Quality Assurance in Education: Volume 11 Issue 2


Table of contents

Research degree examining: quality issues of principle and practice

Stuart Powell, Howard Green

Raises questions about the research degree examination and in particular the apparent reluctance on the part of institutions and both regulatory and funding agencies to develop a…


Quality and equality in British PhD assessment

Louise Morley, Diana Leonard, Miriam David

This paper asks whether doctoral assessment has escaped the regulation of quality assurance procedures. Raising questions about the affective and micropolitical dimensions of an…


The process of examining research degrees: some issues of quality

Stuart Powell, Clare McCauley

This paper reports the findings of a small survey of the views of individual academics in relation to four issues regarding research degree examiners: the use of their reports;…

Assessing the PhD: a constructive view of criteria

Pam Denicolo

Research and informed debate reveals that institutional practices in relation to research degree examining vary considerably across the sector. Within a context of accountability…


The PhD examination: support and training for supervisors and examiners

Pat Cryer, Peter Mertens

Two linked schemes have been developed to provide greater support for academics involved in the supervision of postgraduate students. One, the Training and Accreditation Programme…


Figuratively speaking: six accounts of the PhD viva

Sue Wallace

This paper is based on research into the conduct of PhD vivas, whose aim was to investigate how this examination is experienced by successful candidates, and specifically to…


Students’ questions and their implications for the viva

Rowena Murray

This paper draws on viva preparation workshops conducted at the University of Strathclyde and at other universities in the UK. In workshop discussions, students’ questions reveal…


Questions in doctoral vivas: views from the inside

Vernon Trafford

Knowing what occurs at doctoral vivas is restricted to those who attend. Since 1998 the author has observed the transactions of doctoral vivas in the disciplines of applied…


The selection of external examiners for research degrees

Richard W. Joyner

The external examiner (EE) is the most important arbiter of whether a student’s submission earns the research degree for which it is entered. Based largely on personal experience…


The trials of being a PhD external examiner

Lester L. Grabbe

The external examiner is the backbone of the system for PhD awards in the UK. Yet, when external examining is discussed in the abstract, the examiner is often seen as a villain…

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  • Dr Jeffrey W Alstete
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