This page provides information and guidance on the MPhil/PhD examination process. At least three months in advance of when you plan to submit your thesis you should start completing the Examination entry form with your supervisor - there are sections of the form that will require both you and your supervisor to complete.
Your supervisor will need to make nominations for your examiners and complete the relevant section of the examination entry form. It is likely that they will discuss possible nominations with you to ensure nominated examiners are the most appropriate choice: Guidelines on Nominating Examiners
Completed entry forms should be returned to the Research Degrees Unit (TW2 6.01) at least two months in advance of submitting your thesis: this is to allow sufficient time for your examiners to be formally appointed (see below). If you are unable to meet this deadline, please seek advice from a member of the RDU team.
Once we have received your completed examination entry form, the examiner nominations are sent to the relevant subject panel for approval.
The Research Degrees Unit will inform you and your supervisor of the panel's decision by emailing your LSE address. We will then formally invite the examiners to act for your viva examination.
Until the examiners have confirmed with the RDU that they can act, they are not appointed as your examiners. It is therefore very important that arrangements for a viva date are not agreed until confirmation has been provided by the RDU that your examiners have been formally appointed.
In cases where an examiner nomination is not approved or an examiner is no longer able to act, supervisors will need to nominate a new examiner using the following form: replacement examiner nomination form
PLEASE NOTE: We cannot send the thesis to the examiners until they have been approved by the relevant subject panel and have confirmed to the Research Degrees Unit that they are willing to act.
If a viva date is set before this has happened, it is unlikely we will be able to send the thesis to them in time for the date arranged. If you are aiming to have your viva by a certain date, please make sure you submit your entry form to us in plenty of time i.e. at least one month before submitting your thesis.
Submitting your thesis
You will need to submit two soft-bound copies of your thesis to the Research Degrees Unit formatted in line with the School's requirements set out below. The front pages of your thesis should contain certain information: you will find a template below to use for this purpose.
IT Training will be running a PhD Thesis Surgery throughout the Summer Term.
You can choose to either print and bind your thesis or use a company to do this for you. Details of companies you may wish to use for this purpose can be found on the thesis binding page, including details for Walter Newbury.
Once we have received your thesis, and assuming your examiners have been formally appointed, we will then send the thesis to them for examination. We will confirm with you and your supervisor once we have done so. If your examiners require an electronic copy of your thesis, we can arrange to send this to them and you should discuss this with a member of the RDU team when you submit your thesis. Examiners are not permitted to accept a thesis, in any format, from any source other than from the Research Degrees Unit.
Editorial help with your thesis
You may wish to seek help from a third party in editing your thesis before you submit it for examination. The School has produced a Statement (see Statement on editorial help with a PhD thesis) on the level of editorial help that is and is not permitted. You will need to read the Statement, provide a copy of it to any third party you might use when editing your thesis and declare what help you have received from a third party in the front pages of your thesis (see template for front pages of your thesis).
Viva (oral) examination
The viva examination (oral) will take place at the LSE unless exceptionally, permission has been given for it to take place elsewhere. Your supervisor is responsible for making the arrangements for your viva examination, although they may delegate some responsibility for this to other staff in your department. You should not be involved in making any arrangements for your viva examination. You will find further information about the viva and other examination arrangements in the document below:
Confirmation of your examination outcome
After the examination, the Research Degrees Unit will email you to confirm the examiners' decision and give full details of what you will then be required to do. We will normally email you confirmation within two weeks of receipt of the examiners decision. If you require notification urgently please email email@example.com phone 020 7955 7761. You can find the possible outcomes from the examination at paragraphs 44 (for PhD awards) and 45 (for MPhil awards) of the Regulations for Research Degrees. We cannot confirm an examiners decision with you until we have received the relevant information from both of your examiners: we ask them to provide this to us within two weeks of the viva. You are welcome to contact the RDU to discuss the outcome of your viva examination at any stage and we will share with you the information we have at that time.
When you have successfully completed your MPhil or PhD, we will ask you to provide a final electronic copy of your thesis for deposit in LSE Theses Online. Further information on how to do this will be provided to you when we ask for this final copy.
Please note we cannot make an award to you until we have received a final copy of your thesis.
Examination re-entry procedures
If your examiners require you to re-enter for the examination (usually when they have decided a further period of 18 months is required for you to revise your thesis and resubmit it) it is important that you follow the instructions below.
When the RDU confirmed the outcome of your first examination with you, we will have provided you with a date by which you will need to resubmit your revised thesis. Once your revised thesis is ready, you will need to re-enter for the examination by completing the examination re-entry form below:
You should follow the same formatting guidelines as provided above.
If you have any questions about this process, please call our office on 020 7955 7761 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order to attend the July ceremony you will need to have been awarded your degree by 30 April and to attend the December ceremony you will need to have been awarded your degree by 30 September.
To be awarded your MPhil or PhD degree you must have completed the following:
the viva examination;
all revisions to your thesis required by your examiners following your viva examination;
received confirmation that your examiners are now satisfied that the required revisions have been made; and
submitted the final copy of your thesis to LSEthesesonline in accordance with the School’s requirements.
These steps will need to have been completed by the deadlines above in order for you to be able to attend the relevant graduation ceremony. If you have further questions about how an award is made please contact us (email@example.com).
Further information can be found on the Graduation Ceremonies| website
Replacement MPhil/PhD Degree Certificates
Once you have successfully completed your MPhil or PhD, you will be provided with a degree certificate. The School only issues one certificate to each student but in exceptional circumstances, you can make an application for a replacement. Applications can be made in the event of loss, damage or non-receipt of the original certificate. Please note that you must wait a minimum of 8 weeks from the date of issue of your original degree certificate before making an application for a replacement. This is to allow for a full search to be undertaken of the recorded delivery tracking system used for posting degree certificates.
To make an application for a replacement MPhil or PhD LSE degree certificate, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
If your degree certificate was issued by the University of London and not the LSE (your certificate will have the University of London on it) you will need to request a replacement from them. To make an application for a replacement, please contact: email@example.com.
If you would like confirmation of any taught modules that you undertook as part of your MPhil/PhD studies, please email the Research Degree Unit at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please ensure that you include your full name, date of birth and student number (if known) as well as details of the courses undertaken.