Thesis and Assessment

Your thesis

As a research degree student, you must submit your research thesis for examination. You should aim to submit at the end of your standard period of registration, but it must be submitted before the maximum end date of your registration. You can find out more about writing your research thesis, and the required format in section 6 of the Research Degrees Framework.


What do I have to submit for examination?

You need to email the Research Degrees team at copies of: A PDF file of your thesis (Due to Covid-19 restrictions soft-bound paper copies of your thesis are not being accepted at this time) a completed Candidate’s Declaration Form (RD15)


The viva exam

All MPhil, DBA. Prof Doc and PhD students are examined by having a viva voce (oral) examination. If you are registered for MRes you may be examined on the basis of the thesis alone, although examiners can decide that you should have a viva as well. You can find out more about the assessment of research degrees in section 7 of the Research Degrees Framework.


How are the exam arrangements approved?

Your Director of Studies is responsible for the examination arrangements, which includes the appointment of examiners.  Examination arrangements should be approved at least three months before you plan to submit your thesis. For approval your Director of Studies must submit a: completed application for approval of examination arrangements (RD12)brief CV for each proposed examinercopy of your thesis abstract Directors of Study can use our checklist to help with completing the application.


What happens after the viva?

You will receive formal notification of the outcome of your assessment in writing. This includes full detail on any amendments required by the examiners, and information on how, and when you can resubmit your thesis.


Who approves the award of a research degree?

The final recommendation of award made by your examiners must be considered and formally approved at a meeting of the University’s Research Degrees Committee. The date of that meeting will be recorded as your formal completion date. If your award has been approved by the University Research Degrees Committee you are eligible to graduate at the next ceremony for the conferment of awards, providing you: apply to graduate submit the final approved copies of your thesis before the graduation ceremony have no outstanding fees to pay


How do I submit the final approved version of my thesis?

The final version of your thesis should be submitted after the examiners’ recommendation of award has been approved by the University Research Degrees Committee (RDC) and before you plan to graduate. You must submit: one hard bound copy of the thesis and a completed thesis submission form (RD20) in person or by post to: Research Degrees Team Research, Innovation and Enterprise H18, Merchiston Campus Edinburgh Napier University Edinburgh, EH10 5DT (Due to Covid-19 restrictions hard-bound copies of your thesis are not being accepted at this time) and a digital full-text electronic copy of the thesis by emailing


You can find more information on Completion and Graduation in section 8 of the Research Degrees Framework.