Master of Philosophy

Why study the Master of Philosophy at UNE?

The University of New England is committed to maintaining its strong research culture, underpinned by high research training standards. The Master of Philosophy Rules provide the framework for one of the University's AQF Level 9 awards. They provide the rigorous processes that are essential for the maintenance of academic quality and integrity in the University's operations, and that reflect the University's values of providing a formative, respectful, inclusive, flexible and innovative environment for the delivery of high quality research training for its students.

Eligible Australian and New Zealand students who meet the criteria for entry to this course will not incur fees and will be funded under the Australian Government's Research Training Program (RTP) for the normal duration of the course. International Students incur tuition fees.

Career Opportunities

Research pathway which may lead directly into Doctoral programs.

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Degree Snapshot

DURATION

1.5 or 2 Years Full-time
Up to 4 years Part-time

FEES

RTP
International

2020 STUDY OPTIONS
Armidale

Research Period 1, Online
Research Period 1, On Campus
Research Period 2, Online
Research Period 2, On Campus

Official Abbreviation MPhil
Course Type Postgraduate Research
CRICOS Code Approved
Commencing
Location Admission Period Mode of Study
Armidale Research Period 1 Online
Armidale Research Period 1 On Campus
Armidale Research Period 2 Online
Armidale Research Period 2 On Campus
Course Duration
  • 1.5 or 2 Years Full-time
  • Up to 4 years Part-time
Fees RTP / International
For fee information, click here
How to Apply

All students apply directly to Research Services at UNE using Research Services admission form(s)

For more information, click here

Entry Requirements

1.1. Admission to candidature in any Master of Philosophy program may be approved by the Head of School or delegate (for example Higher Degree Research (HDR) Coordinator) under the oversight of the Associate Dean Research (ADR) when the School:

(a) has certified it has the necessary facilities and appropriate support for the applicant undertaking the proposed Master of Philosophy (MPhil) program; and

(b) has nominated an appropriate Principal Supervisor and Co-supervisor(s) in accordance with Rule 5.

1.2. The Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR may admit to candidature in a MPhil program an applicant who:

(a) has a degree of Bachelor with at least second-class Honours (AQF Level 8) or equivalent in an appropriate field of study; or

(b) has a degree at AQF Level 7 or equivalent and has adequate relevant preparation since graduation. Adequate relevant preparation may be gained by an approved academic course, professional training, during an occupation or through peer reviewed publications; and

(c) has completed and had approved by the relevant School officers an MPhil research proposal.

1.3 All applicants must meet the UNE's English Language Requirements for Admission Rule.

Master of Philosophy programs- specific requirements

1.4 Master of Philosophy (Innovation)

In addition to meeting the requirements for entry to the Master of Philosophy program, to be admitted into candidature in the Master of Philosophy (Innovation), an applicant must:

(a) fulfill both academic requirements for entry into an MPhil, and the industry/profession requirements, outlined below;

(b) have a minimum of five (5) years of relevant experience in an industry or profession; and

(c) demonstrate successful undertaking of prior contextualised research activity in a relevant profession/industry. Such research activity could include previous research surrounding the development and implementation of new knowledge; policy research; market research; research association with commercialisation activities; action research; workplace evaluations; evaluation of new knowledge and/or innovation adoption; change management; monitoring and evaluation; and/or any other evidence of research and development capacity deemed sufficient and relevant by the PhD.I Coordinator.

1.4.1 All candidates will complete the MPhil (Innovation) in two phases. Phase 1: completion of the Research Learning Program, which much be completed prior to commencement of Phase 2: the Innovation project Portfolio. Progression to Phase 2 is contingent on successful completion of Phase 1, as demonstrated through Confirmation of Candidature.

1.4.2 Projects can only be undertaken in areas for which UNE can provide appropriate supervision and resources to support the project.

1.5 Master of Philosophy (Creative Practice)

Projects for this course must include two components:

i. a creative work; and

ii. a written exegesis

1.5.1 Primary Supervision is based in the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Co-supervision can be from across UNE and industry.

1.5.2 Projects can only be undertaken in creative areas for which UNE can provide appropriate supervision and resources to support the project.

