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Doctoral Degree (Professional) 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 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 of Newcastle.

(2) This Schedule supports the implementation of the Awards and Graduation Policy, Governance Rule, Rules Governing Professional Doctorates and the Rules Governing Higher Degrees by Research. The Rules describe each type of higher degree by research qualification offered by the University and provide descriptions of authorisations for program management.

(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 in the Doctoral Degree (Professional) – Approved AQF Compliant Programs covered by this Schedule. The schedules replaced by this Schedule are listed in Doctoral Degree (Professional) – Replaced Schedules (Level 10).

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

(5) In the event of an inconsistency between an Academic Senate policy document and a Faculty policy, procedure or guideline, the policy document of Academic Senate prevails to the extent of the inconsistency.

(6) Extracts from Australian Qualifications Framework (Second Edition) have been included in this document with permission of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Council (27 February 2012). 

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Section 2 - Principles and Program Structures

Model:- Doctoral Degree (Professional)

(7)  This table describes an AQF level 10 program leading to the award of Doctoral Degree (Professional).

Volume of learning 240 units completed in 3 full time years or equivalent part time enrolment.
Purpose The degree of Doctoral Degree (Professional) shall be an ungraded degree awarded for a significant and original contribution to knowledge in the context of professional practice 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 Graduates of the Doctoral Degree (Professional) will have completed a program that:
i) includes an appropriate volume of learning;
ii) has been designed to ensure that the learning outcomes can be met;
iii) requires the completion of:
   a. 80 units of advanced coursework courses at the 6000 level
   b. A research component of 160 units will primarily be embodied in a thesis, dissertation or a number of smaller related research projects.

Individual program requirements will be described in the relevant program handbook.
Admission and Selection Criteria In addition to meeting the requirements for entry to Doctor by Research, an applicant for admission to candidature for the professional doctorate degree shall:
i) meet any additional program-specific criteria (eg professional experience) as approved by the Program and Course Approval Committee on the recommendation of the relevant Faculty.
ii) meet the English language proficiency requirements as described in the English Language Policy.
iii) not be admitted to candidature unless adequate supervision and resources are available. Whether these are available shall be determined by the Assistant Dean (Research Training) after considering advice from the School.
Specialisation/Major This section is intentionally blank.
Additional Requirements May be prescribed by the Program and Course Approval Committee on the recommendation of the relevant Faculty.
Graduate Learning Outcomes Graduate  learning outcomes underpin the design of all academic programs offered by the University. Graduate learning outcomes will be developed for each program in accordance with Academic Senate policy and as prescribed by AQF including:
i) fundamental skills, such as literacy and numeracy appropriate to the Level 10 Doctoral Degree (Professional), including English language proficiency;
ii) people skills, such as working with others and communication skills;
iii) thinking skills, such as learning to learn, decision making and problem solving; and
iv) personal skills such as self-direction and acting with integrity.
Knowledge Graduates of a Doctoral Degree will have a discipline specific:
i) 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.
Skills Graduates of a Doctoral Degree will have discipline specific:
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
v) 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 discipline specific 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 and following the completion of the coursework component and any other relevant program requirements.
Grading of the Award The award will be conferred as an ordinary award.
Qualification Title Doctor of (Field of Study)

The qualification title should clearly indicate the field(s) of study or discipline.
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 Candidates wishing to enter directly into the research component of the professional doctorate after completion of relevant coursework or a prior degree (e.g., masters) will be considered on a case-by–case basis. Permission would be granted only if the completed coursework is deemed comparable in both content and standard to that of the coursework component of the professional doctorate and the candidate met the entry criteria for the professional doctorate. 

It is possible that some prior learning may be credited against the coursework component of the degree such that candidates only have to take a reduced coursework load. In both of the above cases the coursework equivalence would be determined by the professional doctorate Program Convenors.

If the coursework component of the professional doctorate is also a stand-alone qualification (e.g., embedded masters) then candidates can only transfer from the stand-alone qualification to the professional doctorate if they do not take out that qualification.
Pathways – Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) This section is intentionally blank.
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 Assistant Dean (Research Training) and the Dean of Graduate Research.
Pathways – nested or integrated qualifications This section is intentionally blank.
Pathways – Exit Candidates who choose to exit after completion of the coursework component or are not approved for progression, will not receive an exit qualification. They will receive a transcript detailing the courses completed in the coursework component of the degree and the grades received. It is possible that these courses may be considered as prior learning and credited to other qualifications.
Pathways - Graduate This section is intentionally blank.
Professional Accreditation This section is intentionally blank.
Additional Information Submission of Thesis for Examination The candidate shall comply with the provisions of the Rules Governing Higher Degrees by Research and the Thesis Preparation and Submission Guidelines. 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

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

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Section 4 - Reporting

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