UWA Handbook 2014

Higher degree by research only

  1. Enrolment—commencing students
  2. Variation in terms of candidature
  3. Thesis submission and examination
  4. Graduate research scholarships
  5. Travel funding
  6. Appeals and grievances

Enrolment—commencing students

Student Rules 5, 6, 7 and 8

Procedure

Prospective students will have received from the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office or International Centre either an offer of candidature, or an offer of scholarship and candidature, which is the formal Authority to Enrol. Applicants should take or send this offer letter and any supporting documentation specified in the offer letter (e.g. original academic records, proof of ID and residency) to the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office (Hackett Hall) by the closing date specified on the offer letter.

On presentation of the offer letter students will be provided with an Acceptance of Offer form which should be filled out, signed and returned to the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office. Once this form has been returned students have formally accepted the offer of candidature and enrolment becomes effective from that date, unless otherwise agreed. After enrolling at the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office students should then go to the Student Administration enquiry counter (Hackett Hall) to be photographed and issued with a campus card. Students will need to present proof of identity (e.g. passport) for this step.

Prospective students may only enrol in the course specified in the offer letter.

Closing date

The closing date for enrolment is specified in the offer letter which includes a scholarship(s).

Fee for enrolment

No fee for enrolment applies. International students enrolling for the first time are expected to have already paid at least the first instalment of their annual tuition fee. For more information go to http://www.international.uwa.edu.au/.

Students will receive

Students are issued a letter acknowledging confirmation of enrolment by the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office. Confirmation of enrolment takes place once any outstanding items (such as original academic records, evidence of English competency, advice of previous funding arrangements, etc.) have been provided. In the letter advising that enrolment has been confirmed students are advised of the time limit for submission of their thesis, the due date of their research proposal and the names of their supervisors.

Be aware that

By lodging an enrolment form students are acknowledging that they have read and understood the material in this handbook and are agreeing to abide by the terms and conditions of their higher degree by research candidature.

Further information

Contact the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office or International Centre as appropriate.

Failure to enrol following receipt of an offer of candidature

If an offer of a place is not accepted by the closing date specified in the offer letter the offer lapses and the offer of admission is withdrawn. The place may be re-allocated to another applicant.

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Variation in terms of candidature

Master's Degree by Research Rules 13, 15 and 18 to 24; Doctor of Philosophy Rules 13, 15, 18 to 23, 66 and 67

Enrolment type

Enrolment type is the term used to describe the basis on which a student is enrolled in a higher degree by research program. For example, students may be enrolled full- or part-time or on an external or internal basis. Normally students are enrolled on an internal basis. Higher degree by research students may apply to change enrolment type during candidature.

Procedure

Students must submit an application, with the Coordinating Supervisor and Graduate Research Coordinator's endorsement, to the Graduate Research School for approval using the appropriate form, available from the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office or from http://www.postgraduate.uwa.edu.au/schools/forms.

Be aware that

Various conditions are attached to each enrolment type. Specific conditions and restrictions on changes to enrolment type apply to students who hold scholarships or awards.

Further information

International students should consult the International Students Officer (Postgraduate) in the International Centre for advice on implications for visas and fees.

Scholarship holders should refer to http://www.scholarships.uwa.edu.au/page/41585 or contact a Scholarships Officer.

External enrolment

In certain circumstances the Graduate Research School may approve a student commencing a higher degree by research program or changing part-way through candidature to an external enrolment type. There are certain conditions attached to external enrolment, as set out below:

  • students must normally be enrolled on a part-time basis but may, in certain circumstances, be full-time;
  • students must be based outside the Perth metropolitan area;
  • students must spend a certain period of time within the school at this University, preferably during semester time, during the course of an enrolment. (Heads of schools are responsible for informing the Board of the Graduate Research School when this residency requirement has been fulfilled.) This period is 13 weeks for PhD students and 10 weeks for master's degree by research students;
  • students must have a coordinating supervisor who is based at this University and a second supervisor who is based at the 'external' place of work or residency, unless this requirement has been waived by the Board of the Graduate Research School;
  • the head of school must certify that appropriate facilities and resources are available to a student externally;
  • the coordinating supervisor must be willing and able to provide a student with remote supervision (for example, via email or teleconferencing) and the head of school must approve the proposed method of supervision.

