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Scotland Higher Education System

Structure of the Higher Educational System in Scotland, the UK
Admissions to Higher Education in Scotland, the UK
Types of Higher Education Institutions in Scotland, the UK
Cycles of Higher Education in Scotland, the UK

Types of Higher Education Institutions

There are 19 higher education institutions (HEIs), comprising 16 universities (including the Open University) and 3 other institutions

Courses at higher education (HE) level (mainly Higher National Certificate (HNC), Higher National Diploma (HND) or both, but also including a limited amount of degree provision) are also offered by all the colleges that provide further education (FE) courses and there are close links between the FE and HE sectors.

Former higher education institutions which were specialist colleges providing pre-service and in-service courses for the education of teachers and, in some cases, a range of courses in social work, community education and leisure have now merged with the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Strathclyde and West of Scotland.

One HEI, Glasgow School of Art, specialises in fine art, art and design, and architecture. Scottish's Rural College (SRUC) has six campuses in Aberdeen, Ayr, Broxburn, Cupar, Dumfries and Edinburgh, where it provides courses in agricultural sciences and related disciplines. It offers full-time, part-time and short courses at HNC, HND, degree and post-graduate levels. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) has the power to award its own degrees (though not research degrees). The other higher education institutions have validation arrangements with a university or degree-awarding body, by which the university approves the courses and assessment arrangements and awards its degree to the successful candidates.

There is one private higher education institution - Al-Maktoum College in Dundee, which offers postgraduate programmes (taught Masters and PhD) in the study of Islam and Muslims, validated by the University of Aberdeen. Private providers offer training and educational courses in various adult education fields.

The Principals of the Scottish universities and higher education institutions meet to discuss matters of common interest and common policies in the body known as Universities Scotland.

Geographical Accessibility of Higher Education

Most of Scotland’s higher education institutions are in or very near to the major cities – Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The Universities of St Andrews and Stirling are located in or just outside smaller towns with historic significance. The University of the Highlands and Islands offers higher education at all levels across an area stretching from the Shetland Isles to Perthshire, via academic partnerships with local colleges and research institutions. In the Scottish Borders, Heriot-Watt University offers higher education from its campus in Galashiels, which enjoys a leading position in textile design and textile technology. The University of the West of Scotland has campuses in Paisley, Ayr and Hamilton. In Dumfries and Galloway, the Universities of Glasgow and West of Scotland, the Open University, and Dumfries and Galloway College have come together to form the pioneering multi-institution Crichton Campus.

Organisation of the Academic Year

Higher Education Institutions are autonomous and can decide for themselves the start and finish of the academic year. Some follow the traditional academic calendar and generally start in September or October and finish in May/June. Holidays during the year are typically at Christmas and Easter (for approximately a month each) and examinations would be at the end of the final term. Institutions also decide all of the time devoted to teaching activities, holidays and examination periods.

Some HEIs have moved to a semester system which splits the year into separate teaching blocks with shorter holidays and examination periods twice yearly. Under this system students can start the year at different times, e.g., in September or in January.

Other post-school institutions offering further and higher education have an academic year closer in length and division to the school year

First Cycle Programmes


Branches of Study

The normal pattern is for students studying for first degrees in the majority of subject areas to take a four-year (full time study) Honours degree involving specialisation. (In some faculties, for example in medicine and law, courses are longer.) The Honours degree is learners’ preferred type of course and is normally required for entrance to later post-graduate study. However, it is also possible to attain an Ordinary (i.e. General) degree in three years.

The Ordinary degree requires at least 360 SCQF Credits (180 ECTS), of which 60 (30 ECTS) must be at SCQF level 9. The Honours degree requires at least 480 SCQF credits (240 ECTS): a minimum of 120 (60 ECTS) must be at SCQF levels 9 and 10, including at least 90 (45 ECTS) at level 10.

