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The Doctoral degree is formal recognition of successful research experience. The candidate must make a distinct and original contribution to knowledge. Considerably more original work is required for a Doctorate than for a Masters research degree. The nature and level of supervision will evolve over the duration of the candidature. The work will be more closely supervised in the early stages. In the later stages, however, the candidate must be allowed increasing scope to exercise initiatives and demonstrate originality.
In the latter part of the program the candidate should be able to work alone and be guided rather than directed by the supervisor. The degree of Doctor of Philosophy requires a minimum of three years full-time study and preparation of a thesis. The length of a doctoral thesis normally should not exceed 100,000 words of text.
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree encourages initiative and originality in research. Students will make a significant contribution to knowledge in their field and will be competent to carry out research in their chosen area.
Students complete intense research and submit a comprehensive thesis.
Students must discuss the structure and timeline of their studies with their supervisor.
1. Conditions governing the award
The degree of Doctor of Philosophy may be awarded by the Council on the recommendation of the Faculty Research Committee or Higher Degree Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) to a candidate who completes a piece of research that demonstrates a significant and original contribution to knowledge in their field of study.
(1) An applicant for admission to the degree shall have been awarded an appropriate degree of Bachelor with Honours from the University of New South Wales or a qualification from another tertiary institution considered equivalent by the Committee.
(2) In exceptional cases, an applicant who the Committee considers holds academic and professional qualifications equivalent to the qualifications specified in 2(1) may be permitted to enrol in the degree.
(3) If the Committee is not satisfied with the qualifications submitted by an applicant the Committee may require the applicant to undergo such assessment or carry out such work as the Committee may prescribe, before permitting enrolment as a candidate in the degree.
(1) An application for admission as a candidate for the degree must be made either online or on the prescribed form which will be lodged with the Graduate Research School or Student Administration at UNSW@ADFA at least two calendar months before the commencement of the semester in which enrolment is to begin. Applications for enrolment in a Cotutelle PhD degree are accepted under the conditions specified in the University Policy on Cotutelle PhD Degrees.1
(2) Before making the offer of a place the Committee must be satisfied that appropriate supervision, space and resources to support the research to be undertaken are available in the School of enrolment. All students will be enrolled in a School or an approved unit within the Faculty authorised to enrol research students and under the control of the Faculty Dean.2
(3) The candidate must be enrolled either as a full-time or a part-time student.
(4) All candidates must undertake the research at an approved UNSW location i.e. at a campus, teaching hospital, or other research facility of the University. The Committee may permit a candidate to spend a period of time in the field, within another institution or at another location provided that the research can be supported and supervised in a manner satisfactory to the Committee. In such instances the Committee will be satisfied that the location and period of time away from the University are necessary to the research program.
(5) All candidates must have appointed either a supervisor and a co-supervisor, or two joint supervisors, or a supervisory panel, in accordance with the procedures and definitions specified in the University Policy on Higher Degree Research Supervision.3
(6) The Committee may specify that the candidate complete coursework relevant to the proposed research program at a specified pass level.
(7) A candidate may apply to take leave from their candidature for a maximum of two semesters during the course of the degree. The Committee may approve a further request for leave from candidature taking into account supervision, resources and the impact on the research program.
(8) A full-time candidate shall present the thesis for examination no earlier than six semesters and no later than eight semesters from the date of enrolment. A part-time candidate shall present the thesis for examination no earlier than twelve semesters and no later than sixteen semesters from the date of enrolment. The Committee may approve submission of a thesis for examination after less than the minimum number of semesters of enrolment, on consideration of the body of research completed.
(9) A candidate who exceeds the maximum time permitted for the degree may apply to the Committee for an extension of candidature. The Committee may approve an extension of up to two semesters if it is satisfied that circumstances outside the control of the candidate have impacted on the candidature. The Committee may approve a further extension under exceptional circumstances.
(1) The progress of the candidate will be monitored by the Committee throughout the candidature.
(2) The enrolment of all candidates is subject to confirmation.
(a) In addition to a progress review, the first annual review must include consideration of the confirmation of candidature.
(b) Satisfactory progress, as assessed in accordance with the University procedures for confirmation of candidature 4 between six and nine months after enrolment, is required in order for the candidature to be confirmed.
(c) The confirmation period may be extended for the purpose of re-assessment as per 4.4(c) but the full confirmation period may not be extended beyond fifteen months for full-time candidates or thirty months for part-time candidates.
(3) Following the confirmation review:
(a) the progress of all candidates must be assessed at least annually at subsequent reviews in accordance with the University procedures for reviewing the progress of higher degree research candidatures. 4
(b) re-enrolment in each year of the degree is conditional upon approval of the Committee following the annual review of candidature.
