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 via the thesis, 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 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. All candidates for the degree will be examined on the basis of their thesis which is examined externally. The normal length of the thesis is between 80,000 and 100,000 words, exclusive of words in tables, maps, bibliographies and appendices.
- Students may commence a PhD at any time during the year between 1st February and 15 December.
- Commencement in the degree is subject to prior arrangement with their nominated supervisor and the Learning and Teaching Unit. (Scholarships have separate rules and students should seek approval from Melbourne Scholarships to vary their scholarshp commencement).
- Please check with the relevant academic unit prior to making any arrangements for enrolment or travel.
A range of University policies and procedures apply to Higher Degrees by Research and students should familiarise themselves with these policies via the University of Melbourne Policy Library.