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Doctor of Health Science (DHSc)

The regulations below set down the requirements for award of the Doctor of Health Science (DHSc).
Formal policies and procedures related to enrolment and examination for the degree, along with information about administrative matters, are available from the Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research and on the University of Waikato website.
These regulations, policies and procedures are administered by the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research and the University's Postgraduate Research Committee.

Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Health Science (DHSc)

Date of effect

  1. These regulations are effective from 28 July 2021
  2. Requirements for the Degree

  3. The degree of Doctor of Health Science (DHSc) is awarded to candidates who have successfully completed a programme of coursework and research in two parts as follows:
    1. Part 1 - Research Portfolio
        Candidates must gain a pass grade in the paper HLTSC980 Professional Doctoral Research Portfolio.
    2. Part 2 - Thesis
        Candidates must undertake approved and supervised research and present the results lucidly in a thesis which
      1. critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, and
      2. demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, and
      3. displays intellectual independence, and
      4. makes a substantial original contribution to the research area.
  4. Admission and Enrolment

  5. To qualify to enrol for the DHSc, an applicant must have
    1. qualified for the award of a recognised health professional qualification and must produce evidence of at least three years of service as a health professional,
    2. and
    3. have qualified for the award of a New Zealand bachelor's degree with honours or a master's degree in a field relevant to the proposed research, with at least second class honours (first division) or distinction, or for a qualification considered by the Academic Board to be equivalent, or
    4. have qualified for the award of the degree of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in a field relevant to the proposed research, or
    5. have passed qualifying papers at a satisfactory level in a field relevant to the proposed research,
    6. and

    7. have demonstrated research experience and ability, normally at least 30 points of research in an honours or master's degree, or significant professional research experience, or equivalent, or
    8. in exceptional circumstances have produced other evidence to the satisfaction of the Postgraduate Research Committee that they have adequate skills and knowledge to proceed with the proposed research.
  6. Applicants whose first language is not English are required to meet the English Language Requirements for Admission.
  7. Applicants must apply through the online Application to Enrol.
  8. Applications to enrol and the conditions of enrolment are subject to approval by the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research under delegated authority of the Academic Board.
  9. As one of the preconditions for the approval of an application to enrol, the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research will establish that the necessary supervision and resources can be provided for the proposed research.
  10. If at any time subsequent to the approval of an application the University encounters changes to its staffing or resources, it will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that these do not disadvantage the candidate. However, changes to staffing and resources can mean that a candidate’s conditions of enrolment are subject to change or that their enrolment may be terminated.
  11. Pursuant to the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 or any University COVID-19 vaccination requirement, a student may not be approved to enrol, or remain enrolled, if:
    1. the student has not provided and maintained a valid and current Ministry of Health My Vaccine Pass as evidence of COVID-19 vaccination or exemption, and
    2. the student does not have an agreed study plan, approved by the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research, that confirms there are no required activities that would breach the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 or any University COVID-19 vaccination requirement.
  12. Changes to a candidate's conditions of enrolment are subject to approval by the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research under delegated authority of the Academic Board.
  13. The termination of a candidate's enrolment is subject to approval by the Postgraduate Research Committee.
  14. Candidates whose applications are approved by the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research must enrol in the Division of Health, Engineering, Computing and Science and, subject to progress which meets expectations, pursue their coursework and research for
    1. normally a minimum of three years of a maximum of eight years if they are enrolled on a full-time (1.0 EFT) basis, or
    2. normally a minimum of six years or a maximum of eight years if they are enrolled on a part-time basis (0.5 EFT), or
    3. a term approved by the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research which represents a combination of full-time and part-time study.
  15. Enrolment is approved, in the first instance for
    1. a maximum of one year in Part 1 and a maximum of four years in Part 1 and Part 2 if the
      candidate is registered on a full-time basis, or
    2. a maximum of two years in Part 1 and a maximum of eight years in Part 1 and Part 2 if the candidate is registered on a part-time basis, or
    3. a term approved by the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research which represents a combination of full-time and part-time study.
  16. In exceptional circumstances a candidate may apply to the Postgraduate Research Committee for an extension of enrolment.
  17. Candidates for the DHSc must not be concurrently enrolled in a research qualification at any other university without written permission from both universities.
  18. Candidates are required to maintain continuous enrolment throughout the entire period of their degree.
  19. Initial enrolment is in Part 1. When the Dean of Te Huataki Waiora School of Health has confirmed that a  candidate has passed Part 1 to the prescribed standards, they may apply for enrolment in Part 2.
  20. Enrolment in Part 2 is approved by the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research subject to submission by the candidate of
    1. an acceptable research proposal, and
    2. a presentation of the proposed research to a confirmation of enrolment panel, and
    3. 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/or Code of Ethical Conduct for the Use of Animals for Research Testing and Teaching 2014, and
    4. a recommendation from the candidate's supervisors, Head of School or equivalent and the Division of Health, Engineering, Computing and Science that the candidate proceed into Part 2.
  21. The Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research will appoint a supervisory panel for each candidate who proceeds to Part 2; each candidate must have a minimum of two supervisors, one of whom is normally a continuing staff member of the University and the chief supervisor.
  22. Candidates are required to maintain contact with their supervisory panel throughout the entire period of the enrolment in their degree.
  23. Following enrolment, candidates must submit six-monthly reports on the progress of their research work.
  24. A candidate may apply to the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research 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.
  25. The Postgraduate Research Committee has authority to terminate the enrolment of a candidate at any time if the candidate fails to demonstrate progress which meets expectations and/or comply with any regulations or policies which relate to enrolment for the DHSc.
  26. The thesis may consist of the candidate’s published or unpublished material, or a combination of both;  all such materials must have been produced within the term of enrolment.
  27. Where the thesis includes the candidate’s published or unpublished research papers, these must
    1. be the sole work of the candidate or, where a paper has been co-authored with a supervisor, the candidate will be the lead author, and
    2. represent original, supervised research undertaken within the term of the candidate’s DHSc enrolment.
  28. Where the thesis primarily consists of a series of published or unpublished research papers, these must be accompanied by introductory chapter/s providing a contextual framework for the thesis, and a concluding chapter providing a synthesising discussion.
  29. Candidates must indicate in the thesis any material that has been used or presented for any other degree.
  30. Where the thesis contains co-authored research papers and/or any other co-produced work, published or unpublished, Co-Authorship Forms must be completed by the candidate and all other joint authors or producers. These forms must be included as an appendix to the thesis when it is submitted for examination.
  31. Candidates must comply with the Dissertations and Theses Regulations 2020 which set out the University's requirements with respect to the submission and presentation of theses.
  32. Examination

