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Doctorate Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) Western Sydney University is committed to undertaking and developing robust research activities, which includes research higher degree training and studies. The University fosters excellence in the development of future research leaders in cutting edge technologies and methods.

(2) This document establishes University policy for the academic governance of the doctoral degrees of Doctor of Philosophy, including PhDs with named discipline areas. Professional Doctorates (including Doctor of Education, Doctor of Cultural Research, Doctor of Creative Arts and Doctor of Business Administration) and named doctorates (including Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy (Political and Social Thought)). It includes the procedures regarding the administration and management of candidates including admission, matters related to enrolment and progression, examination and graduation.

(3) This policy does not cover doctoral degrees by publication or higher doctorates such as the Doctor of Letters and Doctor of Science.

(4) This policy should be read in conjunction with the Conflict of Interest Policy, Dual Award and Joint Higher Degrees Policy, Student Misconduct Rule, Research Higher Degree Appeals Procedures, Research Higher Degree Candidature Essential Resources Policy, Research Higher Degree Scholarship Policy - Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents, Student Code of Conduct, Supervision of Research Candidates Policy, and the Schedule of Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Delegations.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(5) Definitions for the purpose of this policy are:

  1. A Doctorate - is a research higher degree at Level 10 of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), of which at least two-thirds of the study must be undertaken as independent research and includes the PhD and Professional Doctorates and named PhDs.
  2. A Research Training Scheme candidate is a candidate funded under the Commonwealth Research Training Scheme that provides eligible higher degree research students with an entitlement to a HECS exemption for the duration of an accredited higher degree research course.
  3. The Dean is the Dean of a University School.
  4. The Director, Research Institute is the Director of a University Research Institute. The HDR Director is the relevant Director (e.g. Director, HDR or Director, Research and HDR) as determined by the Dean, or an equivalent role as determined by the Director, Research Institute.
  5. The School or Institute Research and Higher Degrees Committee is the relevant School Research and Higher Degrees Committee, or the equivalent committee for an Institute as determined by the Director, Research Institute in consultation with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International.
  6. Examinable work - this comprises one or more of the following, as specified for a particular degree: thesis, exegesis, overarching statement, dissertation, portfolio.
  7. Specialist Medical Qualification - refers to a qualification awarded following completion of a specialist medical education and training program offered by an organisation whose programs are accredited by the Australian Medical Council.
    1. Common examples (among many) are:
      1. Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP)
      2. Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP)
      3. Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS)
      4. Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (FRCPA)
  8. Candidate means a student enrolled in a doctorate degree program (also called a higher degree by research (HDR)).
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(6) A Doctorate is awarded in recognition of original, independent and successful research of international standard in the relevant discipline. A Doctoral candidate should make a substantial original contribution to knowledge in the form of new knowledge or significant and original adaptation, application and interpretation of existing knowledge. These outcomes may be based on a comprehensive critical review of literature, empirical research, creative work or other systematic approach embedded in a field or discipline, and/or they may be based on advanced and sustained critical reflection and analysis of professional theory and practice. (From "Framework for Best Practice in Doctoral Education in Australia" Council of Australian Deans and Directors of Graduate Studies March 2005).

(7) The Research Studies Committee will approve a Schedule of Delegations specifying the tasks that may be undertaken by an HDR Director on behalf of the relevant School or Institute Research and Higher Degrees Committee, with reporting to the next meeting of that Committee. This Schedule will be an Associated Document to this Policy, and will also include a list of delegations and responsibilities under this Policy that are held by the School or Institute Research and Higher Degrees Committee, the Research Studies Committee, and the Dean or Director, Research Institute.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Admission

Approval of Admission

(8) An applicant for admission to candidature for a doctorate degree must satisfy the requirements specified in this Part of the policy.

(9) The relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee endorses successful applications and makes a recommendation to the Dean or Director, Research Institute for approval or otherwise of the applications. Endorsed recommendations are considered by the Dean or Director, Research Institute who has authority to approve the applicant for admission. If an application must be assessed for compliance with United Nations Security Council and Australia's Autonomous Sanctions legislation, the Research Studies Committee of Academic Senate will carry out the assessment. The Research Studies Committee may approve the applicant for admission if it agrees that the application complies with the legislation and the Dean or Director, Research Institute has approved the applicant for admission.

(10) The Dean or Director, Research Institute will determine whether the candidature is full or part-time at the time of admission.

Academic Qualifications of the Applicant

(11) Applicants for admission to candidature for any doctorate degree covered by this policy with the exception of a Doctor of Medicine (see Part R) shall hold:

  1. a research masters degree; or
  2. a bachelor degree with honours class 1 or bachelor degree with honours class 2 division 1; or
  3. qualifications from a university or other tertiary institution deemed by the Dean or Director, Research Institute to be equivalent to the requirements set out above.

(12) In exceptional circumstances a Dean or Director, Research Institute may approve the admission of an applicant who does not have the qualifications specified in clause 11. In such cases the Dean or Director, Research Institute will consider evidence to be supplied by the candidate and verified by the relevant HDR Director or equivalent, that shows that the applicant has equivalent qualifications based on academic and professional attainment and demonstration in an appropriate discipline of a capacity for the research. Evidence should demonstrate the applicant's understanding of and skill in the use of a suitable research methodology and ability to undertake academic writing. The Dean or Director, Research Institute may approve admission on the basis of equivalent capacity.

(13) An applicant may be given entry to a doctoral program on the basis of an approved application to upgrade from a research masters degree. See: Research Masters (Honours) Policy.

(14) An applicant who does not meet the admission criteria described above may be required to successfully undertake a Graduate Certificate in Research Studies before entering the Doctorate or to complete other nominated University accredited units as part of their Doctorate program. These units must be satisfactorily completed before Confirmation of Candidature. A student who does not satisfactorily complete the units within the time frame prescribed for Confirmation of Candidature will normally not be permitted to continue enrolment.

Approval of Resources, Thesis Topic and Supervisory Panel

(15) The Dean or Director, Research Institute must attest that adequate supervision and facilities are available before he/she approves admission.

(16) The relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee shall endorse the thesis topic and a supervisory panel. The supervisory panel will normally comprise a Principal Supervisor and at least one other member. Panels will be appointed in accordance with the Supervision of Research Candidates Policy. The Dean or Director, Research Institute has the authority to approve changes of Principal Supervisor.

English Language Requirements

(17) Where an applicant has completed all previous studies in a language other than English, the University requires the applicant to demonstrate a satisfactory command of the English language. Completion of a tertiary level qualification (Certificate IV or above), where the language of instruction was English, meets this requirement.

(18) Applicants can also demonstrate English proficiency by achieving a prescribed level in an approved English examination. The approved English language proficiency tests and standards required are:

  1. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) - 6.5 overall score with a minimum 6.0 in each subtest;
  2. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - 575 (minimum 4.5 in TWE);
  3. TOEFL computer based test - 232 (minimum 4.5 in Essay Writing);
  4. TOEFL Internet based test - 89 (writing = 21 and all subtests = 18);
  5. Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English - (CAE) - A grade of B or above; or
  6. Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English - A grade of B or above.