The number of subjects studied and the time spent in lectures, tutorials and practical work, in laboratories or in the field, varies from year to year within courses, from course to course within an institution and from institution to institution. Courses are typically organized within broad faculty or “school” groupings within each institution, such as Arts, Sciences, Law, Medicine, Social Sciences, etc. A very wide range of subjects is offered across Scottish higher education institutions, including: Accountancy; Agriculture and Forestry; American Studies; Archaeology; Architecture; Art, Fine Art and Design; Biological Sciences; Building; Business/Management Studies; Chemical Sciences; Classics and Classical Civilisation; Computing/Information Studies; Consumer Studies; Dentistry; Divinity, Religious Studies and Theology; Drama Studies and Media Studies; Economics; Education and Teacher Education; Engineering; English; Environmental Studies/Health Studies; European Studies; Geography and Geology; Historical Studies; Hotel/Hospitality Management; Languages; Law and Legal Studies; Librarianship; Linguistics; Marine Sciences; Mathematics; Medicine; Medicine-related subjects; Middle Eastern Studies; Music; Nursing and Midwifery; Pharmacy; Philosophy; Physical Sciences; Politics and International Relations; Printing and Publishing; Psychology; Public Policy and Administration; Science Studies; Scottish Studies; Slavonic and East European Studies; Sociology, Social Anthropology, Social Policy and Social Work; Sports Studies, Recreation and Leisure; Statistics; Surveying and Planning; Textiles; and Veterinary Medicine.

Some of these subjects can be studied only in a small number of institutions, at least at undergraduate level. Linguistics, for example, is available only at the University of Edinburgh and Slavonic Studies only at the University of Glasgow; Pharmacy and Librarianship are offered only by the Robert Gordon University and Strathclyde University and Veterinary Medicine only by the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. On the other hand, 16 of the higher education institutions have Business and Management Studies. Higher education institutions also vary in the number of subjects they offer. The Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow teach 37 of the areas listed above and the Universities of Dundee and Strathclyde 34. At the other end of the scale, some institutions, such as Edinburgh College of Art, Glasgow School of Art and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, offer a much smaller number of specialised subjects. Students can undertake post-graduate study and research leading to higher degrees in all the institutions.

Admission Requirements

The usual entry requirement for higher education courses is a group of awards at grades A-C in the National Qualifications Higher or Advanced Higher level examinations set by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), or qualifications deemed by a higher education institution to be equivalent to these. For many HE courses the candidate needs to hold awards at specified levels. Awards in the English General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) and General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Level (or the equivalent) are also accepted. For some HE courses, particularly Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National Diploma (HND), a group of appropriate National Certificate (NC) awards (often achieved in college courses) may be acceptable.

Progression from Higher National Qualifications

Many students move to a university or higher education institution to take a degree after successfully completing an HN qualification at a college. Articulation arrangements exist between some courses at college and university to allow learners to enter university with advanced standing after successful completion of HN qualifications.

Mature Students

The higher education institutions welcome applications from mature students (defined as applicants over the age of 21) as well as from school leavers. A range of specially designed courses prepare adults both for higher education in general and for particular courses. Such "access" courses include a range of SQA units or courses, successful completion of which may lead to an SQA award. Many "access" courses carry a guarantee of a place in higher education on successful completion.

(Note: the word "access" as used in this context of facilitating entry to higher education does not refer to the level of National Qualifications called Access.)

Students from outside Scotland

Applications from outside Scotland to pursue a higher education course are considered individually to ascertain the acceptability of entry qualifications. There are many well-established pathways and partnerships involving Scottish and international institutions, including joint degrees, or periods of study abroad (eg, via Erasmus funding).

Processing of Applications

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) processes most applications for entry to higher education institutions in the whole of the UK. It distributes them to the individual institutions and enables candidates to apply to several institutions on one form. For some courses, for example in art and design and in social work, there are other arrangements, which are detailed in the Entrance Guide to Higher Education in Scotland. The Conservatoires Admissions Service UK (CUKAS) processes applications to enter the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD).


Higher Education Institutions are entirely responsible for developing and maintaining/updating their own curricula for almost all courses. This responsibility is delegated within them to faculties/schools/departments, according to the particular structure of each institution.

In the case of a few courses leading to a professional qualification linked to recognition by a Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body (PSRB), eg, degrees in medicine, engineering, nursing, social work and education, curricular decisions are made in conjunction with the relevant regulatory body.

Teaching Methods

Higher Education Institutions are free to decide how their programmes will be taught. Lectures, seminars, tutorial groups, project work and, in appropriate subjects, laboratory work and field work are the main teaching methods. In some institutions and in some subjects there is significant use of computers in learning. There has also been extensive development of other forms of provision such as distance learning (including e-learning), open learning and flexible learning.

The Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 2005 introduced a new duty for the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) to enhance, as well as assess, the quality of education which it is funding. The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) (Scotland) works alongside SFC in fulfilling this role.

Progression of Students

Traditionally, promotion from year to year depends on passing examinations, and, in some cases, for example, for entry to Honours courses, on attaining sufficiently high grades. Often students must obtain a number of examination passes before they can progress to the next year. The exact number depends on the course and the institution. Usually two opportunities are given to sit the examinations, except in the case of final Honours examinations, which may be taken only once.


Higher education institutions have relationships with industry, commerce and the professions on several different levels. The directors of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) meet regularly with the Scottish Government to co-ordinate planning and share information over a range of learning and training issues. SFC is also actively engaged with the Skills Committee, a joint committee of SFC and of Skills Development Scotland, which has a direct influence on national policy and funding – details on the SFC website. [1]

HEIs provide courses, for example in management, tailored to the needs of particular types of business. They have contacts with firms to help students to obtain placements when that is a requirement of their course. They also facilitate students’ access to information about careers. University careers services have close contacts with the major employers of graduates. HEI staff carry out work for firms as consultants or on secondments. For their part, some firms commission research from higher education institutions and send their staff to them for training. These kinds of interaction between industry and the HEIs also create career opportunities for students.

Student Assessment

Students’ work is normally evaluated by a combination of written examinations, traditionally at the end of each academic year, and coursework. Some institutions have modularised courses, in which students gradually build credit through coursework assessment of each module to achieve the course qualification, without an additional examination. In courses where it is appropriate there are also practical examinations, for example in the sciences or for oral proficiency in languages. Normally the department in which the student is studying makes the judgements about standards of attainment, but an external examiner (or an external examining team) from another institution or institutions samples some of the work (course work as well as examination papers) and validates the assessment.


Universities have the right to award degrees to those who successfully complete their courses. The holder of a degree is described as a "graduate". Universities are responsible for the courses which lead to these degrees and for their own standards. The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, which is not a university, has been granted the right to award degrees (though not research degrees). In the other higher education institutions, although the institution provides the teaching, the degrees are awarded by a university. Degrees awarded in Scotland are recognised throughout the United Kingdom.

Some HEIs distinguish between “Ordinary” degrees (3 years of study) and Honours degrees (4 years of study, with specialisation in years 3 and 4). Honours degree awards may be classified as First Class, Upper or Lower Second Class or Third Class.

Although the first degree in most faculties in Scottish universities is a Bachelor’s degree, the first degree in Arts in the four "ancient" universities and Dundee University is MA or Master of Arts. Heriot-Watt University also offers some "first degree" MAs, but at Honours level only. A Master’s degree in all other faculties and in the other universities is a second cycle, post-graduate qualification.

Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) shows the relationships among all mainstream Scottish qualifications in schools, further education, employment and higher education. The Framework is owned by the SCQF Partnership, which includes education providers, quality agencies and the Scottish Government, and is a major policy tool for promoting flexible lifelong learning.It is described under National Qualifications Framework. More detail on SCQF and the work of the Partnership is available on the SCQF site.

Short-Cycle Higher Education

Branches of Study

Higher National (HN) Courses

Advanced level courses offered by colleges, other training centres and some universities lead to Higher National Certificates and Higher National Diplomas (HNC and HND). These are long-established vocational qualifications covering a diverse and growing range of employment sectors. There are HNC and HND courses in a wide range of subjects. More than 1,000 are on offer in popular areas like Business Administration, Information and Office Management, Travel and Tourism, and Engineering, as well as in Broadcasting, Agriculture, Computing and Craft subjects. The extensive catalogue of HN courses can be accessed on the SQA website.

All HNs have been benchmarked against the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) levels and allocated SCQF credit points. HNCs are at SCQF level 7, have 96-120 credit points (48-60 ECTS) and are usually taken in a 1-year course. HNDs are at SCQF level 8 and have 240 credit points (120 ECTS), including the HNC credits taken en route to the Diploma, normally in a 2-year course if studied full-time.

