The public defence is not necessarily the last thing that takes place in the third-cycle studies (there may be course credits still to be obtained); however, it is definitely the most festive. The ceremonial ending is surrounded by traditions, formal rules and a great deal of administration. One of the traditions is the so-called nailing of the thesis that takes place three weeks before the public defence. In a celebratory event, the author forcibly nails their thesis to the wall as a sign that it is publically available for review.
The formal aspects of the public defence are described in the various regulatory documents that are referred and linked to in the passage ‘Management and regulation of third-cycle education’ above. It may be even more important for doctoral students to keep track of the practical and administrative aspects as well as when and how they are to be planned. It varies somewhat at the two faculties; however, both have produced instructions for what doctoral students need to remember.