1.5.3 An applicant must demonstrate that they have successfully undertaken prior contextualised research activity/experience in a relevant area of creative practice.

Further Information

Please contact Research Services on (02) 6773 3715 or for online information go to AskUNE

These course rules & plans are ONLY to be used if you commenced, transferred or changed versions in the Master of Philosophy in 2020.

Admission to Candidature

1.1. Admission to candidature in any Master of Philosophy program may be approved by the Head of School or delegate (for example Higher Degree Research (HDR) Coordinator) under the oversight of the Associate Dean Research (ADR) when the School:
(a) has certified it has the necessary facilities and appropriate support for the applicant undertaking the proposed Master of Philosophy (MPhil) program; and
(b) has nominated an appropriate Principal Supervisor and Co-supervisor(s) in accordance with Rule 5.
1.2. The Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR may admit to candidature in a MPhil program an applicant who:
(a) has a degree of Bachelor with at least second-class Honours (AQF Level 8) or equivalent in an appropriate field of study; or
(b) has a degree at AQF Level 7 or equivalent and has adequate relevant preparation since graduation. Adequate relevant preparation may be gained by an approved academic course, professional training, during an occupation or through peer reviewed publications; and
(c) has completed and had approved by the relevant School officers an MPhil research proposal.
1.3 All applicants must meet the UNE’s English Language Requirements for Admission Rule

Master of Philosophy programs- specific requirements

1.4 Master of Philosophy (Innovation)

In addition to meeting the requirements for entry to the Master of Philosophy program, to be admitted into candidature in the Master of Philosophy (Innovation), an applicant must:
(a) fulfill both academic requirements for entry into an MPhil, and the industry/profession requirements, outlined below;
(b) have a minimum of five (5) years of relevant experience in an industry or profession; and
(c) demonstrate successful undertaking of prior contextualised research activity in a relevant profession/industry. Such research activity could include previous research surrounding the development and implementation of new knowledge; policy research; market research; research association with commercialisation activities; action research; workplace evaluations; evaluation of new knowledge and/or innovation adoption; change management; monitoring and evaluation; and/or any other evidence of research and development capacity deemed sufficient and relevant by the PhD.I Coordinator.
1.4.1 All candidates will complete the MPhil (Innovation) in two phases. Phase 1: completion of the Research Learning Program, which much be completed prior to commencement of Phase 2: the Innovation project Portfolio. Progression to Phase 2 is contingent on successful completion of Phase 1, as demonstrated through Confirmation of Candidature.
1.4.2 Projects can only be undertaken in areas for which UNE can provide appropriate supervision and resources to support the project.
More information can be found here.

1.5 Master of Philosophy (Creative Practice)

Projects for this course must include two components:
i. a creative work; and
ii. a written exegesis
1.5.1 Primary Supervision is based in the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Co-supervision can be from across UNE and industry.
1.5.2 Projects can only be undertaken in creative areas for which UNE can provide appropriate supervision and resources to support the project.
1.5.3 An applicant must demonstrate that they have successfully undertaken prior contextualised research activity/experience in a relevant area of creative practice.

More information can be found at here.

2. Period of Candidature - all programs

2.1. The minimum period of full-time candidature is one (1) year (two (2) years for part-time), unless otherwise approved by the Graduate Research Committee.
2.2. The maximum period of full-time candidature is normally two (2) years (four (4) years for part-time). Extension may be granted by the Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR in recognition of exceptional circumstances.
2.3 For applicants upgrading to a doctoral course, the maximum period of full-time candidature is reduced by the period of enrolment in the MPhil.
2.4 Applicants transferring from an equivalent course at another institution must have a minimum of one (1) year of full time candidature remaining (or two (2) years part-time).

