Procedure for a Dissertation Defence


  • Presentation of a dissertation proposal before a three-member committee. The presentation of the proposal is conducted two up to four semesters after the success in the comprehensive examination. The committee is proposed by the Research Advisor and the Postgraduate Programmes Committee of the Department, is chaired by the Research Advisor and is appointed by the Council of the Department. One of the members of the three-member committee can be from another department of the University in a related discipline or from another university or research centre.
  • Submission of an original dissertation constituting an important contribution to the particular discipline.
  • Defence of the dissertation before a five-member Examining Committee. The committee is proposed by the Postgraduate Programmes Committee of the Department and the Research Advisor and is appointed by the Council of the Department. The committee is composed of : three members from the departmental academic staff, one of whom is, in all cases, the student's research supervisor; one member from another university or research centre and; one member from another department of the University in a related discipline or from another university or research centre.
  • The Chair of the Examining Committee is a member of the academic staff of the department, but not the Research Supervisor.
  • The procedure for defence of the dissertation consists of three stages: (a) presentation of the dissertation in an open lecture, (b) discussion of the dissertation with the members of the Examining Committee and (c) meeting of the Committee and formation of the Committee's final proposal.After completion of the dissertation defence , the Committee submits a detailed proposal to the Head of the department in writing with any recommendations to the candidate. The Head sends the Committee's proposal to the Senate for approval.
  • If the Committee suggests any changes or improvements, the Senate will grant final approval for the award of the degree after the Research Advisor confirms in writing that the suggestions have been implemented.
  • If the Examining Committee cannot recommend awarding a degree, the Ph.D. candidate may be allowed to resubmit the dissertation, after due modifications have been made in accordance with the committee's requirements, and repeat the entire process of defence once more.
  • Students at the doctoral level may be awarded a Master degree if for special reasons they need to interrupt their studies, provided that they fulfil the department's requirements.