(19) If applicable, candidates must also meet Department of Home Affairs requirements for English language ability for the issue of student visas, according to country of origin.

(20) English language proficiency tests must be no more than two years old at the time of commencement of study at the University.

Part B - Candidature

Conditions of Enrolment

(21) A candidate is expected to establish and maintain enrolment at the University by completing the requirements for initial enrolment and annual re-enrolment.

(22) Candidates must submit a Commencement of Candidature form within three months of first enrolment. Alternatively, the Principal Supervisor must advise the Graduate Research School of the commencement date of the candidate within that time frame. If the Graduate Research School is not advised of a commencement date via one of these methods within the three months, the candidate will be required to either defer or have their enrolment terminated.

(23) Except when the candidate is on approved leave, failure to re-enrol will lead to the candidate being deemed to have abandoned the course.

(24) Candidates must abide by the University's policies and procedures. Candidates are responsible for ensuring that the Student Experience Office is advised of any changes to their personal and contact details during the period of their enrolment and examination.

(25) Candidates must access their University student email account. See the University Student Code of Conduct.

(26) Candidates are required to make themselves available for regular consultation with members of their supervisory panel.

(27) Commencing candidates must undertake orientation programs as directed by the Research Studies Committee.

(28) Candidates enrolled in a Professional Doctorate (including Doctor of Education, Doctor of Cultural Research, Doctor of Creative Arts and Doctor of Business Administration), the Doctor of Medicine and the Doctor of Philosophy (Political and Social Thought) must read the additional course documents attached as guidelines to this document.

Full or Part-time Mode and Time Commitment

(29) International on-shore candidates cannot enrol part-time.

(30) Scholarship recipients must usually enrol full-time unless otherwise specified in the Scholarship Conditions of Award.

(31) A candidate may change their mode of candidature from full-time to part-time or part-time to full-time on approval of the HDR Director.

(32) A full-time candidate should expect to spend approximately 35 hours a week throughout the year on the program of research and advanced study and to attend the University for consultation as required by the Principal Supervisor.

(33) A part-time candidate should expect to spend approximately 20 hours a week throughout the year on the program of research and advanced study and to attend the University for consultation as required by the Principal Supervisor.

Period of Candidature

(34) The minimum period of candidature is three years full-time, or the part-time equivalent.

(35) The maximum period of candidature is four years full-time, or the part-time equivalent.

Extension of Candidature

(36) It is the responsibility of the candidate and supervisory panel to ensure timely completion, and extensions are only considered in exceptional circumstances.

(37) Scholarship end-dates are different from candidature completion dates and recipients should consult their conditions of award for information relating to the duration and implementation of scholarships.

(38) Applications for extension beyond maximum time may be considered by the Dean or Director, Research Institute where there is clear evidence that there have been delays beyond the control of the candidate that could not have reasonably been foreseen.

(39) Research Training Scheme candidates requiring extensions beyond four years will have exhausted their Research Training Scheme entitlement. Extensions of Research Training Scheme entitlements may be granted for a maximum period of one session without additional fees being applied. For extensions of more than one session, the candidate will be liable for full session course tuition fees for the period of extension in excess of one session.

(40) Extensions of candidature or scholarship will not be granted for changes in thesis topic, supervisory panel or a change from one doctoral program to another.

Changes to Supervisory Panel or Topic

(41) Matters relating to the supervisory panel are covered in the Supervision of Research Candidates Policy. The HDR Director may approve additions to the supervisory panel or changes to the thesis topic during the period of candidature. Changes to thesis topic may not be of a nature that would require substantial reworking or abandonment of work already accomplished in the candidature. The relevant HDR Director will report topic changes to the Research Studies Committee.

Overseas Research by Candidates

(42) Candidates may travel overseas to conduct research work that is relevant to their thesis topic, provided permission is granted by their School or University Research Institute. Students should consult the Dual Award and Joint Higher Degrees Policy and the agreement that covers their candidature.

(43) Candidates are considered University travellers if they are conducting work overseas that contributes towards their degree, whether funded by the University or not.

(44) Candidates must apply for permission of their School or University Research Institute to travel overseas to conduct field work.

(45) In accordance with the Travel Policy, candidates must book travel using the University travel booking system.

(46) Candidates undertaking field research are subject to the University's WH&S obligations and must consider any travel advice issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). University travellers must adhere to and monitor DFAT travel advisories when organising and travelling overseas. Refer to the Travel Policy.

Applying for Permission to Travel

(47) All candidates travelling overseas to conduct research must also apply using the Application to Vary Research Candidature/Scholarship Form.

(48) International candidates are advised to contact Western Sydney International to ask about the validity of their visa if they leave Australia for any period. This must be endorsed by an International Student Advisor.

(49) Australian citizens and permanent resident scholarship holders may take up to 12 months field work overseas and remain in receipt of their scholarship. However, certain conditions must be met regarding supervision during that period and relevance of the work to completion of the degree, see the Research Higher Degree Scholarship Policy.

(50) The candidate must apply for permission to the relevant HDR Director or equivalent at least three months before the proposed date of departure.

Transfer to Other Doctorate

(51) Candidates may apply to transfer to another doctorate program. The same standards of intellectual rigour and high-level endeavour apply to all doctoral programs. For that reason the application will not be regarded as a new admission in regard to the applicant's qualifications. The application will be considered taking into consideration those issues outlined in Part A including supervision, resources, time left for completion and specific course requirements.

(52) The outcome of the application will be endorsed by the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee with advice from the relevant HDR Director and approved by the relevant Dean or Director, Research Institute.

Part C - Academic Progress and Review of Candidature

Early Candidature Plan and Confirmation of Candidature

(53) Candidates must complete an Early Candidature Plan with their Supervisory Panel within the first six months of enrolment.

(54) Candidates must successfully undertake a Confirmation of Candidature within three to 12 months of commencement of candidature. Full-time candidates will normally complete the Confirmation of Candidature within six months.

(55) Ethics applications cannot be submitted until the Confirmation of Candidature has been successfully completed.

(56) Failure to successfully undertake a Confirmation of Candidature may lead to termination of candidature. Refer Part H for details on the process for termination of candidature and the appeals process.

Presentation of Work and Participation in Activities

(57) Candidates must attend and participate in those candidate activities required by the relevant School or Institute Research and Higher Degrees Committee or the Research Studies Committee. Candidates will present their work on campus at least once per year, at School or University Research Institute conferences or colloquia or as part of the annual progress review.

(58) Failure to attend events deemed compulsory by the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee or the Research Studies Committee may lead to termination of candidature. Refer Part H for details on the process for termination of candidature and the appeals process.

Annual Progress Reports

(59) Candidates must submit an Annual Progress Report from the second year of enrolment. The candidate's report is accompanied by a report by the candidate's supervisory panel.

(60) Annual Progress Reports will be reviewed by the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee, and a summary of outcomes reported to the Research Studies Committee.

(61) If the Research Studies Committee, on the recommendation of the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee, is of the opinion that the annual report reveals unsatisfactory progress the Research Studies Committee may terminate the candidature or take such other action as it considers appropriate.

