1.3 Doctor of Philosophy

1.3 Doctor of Philosophy

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at Monash University signifies that the holder has completed a course of graduate  training in research under academic supervision and has submitted a thesis that  the examiners have declared to be a significant contribution to knowledge and  which demonstrates the student’s capacity to carry out independent research.

A student for the PhD must be an enrolled student of the University and is  required to carry out a prescribed program of research for a specified period  under the direct supervision of a member or members of the academic staff. The  student, together with the supervisor(s), is responsible for developing the  research program to be followed.

A student may be enrolled on either a full-time or a part-time basis. In  fulfilling the requirements for supervised study and research at the  University, a student is required to attend the academic unit of enrolment on a  regular basis and to be involved in the intellectual life of that unit.

Monash Doctoral Program

Where  relevant, PhD students who enrolled between the 1 January 2013 and 31 December  2014 should have been contacted directly by their Faculties regarding transition arrangements in relation to the Monash Doctoral Program. Please contact  your Faculty if you have not received any correspondence of this nature, or have queries  regarding the transition arrangements as they apply to you.

PhD  students enrolled on or after 1 January 2015 are required to complete the following compulsory activities:

  • Monash Graduate Research Induction (online)
  • Research Integrity (online)
  • Faculty induction, including occupational health and safety (where required).

In addition to these, students will participate in one of the following three options, as determined  by their Faculty or Program of enrolment:

  • Option 1 - Graduate Research Professional Development mode
  • Option 2 – Coursework
  • Option  3 - Graduate Research Interdisciplinary Programs (GRIPs).

Students are to refer to the Monash Doctoral Program website for details.

Graduate Research Interdisciplinary Programs (GRIPs)

Through skills development, interdisciplinary and industry engagement, GRIPs are designed to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration and the development of  transferable skills, enhancing the student’s industry links while aligning their skill development with industry needs.

The  University currently offers four GRIPs:

Students  are to refer to the GRIPs website for details.

1.3.1 PhD (traditional thesis)

In addition to program requirements, the traditional PhD requires a student to submit a thesis, the length of which may vary across disciplines but which should not exceed 100,000 words. (For students commencing their PhD on 1 January 2015 onwards, the maximum thesis length is 80,000 words). The student’s PhD research project is to be conceived from the outset as clearly achievable within 3 years equivalent full time, with students expected to complete their degree within 3 to 4 years equivalent full-time.

1.3.2 PhD Thesis including Published Works

Students have the option of presenting a thesis comprised in part or in full of  published or unpublished papers.

These papers will have been written during the course of supervised candidature  and will be based upon research undertaken during the course of candidature.

Students undertaking a PhD by publication will also undertake the skills training and  coursework components of a PhD program when introduced into their faculty.

1.3.3 Joint-award PhD degrees

Joint-award doctoral degrees are conducted  under shared candidature and supervision arrangements agreed to by Monash  University and the partner institution. The degree is awarded by both  institutions as a cotutelle or joint or double-badged award (see Appendix F ).

Additional program requirements (such as coursework  and components are negotiated on a case by case basis for joint award students.

1.3.4 PhD in specialty of Visual Arts

The Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture  offers a PhD degree where the core of assessable work is an exhibition (or  equivalent) accompanied by documentation that supports and comments upon the  exhibited work and seeks to explain its contribution to human culture,  endeavour and knowledge. Please refer to the Monash Doctoral  Program page for program requirements.

1.3.5 PhD (Music Composition)

The Doctor of Philosophy (Music  Composition) is designed for composers to develop a research-based composition  folio that makes an independent and original contribution to knowledge.. In  consultation with the supervisors, a student will plan and develop a  substantial, research-based folio of original compositions.

Please refer to the Monash Doctoral  Program page for program requirements.

Students will be required to submit a composition folio consisting of both  musical scores and sound recordings. The overall duration of the submitted  music would normally be between 50 and 80 minutes. Depending on the complexity  of the submitted music, however, the overall duration may deviate considerably  from the given range. Students present at least 50 per cent of the music  submitted in their folio in public concerts. The supervisors guide the students  in the performance and recording of their musical works. Together with the  folio of musical compositions students submit a critical commentary of between  20,000 and 25,000 words that demonstrates their capacity to articulate the  conceptual and aesthetic basis for their folio of compositions, to assess their  compositional work in the context of contemporary music and sonic art, and to  research and convey creative processes involved in the production of sound and  music. The commentary must be scholarly in character, and, at minimum address  the following:

  • explication of a  research-based argument that provides the conceptual basis for the folio and  its contribution to knowledge
  • compositional approach,  process, and techniques
  • aesthetic placement and  stylistic predecessors
  • performance context.

1.3.6  PhD (Music Performance)

Students develop and present a live performance  in a public venue, and submit a written critical commentary on their work. The  performance will embody the results of the research investigation, which will  be into the contexts, aesthetic elements and theoretical influences of the  project.