(4) As a result of the review process, including the confirmation review and subsequent reviews, the Committee will determine to:
(a) confirm the candidature and approve re-enrolment (following the confirmation review), or
(b) continue the candidature and approve re-enrolment,(following subsequent reviews) or
(c) approve re-enrolment for the purpose of re-assessment of the candidature within a specified timeframe and according to prescribed conditions and/or criteria that will be provided to the candidate in writing, or
(d) transfer the candidature to a Masters Degree (Research), or
(e) take such other action regarding the candidature as it considers appropriate.
(5) Where the progress of a candidate towards the completion of the degree is unsatisfactory, the Committee may:
(a) approve re-enrolment for a three month period for the purpose of re-assessment of the candidature against prescribed conditions and/or criteria that will be provided to the candidate in writing; and/or
(b) require the candidate to show cause as to why that candidature should not be terminated.5 In such cases, the candidate must be given written notification of the reasons for the unsatisfactory progress and must be provided with the opportunity to make a written submission to the Committee; and/or
(c) terminate the candidature, where, in the opinion of the Committee, the candidate does not show good cause.
(1) On completing the program of study a candidate must submit a thesis embodying the results of the investigation. Where the research has included a substantial studio/production/exhibition component, the length of the written thesis may be proportionally reduced from the appropriate length of the thesis in the discipline.
(2) The candidate may request in writing to the Graduate Research School or the Student Administration, UNSW @ ADFA, or the College of Fine Arts Student Centre, six months in advance of the thesis submission date that the contents of the thesis be kept confidential for a period of up to two years.
(3) The candidate will give in writing to the Graduate Research School or the Student Administration, UNSW @ ADFA, or the College of Fine Arts Student Centre, six weeks notice of intention to submit the thesis.
(4) The thesis must comply with the following requirements:
(a) it must be an original and significant contribution to knowledge of the subject;
(b) the research work described must have been completed during the period of enrolment for the degree;
(c) it must be written in English except that a candidate in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences may be permitted by the Committee to write a thesis in an appropriate language as specified in the Faculty guidelines on submission of a thesis in a language other than English; 6
(d) it must reach a satisfactory standard of expression and presentation;
(e) it must consist of an account of the candidate's own research. All research performed conjointly with other persons must be fully acknowledged and include of a statement of the candidate's contribution to the conjoint research.
(5) The candidate must not submit as the main content of the thesis any work or material that has previously been submitted for a university degree or other similar award.
(6) Four copies of the thesis must be presented in a form that complies with the requirements of the University for the preparation and submission of theses for higher degrees.7
(1) There must be three examiners of the thesis, appointed by the Committee in accordance with the University procedures for appointment of examiners, 8 at least two of whom must be external to the University.
(2) The research presented in the thesis must be examined by written reports submitted by each examiner.
(3) Each examiner must submit to the Committee a concise written report on the thesis and must recommend to the Committee one of the following:
(a) The thesis merits the award of the degree.
(b) The thesis merits the award of the degree subject to minor corrections as listed being made to the satisfaction of the Head of School or unit.
(c) The thesis requires further work on matters detailed in the report. Should performance of this further work be to the satisfaction of the Committee, the thesis would merit the award of the degree.
(d) The thesis in its present form does not merit the award of the degree and further work as described in the report is required. The revised thesis should be subject to re-examination.
(e) The thesis does not merit the award of the degree and does not demonstrate sufficient merit to warrant resubmission.
(4) The Committee must consider the recommendations of the examiners and the basis for those recommendations provided in the written reports, and decide whether or not the candidate be awarded the degree and which of the recommendations specified in (3) (a)-(e) will be implemented.
(a) The Committee, in making this decision, may:
(i) appoint an additional examiner for the thesis, or
(ii) seek further advice on the thesis from an assessor or panel of assessors who are independent of the preceding examination process, or
(iii) require the candidate to submit to an oral examination 9 under conditions specified by the Committee.
(b) In determining whether the performance of further work recommended under (3c) is to the satisfaction of the Committee, the Committee may seek additional expert advice from an assessor or panel of assessors on the further work that has been performed.
(c) In the case of a decision that the revised thesis should be the subject of re-examination as specified under (3d), the examiners who recommended re-examination must be appointed to re-examine the thesis. If one or more of the original examiners decline to re-examine the thesis the Committee must appoint new examiner(s) in their place.
(d) The examiner may not recommend option 3(d) for a re-examined thesis. The Committee, in making a decision on whether the revised and re-examined thesis has satisfied the conditions for the award of the degree, may seek further advice on the examiners' reports and the revised thesis as specified in (4 a) (ii) and (iii).
(e) In the case of a decision by the Committee not to award the degree as specified under (3e), the candidate must be given written notification of the reasons for this recommendation, and must be provided with the opportunity to make a written submission to the Committee.
(f) In the case of a decision by the Committee not to award the degree as specified under (3e), the Committee may consider whether the candidate has satisfied the conditions for the award of a Masters by Research degree. The candidate must be given written notification of the reasons for this recommendation, and must be provided with the opportunity to make a written submission to the Committee.
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