(62) Failure to complete an Annual Progress Report may lead to termination of candidature. Refer Part H for details on the process for termination of candidature and the appeals process.

Part D - Leave of Absence

(63) In special cases, the HDR Director may grant leave of absence from candidature.

(64) As a general guide valid reasons for leave of absence include: serious medical reasons, family/personal reasons or employment-related reasons that are causing significant disruption to the candidate's capacity to study effectively.

(65) The period of such leave shall not be counted as part of the period of candidature for the degree and the maximum amount of leave will normally be two sessions in any one candidature.

(66) On resuming candidature after leave of absence a candidate shall be enrolled for not less than one session before being permitted to submit a thesis for examination.

Part E - Ethics Committee Approval

(67) Research topics involving human participants or animal subjects or the use of micro-organisms of Risk Group 2 or higher, whole micro-organisms, in vivo use of imported biological products, specimens of human origin (including blood products), recombinant DNA and ionising radiation sources require approval of the relevant the University Ethics or Safety Committee.

Part F - Conflict of Interest

(68) Staff and candidates must abide by the Conflict of Interest Policy within the context of research higher degree enrolment and the appointment of supervisors, panellists on Confirmations of Candidature, and external examiners. All conflicts of interest or potential conflicts of interest must be declared.

Part G - Resolution of Difficulties

(69) Supervisors and candidates must seek to resolve any problems through informal dispute resolution pathways, where possible and before taking steps to initiate a termination of candidature. Informal measures include discussions with key staff such as the relevant HDR Director or equivalent, and other staff members. Efforts to resolve disputes through informal resolution pathways must be documented and such documents must be retained by both parties to the dispute. Where a resolution to the dispute is reached, the resolution must be set out in a document agreed to and retained by both parties. Supervisors and/or candidates may seek advice from the Graduate Research School.

(70) Where efforts to resolve a dispute through the above informal dispute resolution pathway fail, it is open to either party to seek to resolve the dispute by formal referral to the Chair, Research Studies Committee. Such referral must include all documents demonstrating efforts to resolve the dispute through the informal pathway.

(71) On the basis of documents provided, the Chair will determine whether the requirements of clause 69 have been met. Where it is determined that the requirements are not met, the matter will be referred back into the processes as set out in clause 69.

(72) Where the Chair determines that the requirements of clause 69 are met and it is clear that a resolution could not be reached via that process, the Chair will establish a sub-committee of the Research Studies Committee to consider the matter. The sub-committee is to meet within 21 calendar days of the receipt of the referral by the Chair.

(73) The sub-committee will consist of:

  1. a HDR Director or equivalent from another School or University Research Institute; and
  2. two other members of the Research Studies Committee who are not members of the Supervisory Panel and who have not been involved in providing advice in regards to the matter.

(74) Both parties will be notified of the date the sub-committee will meet, and may elect to make a submission to the sub-committee in relation to the matter.

(75) The sub-committee will make a decision within 21 calendar days of its meeting and both parties will be provided with a copy of the decision of the sub-committee.

(76) The decision of the sub-committee is final and no further appeals will be considered.

(77) Where a party to the formal dispute can show evidence of procedural irregularity or unfairness, such evidence will be referred and considered in accordance with the Complaint Handling and Resolution Policy.

Part H - Show Cause and Termination of Candidature

(78) Candidature may be terminated for:

  1. Failure to make academic progress during the period of candidature;
  2. Failure to attend candidate research events deemed compulsory by the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee or the Research Studies Committee;
  3. Failure to complete a Confirmation of Candidature;
  4. Failure to complete an Annual Progress Report; and
  5. Academic misconduct as described under the Student Misconduct Rule; or
  6. For other breaches of University policy or procedures.

(79) If the Principal Supervisor is at any time of the opinion that the candidate is not making satisfactory progress, the Principal Supervisor, in consultation with the supervisory panel, will recommend to the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee that the candidate be invited to show cause why the candidature should not be terminated. This recommendation may suggest that the candidate be admitted to candidature in a research masters degree.

(80) Recommendations to terminate a candidature, for any reason, must be forwarded to the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee.

(81) The relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee will refer a recommendation to request a show cause to the Research Studies Committee. The Research Studies Committee will make a decision on requesting the candidate to show cause why they should be permitted to continue their candidature. The candidate will be told why the show cause request has been made and they will be given 14 calendar days from the date of the letter to respond. The Research Studies Committee will make a decision about the candidature based on the response and information from the School or University Research Institute.

(82) Where the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee recommends termination of candidature because a candidate fails:

  1. to attend compulsory events as determined by the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee or Research Studies Committee; or
  2. to complete a Confirmation of Candidature; or
  3. to complete an Annual Progress Report;

(83) the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee will refer the recommendation to the Research Studies Committee with a full explanation. The Research Studies Committee will make a determination about continuation or termination of candidature.

(84) In cases of unsatisfactory progress the Research Studies Committee may permit a candidate to transfer a doctorate candidature to a research masters degree. In such cases the Research Studies Committee will determine the period of candidature.

(85) The candidate has the right of appeal under the Research Higher Degree Appeals Policy in respect of decisions to terminate candidature made by the Research Studies Committee under this Part.

Part I - Transfer to another Degree/Award

(86) In cases of unsatisfactory progress the Research Studies Committee may permit a candidate to transfer a doctorate candidature to a research masters degree.

(87) In such cases the Research Studies Committee will determine the period of candidature.

Part J - Thesis

(88) The examinable work must be the candidate's own account of the work undertaken. The examinable work may consist of a single written work or a combination of a written work with work in other media (exhibition, performance, novel, film, video, computer program, etc.). The written work may be one or more of the following, as specified for a particular degree: thesis, exegesis, overarching statement, dissertation, portfolio.

(89) A PhD may be presented as a series of papers, as described in clauses 95 to 96 of this policy. The language of expression and analysis must be English and reach a satisfactory standard of literary presentation. Candidates in modern languages may submit a thesis in a language other than English with the approval of the Research Studies Committee.

(90) A candidate may not submit as the main content of the thesis any work or material which has been previously submitted for any degree, but may incorporate such work or material in the thesis if the candidate specifies the work or material which has been so incorporated and if it does not form part of the main content of the thesis.

(91) In exceptional cases, work done conjointly with other persons may be accepted, provided that the Research Studies Committee is satisfied as to the candidate's part in the conjoint research.

(92) The University does not prescribe a word limit and candidates should seek the advice of the supervisory panel. However, 100,000 words are considered to be the upper limit for doctorates. Most disciplines have a general expectation of a minimum of 60,000 words for a doctorate.

(93) A candidate will submit to the Graduate Research School three copies of the written component of the thesis prepared in a form approved by the Research Studies Committee. The submission will include a 300 word summary and a certificate of authenticity signed by the candidate to the effect that the work has not been submitted for a higher degree to any other institution. The candidate will indicate in the thesis the sources of information and the extent to which the candidate has used the work of others. For advice on writing the certificate of authenticity see Thesis Presentation Guidelines.

(94) Any component(s) of the thesis in other media will be submitted in a form approved by the Research Studies Committee. The Research Studies Committee will seek advice from the relevant School or University Research Institute on any non-printed text-based component of the submission for examination.

