Doctor of Philosophy

Why study the Doctor of Philosophy at UNE?

The University of New England is committed to maintaining its strong research culture, underpinned by high research training standards. The University Doctor of Philosophy Rules provide the framework for the University's highest level award. 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 the PhD 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.

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Degree Snapshot

DURATION

3 Years Full-time
6 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 PhD
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
  • 3 Years Full-time
  • 6 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

All applicants must meet the requirements for all Higher Degrees by Research as stated in the English Language Requirements Higher than the University Minimum Requirements Annex to the University's English Language Requirements for Admission Rule.

1. Admission to candidature in the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) may be approved by the Committee only when the Head of School has:

(a) certified that the necessary facilities and appropriate support for the applicant undertaking the proposed PhD program are available; and

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

2. The Committee may, on the recommendation of the relevant Head of School, admit to candidature into the course for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) an applicant who:

(a) has a degree of Master (AQF Level 9) with at least 25% research component undertaken at a sufficiently high standard; or

(b) has a degree of Bachelor with at least upper second class honours (AQF Level 8); or

(c) has a degree at AQF Level 8 or AQF Level 9 and have adequate research preparation since graduation. Adequate research preparation may be gained by an approved academic course, professional training, during an occupation or through peer reviewed publications; or

(d) has previously undertaken work of sufficiently high standard towards a higher degree by research (AQF Level 9) in the University but not have submitted it for any degree; and

(e) has produced documented evidence of capacity to undertake work at the PhD level; and

(f) has completed and had approved by the Committee a PhD research proposal.

3. Evidence of refereed research publications or reviews of at least two thesis chapters are required before the Committee will consider a request to upgrade from an incomplete higher degree by research (AQF Level 9) in the University (Rule 2(d)).

3.1. The reviews shall be carried out by two reviewers, one who may be internal and one who must be external to the University. Each reviewer should have a doctoral degree or equivalent.

3.2. Any application for an upgrade with evidence attached must be endorsed by the Principal Supervisor and Head of School and forwarded to Research Services, after confirmation of candidature or equivalent with sufficient candidature left to continue on into the PhD. The Committee will determine, in consultation with the principal supervisor, the appropriate period of PhD candidature, should the upgrade be approved.

4. All applicants must meet the University's English Language Requirements for Admission Rule.

Scholarships

Please refer to the Research Services website for further details on Scholarships

Academic Colours

White (BCC 1)

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 Doctor of Philosophy in 2020.

These rules apply to the following doctoral programs:
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy (Innovation)
Doctor of Philosophy (Creative Practice)

Students should be aware that the version of a HDR or research related policy at the time of admission to candidature will apply to their studies for the duration of candidature. Please check, when following a link to a specific policy, whether the current or a historical version of the policy might be applicable to you.

Admission to Candidature

1.1. Admission to candidature in any doctoral 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 PhD 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 doctoral program an applicant who: (a) has a degree of Master (AQF Level 9) with at least a 25% research component undertaken at a sufficiently high standard, or equivalent; or
(b) has a degree of Bachelor with at least upper second class Honours (AQF Level 8), or equivalent; or
(c) has a degree at AQF Level 8 or AQF Level 9 and had adequate research preparation since graduation. Adequate research preparation may be gained by an approved academic course, professional training, during an occupation or through peer reviewed publications; or
(d) has previously undertaken work of sufficiently high standard towards a higher degree by research (AQF Level 9 or equivalent) at UNE but not submitted it for any degree; and
(e) has produced documented evidence of capacity to undertake work at the PhD level; and (including any requirements for Doctor of Philosophy (Innovation) and Doctor of Philosophy (Creative Practice)); 
(f) has completed an appropriate research proposal for the doctoral program for which they are applying (see further below)
1.3 Upgrade from research Master to Doctoral program.
HDR candidates may apply to the Graduate Research Committee to upgrade from a research Masters program (AQF Level 9) as stated in Rule 1.2(d) to a doctoral program by providing the following:
(a) evidence of refereed research publications or reviews of at least two thesis chapters, or equivalent component of a portfolio or creative work.
(b) the reviews shall be carried out by two reviewers, one who may be internal and one who must be external to UNE. Each reviewer should have a doctoral degree or equivalent.
(c) any application for an upgrade with evidence attached must be endorsed by the Principal Supervisor and Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR and forwarded to Research Services, after confirmation of candidature or equivalent with sufficient candidature left to continue on into the PhD.
1.4 The time of candidature in the Masters program will be deducted from the candidature of the doctoral program. For example, for domestic candidates, if six months has been undertaken in the Masters program, then thirty months will remain for the doctoral program.
1.5 All applicants must meet the UNE’s English Language Requirements for Admission Rule.

