There is no evidence former immigration service head Mary-Anne Thompson had completed an oral exam which was necessary to be awarded a PhD, the Wellington District Court has been told.
Ms Thompson is before a depositions hearing on three charges of fraud relating to a curriculum vitae she used when she applied for high level public service jobs, including her role as head of the Immigration Service.
London School of Economics administrative executive Susan Johnson told the court on Wednesday that under the university's regulations a student may begin studying for a masters degree and if their work is of a suitable standard they will be awarded a doctorate.
The thesis presented by Ms Thompson was assessed as not being up to doctoral standard, she told the court.
Ms Johnson said while a student may not have been officially transferred to the PhD programme some would describe themselves as studying for that degree.
She said a student would have to complete an oral examination to be awarded the PhD and there was no evidence that Ms Thompson had ever done so.