  33. The Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research will appoint at least two examiners for the thesis who are external to the University and not directly connected with the candidate or the candidate’s research; at least one of the examiners must be from outside New Zealand.
  34. In the case of divergent examination outcomes, the Dean of Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research may appoint a further examiner.
  35. The Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research will make a decision whether or not to proceed to oral examination based on the recommendations and reports of the examiners following the examination of the thesis and will resolve
    1. that the thesis should proceed to oral examination, the work does not require significant revisions, or
    2. that the thesis should proceed to oral examination, revisions anticipated, or
    3. that the thesis should not proceed to oral examination. The candidate should be asked to re-enrol for a minimum of six months to undertake the major revisions indicated in the examiners reports and in due course to re-submit the thesis for re-examination, or
    4. that the thesis should not proceed to oral examination and should not be accepted for the DHSc but is acceptable as fulfilling the requirements for the degree of Master of Health Science (MHSc) or Master of Philosophy (MPhil) (subject to amendments of a minor nature), or
    5. that the thesis should not proceed to oral examination and should not be accepted for the award of a doctoral degree.
  36. On the basis of the final reports of the examiners following the oral examination, the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research will resolve
    1. that the thesis be accepted in its present form as fulfilling the requirements of Part 2 of the DHSc, or
    2. that the thesis be accepted as fulfilling the requirements of Part 2 of the DHSc 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
    3. that the thesis be accepted as fulfilling the requirements of Part 2 of the DHSc subject to the candidate completing substantial amendments to the satisfaction of all the examiners or the chief supervisor, provided that these amendments are not so substantial as to necessitate re-submission and are completed within ten weeks, or
    4. that the thesis is not acceptable in its present form and the candidate should be given the opportunity to revise and re-submit it for examination after a re-enrolment for a minimum period of six months, or
    5. that the thesis is not acceptable for the DHSc but should be accepted as fulfilling the requirements of the degree of Master of Health Science (MHSc) or Master of Philosophy (MPhil), or
    6. that the candidate has failed to meet the required standard and that no degree be awarded.
  37. A candidate will be permitted to revise and re-submit a thesis only once and only one oral examination will be held.
  38. Transfers

  39. A candidate may apply to Te Huataki Waiora School of Health at any time during Part 2 of the degree before submission of the thesis to transfer to the Master of Health Science (MHSc).
  40. A candidate may apply to the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research at any time during Part 2 of the degree before submission of the thesis to transfer to the Master of Philosophy (MPhil).
  41. Complaints and Appeals

  42. A candidate who wishes to appeal a decision by the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research or the Postgraduate Research Committee made under these regulations, or who has a concern about supervision or any other aspect of their candidature, may raise the matter under the Higher Degree Appeals and Complaints Regulations.
  43. Reporting

  44. The Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research and the Postgraduate Research Committee are required to report any decisions they make with respect to DHSC candidates which fall outside of these regulations to the Research Committee.

Note:

  1. Some professional master's degrees, such as the Master of Business Administration, are not intended to provide a pathway to doctoral study. Applications from those who have completed a professional master's degree will be considered on a case-by-case basis.