3. Conditions of Candidature

3.1. Each MPhil candidate is required to consult regularly with their supervisors. This may be in person, by email, video-conference or other means. As per the Research Higher Degree Supervision Agreement, the supervisors and the Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR will determine the nature and extent of such consultations after discussion with the candidate.
3.2. The candidate is required to undergo a Confirmation of Candidature process which will normally be completed between three and six months of commencing candidature, as detailed in the Confirmation of Candidature Procedure.
3.3 The candidate is required to complete a Research Higher Degree Supervision Agreement within three months of commencement.
3.4. The candidate is required to complete an HDR Progress Report every six months. Failure to complete a report, or unsatisfactory progress, may result in the candidate being asked to show cause as to why their enrolment should continue under the Unsatisfactory HDR Progress Report Procedures.
3.5. The Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR, may grant a leave of absence from the course of study, as stated in the HDR Candidature Rule. The period of leave shall not be counted as part of candidature.
3.6. Unless otherwise arranged, the candidate is required to pursue the course wholly under the control of UNE.
3.7. Research may be undertaken away from the UNE, on the recommendation of the Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR where:
(a) the candidate will have access to the required facilities and appropriate support; and
(b) the nature and extent of the consultation between the candidate and UNE supervisor will be specified on the Research Higher Degree Supervision Agreement.
3.8. The Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR may approve enrolment in another degree concurrently with enrolment in the MPhil.
3.9. The approved project, program of study (if applicable) and research area will be detailed in the letter of offer.
3.10. The candidate will develop a research program under the guidance of supervisors and approved by the Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR.
3.11. The candidate is required to maintain appropriate academic progress in their program of study. Failure to do so may result in the candidate being required to show cause under the HDR Show Cause Policy and Procedures.
3.12 The candidate shall abide by the expectations of the Australian Code of Conduct for the Responsible Conduct of Research, the UNE Code of Conduct for Research, and the UNE Higher Degree Research Student Responsible Research Conduct Policy, as well as any general or specific requirements of candidature, as detailed, and agreed to, in the letter of offer issued by the UNE, any requirements imposed by the UNE Ethics Committees, or other relevant contractual arrangements relating to the candidature.
3.13 A candidate will be required to complete all the components of their research program to the satisfaction of the Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR.
3.14 All work presented in the assessable components must have been undertaken during the course of the MPhil.
3.15 No part of the assessable components of the doctorate will have been accepted for any other degree program.
3.16 Candidates may apply for Advanced Standing per the HDR Candidature Rule.
3.17 Candidates may proceed to the Master of Philosophy by: (a) 100% research as demonstrated by the generation of a thesis, portfolio or creative work, or other form deemed satisfactory by the Head of School at the outset of the program.
(b) a mix of course work and thesis leading to the generation of a thesis that will comprise two-thirds of the assessable content of the degree and coursework to the total of one-third of the assessable component of the degree. Normally this will amount to 72 credit points, with 24 credit points of course work at the appropriate AQF level, and 48 credit point thesis.
(c) undertaking an approved course of study that will enable candidates to upgrade to a PhD (Creative Practice) or PhD (Innovation).
3.18 Transfer from the 100% research mode Master of Philosophy to the mixed research and coursework to Master of Philosophy will normally not be considered after six months. Transfers must be recommend by the Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR.
3.19 MPhil candidates may apply to upgrade to a Doctor of Philosophy. This would normally occur between six and twelve months from commencement of candidature for full-time candidates, or twelve to twenty-four months for part-time candidates. Upgrades after this time need to be approved by the DVCR. All candidates need to be aware that the full-time equivalent days consumed during the Masters degree will be deducted from the doctoral candidature (Clause 2.5 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003)

4. Exit Pathway

A candidate seeking exit from the MPhil program must consult with Research Services and their School to find a suitable award for which they are qualified. Any exit pathway must be approved the Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR.

