[an error occurred while processing this directive] Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The regulations below set down the requirements for award of the PhD degree.
Formal policies and procedures related to enrolment and examination for the PhD are set out in the Higher Degrees Handbook, which also includes information about administration matters and is available from the Postgraduate Studies Office and online.
Both the regulations set out below and the formal policies and procedures set out in the handbook are administered by the University’s Postgraduate Research Committee.
Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
1.   The Degree is awarded to candidates who have successfully completed approved and supervised research, and presented the results lucidly in a thesis which
  (a)    critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, and
  (b)    demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, and
  (c)    displays intellectual independence, and
  (d)    makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned and is of publishable quality.
2.   To qualify to enrol for the PhD, an applicant must
  (a)    have qualified for the award of a bachelors degree with honours or a masters degree, and must have achieved at least second class honours (first division) or distinction, or
  (b)    have qualified for the degree of Master of Philosophy, or
  (c)    have enrolled for the degree of Master of Philosophy and demonstrated that he or she is able to transfer to the PhD, or
  (d)    have passed qualifying papers at a satisfactory level, or
  (e)    in exceptional circumstances have produced other evidence to the satisfaction of the Postgraduate Research Committee that he or she has adequate skills and knowledge to proceed with the proposed research.
3.   Applicants for the PhD must apply on the prescribed form which is available from the Postgraduate Studies Office.
4.   Applications to enrol for the PhD and the conditions of enrolment are subject to approval by the Postgraduate Research Committee under delegated authority of the Academic Board.
5.   As one of the preconditions for the approval of an application to enrol, the Postgraduate Research Committee will establish that the necessary supervision and resources can be provided for the chosen topic.
6.   If at any time subsequent to the approval of an application the University encounters staffing or resource difficulties which impact on the availability of resources or supervision for his/her PhD research, it will make all reasonable efforts, within budget and staffing constraints, to provide satisfactory arrangements so as not to cause any disadvantage. Because of the specialist nature of research and supervision at this level, under such circumstances a candidate's conditions of enrolment may be subject to change.
7.   For each PhD candidate, the Postgraduate Research Committee appoints a supervisory panel. Each PhD candidate must have a minimum of two supervisors, one of whom is a continuing staff member of the University and the chief supervisor.
8.   Applicants whose applications to enrol for the PhD are approved by the Postgraduate Research Committee must enrol in the relevant Faculty or School of Studies and, subject to satisfactory progress, pursue their research for
  (a)    at least three years, if they are enrolled on a full-time basis, or
  (b)    at least six years, if they are enrolled on a part-time basis, or
  (c)    a term approved by the Postgraduate Research Committee which represents a combination of full-time and part-time study.
9.   Enrolment is approved, in the first instance for:
  (a)    a maximum of four years if the candidate is enrolled on a full-time basis, or
  (b)    a maximum of eight years if the candidate is enrolled on a part-time basis or
  (c)    a term approved by the Postgraduate Research Committee which represents a combination of full-time and part-time study.
10.   Candidates are required to maintain continuous enrolment throughout the entire period of their degree.
11.   Enrolment of all new candidates for the PhD approved by the Postgraduate Research Committee is conditional for an initial period of six months. Confirmation of enrolment by the Postgraduate Research Committee after the initial period of six months is subject to the submission by the candidate of
  (a)    an acceptable research plan, and
  (b)    a report by the supervisors recommending confirmation of enrolment, and
  (c)    evidence of ethical approval or a statement confirming that it is not required, in accordance with the Ethical Conduct in Human Research and Related Activities Regulations 2008 and
  (d)    a presentation about the proposed research to a confirmation of enrolment panel.
12.   Candidates may apply to the Postgraduate Research Committee for an extension to the conditional enrolment period of up to six months full-time equivalent. If the candidate's enrolment is not confirmed within twelve months of initial enrolment it may be terminated.
13.   Following confirmed enrolment, candidates must submit six-monthly reports on the progress of their research work.
14.   Not withstanding section 10 of these regulations, a candidate may apply to the Postgraduate Research Committee for a suspension from enrolment for a maximum period of twelve months full-time equivalent. A candidate is not entitled to supervision or any University resources during a period of suspension and does not incur tuition fees.
15.   A candidate may apply to the Postgraduate Research Committee for an extension of enrolment for a maximum period of twelve months full-time equivalent during their higher degree programme.
16.   The Postgraduate Research Committee has authority to terminate the enrolment of a candidate at any time if the candidate fails to demonstrate satisfactory progress or comply with any regulations or policies which relate to enrolment for the Degree.
17.   A PhD thesis may consist of either published or unpublished material, or a combination of both, and must be presented within the term of enrolment.
18.   A candidate must indicate in the thesis any part that has been used or presented for any other degree.
19.   Candidates must comply with the Dissertations and Theses Regulations 2006 which set out the University's requirements with respect to the submission and presentation of theses.
20.   The Postgraduate Research Committee appoints at least two examiners for the candidate's thesis who are external to the University and not directly connected with the candidate or the candidate's research. At least one of the external examiners is based overseas. In the case of divergent examination outcomes, the Postgraduate Research Committee may appoint a third examiner.
21.   Notwithstanding section 20 of these regulations, provided that at least half of the examiners recommend that the thesis be accepted, an oral examination of the candidate is conducted.
22.   The Postgraduate Research Committee makes a final decision on the award of the Degree. On the basis of the final report of the examiners following the oral examination, the Postgraduate Research Committee may resolve
  (a)    that the thesis be accepted in its present form as fulfilling the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, or
  (b)    that the thesis be accepted as fulfilling the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, subject to the candidate undertaking minor amendments and/or correcting typographical errors as required by the examiners, to the satisfaction of the chief supervisor, or
  (c)    that the thesis be accepted subject to the candidate completing amendments to the satisfaction of the examiners or chief supervisor, provided that these amendments are not so substantial as to necessitate re-submission and are completed within ten weeks of the oral examination, or
  (d)    that the thesis is not acceptable in its present form and should be returned to the candidate, who may revise it and re-submit it for examination after a re-enrolment for a minimum period of six months, or
  (e)    that the thesis not be accepted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, but be accepted as fulfilling the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy, or
  (f)    that the candidate has failed to meet the required standard and that no degree be awarded.
23.   A candidate may revise and re-submit a thesis only once and only one oral examination will be held.
24.   A candidate may apply to the Postgraduate Research Committee at any time between enrolment and submission of the thesis to transfer from a PhD to an MPhil.
25.   Applicants or candidates who wish to appeal a decision by the Postgraduate Research Committee, or who have a concern about supervision or any other aspect of their candidature may raise the matter under the Higher Degree Appeals and Complaints Regulations, which can be found at the end of these Regulations.
26.   The Postgraduate Research Committee may vary or waive these regulations in individual cases. The Postgraduate Research Committee is required to report any decisions under this authority to the Research Committee.