• All Higher National Units are written to a Unit specification, which explains:

• the knowledge and skills to be taught

• what the student has to achieve

• the standard to which the student has to perform

• the evidence required for assessment

Higher Education Certificates/Diplomas

Universities and other HE Institutions offer a wide range of programmes across many subject areas leading to a Certificate or Diploma qualification.

Graduate Certificates/Diplomas are normally taken over a year (full time) or a longer period (part time) and require at least 60 credits (30 ECTS) at SCQF level 9 for a certificate or 120 credits (60 ECTS) for a diploma. These programmes, though taken by graduates do not lead to a Masters level of outcome. Some provide a formal professional qualification recognised by a regulatory body – this is the case, for example, with the Post-graduate Diploma in Education (Primary or Secondary), which is the necessary qualification for holders of a degree who wish to register as teachers with the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

Certificates and Diplomas of Higher Education also exist. The diploma requires 240 credits (120 ECTS) at SCQF level 8, typically achieved over the first 2 years of higher education. The certificate requires 120 credits (60 ECTS) at SCQF level 7, typically achieved after the first year of higher education.

Admission Requirements

HN Courses

The recommended qualification for entry to an HNC or HND course is one of the following:

• A qualification at GSVQ level III (see the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework in National Qualifications Framework)

• A programme of national Units appropriate to the course you want to study

• Two passes at Scottish certificate of Education Higher level or above

• An equivalent qualification.

HE Certificates/Diplomas

Admission requirements vary with the nature of the Certificate or Diploma programme. For Certificates and Diplomas of Higher Education, which typically form part of a longer degree programme, the admission requirements for first cycle degrees usually apply. For professional Graduate Certificates/Diplomas the relevant regulatory body often specifies essential prior qualifications, such as a first cycle degree.


HN Courses

Higher National qualifications have been developed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) in partnership with colleges, universities and industry. SQA provides guidance on the structure of the courses/qualifications and formally approves curriculum content developed by the colleges or other bodies providing the courses.

HE Certificates/Diplomas

Universities and other HE Institutions offering HE Certificates and Diplomas are autonomously responsible for the curriculum in most of these programmes. Where a professional qualification is involved, as with the Post-graduate Diploma in Education, the curriculum is specified by or agreed with the regulatory body.

Teaching Methods

Higher Education Institutions are free to decide their own methods of teaching for short cycle programmes, as for the rest of their work. They typically deploy in short cycle programmes teaching methods similar to those characterising other aspects of higher education, particularly first and/or second cycle programmes, requiring independent thought and critical thinking of students according to the level of demand of the programme.

Progression of Students

HN Courses

In the modular system in use, promotion and student progress usually depend on meeting the assessment criteria of a set of specified modules constituting a course. Some modules or courses may be pre-requisite for entry to others.

Some HNCs allow direct entry into the second year of a first degree programme, and some HNDs allow direct entry to third year.

Higher National qualifications can also give entry to a number of professional bodies.

HE Certificates/Diplomas

Students progress through the programme by successfully completing the assignments and assessments that it comprises.


The same points apply as under First Cycle Programmes, Employability.

Student Assessment

HN Courses

The Units making up the programme are assessed internally on an "achieved/not achieved" basis, using assignments and continuous assessment tasks. In addition HN programmes include a mandatory Graded Unit covering key knowledge and skills from across the programme. The Graded Unit is the principal means by which a student can demonstrate a high level of success. It is assessed by staff responsible for the programme (more than one person must assess it). Both college and Scottish Qualifications Authority moderation systems operate to guarantee quality assurance and equality of standards. The Graded Unit is the focus of the SQA moderation/verification procedures.

HE Certificates/Diplomas

Short cycle programmes typically have a series of assessments over the period of the programme. Some may have a concluding examination. Assessment tasks may be used for formative or summative purposes or both. They are not necessarily all written tasks – they might include, for example, presentations to the class. Summative assessment tasks are evaluated by the university faculty staff responsible for the programme. An external examiner or examiners from another institution moderate(s) the assessment by evaluating a sample of the work.

In the case of some professional diplomas, the assessment criteria may derive from requirements laid down by the regulatory body and parts of the assessment process are delegated to staff in institutions (such as schools) where students work on placement for part of the course. In these cases, the HE institution provides guidance and an assessment structure to follow.