(95) All copies of the thesis presented for examination will be returned to the candidate. Examiners will be requested to return their copies unless they request to keep their copy and the candidate agrees.

Thesis as a Series of Papers

(96) PhD candidates may submit a series of publications as their examinable work. Submission of a thesis as a series of papers is available only for the PhD and the work must be accomplished during the period of enrolment.

(97) Requirements for submission of thesis as a series of publications are:

  1. Overarching Statement - the overarching statement serves as an introduction to the assessable work. It makes reference to the research papers and explains the research components in terms of their temporal sequence and interdependence, and their contribution to the candidate's personal and professional development, and to the field of scholarship. It should be at least 10,000 words, under the advisement of the supervisory panel.
  2. Four scholarly research papers that have been peer reviewed, that are accepted, in print or published in peer reviewed publications. Each paper will have a designated scholarly outlet in a refereed journal, or as a book chapter in an edited academic volume. Where there are multiple authors, the candidate will normally be the first author.

Examination of Thesis as a Series of Papers

(98) The examiners are asked to make a global judgement about the scope and quality of the work contained within the portfolio and to indicate the extent to which its cumulative nature warrants a doctoral award. The work should meet the criteria specified in clause 110 of this policy.

Part K - Examination and Award of Degree

Submission for Examination

(99) The supervisory panel must be satisfied that the thesis meets a suitable academic standard and format and presentation requirements before it may be submitted for examination by the candidate. Supervisory panel approval for the examination to proceed will be indicated on the Examination Submission Form. The Examination Submission Form must be endorsed by the relevant HDR Director or equivalent.

(100) If the supervisory panel does not agree that the thesis is ready for examination, the candidate may refer the matter to the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee for determination. If examination has been refused because the thesis does not meet a suitable standard of format and presentation, referred to in clause 98, the examination will not proceed. In other cases the matter will be forwarded, with a recommendation to the Research Studies Committee for a decision.

(101) The relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee may also refer the matter to the Research Studies Committee for a determination if the relevant Committee is unable to reach agreement. If the examination is refused the candidate will be asked to remain enrolled and to take further academic advice from their Principal Supervisor.

Early Submission for Examination

(102) Candidates who wish to submit work for examination before completion of the minimum period of candidature should apply in writing to the School or Institute Research and Higher Degrees Committee which will make a recommendation to the Research Studies Committee. The Research Studies Committee will seek evidence that no purpose would be served by continuing the candidature in terms of academic readiness of the work.

Thesis Examination

(103) On the recommendation of the Principal Supervisor and the relevant HDR Director or equivalent, the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee shall approve and appoint two external examiners of the thesis.

(104) Any conflicts of interest or potential for conflicts of interest relating to examiners must be declared.

(105) An external examiner is a person who is not an employee of the University at the time when invited to examine the thesis, and who has not been an employee of the University within the five years prior to the examination.

(106) There will not normally be more than one examiner from any one institution.

(107) Past supervisors of the candidate cannot act as an examiner.

(108) Examiners will hold qualifications at the level of or the equivalent to that which they are examining and be recognised academic leaders in their discipline.

(109) Candidates may advise their Principal Supervisor if there is a particular person in their field who they would prefer not to have as an examiner or who they would particularly like to have as an examiner.

(110) Candidates will not be informed of the composition of their examining panel at the time of examination. After examination, candidates may learn the identity of an examiner, if the examiner agrees to their name being disclosed on the thesis report. Examiners may request that their identity not be disclosed but they will be informed that this information may be requested by candidates under the right to information provisions.

(111) The examiners will be asked to assess the work to determine if:

  1. the thesis as a whole makes an original contribution to the knowledge of the subject with which it deals;
  2. the thesis provides a sufficiently comprehensive study of the topic appropriate to the degree in the discipline area, or in related interdisciplinary areas;
  3. the methods adopted are appropriate to the subject matter and are appropriately applied;
  4. the research findings are suitably set out, accompanied by adequate exposition and are discussed critically in the context of the discipline; and
  5. the quality of English and general presentation is satisfactory.

(112) Each examiner shall report in writing to the Graduate Research School within six weeks of the date of posting of the thesis. Examiners may be replaced if a report is not received within two months unless the examiner is given leave to report late.

(113) Each examiner must recommend one of the outcomes in Table 1.

Table 1: Outcomes of Thesis Examination

A the degree be awarded;
M the candidate be required to undertake minor rewriting of an editorial nature (as identified by the examiners to the satisfaction of the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee) before the degree is awarded;
R the candidate be required to undertake rewriting that is of greater magnitude than minor editorial changes (as identified by the examiners) to the satisfaction of the Research Studies Committee before the degree is awarded;
X the candidate be required to revise and resubmit for further examination within a specified time (only available for the initial examination); or
F the degree not be awarded.

(114) The examiners may request to submit a conjoint report. The decision to permit a conjoint report will be made by the Research Studies Committee, in consultation with the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee.

(115) Examination outcomes must not be disclosed to the candidate until a final recommendation is decided.

(116) The Graduate Research School will forward the examiners' reports to the relevant HDR Director who will forward the reports to the Principal Supervisor for comment and advice. The Principal Supervisor will prepare a written report for the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee that will recommend an initial outcome and list in detail any recommended changes to the thesis.

(117) Where the examiners present recommendations of A or M the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee may endorse the initial examination outcome and report its finding to the Research Studies Committee.

(118) Where one or more examiners recommend R, X or F the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee will seek the advice of the Supervisory Panel and refer the matter to the Research Studies Committee with a recommendation.

(119) Where a F outcome is given the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee may recommend the awarding of a research masters degree to the Research Studies Committee. If approved by the Research Studies Committee, the recommendation may require resubmission and re-examination for the research masters award.

(120) The Research Studies Committee will consider the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee report and make a determination.

(121) Where additional work is required, the Research Studies Committee may specify the time within which any additional work shall be completed. Normally all corrections will be made within one session of the candidate being advised to make changes or rewrite for re-examination.

(122) The Principal Supervisor must advise the Graduate Research School if a candidate who is re-writing will need access to the Library and other facilities.

(123) In circumstances where the outcome is not clear, before making any determination the Research Studies Committee may take one or more of the following actions:

  1. appoint an additional examiner;
  2. appoint an arbiter;
  3. invite the examiners to confer with each other and/or with the Research Studies Committee with a view to the presentation of a consolidated recommendation; and/or
  4. direct that the candidate undertake such further examinations oral, written or practical as the Research Studies Committee may specify.

(124) The Research Studies Committee will notify its decision to the Graduate Research School, who will advise the candidate.

Re-writing and Re-examination

(125) A re-examination will be conducted on the basis of specific advice given to the candidate on what must be achieved in rewriting.

(126) The instructions to the candidate for rewriting for re-examination will be prepared by the Supervisory Panel, endorsed by the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee, and approved by the Research Studies Committee.

(127) These instructions will be provided to the examiner for the re-examination as they will form the basis of the second examination.

(128) No new criticisms may be introduced by the examiner in the second examination.

