About this course
Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences
Associate Dean Graduate Research
|Award title||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Year & campus||2022 — 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 (PhD) 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 Higher Degrees by Research Committee.
1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:
- a four-year bachelor degree in a relevant discipline which includes a substantial research component equivalent to at least 25% of one year of full-time study and have achieved a minimum weighted average of 75% in the final year subjects or (University of Melbourne) equivalent;
- a masters degree in a relevant discipline which includes a substantial research component equivalent to at least 25% of one year of full-time study and achieved a minimum weighted average of 75% or (University of Melbourne) equivalent;
- a qualification and professional experience considered to be equivalent;
- a research proposal; and
- referee reports (except for applicants who have graduated from the University of Melbourne within the last 5 years); and
- the endorsement of a prospective supervisor.
Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.
2. In selecting applicants, the selection committee will consider applicants’:
- prior academic performance and, if relevant, professional qualifications;
- understanding of the research question to be explored;
- performance at an interview;
- the applicant’s motivation and capacity to complete the course in a timely manner;
- relevant prior research and/or professional experience; and
- the referee reports.
3. The selection committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application.
4. Applicants are required to satisfy the university’s English language requirements for graduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 6.5 is required.
See NOTES page for more information on applications and support.
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 Higher Degrees by Research Committee (HDRC). The HDRC 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 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, 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; and
- to make use of support programs and facilities provided by the Faculty and the University throughout the period of 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 Student Equity and Disability Support.
Intended learning outcomes
Doctoral degrees at the University of Melbourne seek to develop graduates who demonstrate academic leadership, increasing independence, creativity and innovation in their research work.
Graduates of a Doctoral Degree will have:
- a substantial body of knowledge at the frontier of a field of work or learning, including knowledge that constitutes an original contribution
- substantial knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to the field of work or learning
Graduates of a Doctoral Degree will have:
- cognitive skills to demonstrate expert understanding of theoretical knowledge and to reflect critically on that theory and practice
- cognitive skills and use of intellectual independence to think critically, evaluate existing knowledge and ideas, undertake systematic investigation and reflect on theory and practice to generate original knowledge
- expert technical and creative skills applicable to the field of work or learning
- communication skills to explain and critique theoretical propositions, methodologies and conclusions
- communication skills to present cogently a complex investigation of originality or original research for external examination against international standards and to communicate results to peers and the community
- expert skills to design, implement, analyse, theorise and communicate research that makes a significant and original contribution to knowledge and/or professional practice
Application of knowledge and skills
Graduates of a Doctoral Degree will demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills:
- with intellectual independence
- with initiative and creativity in new situations and/or for further learning
- with full responsibility and accountability for personal outputs
- to plan and execute original research
- with the ongoing capacity to generate new knowledge, including in the context of professional practice
Doctoral degrees at the University of Melbourne seek to develop graduates who have a capacity for defining and managing a research project characterised by originality and independence. Their training equips them for more sustained and original work at the doctoral level or for applied research positions in a wide variety of contexts. The University expects its doctoral graduates to have the following qualities and skills:
- an ability to initiate research projects and to formulate viable research questions;
- a demonstrated capacity to design, conduct and report independent and original research on a closely-defined project;
- an ability to manage time to maximise the quality of research;
- an understanding of the major contours of international research in the research area;
- a capacity for critical evaluation of relevant scholarly literature;
- well-developed and flexible problem-solving abilities appropriate to the discipline;
- the ability to analyse research data within a changing disciplinary environment;
- the capacity to communicate effectively the results of research and scholarship by oral and written communication;
- an understanding of and facility with scholarly conventions in the discipline area;
- a profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of research and scholarship;
- a capacity to cooperate with other researchers;
- an ability to manage information effectively, including the application of computer systems and software where appropriate to the student’s field of study.
A candidate for the PhD degree must be an enrolled student in this University and is required to carry out research at the University for a specified period under the direct supervision of one or more members of the academic staff. A candidate will have appropriately experienced supervisor(s) and an Advisory Committee who, in consultation with the candidate, arranges a course of supervised research designed to suit the individual requirements and interests of the candidate. A candidate may be required to supplement their research program by attendance at, or enrolment in, additional subjects if considered necessary by the supervisor(s).
All candidates for the PhD will be examined on the basis of their thesis. A thesis of 80,000-100,000 words is required in most cases. The thesis should not exceed 100,000 words without special approval from the Research Higher Degrees Committee.
Expected duration of candidature is three years (full-time equivalent). Two extensions of six months each may be allowed. For local students, RTP is available for a maximum of four years (full-time equivalent).
Applications are accepted year-round.
- Using the Find an Expert website, identify a supervisor whose research aligns with your research interests.
- Complete an Expression of Interest. form and provide your preferred supervisor, your transcripts and CV.
- If a suitable supervisor is found, and a project is available, we will invite you to submit a full application.
Please do not contact supervisors directly – This will be done by the team assessing your Expression of Interest.
Detailed information for prospective students regarding the application process, including the application form is available https://study.unimelb.edu.au/find/courses/graduate/doctor-of-philosophy-agricultural-sciences/
Which scholarship can I apply for?
Students can find information about graduate research scholarships offered by the University of Melbourne.
Facilities and Support:
The Graduate Research Hub website hosts a range of services and information designed for graduate research students.
Candidates undertake a period of supervised advanced study and research in the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences. The term of candidature is three years on a full-time study basis and six years on a part-time study basis. Candidates are expected to meet regularly with their supervisor and are required to submit an annual report on the progress of their work. They are expected to present their work in the Faculty’s research seminar program. They are assisted to participate in relevant national or international conferences.
A thesis is submitted for examination by a minimum of two external examiners. The format of the thesis, including a statement on authorship, must follow prescriptions laid down by the University and advised to the candidate at the time of enrolment.
Last updated: 30 May 2022