Procedure

All requests must be submitted, with the Coordinating Supervisor and Graduate Research Coordinator's endorsement, to the Board of the Graduate Research School for approval. Students should download the appropriate form from http://www.postgraduate.uwa.edu.au/schools/forms or obtain a hard copy from the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office, complete it and lodge it with the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office in accordance with the instructions on the form.

Be aware that

If a student wishes to commence as an external enrollee this must be highlighted in the application for candidature.

Further information

Contact the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office.

Change of school

In some cases, circumstances may arise which make it necessary or desirable for a student in a higher degree by research to change schools. These circumstances can include staff changes or issues with access to specialised equipment.

Procedure

Students must discuss the proposed change with their supervisors and Graduate Research Coordinators (both current and intended).

Students should download the appropriate form from http://www.postgraduate.uwa.edu.au/schools/forms or obtain a hard copy from the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office, complete it and lodge it with the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office in accordance with the instructions on the form.

Be aware that

All requests to change school must be endorsed by both Coordinating Supervisors and Graduate Research Coordinators prior to a form being submitted to the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office

Further information

Contact the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office.

Joint enrolment (or addition of another school)

Students may be enrolled jointly in two schools. Such a student will 'belong' to both schools and will have both recorded on an academic record. Both Coordinating Supervisors will be jointly responsible for the student's progress, therefore all applications to vary candidature, and all other milestone forms, must be approved by both Coordinating Supervisors.

Procedure

Students wishing to be jointly enrolled should download the appropriate form from http://www.postgraduate.uwa.edu.au/schools/forms or obtain a hard copy from the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office, complete it and lodge it with the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office in accordance with the instructions on the form.

Be aware that

Joint enrolment differs from joint supervision.

Further information

Contact the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office. Scholarship holders should refer to the conditions of their award, consult http://www.scholarships.uwa.edu.au/page/41585 or contact the Senior Scholarships Officer.

Change of supervisor (or addition of another supervisor)

Students must have at least two UWA supervisors, of whom at least one must have a staff appointment. The other may have adjunct or emeritus status. Normally the coordinating supervisor is an academic staff member of the University from the student's 'home' school (unless the Board of the Graduate Research School/Dean of the Graduate Research School has approved otherwise). Students may apply at any time to the Board of the Graduate Research School to change or add supervisors.

Procedure

Students should download the appropriate form from http://www.postgraduate.uwa.edu.au/schools/forms or obtain a hard copy from the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office, complete it and lodge it with the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office in accordance with the instructions on the form.

Be aware that

An application for joint supervision is not an application for joint enrolment. Students who are intending to change enrolment type to external must have a coordinating supervisor who is based at this University and a second supervisor who is based at the place of work or residency.

Further information

Contact the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office.

Concurrent enrolment in coursework units

A student may be permitted to enrol in up to 24 points of specified coursework units concurrently with a higher degree by research if the Board of the Graduate Research School considers the specified coursework units to be necessary for successful completion of the higher degree by research program. Any requests to add coursework units to an enrolment must be supported by the Coordinating Supervisor and the Graduate Research Coordinator.

Procedure

Students should download the appropriate form from http://www.postgraduate.uwa.edu.au/schools/forms or obtain a hard copy from the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office, complete it and lodge it with the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office in accordance with the instructions on the form.

Be aware that

If more than 24 points of coursework are considered by a school to be necessary for satisfactory completion of a higher degree by research program the Board of the Graduate Research School requires that these units be completed as part of an approved preliminary program or via continuing education before enrolment in a higher degree by research program.

Further information

Contact the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office.

Concurrent enrolment in a diploma, graduate diploma or coursework program for PhD students

A student may, with the approval of the Board of the Graduate Research School and the appropriate faculty, enrol concurrently in a diploma, graduate diploma or coursework program at UWA subject to certain conditions, as follows:

  • the concurrent program must not be one for which Commonwealth funding (such as a Research Training Scheme place) is allocated;
  • a student enrolled in a concurrent program who wishes to continue with the PhD program may be required to withdraw or otherwise suspend enrolment in the concurrent program if satisfactory progress is not being made in the PhD program;
  • a student may not enrol on a concurrent basis in the year in which a thesis will be submitted;
  • applications for suspension or extension of candidature will not normally be approved for reasons connected with concurrent enrolment.