(129) The examiner(s) who recommended that the thesis be re-examined shall normally be invited to undertake the re-examination.

(130) The rewritten thesis will be presented for the second examination with an Examination Submission Form.

(131) Re-examined theses will be considered by the Principal Supervisor who will make a recommendation to the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee. That Committee will then submit a recommendation to the Research Studies Committee.

Access to Examiner's Report

(132) Candidates will be given a copy of each examiner's report at the completion of the examination process. Each report will include the name of the examiner unless the examiner requests, in writing, that his/her name be withheld.

Award of the Degree

(133) When the Research Studies Committee is satisfied that all requirements have been met, it will approve the awarding of the degree.

Copy of Thesis for the University

(134) Upon notification of the awarding of the degree, a candidate must submit to the Graduate Research School one digitised (CD or disc in PDF format) copy of the thesis incorporating all amendments and/or rewriting that was required as an outcome of the examination. Detailed advice on format of the digital copy can be found on the Australian Digital Theses Program web page.

(135) In addition to any requirements outlined in the Graduation Policy, a candidate must submit an electronic copy of the approved thesis and a completed Right of Access Form in order to graduate.

(136) A digital copy of the thesis will be made available via the University Library unless the relevant Research and Higher Degrees Committee, on the application of the candidate, determines in exceptional cases that it will not be made available until after the expiry of a period, which shall not normally exceed one year, unless otherwise determined by arrangements in place under the Intellectual Property Policy.

Part L - Forms

(137) Forms for application for admission, variation of candidature, examination processes; nomination of examiners, thesis lodgement form and amendments completed can be found on the University website.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(138) This policy should be read with the Guidelines attached to this policy, including:

  1. Doctor of Creative Arts Guidelines;
  2. Doctor of Education Guidelines;
  3. Doctor of Cultural Research Guidelines;
  4. Doctor of Business Administration Guidelines;
  5. Doctor of Philosophy (Political and Social Thought) Guidelines;

(139) This policy should be read in conjunction with the Supervisors Code of Practice, the Research Code of Practice, Research Ethics Policy, Research Higher Degree Candidature Essential Resources Policy and the Student Misconduct Rule.

(140) Scholarship recipients should consult their Conditions of Award for additional advice relating to candidature.

Part M - DOCTOR OF CREATIVE ARTS

(141) This document outlines the specific course requirements of the Doctor of Creative Arts (DCA) degree at the University. It should be read in conjunction with the Doctorate Policy and University policies relating to Higher Degrees by Research and specific School or Research Institute (Institute) requirements and guidelines for candidates.

Aims of the Course

(142) In addition to the requirements set out in Section 3, clause 6 of the Doctorate Policy, in a DCA, a candidate should develop theorisation that demonstrably influences their creative practice and output, including methodologies.

(143) In addition, the DCA provides extended and advanced training in creative arts where projects and investigative practice provide a contribution to professional and scholarly knowledge.

Background

(144) The DCA program at the University is a program of advanced research embedded in the artist's professional practice and aims to develop graduates who shall demonstrate several of the following attributes:

  1. Technical and conceptual innovation in their arts discipline;
  2. Commitment to research and development as a means of solving problems;
  3. Familiarity with new technology and its applications;
  4. Knowledge in theoretical foundations and highly developed skills in the application of theory to practice and creative reflection;
  5. Effective and advanced communication at all levels;
  6. Ability to articulate a broad vision of practice and practice-led research and its relationship to social, cultural and community needs;
  7. Ability to contribute to the advancement of policy and practice in the creative arts.

(145) The DCA candidate develops knowledge through practice, undertaking the development of a body of original creative work within the chosen discipline. New knowledge comes from investigatory practice that is intellectually rigorous.

Areas of Study

(146) The following areas of enquiry are available in the Doctor of Creative Arts:

  1. Communication
  2. Electronic Arts
  3. Film Making
  4. Music and Sound Arts
  5. Writing
  6. Media Arts
  7. Design

Specific Course Requirements of DCA

(147) DCA candidates are required to produce an examinable thesis (body of creative work and an exegesis) accomplished during the period of enrolment in the DCA.

(148) The thesis includes the body of creative work and an exegesis. The exegesis demonstrates the development and application of theory within a creative process and the production of the creative work. It includes a survey of recent representative literature in the chosen discipline(s). It is also a reflexive analysis of creative process and is an engaging piece of writing constructed as a scholarly essay of approximately 25,000 to 30,000 words.

(149) Photography, sound or video recordings, and web material may also support the writing. The relative weighting of the exegesis as a component of the thesis submission for examination shall be at least 30% of the total, with the creative practice constituting no more than 70%. The requirements and relative weightings for examinable creative practice and exegesis are discussed and developed between candidate and supervisory panel on commencement and again during the confirmation of candidature process.

(150) The following examples thus reflect the different disciplines supported by the Schools and/or University Research Institutes.

  1. Communication/Media Arts: A body of creative work in the communication discipline is required. It should be equivalent to a series of programs for television, radio, a selection of multimedia presentations, or one program of substantial length. For example, a one-off film of 30-60 minutes in length. Other formats for communication dissertations could be developed on HDV, DV, DVD, DAT, CD, photo-media and on-line Internet media. The work must be broadcast to a public audience; and an exegesis of approximately 25,000 to 30,000 words in length is also required.
  2. Electronic Arts: Two solo exhibitions in galleries and festivals, or presentations in performative modalities. These may include telepresencing, online interactivity, sensor driven interactivity, as well as the use of archival and recording technologies; and an exegesis of approximately 25,000 to 30,000 words in length is also required.
  3. Music and Sound Arts: Composition: a folio of compositions including works that employ large resources or performance media demonstrating a variety of 'architecture', colours, textures - for example, a musical, opera or symphonic score, or 6-8 compositions for smaller resources or other media; and an exegesis of approximately 25,000 to 30,000 words in length is also required.
  4. Music Performance: the staging of two major live performances or concerts and recitals, each of sixty minutes duration, demonstrating high level artistry encompassing performance practice, production values and spatial considerations. An exegesis of approximately 25,000 to 30,000 words in length is also required.
  5. Writing: an original poetry collection (70-80 pages), a play script or film script (90 minutes production), or a novel (70,000 words), or a book of short stories; and an exegesis of approximately 25,000 to 30,000 words in length is also required.
  6. Media Arts (see Communication).
  7. Design: A portfolio of design documentation relating to a coherent creative project with well articulated outcomes in community or industry settings. The forms of presentation may utilise the full range of computer-based applications that best serve the communicational needs of the project. These may be stand-alone formats for distribution (e.g. CD/DVD), exhibited works as installations; or on-line interface projects; and an exegesis of approximately 25,000 to 30,000 words in length is also required.

Participation in Research Events

(151) Candidates are expected to:

  1. meet with their principal supervisor on a regular basis, and to consult frequently with members of their supervisory panel. The advice of the panel should be sought on all aspects of the candidature, including public presentations and professional involvement.
  2. participate in research training and research development activities as designated by their School or Institute and supervisory panel such as research training units, courses and workshops;
  3. contribute to the research culture of their School or Institute through participation in seminars, forums and conferences at the University;
  4. maintain a public professional profile of high standing during the course of their candidature, with the mentoring and supervisory support of the University;
  5. offer their work for publication or public presentation, contribute to the organisation and/or programming of relevant cultural events, contribute to policy and planning debates in their area of expertise.

