sessions, conference papers etc.). You may also have presented papers at conferences and observed or participated in mock oral examinations. These activities are all part of the preparation to defend your thesis.

You should use the interval between the submission of your thesis and the date of your oral examination to stay in touch with your research material and to keep up with developments and publications in the field to which your project relates. Remember that one of the purposes of the oral examination is to establish your ability to locate your work within your chosen subject area.

Be prepared to be able to summarise your main arguments and to explain your choice of approach and methodology. Ask your supervisory team for guidance concerning the questions that your examiners are likely to ask.