HN Courses

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) formally certificates achievement of the Higher National Certificate (HNC), the Higher National Diploma (HND) and the individual Higher National Units making up these courses.

HE Certificates/Diplomas

As in other areas of higher education work, universities and other institutions are autonomously responsible for certificating their Certificate and Diploma programmes.

Organisational Variation

A number of bodies providing distance learning which serve the whole United Kingdom have many students in Scotland. Among these are the Open College and the longer established National Extension College.

In higher education, the Open University has over 15,000 students in Scotland, many studying for a first degree. It offers a very wide range of qualifications, particularly in the sciences and humanities, and shorter courses for professional updating and personal interests. It does not demand formal entrance qualifications and students can build up credits in courses leading to a degree over a number of years while still in employment, by way of private study, marked assignments and formal examinations. Although study is home-based, there is a network of 37 study-support centres throughout Scotland, which offer contact points for students to meet their tutors, counsellors and fellow students. Students can also receive help and support by telephone in their own homes. To aid its students in their studies the Open University has published a large amount of valuable teaching material, which is used far beyond the courses for which it was designed. The Open University also offers course validation to other institutions without their own degree-awarding powers.

The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) offers higher education across the Highlands and Islands and Perthshire via academic partnerships with local colleges and other non-SFC-funded institutions. It has developed its use of information and communications technology to link these institutions and other outreach centres. This enables students of the Institute studying in different centres to keep in touch and has made it possible for the Institute to offer networked programmes at more than one centre.

Second Cycle Programmes

Branches of Study

Master programmes are available across higher education institutions in a range of subjects/study areas comparable to that available at first degree level. However, Masters programmes are typically entitled in a more generic style than specific subject titles – for example, Master of Philosophy (M Phil) and Master of Science (M Sc) qualifications can be gained after investigation of a range of specific subject areas in arts/social sciences or in sciences. Some programmes have more specific names, such as Master of Literature (M Litt) or Master of Education (M Ed). There is no common national approach to the naming of Masters qualifications: universities themselves make the decisions about many awards. However, in the case of qualifications linked to professional bodies, eg, MEng (engineers), MPharm (pharmacy), the Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body (PSRB) has a major influence over the content of awards.

Masters programmes may be taught or completed through research. Taught programmes include preparation for undertaking a research assignment leading to a dissertation. Research programmes lead to a thesis, which should make a distinct contribution to knowledge.

The length of a Masters programme is normally 1 year full time or 2 or more years part time. Achievement of the degree requires at least 180 SCQF credits (60 ECTS) of which a minimum of 150 (75 ECTS) must be at SCQF level 11. In the case of “integrated Masters programmes”, involving typically 5 years of undergraduate study and post-graduate level work, the requirement is a total of 600 SCQF units (300 ECTS) of which a minimum of 120 (60 ECTS) is at SCQF level 11.

Admission Requirements

For admission to a Masters programme students normally require to have achieved a good standard in a first cycle degree qualification in a cognate subject area. It is possible to be admitted to some Masters programmes on the basis of relevant professional experience, though this occurs only rarely.


As with first cycle programmes, Higher Education Institutions are autonomously responsible for the development and updating of curricula for Masters programmes.

Teaching Methods

The same points apply as under First Cycle Programmes, Teaching Methods. In addition, Masters programmes expect students to undertake deep reflection, critical thinking and research and tasks are designed to encourage these. For the research element of a Masters programme students receive guidance from a specialist tutor/supervisor.

Some Masters programmes are available on-line or through other forms of distance learning.

Progression of Students

Students progress through the programme by successfully completing the assignments and assessments it comprises. Some taught Masters programmes have possible exit points at which the student can achieve Certificate or Diploma qualifications. Success at these stages is expected before going on to the research dissertation, which is the final Masters phase.


The same points apply as under First Cycle Programmes, Employability.

Student Assessment

Taught programmes have a series of assessments over the period of the programme. Assessment tasks may be used for formative or summative purposes or both. They are not necessarily all written tasks – they might include, for example, presentations to the class. Assessment for taught programmes also includes evaluation of the research dissertation. In the case of research Masters programmes, only the dissertation is assessed. In both cases, summative assessment tasks and dissertations are evaluated by the university faculty staff responsible for the programme. An external examiner or examiners from another institution moderate(s) the assessment by evaluating a sample of the work.