Examination

(152) A candidate presenting a body of creative work is required to present the exegesis concurrently. However, where the body of creative work is public performance or exhibition the candidate is required to submit the exegesis no later than three months after the final event. This implies that careful planning is required to ensure that the DCA submission is made within the time specified for candidature.

(153) It is expected that a high level of intellectual and research acumen will be demonstrated throughout candidature. The submitted thesis should show evidence of significant conceptual development, as demonstrated in exhibition, performance, writing, screening or publication during the period of candidature.

(154) Performances, presentations and exhibitions should occur at the University or associated venues. Consultation with the supervisory panel in conjunction with the HDR Director may lead to external or professional engagements being considered as part of the submission.

(155) The examination process is described in the Doctorate Policy. Examination will incorporate the creative component and the exegesis. Where appropriate, recommendations of examiners for any additional work described in examination outcome options M, R or X can apply to creative component and/or the critical exegesis.

Part N - DOCTOR OF EDUCATION

(156) This document outlines the specific course requirements of the Doctor of Education (EdD) degree at the University. It should be read in conjunction with the Doctorate Policy and University policies relating to Higher Degrees by Research and specific School or Institute requirements and guidelines for students.

Aims of the Course

(157) The EdD is a degree in practice-led research and research-led practice. It aims to produce graduates able to conduct independent research and scholarship at the highest level of originality and quality. The doctorate is recognition of successful research experience of international standard in the discipline. A doctoral candidate should uncover new knowledge either by the discovery of new facts, the formulation of theories, the innovative re-interpretation of known data and established ideas, or the application of established knowledge in new contexts.

(158) The EdD provides extended and advanced research training in a professional field where projects and investigations are more applied in nature and more explicitly oriented to professional practice. As a Professional Doctorate, the EdD is designed to equip candidates to be critical consumers and generators of practice-led research and research-led practice. The EdD emphasises engagement with the relationship between research, scholarship and professional practice.

Background

(159) Work conducted by candidates as part of the EdD is often based on a partnership between the University and educational employers, and aims to provide an integrated set of experiences which develop the capacities necessary for candidates to become:

  1. leaders in innovation and policy development;
  2. committed to research-led approaches to solving problems;
  3. familiar with new technology and its applications;
  4. knowledgeable in theoretical foundations and highly skilled in the application of theory;
  5. effective and highly skilled communicators at all levels;
  6. committed to quality outcomes; and
  7. accountable for their productivity.

Areas of Study

(160) Five areas form the basis of study available under the EdD:

  1. policy studies in education;
  2. curriculum studies;
  3. learning and teaching;
  4. socio-cultural studies; and
  5. educational leadership and change.

(161) These areas reflect the academic specialties in Education and provide foci for student endeavours that encourage a strong research culture and the sharing of ideas and resources.

Specific Course Requirements of the EdD

Participation in Research Events

(162) In addition to the requirements set out in Section 3, clause 6 of the Doctorate Policy the EdD program at the University is a Research-Based Professional Practice Degree of advanced research embedded in candidates' professional practice in the field of education.

(163) Candidates will achieve satisfactory attendance and active participation in the designated EdD Research Program, which includes seminars, conference presentations, poster sessions, workshops etc. A record of participation will be documented in the Narrative of Personal, Professional and Scholarly Development submitted as part of the Examinable Portfolio. These events typically include:

  1. research training and research development activities as designated by their School or University Research Institute and supervisory panel. These may include, but are not limited to: research training units, courses and workshops; and teaching a unit or course related to the substantive areas of their research endeavour;
  2. postgraduate seminars where candidates will report progress on their research and elaborate on their methodology;
  3. presentations at "approved" conferences, including a formal presentation on their research progress at the annual Research Conference in their School or Institute where candidates will receive feedback from academic advisers; and/or
  4. regular meetings with the candidate's supervisory panel.

Preparation of an Examinable Portfolio as Evidence of Sustained Scholarly Activity

(164) EdD candidates are required to produce an Examinable Portfolio of work accomplished during the period of enrolment in the EdD. The portfolio will normally be text based but will allow, in consultation with the supervisory panel, the inclusion of other communication mediums such as film, video and internet resources. The text based component of the portfolio will be bound as a single volume. The portfolio will comprise four components: three substantive components (comprising 17,000 - 25,000 words each) that reflect both the stature of the degree and scholarly and/or research engagement with professional practice; and an evidence-based Narrative of Personal, Professional and Scholarly Development (10,000 - 15,000 words).

(165) Each of the three substantive research components will focus on a specific aspect of the candidate's professional practice and reflect engagement with the theory, literature and research relevant to it. These components may address different and discrete work-related activities or be aspects of sequential and ongoing professional pursuits. Each component will comprise two parts:

  1. Evidence of the development of professional work-place related practices or products that are based on research and/or scholarship, intellectually rigorous and provide evidence of critical thinking to identify the research niche. This might include: evaluation of an existing, or implementation of a new, practice or program; the production of a report, a video, a curriculum, a strategic plan or a web-site. Where these practices or products are not text based they will be supported by a written exegesis (10,000 - 15,000 words).
  2. A scholarly paper intended for public dissemination that contextualises the first component within the relevant literature, empirical research, theory and policy as appropriate to the candidate's research (7,000 - 10,000 words).

(166) Each of the three professional work-place related and research-based practices or products will be developed for a clearly articulated purpose (e.g. institutional change, curriculum improvement) and for a specific audience (principals, teachers, students, policy makers, professional associations, government departments, school communities etc.). Each of the three scholarly papers will have undergone a process of development with peers and supervisors. The scholarly papers should be of a quality suitable for public dissemination to an informed and discerning academic and/or professional audience such as a national or international peer-reviewed journal or through: a professional association; publications through employers where research reports are made available to a wider audience; websites; reports to government; and occasional papers to be sponsored through the candidate's School or Institute. Candidates will also be required to provide evidence of three examples of public dissemination of the practices or products they have developed. This will be included in the Narrative of Personal, Professional and Scholarly Development and may take the form of print media, a video or audio recording, a photograph, a summary report, a reference or review. The three professional work-place related and research-based practices or products, the three scholarly papers and the Narrative of Personal, Professional and Scholarly Development, comprise the Examinable Portfolio as evidence of sustained scholarly engagement with professional practice.

(167) The Narrative of Personal, Professional and Scholarly Development serves as both an introduction to the portfolio and as research-based evidence of the contribution and impact of the candidate's work on professional practice in the field (for example: through professional development activities, uptake in policy, curriculum development or in the role of public intellectual through media dissemination etc.). The Narrative of Personal, Professional and Scholarly Development makes reference to the three substantive components involving scholarly engagement with professional practice. It describes and reflects on these components in terms of: their temporal sequence and interdependence; their engagement with specific theories, research methods and/or bodies of scholarship and literature; their contribution to the candidate's personal, professional and scholarly development; and their contribution to the candidate's work context and their profession (10,000 - 15,000 words).

