Examining for a research degree

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If you have been asked to act as an examiner for a research degree the information on these pages will provide you with a timeline of the process and key information. The full guidance notes and regulations are available to download. The Research Degrees section can offer advice on any part of the examination.

Key information

Examination Guidance

Examiner Guidelines for Research Degrees (PDF download)

Viva Examination Forms

Examination Outcome form

Minor and Major Amendments form

Fees and Expenses

Guidance notes for fees and expenses

Examiners fees expenses claim form

Contact details

research-degrees (@gold.ac.uk)

020 7919 7774

Invitation to examine

Details of the selected examiners will be sent to the Graduate School for approval.  Once approved the Research Degrees section will send out formal invites. You must confirm your willingness to act as an examiner and provide up-to-date contact details for dispatch of the thesis.

Suitability to act as an examiner

You may have connections with the candidate or supervisor, which could be either personal or professional.  These may not necessarily prevent you from acting as an examiner but it would be inappropriate, for example, to act as examiner where there has been a collaboration leading to the publishing of joint papers by the candidate and the examiner.

The Examiner Guidelines for Research Degrees (PDF download) provides more details on this or you can make further enquiries by emailing research-degrees (@gold.ac.uk).

Dispatch of thesis

The Research Degrees section will post out the thesis to you and send out a notification email which will include the following:

You should not accept the thesis directly from the candidate or the supervisor unless special arrangements have been made for this.  Please email research-degrees (@gold.ac.uk) for further details.


Viva Examination

The supervisor will normally make the arrangements for the viva date, it is hoped that the viva examination will be held within three months of the dispatch of the thesis to the examiners.

Examiners are asked to write independent preliminary reports which are expected to be exchanged before the viva.  Please refer to the Examiner Guidelines for Research Degrees (PDF download) for more details.

A viva examination must always be held, except in circumstances for which provision is made in the regulations, ie on submission of a thesis following referral.

Post viva reporting

After the viva examination the Examination Outcome form must be completed and a joint report drawn up.  Both documents must be signed by both examiners.  These should be returned together with the preliminary reports and Claim form for research degree examiner fees and expenses to the Research Degrees section.  Please ensure that all documents are returned within two weeks of the viva. 

*Note fees and expenses cannot be processed without a complete set of the above examination documentation and original receipts.

Fees and expenses

Fees and expenses incurred as a result of examining work will be paid upon receipt of the original Claim form for research degree examiner fees and expenses.

Any expense claim must be accompanied by receipts. We can only reimburse you up to the maximum amounts stated on the form.  We are unable to reimburse you for any expenses beyond the maximum amount provided in the guidelines.


  • For travel within Europe, economy class tickets should be obtained
  • Rail travel should be in standard class and prebooked where possible
  • Local bus, tram and underground train fares for business journeys (not home-to-office) can be claimed
  • Private motor vehicles should only be used under the following conditions: Where the traveler is disabled or is assisting a disabled person; where the destination is not accessible or requires an excessively long or arduous journey by public transport; where it can be shown to be cost effective (claimants must include evidence of the cost of public transport with any such claim).


When examiners are away from their normal place of work they can claim subsistence to cover the cost of food e.g. lunch when away from the University for more than 4 hours. If away overnight, accommodation, breakfast and dinner can be claimed.


  • Overnight accommodation with friends/relatives (up to 24 hours) - £25
  • Overnight (B&B or hotel up to 24 hours) within London - up to £140
  • Overnight (B&B or hotel up to 24 hours) outside London - up to £100