Certification As for first cycle qualifications, universities have the right to award Masters degrees to those who successfully complete the relevant programmes. Each university is responsible for the programmes and for their own standards.

Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Some first cycle degree programmes are longer than the typical 3- or 4-year ones, to take account of need for practical professional training as, for example, in law, medicine or dentistry. There are also “integrated Masters programmes” (for example in engineering) combining undergraduate and post-graduate study typically over 5 years. Admissions criteria for such courses are essentially the same as for other programmes.

Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Organisation of Doctoral Studies

It is possible to pursue doctoral studies in a very wide range of areas, including those set out under First Cycle Programmes, Bachelor, Branches of Study.

However, as with Masters degrees, the title of a doctorate qualifications does not usually reflect precisely the subject area covered. More generic titles are typically used. For example the qualification Doctor of Philosophy (Ph D) may be awarded for studies in a wide range of humanities, arts or social sciences and Doctor of Science (D Sc) for a range of scientific studies. Other titles make a clearer reference to the relevant subject area, such as Doctor of Literature (D Litt), Doctor of Law (Ll D) or Doctor of Education (Ed D). There is no common national approach to the naming of doctorate qualifications: universities themselves make the decisions.

Some doctorate programmes are taught, with a research element; others consist almost wholly of research, though there is a taught element in these programmes, too, in accordance with advice from the UK Research Councils to ensure that doctorate candidates have a good grounding in research theory and methods.

Professional doctorates are also available: these typically involve work-based as well as university-based study and research.

The length of doctorate programmes varies across universities and types of programme. A typical research doctorate would normally involve 3 years of work (full time) and a taught one 3 or 4 years (full time). It is possible to undertake doctorate studies on a part time basis. Some universities specify a minimum of 5 years for such part time programmes. Some 4-year programmes may, in effect, include a 1-year Masters programme as their first year. In the case of 3-year doctorates, most students have gained a Masters degree before achieving the doctorate and so have been involved in post-graduate study for a longer period.

Taught doctoral degrees require at least 540 SCQF credits (270 ECTS), of which a minimum of 420 (210 ECTS) is at SCQF level 12 - see National Qualifications Framework. Research doctorates do not have an SCQF credit rating.

Universities may award honorary doctorates for distinguished academic or public service over an extended period of time.

Admission Requirements

Doctoral students have normally achieved a Masters qualification in a cognate subject prior to embarking on the programme. In some cases the prior requirement may be simply a first degree in a cognate subject.

Status of Doctoral Students/Candidates

The formal status of those following doctoral programmes is that of students. In some cases employed people may undertake a doctoral programme with the approval of their employer or on a part-time basis.

Supervision Arrangements

Normally an academic supervisor (or two supervisors) with expertise in the relevant area of study/research provide(s) the student, on behalf of the institution, with strategic and academic advice and feedback on the stages of the doctoral work, which have been agreed between the student and the supervisor(s). International shared tutoring/supervising occurs but is infrequent.

Universities are responsible for providing CPD for tutors/supervisors of their own doctorate programmes.


The same points apply as under First Cycle Programmes, Employability.


A doctoral student typically receives formative assessment guidance continuously from the supervisor(s) during the programme.

Summative assessment normally consists of evaluation of the doctoral thesis by a team of examiners including the supervisor(s) and an external examiner from another institution. This evaluation considers the significance of the research undertaken, the extent and depth of the candidate’s scholarly awareness and use of related research findings, the effectiveness of the research approach used, the soundness of findings based on the research evidence obtained in the doctoral programme and the professional quality of the writing of the thesis. The candidate is then required to take a viva-voce examination. He/she is expected to explain and/or defend the aspects of the thesis about which the examiners raise questions.

After the viva-voce examination, the examiners may agree to award the doctorate or may identify necessary amendments before it can be accepted.

Certification The Higher Education Institutions entitled to award research degrees are autonomously responsible for all aspects of the certification of doctorates. Certificated candidates are entitled to be called “Doctor” of the generic or subject area indicated in the title of the doctorate.

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