5. Supervisors - Nomination, Appointment and Responsibilities

5.1. As per the supervisor procedure, the Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR must nominate at least two, on campus academic supervisors of the candidate. This will be varied only under exceptional circumstances as deemed by the Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR.
5.2 The School must provide appropriate supervision until the conclusion of the examination process for each candidate.
5.3 The nomination of supervisors will include an estimate of the expected percentage input from each supervisor.
5.4 One supervisor shall be nominated as the Principal Supervisor, and the remaining as Co-supervisors. In the case of the MPhil (Innovation), Industry/profession supervisor(s) will be appointed..
5.5 All Supervisors must comply with all the requirements of the Registration of Higher Degree Research Supervisor Procedures, and all other relevant UNE policies, rules, guidelines and procedures.
5.6 All supervisors must abide by the Australian Code of Conduct for the Responsible Conduct of Research and the UNE Code of Conduct for Research, as well as any general or specific requirements of candidature, as detailed, and agreed to, in the letter of offer issued by the UNE, any requirements imposed by the UNE Ethics Committees, plus other relevant contractual arrangements relating to the candidature.
5.7 The Principal Supervisor must complete a Research Higher Degree Supervision Agreement, in consultation with the candidate and Co-supervisors, within three months of commencement of the research component of the degree.
5.8 On the recommendation of the Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR, the DVCR may terminate candidature, if they are satisfied that UNE can no longer provide appropriate supervision. In such circumstances, the School will provide any necessary administrative assistance to the candidate to facilitate transfer to another institution.
5.9 The candidate has the right to request a change of supervisor. Such a request must be submitted to the Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR.
5.10 Any changes to supervision must be approved by the relevant Heads of School or delegates (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR.

6. Submission Requirements - intention to submit, selecting examiners and submission requirements

6.1 At least two months prior to the submission date, candidates should register their intention to submit with Research Services.
6.2 One month prior to submission, the Principal Supervisor must submit a completed Confidential Recommendation of Examiners Form to Research Services, recommending the names of two examiners and a reserve third examiner. The pool of examiners should be arrived at via consultation between the Principal Supervisor, the candidate and co-supervisors. For the Master of Philosophy (Innovation) the examiners must include one academic, one academic with relevant industry/professional experience (a boundary spanner) and one suitably qualified industry professional. The candidate should not be given any indication of the final set of examiners that have been recommended and appointed.
6.3 The Confidential Recommendation of Examiners Form must be submitted to the Graduate Research Examination Board (GREB) for approval.
6.4 At least one of the actual examiners must be an independent expert with international standing who is external to UNE and to any collaborating institution involved in the work. GREB must be advised via the Confidential Recommendation of Examiners Form, on all conflicts of interest, provided with evidence of international standing and information regarding each examiner’s experience examining higher degree research. The Principal Supervisor will obtain written or email consent from each examiner, excepting the reserve, to complete the examination within six weeks of receipt.
6.5 The candidate shall present for examination a thesis, portfolio or creative work in a format approved by their School, embodying the result of the MPhil research. The thesis may be in the format of a traditional thesis, thesis by publication (as per the Thesis by Publication Format Guidelines) or a combination of these.
6.6 Once submitted, examiners will be provided with appropriate copies of the thesis, portfolio or creative work, and all other relevant information, by Research Services and requested to provide a written report on the merits of the thesis, portfolio or creative work within six weeks of receipt of the submission.
6.7 If an examiner fails to provide his or her report after appropriate reminders, within two months, GREB, after consultation with the relevant Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR, may notify the examiner that their services are no longer required and replace them with the reserve examiner, or other approved examiners as appropriate.
6.8 The word limit of the thesis will not normally exceed 50,000 words, taking into account disciplinary norms, and approved by the Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR.
6.9 The thesis, portfolio or creative work must be in English unless the DVCR has approved otherwise.
6.10 The sources from which all the information is derived, the extent to which the work of others has been used and to which the assistance of individuals, associations or institutions has been obtained, must be acknowledged generally in a preface or introduction, specifically in notes, a bibliography or appendices, and must be, throughout the thesis, portfolio or creative work, shown clearly and fully in appropriate references.
6.11 The candidate may not present in the thesis, portfolio or creative work any work that has been the basis of the award of a degree at this or another University.
6.12 The candidate and supervisors will ensure compliance with the Management and Storage of Research Data and Materials Policy.
6.13 The candidate shall submit to Research Services the thesis, portfolio or creative work in digital format, with three hard copies if required. If the thesis, portfolio or creative work has multimedia components, three copies of such components must also be submitted along with clear instructions as to their usage as well as a listing of computer hardware, software and other requirements needed by examiners and other readers of the work. All multimedia components must be accessible by examiners.  For the MPhil (Creative Practice), the candidate shall submit to Research Services the exegesis, and the creative work if it is in a written medium, in digital format, with two hard copies if required. The creative work must be accessible by examiners.
6.14 At the time of submission, the Principal Supervisor and Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR, will submit certification to Research Services that the form and content of the thesis, portfolio or creative work are suitable for examination.
6.15 If a thesis , portfolio or creative work is submitted without appropriate certification from the Principal Supervisor and/or Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR, the matter will be referred to GREB, which will determine whether or not the thesis, portfolio or creative work should proceed to examination. The GREB decision will be final. Examiners will not be advised if it was submitted without School support. The outcome of the examination will be made available to the supervision team.

