About this course
|Award title||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Year & campus||2019 — Parkville|
|Fees information||Subject EFTSL, level, discipline and census date|
|Study level & type||Graduate Research|
|Duration||4 years full-time, or equivalent part-time|
The degree of Doctor of Philosophy signifies that the holder has undertaken a substantial piece of original research, which has been conducted and reported by the holder under proper academic supervision and in a research environment for a prescribed period.
The PhD thesis demonstrates authority in the candidate's field and shows evidence of command of knowledge in relevant fields. It shows that the candidate has a thorough grasp of the appropriate methodological techniques and an awareness of their limitations. The thesis also makes a distinct contribution to knowledge. Its contribution to knowledge rests on originality of approach and/or interpretation of the findings and, in some cases, the discovery of new facts. The thesis demonstrates an ability to communicate research findings effectively in the professional arena and in an international context. It is a careful, rigorous and sustained piece of work demonstrating that a research 'apprenticeship' is complete and the holder is admitted to the community of scholars in the discipline.
In scope, the PhD thesis differs from a research Masters thesis chiefly by its deeper and more comprehensive treatment of the chosen subject. It is written succinctly, in English, unless approval has been given for the thesis to be written in a language other than English.
The normal length of a PhD thesis is 80,000 words, exclusive of words in tables, maps, bibliographies and appendices. Footnotes are included as part of the word limit. The thesis should not exceed 100,000 words (or equivalent) without special approval from the Research Higher Degrees Committee.
The criteria for assessing applicants' eligibility for PhD candidature are:
Applicants are normally required to have completed at least a four-year honours degree at H2A standard from an Australian university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered by the RHD Committee to be equivalent.
Minimum level of academic achievement
Applicants should have achieved an overall H1 (80-100%) or H2A (75-79%) grade in the relevant honours or Masters degree.
Relevance of the degree
The completed degree must be in an area that is relevant to the intended PhD, including sufficient specialisation such that the applicant will have already developed an understanding and appreciation of a body of knowledge relevant to the intended PhD.
Evidence of research ability
Applicants are normally required to have completed a research project/component that accounts for at least 25% of their year's work at 4th year or at Masters level.
Currency of applicant's knowledge of the discipline
The applicant's degree(s) and/or professional experience must demonstrate that their knowledge of the discipline in which they plan to undertake their research higher degree is current.
Assessment of level of suitability
Based on interview or other verbal communication, an assessment should be made of the level of understanding, motivation and time commitment of the student for the proposed program of study. For example, a full-time student would be expected to devote at least 40 hours a week and a part-time student about half of this.
Applicants must also meet the University's English Language requirements.
Inherent requirements (core participation requirements)
All PhD candidates are required to complete the equivalent of at least 12 months full-time (24 months part-time) advanced study and research in the University unless studying at an outside institution approved by the Research Higher Degrees Committee (RHDC). The RHDC will not approve entirely distance supervision or entirely on-line supervision for research higher degree students.
Throughout their candidature candidates are expected to attend the University in order to benefit from planning, conducting and writing up their research within a University community and environment.
The residency requirement is deemed especially important during the period of probationary candidature. During probationary candidature the student is expected to interact on a regular basis with the supervisor, the department (including staff and other research students) and the University, so as:
- to build the skills and knowledge necessary to carry out the proposed research program;
- to acquire an understanding of the standards and requirements for a PhD awarded by the University;
- to make use of support programs and facilities provided by the University throughout candidature.
It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support.
Intended learning outcomes
See the Graduate Attributes section.
Research degrees at the University of Melbourne seek to develop graduates who demonstrate academic leadership, increasing independence, creativity and innovation in their research work.
The University expects its research degree graduates to have the following qualities and skills:
- an advanced ability to initiate research and to formulate viable research questions;
- a demonstrated capacity to design, conduct and report sustained and original research;
- the capacity to contextualise research within an international corpus of specialist knowledge;
- an advanced ability to evaluate and synthesize research-based and scholarly literature;
- an advanced understanding of key disciplinary and multi-disciplinary norms and perspectives relevant to the field;
- highly developed problem-solving abilities and flexibility of approach;
- the ability to analyse critically within and across a changing disciplinary environment;
- the capacity to disseminate the results of research and scholarship by oral and written communication to a variety of audiences;
- a capacity to cooperate with and respect the contributions of fellow researchers and scholars;
- a profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of research and scholarship;
- an advanced facility in the management of information, including the application of computer systems and software where appropriate to the student's field of study;
- an understanding of the relevance and value of their research to national and international communities of scholars and collaborators;
- an awareness where appropriate of issues related to intellectual property management and the commercialisation of innovation; and
- an ability to formulate applications to relevant agencies, such as funding bodies and ethics committees.
The University provides a variety of opportunities in addition to the supervised research program, to facilitate students' acquisition of these attributes.
A candidate will have appropriately experienced supervisors and an Advisory Committee who, in consultation with the candidate, arrange a course of supervised research designed to suit the individual requirements and interests of the candidate.
Duration of candidature is 3 years (6 years part-time equivalent). Two extensions of 6 months (12 months) each may be permitted with Advisory Committee approval.
Detailed information for prospective PhD students regarding the application process, including the application form is available at www.futurestudents.unimelb.edu.au/grad/research.
Applications will be selected in four rounds over the year. Please check the Melbourne Law School website for details of round deadlines: www.law.unimelb.edu.au/study/graduate-research-degrees/how-to-apply.
Applicants may apply for selection in one round only in each calendar year.
PhD applicants are not required to find a supervisor. As part of the application process, Melbourne Law School assesses the application, research proposal, feasibility of the project, and availability of supervisors. However, applicants may wish to discuss their research interests with a potential supervisor prior to submitting an application and the Find an Expert website may assist in this. Prospective PhD candidates should also investigate the Melbourne Law School website for information on current research and contact details: www.law.unimelb.edu.au.
Which scholarship can I apply for?
Students can find information about graduate research scholarships offered by the University of Melbourne at Melbourne Scholarships.
Last updated: 6 December 2019