About this course
|Award title||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Year & campus||2020|
|Fees information||Subject EFTSL, level, discipline and census date|
|Study level & type||Graduate Research|
|Duration||3 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 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, subject or group of subjects that accounts for at least 25% of their work (i.e. Honours year), or 25% of one year accumulated over the length of a Masters course, and which has, or have, been conducted, and assessed, individually. Research carried out in groups should at least have been graded individually. This project, component, or subject(s) may include:
(a) any obviously research oriented project, subject or sustained piece of scholarly writing conducted for assessment, such as small theses, research essays, long essays, or studios; AND/OR
(b) any less-obviously research subjects, including practice-based subjects such as performance or fieldwork, where there is also scholastic rigor as documented in a sustained piece of writing analogous to (a); AND/OR
(c) any subjects directed at the formation of research skills, such as methodology and reasoning, such as scientific reasoning, or legal reasoning, where a sustained piece of writing has also been produced.
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. The residency requirement is deemed especially important during the probationary period of candidature. During this time the student is expected to interact on a regular basis with the supervisor, the faculty (including staff and other research students) and the University.
The Melbourne Graduate School of Education welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and Graduate School policy to take reasonable steps to enable the participation of students with disabilities, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the Graduate School’s programs.
The core participation requirements for study in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education are:
In all courses
- The ability to comprehend complex information related to education and the disciplines in which the student is teaching.
- The ability to communicate clearly and independently in assessment tasks a knowledge of the content, principles and practices relating to education and other relevant disciplines.
- Behavioural and social attributes that enable a student to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.
Students who feel a disability will prevent them from meeting the above academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit.
Intended learning outcomes
A Doctoral Degree thesis must:
- demonstrate authority in the student’s field and show evidence of command of knowledge in relevant fields
- demonstrate a thorough grasp of the appropriate methodological techniques and an awareness of their limitations
- make a contribution to knowledge that rests on originality of approach and/or interpretation of the findings and, in some cases, the discovery of new facts
- demonstrate the student’s ability to communicate research findings effectively in the professional arena and in an international context
- demonstrate an understanding of, and commitment to, research ethics and integrity
- be 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.
Doctoral 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 doctoral 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 a students' acquisition of these attributes.
Candidates complete an 80,000 word PhD thesis.
Detailed information on the thesis is available at Graduate Research Hub
In the six months prior to submission of their thesis candidates must present their research findings at a public completion seminar attended by their Advisory Committee.
Credit points are not assigned to the research thesis subjects that are offered as part of graduate research courses. The load or weight varies according to the duration and structure of the course, enrolment status (ie. full-time or part-time), etc.
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Application Procedure: http://education.unimelb.edu.au/study_with_us/how_to_apply
Scholarships: Information about graduate research scholarships offered by the University of Melbourne is available from the Melbourne Scholarships Office.
Thesis: Detailed information on the thesis is available at Graduate Research Hub
Last updated: 2 December 2019