(168) The Examinable Portfolio will provide evidence of sustained research-based scholarly activity comprising the Narrative of Personal, Professional and Scholarly Development and the three research components (each with three parts).

Table 2: Examinable Portfolio

Research Component Research Activity Research Product Word Length
1 Narrative of Personal, Professional and Scholarly Development The narrative account of the research activity serves as an introduction to the portfolio and as research-based evidence of the contribution and impact of the candidate's work on professional practice in the field (for example: through professional development activities, uptake in policy, curriculum development or in the role of public intellectual through media dissemination). 10,000 - 15,000
2a Development of a professional work-place related research- based practice or product This practice or product might include: evaluation of an existing, or implementation of a new, practice or program; the production of a report, a video, a curriculum, a strategic plan, a web-site etc. Where these practices or products are not text based they will be supported by a written exegesis. 10,000 - 15,000
2b A scholarly paper The scholarly paper contextualises the work-place related product or practice within the relevant literature, empirical research, theory and policy as appropriate to the candidate's research and is disseminated in the form of a refereed journal article or other professional publication. 7,000 -10,000
3a Development of a professional work-place related research-based practice or product This practice or product might include: evaluation of an existing, or implementation of a new, practice or program; the production of a report, a video, a curriculum, a strategic plan, a web-site etc. Where these practices or products are not text based they will be supported by a written exegesis. 10,000 - 15,000
3b A scholarly paper The scholarly paper contextualises the work-place related product or practice within the relevant literature, empirical research, theory and policy as appropriate to the candidate's research and is disseminated in the form of a refereed journal article or other professional publication. 7,000 -10,000
4a Development of a professional work-place related research-based practice or product This practice or product might include: evaluation of an existing, or implementation of a new, practice or program; the production of a report, a video, a curriculum, a strategic plan, a web-site etc. Where these practices or products are not text based they will be supported by a written exegesis. 10,000 - 15,000
4b A scholarly paper The scholarly paper contextualises the work-place related product or practice within the relevant literature, empirical research, theory and policy as appropriate to the candidate's research and is disseminated in the form of a refereed journal article or other professional publication 7,000 -10,000
TOTAL     60,000 - 90,000

Part O - DOCTOR OF CULTURAL RESEARCH (DCR)

(169) This document outlines the specific course requirements of the Doctor of Cultural Research (DCR) degree at the University. It should be read in conjunction with the Doctorate Policy and University policies relating to Higher Degrees by Research and specific Institute for Culture and Society or School requirements and guidelines for candidates.

Aims of the Course

(170) In addition to the requirements set out in Section 3, clause 6 of the Doctorate Policy, the DCR provides extended and advanced training in professional fields where projects and investigations are more applied in nature and more obviously oriented to professional practice. Professional refers not to a specific industry but to a configuration of abilities and responsibilities at a common level, HEW8 and above in the public sector, and the equivalent in private sector. As a Professional Doctorate, the DCR is designed to produce future professional leaders in workplaces in a range of industry settings where 'culture' is an important dimension of the typical issues and problems faced by that organisation.

Background

(171) The DCR program at the University is a program of advanced research embedded in professional practice. Work conducted by a candidate as part of the DCR may be based on a partnership between the University and the candidate's employer, and aims to provide an integrated set of experiences for candidates that will develop graduates who can:

  1. Work with the cultural dimensions of specific problems or issues to do with social relations, culture and communication;
  2. Draw on and integrate concepts and methods from a range of disciplines relevant to particular problems;
  3. Understand the complexity and richness of the different perspectives intersecting in given situations or locations;
  4. Explicate these understandings across a range of audiences, academic and professional;
  5. Focus these understandings in pieces of writing of a suitable standard to warrant publication in refereed journals;
  6. Bridge the differences between academic culture and its values, and the culture and values of a given work location, by producing work that combines scholarly depth and proficiency with clear relevance to industry issues and problems.
  7. Demonstrate familiarity with new technology and its application.

Areas of Study

(172) The DCR is designed for candidates who deal in their professional practice with issues such as:

  1. Cultural diversity and community relations
  2. Urban development, planning and place management
  3. Art, culture and heritage
  4. Cultural impacts of technology and globalisation
  5. Creativity and innovation
  6. Transnational connections and local cultures
  7. Cultures of organisational change

(173) Research topics will be negotiated as appropriate between candidates and their supervisory panel, with due cognizance of the value of the topic to employers and the relevant industry or sector.

Specific Course Requirements of the DCR

Doctor of Cultural Research

(174) Applicants for the Doctor of Cultural Research may also be required to attend an interview to demonstrate capacity for research.

Participation in Research Events

(175) Candidates must achieve satisfactory attendance and active participation in the designated DCR research events as agreed with the supervisory panel. A record of participation will be documented in the Overarching Statement (see clause 176 below). These events may include:

  1. Research training and research development activities as designated by the Institute for Culture and Society or School and supervisory panel that may include, but are not limited to research training units, workshops and seminar series organised by the Institute for Culture and Society or a relevant contributing School;
  2. Higher degree research seminars where candidates will report progress on their research and elaborate on their methodology;
  3. Presentations at approved conferences, including relevant conferences of professional associations or similar bodies; and/or
  4. Regular meetings with the candidate's supervisory panel.

Examinable Portfolio

(176) DCR candidates are required to produce an examinable portfolio of work accomplished during the period of enrolment in the DCR comprising an Overarching Statement (see clause 176 below) and up to six components listed under Evidence of Sustained Scholarly Activity. The text-based component of the portfolio will be bound as a single volume. The portfolio should give evidence of significant conceptual development. It should also demonstrate the professional capacity of the candidate through their ability to focus academic work of a high level of competence with practical relevance leading to the better understanding of significant problems in practice.

Composition of the Examinable Portfolio

Overarching Statement

(177) The overarching statement serves as an introduction to the portfolio. It makes reference to the research events and explains the research components in terms of their temporal sequence and interdependence, and their contribution to the candidate's personal and professional development, and to the field of scholarship. The overarching statement will be approximately 10,000 words.

Evidence of Sustained Scholarly Activity

(178) Up to three projects, each generating a report of approximately 10,000 words, for a total word count of approximately 30,000 words. (Note: it is possible for the candidate to only undertake one project and produce one report, which would need to be approximately 30,000 words).

(179) Three peer-reviewed, or prepared for peer review, articles or academic outputs (or equivalent, including newer publication formats to be agreed upon), each of approximately 8,000 words. There is a general expectation of the portfolio being a minimum of 60,000 words.

(180) If more than one project is undertaken the first might involve foundation work in contemporary issues and theoretical literature of relevance to the candidate's work environment, with an emphasis on broad, critical perspectives. At this stage, the candidate engages in library research, writing reviews or analysis or conducting surveys of current practice. Later projects will be particular studies, mainly generated from the candidate's workplace, addressing specific problems or issues in that context. There may be overlap between the topics for different projects, given that they will all come from a common field of interest, but the resulting reports should bring out the differences in emphasis and conclusions. As a totality these topics should be sufficiently complementary, so that the total research endeavour is a cumulative one, though in some circumstances, where the evidence dictates, some later conclusions may challenge ones from an earlier stage.

