Thesis Examination

After you submit your thesis, please make sure you are across the examination process below and complete the final steps to finishing your degree.

The examination

Detailed information on how the examination will be conducted is in the ’Examination’ section of the Research Student Handbook (please see the examination chapter). Your thesis will be sent electronically to 2 examiners who will be asked to submit their reports within 8 weeks.

How long will my thesis examination take?

We ask examiners to complete the examination and provide their reports to the Adelaide Graduate Research School within eight weeks from their receipt of the thesis.  To expedite the examination process, the Adelaide Graduate Research School reminds examiners if their reports have not been received by the due date and follows up with additional reminders where necessary. In practice, it takes an average of three months before you will receive notification of the outcome of your examination.

Why may my thesis take longer than 3 months to examine?

There are a couple of key reasons why an examination can take longer than usual.

Firstly, examiners are busy people and sometimes they have commitments or circumstances which necessitate them requesting an extension of time to complete their assessment. On rare occasions, an examiner may even need to withdraw from an examination due to ill health or other personal circumstances.  Where a situation like this arises, the Adelaide Graduate Research School will consult with your supervisor to agree on the most expedient way to move the examination forward (e.g. agree to the extension request or appoint a new examiner).

Secondly, time can be added to the examination process where the examiners make discrepant recommendations on the outcome of a thesis examination, e.g. one examiner recommends that the degree be awarded (with or without amendments), whilst the second examiner recommends that the thesis is revised and resubmitted, or failed. In such cases, the University will normally appoint a third independent examiner. Where this happens, the length of the examination process may be significantly increased.

Please be aware that while the Adelaide Graduate Research School works to ensure that examinations are completed as quickly as possible, some things are outside of our control and so we cannot guarantee that you will receive an outcome by a specified date.  We do appreciate that waiting for an examination result can be a nerve-wracking and frustrating time for students. We look forward to hearing about your successful outcomes too!

Your examination outcome

You will receive an email advising of the outcome of your examination along with copies of the reports from your examiners. The email contains advice on the examiners’ recommendation and what steps you need to take to complete the requirements and be qualified for your degree.

Descriptions of the recommendations that examiners can make and how an outcome is determined can be found in the ’Examination’ section of the Research Student Handbook.

After you receive your outcome email

Your outcome email will detail what you need to do. You will need to submit the following to the Adelaide Graduate Research School:


The Australian Higher Education Graduate Statement (AHEGS) is a formal document describing the University of Adelaide and your degree requirements.  A 100 word description of your research must be submitted on a special template for inclusion in the AHEGS. Once you have completed your 100 words on the template you should email it to your principal supervisor and request their approval by return email.  Once you have your principal supervisor’s approval send that email, along with the approved AHEGS template to the Adelaide Graduate Research School.  This should be done at the time of your thesis submission, or at the latest, before your final thesis is submitted after it has been examined. Your AHEGS statement is required before you can be qualified and be eligible for the conferral of your degree.

Download the AHEGS template

Exit survey

The Adelaide Graduate Research School is interested to learn of your experiences during your candidature with a view to improving the experiences of current and future students. Answers to the questions in the exit survey are anonymised and aggregated so that your answers cannot be attributed to you. Please complete the exit survey, preferably just be before submitting your thesis for examination, or at the latest, before your final thesis is submitted after it has been examined.  A completed exit survey is required before you can be qualified and be eligible for the conferral of your degree.

Complete the exit survey

Your final thesis

You will need to consult with your supervisors regarding the content of the examiners’ reports and make any required changes. The final approved version of your thesis should then be submitted to the Adelaide Graduate Research School along with a Final Thesis Lodgement form.

Download the final thesis lodgement form


When you submit your thesis you will be advised of several important deadlines for conferral of your degree and graduating. It is important that you check MyAdelaide to ensure that you have applied to graduate by the dates indicated on the Graduations website. Information is available in the ‘Graduation’ section of the Research Students Handbook. All queries regarding graduation ceremonies and academic transcripts should be directed to the Graduations Office, not the Adelaide Graduate Research School.