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Sibelius Academy Guide for Doctoral Studies in Music: Public defence of a doctoral dissertation in the Research Study Programme

Public defence of a doctoral dissertation in the Research Study Programme

1. The dress code is agreed upon by the Candidate, the Artistic Committee and the Chair. Typically, the dress code is academic dress, which for men consists of a tailcoat, a black waistcoat and a white bowtie. Formal evening dress includes black socks and shoes (not patent leather), but no pocket handkerchief. Women wear a black dress or a two-piece suit (no floor-length hems or too-deep necklines). Hats or prominent jewellery are not to be worn. Acceptable examination apparel may also include a dark suit, clerical dress, military uniform, or a national costume. Doctoral degree-holders should carry their doctor’s hat in their left hand.

2. Participants in the examination should arrive at the occasion in the following order: the Doctoral Candidate, followed by the Chair, and finally the Opponent(s).

3. Next, the Chair opens the examination by declaring, “As the Chair appointed by the Board at the Sibelius Academy, I hereby declare the public defence of N. N.'s doctoral dissertation open.” The Chair and the Opponent(s) and the public sit down; the Candidate remains standing. The Chair briefly introduces the doctoral project, the Candidate, and the Opponent(s).

4. The Candidate gives (while still standing) his/her lectio praecursoria, which may take no more than 20 minutes. The lecture begins with the words “Honoured Chair, honoured Opponent(s), ladies and gentlemen”.

5. After the lectio praecursoria is finished, the Candidate says, “I hereby call upon you, honoured Opponent(s), as the examiners appointed by the Academy Board at the Sibelius Academy, to evaluate my doctoral dissertation and to present the critical comments you deem it deserves.”

6. The Opponent(s) give(s) a statement on the Candidate’s doctoral dissertation. The statement(s) is/are given standing; the Candidate also stands while listening to the statement(s). After reading the statement(s), the Opponent(s) and the Candidate sit down.

7. The actual examination of the doctoral dissertation begins. First, the Opponent(s) focus(es) on general issues and methods, after which a detailed examination takes place. The Opponent(s) may use a maximum of four hours for the examination. The Chair can declare an intermission as necessitated by the length of the examination.

8. After the examination, the Opponent(s) and the Doctoral Candidate rise, and the Opponent(s) make a final statement: “On the grounds of the dissertation and the discussion heard today, I propose that the doctoral dissertation is/is not accepted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Music”. The Candidate (standing) thanks the Opponent(s).

9. The Doctoral Candidate then turns to the audience and says, “After this, I recommend that those esteemed persons present who might have critical comments on doctoral dissertation ask the Chair for the floor”.

10. The Chair presides over the discussion and selects speaking turns so that the Candidate is allowed to answer each comment without delay; the Chair also monitors the discussion to ensure that the comments stay on topic.

11. The examination, which may take a maximum of six hours, is then closed by the Chair, who stands to do so. The Chair prepares a description of the examination event for the Academy Board at the Sibelius Academy.

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