Each faculty has its own regulations concerning stages of the thesis, and they can vary widely. It is thus very important to find out about your faculty’s requirements.
In SSP, FBM and IDHEAP, the first important stage is the submission of the thesis proposal. In other faculties, an important stage is the mid-thesis exam – known differently from one faculty or institution to another (mémoire de these in ESC, pré-colloque at IDHEAP, première étape at the HEC). Law is the only discipline which does not have any required step before the thesis defence.
Concerning the final stage of the thesis, each faculty has its own procedures and deadlines for:
- Appointment of members of the jury (proposal and approval);
- Submission of the different manuscripts (number, where, by which deadline);
- Jury examination (colloque);
- Public defence;
- Award of the title of Doctor.
With the exception of Law, the final thesis exam at UNIL includes two steps: the private and the public defence.
The private defence is a discussion conducted behind closed doors lasting several hours between the doctoral researcher, members of the jury and thesis supervisors. It allows in-depth discussion of all aspects of the thesis. Generally the candidate is asked to make certain changes at the end of the examination.
The public defence is organised some time after the private defence, once the candidate has made the corrections requested. Thus the public defence is unlikely to give rise to major differences between the candidate and the thesis jury. The thesis defence is a public event, intended to allow the candidate to present their work.
In order to obtain the title of Doctor, a final essential step is to submit the thesis to the UNIL library (BCU).