7. Examination Outcomes

7.1 Taking into account the recommendations of the examiners, GREB may:
(a) recommend the degree be awarded;
(b) recommend that the degree be awarded conditional upon making such amendments as GREB deems appropriate;
(c) appoint additional examiners;
(d) require the candidate to sit for such written, oral or practical examinations as GREB may prescribe;
(e) permit the candidate to revise and resubmit the thesis, portfolio or creative work;
(f) recommend that the degree not be awarded.
7.2 A candidate awarded the degree in terms of (b) will be given three months to complete minor amendments and six months for major amendments. Changes will be made to the satisfaction of the Principal Supervisor and relevant Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR.
7.3 A candidate permitted to revise and resubmit under (e) shall complete the revision within 9 months under the supervision of a Principal Supervisor or supervisors endorsed by GREB, and shall proceed to further examination as prescribed by GREB.

8. Process Upon Recommendation of 'Degree Not Be Awarded'

8.1 Where any examination process report is received by the GREB, where the Committee is recommending that the candidate not be awarded the degree pursuant to 7.1.(f), the Candidate and their Principal Supervisor shall be notified in writing of the content of that report and may within eight weeks lodge a response limited to the academic and substantive matters raised therein.
8.2 The Principal Supervisor and student’s responses may then be sent to the examiners who shall be invited to provide a comment on the impact of those responses on their original recommendations.
8.3 The Committee shall take into account the submissions of the Principal Supervisor and/or student, and any comments on these from the examiners, in determining whether the degree be awarded.
8.4 A candidate who has made amendments or revisions under 7.1 (b), (c), (d), (e) or (f), and the outcome is that the degree not be awarded, shall be able to appeal the application of the university policy and process applied to reach the outcome, as per the Academic Assessment Appeals Policy.
8.5 Where the degree is awarded, the candidate is required to lodge copies of the thesis, portfolio or creative work as stated in the HDR Candidature Rule.
8.6. Only candidates who have satisfied all requirements of the MPhil program in which they are enrolled will be permitted to graduate with award. The award may be conferred posthumously as stated in the relevant UNE policy.
8.7. Where special circumstances exist, the DVCR may approve exemptions to these rules.

Course Aims

The Master of Philosophy course aims are to provide a program of independent, supervised research for high calibre graduates that make an advanced contribution to scholarship and mastery of a scientific field of knowledge.

Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. exhibit a mastery of a field of knowledge within arts, health science, economics or business by: (a) having systematically acquired intellectual skill and experience that is grounded in contemporary developments in the field; (b) creating and communicating scholarship of a quality to satisfy peer review, extending the frontier of the field of knowledge and potentially meriting publication; (c) demonstrating knowledge of research principles and methods applicable in advanced academic inquiry;
  2. conduct research independently and systematically by: (a) conceptualising, designing and implementing a project which will increase knowledge that is applicable or contributes new insights to the field; (b) evaluating ideas and making informed judgements on complex issues or challenges in the field of specialisation; (c) communicating ideas, methodologies and conclusions clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences; and
  3. be accountable for their own learning and professional training by: (a) demonstrating the capacity to undertake further learning and/or a further career in or around research at an advanced level, and contributing substantially to the development or dissemination of new techniques, ideas or approaches: (b) displaying the qualities and attributes necessary to exercise personal responsibility and autonomous initiative in complex and unpredictable situations, whether in professional environments or in the public domain.
Graduate Attributes Graduate attribute information is currently unavailable for this course.

How to Apply

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All students apply directly to Research Services at UNE using Research Services admission form(s)

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