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, along with information about administration matters, are available from the School of Graduate Research and on the University of Waikato website.
These regulations, policies and procedures are administered by the Dean of the School of Graduate Research and 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 research area.
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 School of Graduate Research.
4.   Applications to enrol for the PhD and the conditions of enrolment are subject to approval by the Dean of the School of Graduate Research under delegated authority of the Academic Board.
5.   As one of the preconditions for the approval of an application to enrol, the Dean of the School of Graduate Research will establish that the necessary supervision and resources can be provided for the chosen research topic.
6.   For each PhD candidate, the Dean of the School of Graduate Research 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.
7.   Candidates are required to maintain contact with their supervisory panel throughout the entire period of the enrolment in their degree.
8.   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 termination.
9.   Applicants approved to enrol in the PhD by the Dean of the School of Graduate Research must enrol in the relevant Faculty and, subject to progress which meets expectations, pursue their research for
  (a)    a minimum of three years, and a maximum of four years, if they are enrolled on a full-time basis, or
  (b)    a minimum of six years, and a maximum of eight years, if they are enrolled on a part-time basis, or
  (c)    a term approved by the Dean of the School of Graduate Research which represents a combination of full-time and part-time study.
10.   Candidates for the PhD must not be concurrently enrolled in a research qualification at any other university without written permission from both universities.
11.   Candidates are required to maintain continuous enrolment throughout the entire period of their degree.
12.   Enrolment of all new candidates for the PhD approved by the Dean of the School of Graduate Research is conditional for an initial period of six months. Confirmation of enrolment by the Dean of the School of Graduate Research after the initial period of six months is subject to the submission by the candidate of
  (a)    an acceptable research proposal, and
  (b)    a presentation of the proposed research to a confirmation of enrolment panel, 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 recommendation from the supervisors, Chair of Department/School and Dean's nominee that the candidate proceed into unconditional enrolment.
13.   Candidates may apply to the Dean of the School of Graduate Research 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.
14.   Following confirmed enrolment, candidates must submit six-monthly reports on the progress of their research work.
15.   Not withstanding section 9 of these regulations, a candidate may apply to the Dean of the 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.
16.   A candidate may apply to the Dean of the School of Graduate Research for an extension of enrolment for a maximum period of twelve months full-time equivalent during their higher degree programme.
17.   The Dean of the School of Graduate Research has authority to terminate the enrolment of a candidate at any time if the candidate fails to demonstrate progress which meets Faculty expectations and/or comply with any regulations or policies which relate to enrolment for the Degree.
18.   A PhD 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.
19.   A candidate must indicate in the thesis any part that has been used or presented for any other degree.
20.   Applicants who intend to integrate a creative practice component with their thesis must comply with the Requirements for PhD with a Creative Practice Component, available from the School of Graduate Research.
21.   Applicants who intend to submit a PhD with publication must comply with the Requirements for PhD with Publication, available from the School of Graduate Research.
22.   Candidates must comply with the Dissertations and Theses Regulations 2015 which set out the University's requirements with respect to the submission and presentation of theses.
23.   The Dean of the School of Graduate Research 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 Dean of the School of Graduate Research will appoint a third examiner.
24.   The Dean of the School of Graduate Research makes a decision to proceed to oral examination based on the recommendations and reports of the examiners following the written examination.
25.   In order for an oral examination of the candidate to be held at least two examiners should recommend that the thesis proceed to oral examination. The Dean of the School of Graduate Research may resolve
  (a)    that the thesis should proceed to oral examination, does not require significant revisions;
  (b)    that the thesis should proceed to oral examination, revisions anticipated;
  (c)    that the thesis should not proceed to oral examination. The candidate should be asked to re-enrol for a minimum of 6 months to undertake the major revisions indicated in the examiners reports and in due course to re-submit the thesis for re-examination;
  (d)    that the thesis should not proceed to oral examination and should not be accepted for the doctoral degree but is acceptable as fulfilling the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy (subject to amendments of a minor nature); or
  (e)    that the thesis should not proceed to oral examination and should not be accepted for the award of a doctoral degree.
26.   The Dean of the School of Graduate Research 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 Dean of the School of Graduate Research 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.
27.   A candidate may revise and re-submit a thesis only once and only one oral examination will be held.
28.   A candidate may apply to the Dean of the School of Graduate Research at any time between enrolment and submission of the thesis to transfer from a PhD to an MPhil.
29.   Applicants or candidates who wish to appeal a decision by the Dean of the School of Graduate Research, 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.
30.   The Dean of the School of Graduate Research and the Postgraduate Research Committee is required to report any decisions they make which fall outside of regulations to the Research Committee..

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