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Doctoral Degree (Research) - Awards and Programs Schedule

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) As a higher education provider authorised to self-accredit, the University of Newcastle (University) is responsible under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (Cth) for ensuring that programs comply with the Provider Course [Program] Accreditation Standards. This Schedule provides the detailed principles and criteria that underpin the self-accreditation process for each Doctoral Degree (Research) award that may be delivered and conferred by the University.

(2) This Schedule supports the implementation of the Governance Rule and the Higher Degree by Research Policy. The Governance Rule describes each type of higher degree by research qualification offered by the University and provides a description of Academic Senate's role in approving and monitoring these programs.

(3) Within the Schedule the general program principles and structures have been tabulated and the approved programs that are offered under it will be listed on the University website. 

(4) In the event of an inconsistency between subordinate policy documents and any Rule(s), or Schedule to the Rule(s), the Rule(s) approved by Council prevails to the extent of the inconsistency.

(5) Extracts from Australian Qualifications Framework (Second Edition) have been included in this document with permission of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Council (January 2013).

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Section 2 - Principles and Program Structures

Model: Doctoral Degree (Research)

(6) This table describes an AQF level 10 program leading to the award of Doctoral Degree (Research) under the Higher Degree by Research Policy

Volume of learning 320 units completed in 4 years full-time or equivalent.
Purpose The degree of Doctoral Degree (Research) shall be an ungraded degree awarded for an original and significant contribution of merit achieved through a program of advanced study and research to any branch of learning of concern to the University.
Time requirements The program shall be completed and submitted for examination in:
a) not less than two years of full-time or equivalent part-time enrolment from admission to candidature, except with the permission of the Dean of Graduate Research.
b) not more than four full-time years of enrolment or equivalent part-time enrolment from admission to candidature, except with the permission of the Dean of Graduate Research.
Principles and Structure A candidate will be admitted to a program of advanced study and research approved and completed to the satisfaction of the Head of School or Deputy Head of School. The research will primarily be embodied in a thesis; and other work as approved by the Head of School or Deputy Head of School may be submitted and considered in conjunction with the thesis.
Admission and Selection Criteria
An applicant for admission to candidature for the degree shall:
i) have satisfied all of the requirements for admission to the degree of Bachelor with Honours Class 1 or Honours Class 2, Division 1 or any other degree approved for this purpose; or
ii) have satisfied all of the requirements for admission to the degree of Bachelor in the University or any other degree approved for this purpose, and have achieved by subsequent work and study a standard recognised as equivalent to at least Honours Class 2, Division 1; or
iii) in exceptional cases submit evidence of possessing such other academic or professional qualifications and/or experience as may be approved; or
iv) in the disciplines of education, medical physics, nursing, social work, social sciences and surgery have completed a minimum standard of professional experience as required; and
v) meet the English language proficiency requirements as described in the English Language Policy.
An applicant shall not be admitted to candidature unless adequate supervision and resources are available. Whether these are available shall be determined by the Head of School or Deputy Head of School.
Specialisation or Major This section is intentionally blank.
Additional Requirements May be prescribed by a School.
Learning Outcomes Descriptors Learning outcomes descriptors underpin the design of all Doctoral Degree (Research) programs offered by the University. Learning outcomes descriptors will be developed for each program as prescribed by AQF for the purpose of qualifying individuals who apply a substantial body of knowledge to research, investigate and develop new knowledge, in one or more fields of investigation, scholarship or professional practice.
i Knowledge Graduates of a Doctoral Degree will have:
i) a substantial body of knowledge at the frontier of a field of work or learning, including knowledge that constitutes an original contribution;
ii) substantial knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to the field of work or learning.
ii Skills Graduates of a Doctoral Degree will have:
i) cognitive skills to demonstrate expert understanding of theoretical knowledge and to reflect critically on that theory and practice;
ii) cognitive skills and use of intellectual independence to think critically, evaluate existing knowledge and ideas, undertake systematic investigation and reflect on theory and practice to generate original knowledge;
iii) expert technical and creative skills applicable to the field of work or learning;
iv) communication skills to explain and critique theoretical propositions, methodologies and conclusions;
v) communication skills to present cogently a complex investigation of originality or original research for external examination against international standards and to communicate results to peers and the community;
vi) expert skills to design, implement, analyse, theorise and communicate research that makes a significant and original contribution to knowledge and/or professional practice.
Application of Knowledge and Skills
Graduates of a Doctoral Degree will demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills:
i)   with intellectual independence and skills;
ii)  with initiative and creativity in new situations and/or for further learning;
iii) with full responsibility and accountability for personal outputs;
iv)  to plan and execute original research; and
v)   with the ongoing capacity to generate new knowledge, including in the context of professional practice.
Qualification for the Award The candidate will be recommended for admission to the degree by the Dean of Graduate Research on the advice of the Research Training Sub-Committee.
Grading of the Award The award will be conferred as an ordinary award.
Qualification Title Doctor of Philosophy
Pathways - General Our pathways for candidates have been developed in accordance with the AQF Qualifications Pathways Policy.

Approved entry pathways are described in Admission and Selection Criteria, above.
Pathways – Credit and Advanced Standing Credit is not consistent with the framework of a Higher Degree by Research and therefore cannot be granted.

A candidate for a Masters Degree by research in the University may be permitted to transfer candidature to the degree subject to approval from the supervisor, Head of School or Deputy Head of School and Dean of Graduate Research.
i)  A research Masters Degree candidate seeking to transfer to the degree will need to satisfy the requirements of the confirmation process at the Doctoral Degree (Research) level.
ii) Except with the permission of Dean of Graduate Research, candidates who transfer from a Masters Degree shall be deemed to have commenced candidature from the time of admission to the Masters Degree.
Pathways – Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) For research degrees RPL is a process that assesses the individual’s formal, non-formal and informal learning to determine the extent to which that individual has achieved the required learning outcomes competency outcomes or standards for entry to a qualification.

For research degrees, candidates are assessed on research experience:
i.e. demonstrated research experience that is equivalent to the standard of Honours Class II, Division 1 such as professional work experience in a research environment, published papers in refereed journals, conference papers or equivalent creative material.

RPL will not be recognised for credit or advanced standing.
Pathways – combined degree A candidate for the degree shall not be concurrently enrolled as a candidate for any other degree or award, whether of this or another tertiary institution, except with the permission of the Dean of Graduate Research. Candidates in a Jointly Awarded Doctoral Degree (JADD) or Dual Award Doctoral Degree (DADD) program will be concurrently enrolled at the partner institution and the University of Newcastle.

Pathways – nested or integrated qualifications

Nested or integrated qualifications are not consistent with the framework of a Masters Degree (Research).
Pathways – Exit There is no exit award from a Doctor of Philosophy.
Pathways - Graduate The Doctor of Philosophy is the peak award granted by Academic Senate.
Professional Accreditation This section is intentionally blank.
Additional Information

Submission of Thesis for Examination:

The candidate shall submit one copy of the thesis in accordance with the provisions of the Higher Degree by Research Policy and the Higher Degree by Research Procedure, and in the case of a Jointly Awarded Doctoral Degree Program, the Memorandum of Agreement.

Examination of Thesis:

The Dean of Graduate Research shall appoint two examiners and at least one reserve, none of whom shall be a member of the staff of the University.
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Section 3 - Relaxing Provision

(7) To provide for exceptional circumstances arising in any particular case, the President of Academic Senate, on the recommendation of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) or relevant College Pro Vice-Chancellor may relax any provision of this Schedule.

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Section 4 - Reporting

(8) The President of the Academic Senate will report all applications of the relaxing provision of this Schedule to the Academic Senate.