Procedure

Any requests for concurrent enrolment must be supported by the Coordinating Supervisor and Graduate Research Coordinator.

Students should download the appropriate form from http://www.postgraduate.uwa.edu.au/schools/forms or obtain a hard copy from the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office, complete it and lodge it with the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office in accordance with the instructions on the form.

Further information

Students should discuss enrolment in the concurrent program with their supervisor and Graduate Research Coordinator and with the appropriate faculty office.

Upgrade from a master's degree to a PhD

Students who have completed outstanding work during their master's degree by research program at UWA and have not yet been awarded the degree may be considered for an upgrade to PhD candidature. This usually takes place during the first year of candidature. The period of candidature in the master's program will be deducted from the maximum time limit for completion of the PhD.

Procedure

In order to have an upgrade considered by the Board of the Graduate Research School, a student must submit, through the Coordinating Supervisor and Graduate Research Coordinator, an application to upgrade accompanied by details of proposed research following the UWA Guidelines for Preparing Research Proposals/Details of Proposed Research (available at http://www.postgraduate.uwa.edu.au/schools/forms).

Students will receive

On receipt and approval by the Board of the Graduate Research School, students will be advised in writing.

Be aware that

Upgrades normally take at least four to five weeks.

Further information

Contact the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office.

Leave of candidature

Maternity leave

The Board of the Graduate Research School may grant up to one year's leave for pregnancy and childbirth during candidature in addition to the one-year suspension allowable during the term of candidature. Leave of up to one year may also be approved for any subsequent pregnancies. Applications for maternity leave must be endorsed by the Coordinating Supervisor and Graduate Research Coordinator.

Procedure

Students should download the appropriate form from http://www.postgraduate.uwa.edu.au/schools/forms or obtain a hard copy from the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office, complete it and lodge it with the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office in accordance with the instructions on the form.

Be aware that

Students on maternity leave are still required to lodge an Annual Progress Report. Some scholarship rules permit up to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave for scholarship holders and unpaid leave beyond this as required, up to a maximum of 12 months per child. Note that paid leave is not normally available to scholarship holders in the first year of candidature.

Further information

Scholarship holders should refer to the conditions of their award, consult http://www.scholarships.uwa.edu.au/page/41585 or contact the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office.

International students should consult the International Students Officer (Postgraduate) in the International Centre for advice on implications for visas and fees.

Parental leave

A student who is the primary carer of a child or children may apply for a total of 12 months' parental or maternity leave during the course of their candidature. Parental leave will result in a formal suspension of candidature. All requests for parental leave must be endorsed by the Coordinating Supervisor and Graduate Research Coordinator.

Procedure

Students should download the appropriate form from http://www.postgraduate.uwa.edu.au/schools/forms or obtain a hard copy from the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office, complete it and lodge it with the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office in accordance with the instructions on the form.

Be aware that

There is no provision for paid parental leave. Students on parental leave are still required to lodge an Annual Progress Report and keep the University advised of current contact details at all times. Students who take parental leave are normally not eligible for maternity leave.

Further information

Contact the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office.

International students should consult the International Students Officer (Postgraduate) in the International Centre for advice on implications for visas and fees.

Extension of candidature

The Board of the Graduate Research School may approve a student's re-enrolment beyond the maximum time limit for candidature. All requests for extension of candidature must be supported by the Coordinating Supervisor and Graduate Research Coordinator.

Procedure

Students should download the appropriate form from http://www.postgraduate.uwa.edu.au/schools/forms or obtain a hard copy from the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office, complete it and lodge it with the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office in accordance with the instructions on the form.

Be aware that

Application for extension of a scholarship is a separate matter from extension of candidature, but both can be applied for via the same form.

Further information

Scholarship holders should refer to the conditions of their award at http://www.scholarships.uwa.edu.au/page/41585 or contact the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office.

