The Chairperson:

  • takes overall responsibility for ensuring compliance with the University’s procedures surrounding candidacy and examination;
  • is a member of academic staff and must be registered as a Level 1 Supervisor;
  • may be the Head of Enrolling Area or the Enrolling Area’s Postgraduate Coordinator.

The roles and responsibilities of the Chairperson include:


The Chairperson is responsible for overseeing and approving forms for the following processes:

  • Application for candidacy
  • Variation of candidacy details
  • Nomination of Examiners
  • Thesis Examination Report of Chairperson

Mentoring and leadership

Where members of the Thesis Committee are inexperienced in their supervisory role, the Chairperson may have a mentoring role in providing advice and guidance.  The Chairperson may also assist in mentoring the student.

Problem resolution

If there are matters of disagreement between the student and supervisor, the Chairperson will be called upon in the first instance to assist with mediating the problem.

Thesis examination

The Chairperson is responsible for ensuring that the examination process is carried out according to Rule 10: Degree of Doctor by Research and Rule 11: Degree of Master by Research.

Upon receipt of Examiners’ Reports, the Chairperson will inform the student in writing, of any amendments or revisions that need to be made and ensure that they are completed.

When the examination process is finalised, the Chairperson is responsible for making a recommendation on the classification of the thesis to the University Graduate Studies Committee.

A summary of action for each assessment category is as follows.

  • Thesis passed unconditionally.  If the examiners have pointed out any minor typographical errors, the Chairperson must advise the student to correct them.
  • Thesis passed subject to minor amendment. Where the examiners have recommended that minor amendment be made, the Chairperson must advise the student of the specific requirements.
  • Thesis requiring revision and re-examination.  Where the examiners recommend that the thesis be revised and resubmitted, the Chairperson should advise the student of the specific requirements and the time frame in which these must be completed.  Once revision, under the guidance of the Supervisor, is complete the student must provide the Thesis Examinations Office with the revised thesis, a statement outlining the revisions which have been made, and the Copyright and Release of Thesis form signed by both the Supervisor and Chair.  The Thesis Examinations Office will then forward the revised thesis to the original examiner(s), who will assess the re-submitted thesis as either Pass or Fail.

Appointment of Adjudicator

Where the recommendations of the two examiners do not allow determination of a result based on clear weight of opinion, the Chairperson may recommend to the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee that an Adjudicator be appointed.  The Adjudicator shall adjudicate between the Examiners’ reports on the basis of the thesis presented (in original form or as resubmitted, whichever is appropriate).  This request is made on the Application for Appointment of an Adjudicator form.