(181) The examiners are asked to make a global judgement about the scope and quality of the work contained within the portfolio and to indicate the extent to which its cumulative nature warrants a Doctoral award.

Part P - DOCTOR OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

(182) This document outlines the specific course requirements of the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) at the University. It should be read in conjunction with the Doctorate Policy and University policies relating to Higher Degrees by Research and specific School requirements and guidelines for candidates.

Background

(183) The DBA at the University is a program of advanced research embedded in professional practice in business. Work conducted by the candidates as part of the DBA is often based on a partnership between the University and the business community and aims to provide an integrated set of experiences for candidates. The DBA degree is a well-established professional qualification that is widely accepted internationally. Over the past decade or so, the degree has become more widely acknowledged as an acceptable alternative to more traditional doctoral studies for professional managers within Australia and many Asian countries.

(184) Consistent with other Australian DBA programs, the DBA has a first year program of coursework units to strengthen the ability of professionals to undertake advanced research embedded in professional practice.

(185) The DBA program comprises a one-third coursework component and two-thirds thesis component, by requiring candidates to complete:

  1. Four research methods related coursework subjects;
  2. A thesis that makes a distinct contribution to the improvement of professional knowledge, policy or practice in selected business disciplines.

(186) The proposed research topic-based approach enables the candidate to engage in a much more structured process of doctoral level endeavour, ensuring that the product is a focused, coherent body of work underpinned by a thorough appreciation of the ontological and epistemological issues germane to the highest quality research. Indeed, it is an approach that arguably produces graduates with a significantly enhanced research skill set over other alternative models.

Aims of the Program

(187) The University DBA program aims to produce business graduates who are capable of conducting research independently at the highest level of originality and quality.

(188) In addition to the requirements set out in Section 3 clause 6 of the Doctorate Policy the overall aim of the program is to equip the senior manager, management consultant or academic who is facing substantial challenges in an environment of innovation and rapid change, with the skills and knowledge to be able to use and apply current research methods in the investigation and resolution of organisationally based problems. The specific objectives of the program are described in terms of knowledge, behaviours and skills that the candidates will have on completion of the program:

  1. thorough knowledge of the literature in at least one specialised field of Business;
  2. the ability to analyse, criticise and specify the shortcomings of the literature in their chosen area;
  3. an understanding of the range of research methods available for organisationally based research and the ability to critically select among them; and
  4. the ability to present and defend a substantial piece of original research that makes a distinct contribution to the improvement of professional practice or policy in the field of Business.

(189) In addition, the DBA provides extended and advanced training in a professional field in business where projects and investigations are more applied in nature and more obviously oriented to professional practice. As a professional doctorate the DBA is designed to equip candidates to be critical consumers of research.

Areas of Study

(190) DBA candidates can select from a wide range of research topics in Business disciplines including Accounting, Business Systems, Economics, Finance, Law, Management, and Marketing.

Specific Course Requirements of the DBA

(191) The DBA is an intensive program structured as one-third coursework and two-thirds research. It is specifically designed to maximize learning and develop a comprehensive skills-base prior to undertaking the required thesis. The thesis comprises a comprehensive thesis-style research project undertaken by each candidate on an individual basis. It requires a minimum of two years full-time equivalent to complete under the close guidance of a panel of academic supervisors.

(192) The proposed structure of the DBA is based on 240 credit points, comprising four coursework subjects, each weighted as 20 credit points, and the thesis, weighted as 160 credit points. The total credit points (240) are therefore one-third coursework (80 credit points) and two-thirds thesis (160 credit points).

(193) The four coursework units must be completed before the candidate enrols in the thesis unit.

(194) The coursework component progresses from examination of the broader aspects of Business research to a focus on the specific research skills required to successfully conceive, conduct and report on a significant research topic. For each coursework subject, candidates will be required to attend 40 hours of tuition in addition to completing a substantial amount of research to prepare for classes, assignments, seminar presentations, and examinations. Assessment will be based on a combination of individual assignments and examinations. Academic standards will be at doctoral level and candidates are required to obtain a pass grade in each unit before progression through the coursework. Only on satisfactory completion of all coursework units can candidates progress to the thesis stage.

(195) Coursework units will be presented one per term over four consecutive terms for full-time candidates; and part-time candidates may spread coursework subjects over two years. All candidates must undertake the coursework program in the order as specified by the University.

(196) The coursework units are designed to complement the development of the thesis proposal and so will not unnecessarily impact on the length of time available for the candidates to complete the data collection and write up of the thesis.

Supervision of Thesis

(197) The Confirmation of Candidature will be based on the work completed in the coursework units.

Progress Reports

(198) During the coursework phase of the degree, progress will be measured at the completion of each coursework unit (every three to six months, depending on the part/full-time status of the candidate). Candidates are required to obtain a pass grade in each and every unit before they enter the thesis stage of the program.

Part Q - DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT)

(199) This document outlines the specific course requirements of the Doctor of Philosophy (Political and Social Thought) at the University. It should be read in conjunction with the Doctorate Policy and University policies relating to Higher Degrees by Research and specific School requirements and guidelines for candidates.

PhD (Political and Social Thought)

(200) Applicants for the PhD (Political and Social Thought) must demonstrate their interest and potential fit within the program by submitting with their application:

  1. a letter that explains:
    1. why they would like to engage with and complete this particular program;
  2. a one page description of their research interests and potential thesis topic that among other things demonstrates how it fits within political and social thought; and
  3. an indication of who among the academic members of staff they would like to work with as their thesis supervisor; and
  4. a piece of writing (article length 7,000-8,000 words) that gives an idea of their intellectual abilities and preoccupations.

(201) This additional information will be assessed as part of the admission approval process.

Specific Course requirements

(202) Participation in coursework requirements in the first year of enrolment.

(203) Candidates must complete all coursework participation requirements and achieve a satisfactory grade in their coursework. The coursework comprises four substantive semester length courses in Political and Social Thought.

Part R - DOCTOR OF MEDICINE

(204) An applicant for admission to candidature for the degree of Doctor of Medicine will hold:

  1. a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree from the University; or
  2. an equivalent medical degree from another Australian or New Zealand medical school accredited by the Australian Medical Council. Under this category the applicant must hold a salaried or Conjoint appointment in the School of Medicine at the time of application for admission to candidature, and this must remain current throughout the period of candidature unless determined otherwise by the School; or
  3. qualifications from a university or other Medical School deemed by the Dean to be equivalent to the requirements set out above. Under this category the applicant must hold a salaried or Conjoint appointment in the School of Medicine at the time of application for admission to candidature, and this must remain current throughout the period of candidature unless determined otherwise by the School; and
  4. will have completed at least three years of supervised training towards a Specialist Medical Qualification as defined in Section 2. Satisfactory evidence of completion will be either a certified copy of the testamur of the Specialist Medical Qualification, or supervisors' reports and a letter from the relevant Medical College (or other recognised training body) if the training program is not yet completed.