Doctoral programs- specific requirements

1.6 Doctor of Philosophy (Innovation)
In addition to meeting the requirements for entry to UNE Doctoral Programs, to be admitted into candidature in the Doctor of Philosophy (Innovation) (PhD. I) an applicant must:
(a) fulfill both academic and industry/profession requirements;
(b) have a minimum of five (5) years relevant experience in an industry/profession; and
(c) wherever possible, but mandatory in cases where criteria in Rule 1.2 has not been met, demonstrate he/she has successfully undertaken prior contextualised research activity in a relevant industry/profession at the equivalent of Masters level. Such demonstrated prior contextualised research 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.
1.6.1. International candidates will need to reside in Australia during the first 12 months of candidature while they complete the PhD.I Research Learning Program. The following three (3) years of candidature they will return to and reside in the country where their Innovation project and Innovation project Portfolio research is being conducted. Candidates are required to return to Australia for intervals of time sufficient to complete their portfolio as agreed between the candidate, supervisors and Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR.
1.6.2. All candidates will complete the PhD.I in two phases. Phase 1: the PhD.I Research Learning Program, which must 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.
More information can be found here.
1.7 Doctor of Philosophy (Creative Practice)
Projects for this course must include two components:
i. A creative work
ii. A written exegesis
1.7.1 Primary Supervision is based in the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, co-supervision can be from across UNE and industry.
1.7.2 Projects can only be undertaken in creative areas for which UNE can provide appropriate supervision and resources to support the project.
1.7.3 An applicant must demonstrate he/she has successfully undertaken prior contextualised research activity in a relevant area of creative practice at the equivalent of research Masters level, and has appropriate skills and knowledge to undertake work in this field at PhD level.
More information can be found at here.

2. Period of Candidature - all programs

2.1. The minimum period of doctoral candidature is two (2) years (four (4) years for part-time), unless otherwise approved by the Graduate Research Committee.
2.2. The maximum period of candidature are as follows:
(a) Domestic, full-time candidates receive three (3) year candidature (six (6) years for part-time). Extensions 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.
(b) International, on campus candidates receive four (4) year candidature (part-time study is disallowed by law). Extensions may be granted by the Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR, in consultation with UNE International, in recognition of exceptional circumstances.
(c) International off campus applicants receive candidature for three (3) years, with six (6) years for part-time candidates. Extensions 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 candidates upgrading from another course the maximum time limit is reduced by the period of enrolment in the course from which the student has changed.
2.4. The Head of School or delegate (for example HDR Coordinator) under the oversight of the ADR may approve the transfer of an applicant from an equivalent course in another institution, providing sufficient candidature remains to complete the doctorate.

3. Conditions of Candidature

3.1 Each PhD 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 consultation with the candidate.
3.2 The candidate is required to undergo a Confirmation of Candidature process which will normally be completed between six and nine 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 candidate may enroll in specified coursework units concurrently with the PhD if the units are considered by the Principal Supervisor to be necessary for successful completion of the PhD.
3.9. The approved project 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 doctorate.
3.15 No part of the assessable components of the doctorate will have been accepted for any other degree program.

4. Exit Pathway

A candidate exiting the PhD before completion may be eligible to transfer from the PhD to a relevant Master by research degree (AQF Level 9) subject to agreement by the candidate and approval of the Principal Supervisor, 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 for 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 PhD.I, Industry/profession supervisor(s) will also 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 Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research (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 three examiners and a reserve fourth examiner. The pool of examiners should be arrived at via consultation between the Principal Supervisor, the candidate and Co-supervisors. For the Doctor of Philosophy (Innovation) the examiners must include an academic, an academic with relevant industry/professional experience (a boundary spanner) and a 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 doctoral research, as substantially an original contribution to knowledge.  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 100,000 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 PhD (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 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.  
8.5Where 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 A doctoral candidate may be awarded the Chancellor's Doctoral Research Medal in cases where at least two examiners have recommended the award of the Medal, and GREB has approved the award of the Medal. The Medals will be given for doctoral research that is of exceptional merit and at the forefront of the field.
8.7 Only candidates who have satisfied all requirements of the doctoral 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.
8.9 Where special circumstances exist, the DVCR may approve exemptions to these rules.

Course Aims

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

Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. exhibit an expert understanding of an academic field of knowledge by: (a) having systematically acquired a substantial body of intellectual skill and experience that is grounded in contemporary developments in an academic field; (b) creating and communicating original scholarship of a quality to satisfy peer review, extending the frontier of the field of knowledge and potentially meriting publication; (c) demonstrating thorough 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 an academic 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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