International students should consult the International Students Officer (Postgraduate) in the International Centre for advice on implications for visas and fees.

Suspension of candidature/approved leave

Students are expected to pursue their higher degree by research programs without interruption. However, it is acknowledged that personal or unforeseen difficulties may arise during the course of candidature which may disrupt consistent work on a thesis or other work. In this case students may apply to suspend their higher degree by research candidature. All requests for suspension must be supported by the Coordinating Supervisor and Graduate Research Coordinator.

Procedure

Students should download the appropriate form from http://www.postgraduate.uwa.edu.au/schools/forms or obtain a hard copy from the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office, complete it and lodge it with the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office in accordance with the instructions on the form.

Length of suspension

Students may not suspend their enrolment for more than a total of 12 months through the duration of their candidature. In exceptional circumstances the Board of the Graduate Research School may approve an extension of this period. Any period of suspension will be excluded from the maximum period of enrolment. Students remain enrolled during a period of suspension but have a 'discontinued' status.

Be aware that

For scholarship holders, application on this form will also act as approval for any changes to their scholarship.

During their period of suspension, individuals are still enrolled students of the University. Accordingly, they are still required to submit Annual Progress Reports and other administrative items and have the responsibilities, rights and privileges of an enrolled student. Library access is available.

Further information

Scholarship holders should consult the conditions of their award provided with their offer of scholarship or contact a Scholarships Officer at the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office for more information.

International students should consult the International Students Officer (Postgraduate) in the International Centre for advice on implications for visas and fees.

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Thesis submission and examination

Master's Degree by Research Rules 29 to 63; Doctor of Philosophy Rules 24 to 60

A thesis must be a student's own composition but advice should be obtained from supervisors concerning its structure. Critical comment should be sought throughout writing but particularly on the final draft.

Information on thesis presentation for examination and the submission procedure is set out at http://www.postgraduate.uwa.edu.au/24785.

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Graduate research scholarships

For information on the range of postgraduate research scholarships offered by the University visit the scholarships website at http://www.scholarships.uwa.edu.au/page/41585.

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Travel funding

For information on the travel award scheme offered by the University and other travel funding opportunities visit http://www.postgraduate.uwa.edu.au/26261.

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Appeals and grievances

Appeals against academic assessment

The Board of the Graduate Research School, acting under delegated authority from the Academic Board, makes decisions on satisfactory progress and final results in higher degrees by research at The University of Western Australia. In making decisions on higher degree by research final results the Board of the Graduate Research School will have regard to the recommendations of examiners, and in all assessments of progress, to the recommendation of the supervisor(s) and appropriate head of school. In some cases the Board of the Graduate Research School may engage an external assessor(s) to review examiners' reports.

Decisions on the award of a progress status (which may lead to exclusion from a course following a determination of unsatisfactory progress) are made by the Board of the Graduate Research School on the recommendation of the supervisor(s) and head of school concerned. Decisions of the Board of the Graduate Research School in any of these cases cannot be overturned on the authority of any other individual or committee. However, the Dean of the Graduate Research School or the Higher Degrees by Research Appeals Committee may, respectively, request or require the Board of the Graduate Research School to take appropriate steps to reconsider any decision if they have any reason to doubt that the decision was arrived at by a fair process.

Appeals against the award of scholarships

Decisions on the continuation of scholarships controlled or administered by the University are made by the Scholarships Committee acting under authority delegated by the Board of the Graduate Research School. In cases where the University administers scholarships funded by another body, it is bound to operate within any rules laid down by that body.

Decisions on the continuation of ad hoc scholarships for which the donor body has established its own conditions for continuation cannot be handled under this Appeals procedure. Advice relating to a decision to terminate such scholarships should be sought initially from the Senior Scholarships Officer.

Decisions of the Scholarships Committee cannot be overturned on the authority of any other individual or committee. However, the Chair of the Board of the Graduate Research School, the Board of the Graduate Research School or the Higher Degrees by Research Appeals Committee may, respectively, request or require the committee to take appropriate steps to reconsider any decision if they have any reason to doubt that the decision was arrived at by a fair process. To access the full policy visit http://www.postgraduate.uwa.edu.au/schools/policies/appeals.

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