The commentary will address performance context and methodology and demonstrate  how the performance research contributes towards the body of scholarly  knowledge.

Students develop and present a live performance in a public venue, and later  submit a written critical commentary. The performance project is presented for  examination as a live performance of up to approximately 120 minutes of music,  which can be made up of both recorded and live performances. However, at least  80 minutes of the submission will be from a final live performance. The  commentary is 25,000–30,000 words and the equivalent combined word total is  80,000 words.

Students will demonstrate that they have utilised advanced methodologies of  practice as research in performance, developed an understanding of the  intersections of theory and practice in the performing arts, advanced the field  of practice-based research with an original contribution to knowledge and practice,  enhanced their skills in practical performance work, and developed their  awareness of the demands of professional practice.

Please refer to the Monash Doctoral  Program page for program requirements.

1.3.7 PhD (Creative Writing)

The Doctor of Philosophy (Creative Writing)  is designed to enable students to engage intellectually with their creative  process and to acquire a professional qualification in the area of creative  writing.

Students will be required to submit a piece of their own creative writing  together with a critical commentary both of which must be produced during  candidature and under supervision. For the purpose of this course, 'piece of  creative writing' will be understood to be constituted by a novel, a group of  short stories, a play or a group of plays, a sequence of poems, or a portfolio  of works of various genres. The critical commentary will be a piece of critical  writing focused on the student's piece of creative writing, the writing of  which will itself be considered as an act of research into the nature of  literary creativity. The critical commentary will involve thoroughly  researching the various aspects of the creative writing project: the  characteristics of the genre, the influence of the context and the shaping  elements in a work of art.

Students submit a piece of their own creative writing together with a critical  commentary both of which must be produced during candidature and under  supervision.

Each component must be no less than 35,000 words, and the combined word total  of the creative writing and the critical commentary should be 75,000–100,000  words. (For students commencing their PhD on 1 January 2015 onwards, the  maximum combined word total of the creative writing and the critical commentary  should be 80,000 words).

Please refer to the Monash Doctoral Program page for program requirements.

1.3.8 PhD (Theatre Performance)

The student will develop and present a live  performance in a public venue, which will normally be in one of the fields of  directing, theatre making or dramatic writing. The student's performance will  embody the results of the research investigation, which will be into the  contexts, theoretical influences, aesthetic elements and performance making  processes of the project. The critical commentary will be an explication and  analysis of the performance research project and will address methodological  and theoretical issues that arise during the research investigation.

Students develop and present a live performance in a public venue, and later  submit a written critical commentary. The performance will normally be 60–90  minutes and the commentary 30,000–35,000 words. The equivalent combined word  total is 80,000 words.

Please refer to the Monash Doctoral Program page for program requirements.

1.3.9 PhD (Translation Studies)

Students are required to submit a body of  translated work together with an exegesis (critical commentary), which must be  produced during candidature and under supervision. The translation component  should be no less than 40,000 in length and the exegesis no less than 35,000.  The total word count for the PhD should be from 75,000–100,000 words. (For  students commencing their PhD on 1 January 2015 onwards, the total word count  for the PhD should be 80,000 words).

For the purpose of this course, 'piece of translation' will be understood to be  constituted by a novel, a group of short stories, a play or a group of plays, a  sequence of poems or a portfolio of works of various genres. Translation is  understood as the product not only of informed academic research and critical  interpretation, but also of scholarly re-appropriation and recontextualisation. The translation will involve thoroughly researching the various aspects of the  translation process, including the characteristics of the genre(s), and the  theoretical, historical and literary influence of the context. The student will  be expected to examine the multiple contexts within which the author and  his/her text have existed. They will be encouraged to publish their  work-in-progress and/or seek publishers for it during candidature.

The course consists of a translation portfolio and an exegesis, both of which  are produced under supervision during the period of candidature. The  translation component should be no less than 40,000 words and the exegesis no  less than 35,000 words. The total word count for the PhD should be  75,000–100,000 words. (For students commencing their PhD on 1 January 2015  onwards, the total word count for the PhD should be 80,000 words).

Please refer to the Monash Doctoral  Program page for program requirements.

1.3.10 PhD (Journalism)

The Faculty of Arts offers a PhD program in  which the assessable work consists of a major piece of original journalistic  research and work in a non-fiction genre of at least 50,000 words or equivalent  and an accompanying scholarly exegesis of 25-35,000 exploring the scholarly  context and contribution to knowledge of their research. Students are required  to complete additional program  requirements.

The journalism project should embody evidence of the student’s research  methodologies and achievements at the required level. The project:

  • may be produced in any  publication medium appropriate to the content, including print, video, radio,  digital multimedia and exhibition; there is considerable flexibility and scope  for innovation in the design of the form and content of the journalism project  and students should liaise closely with the proposed supervisory team to  formulate a rigorous and original project; and
  • must be of a  scale/length/duration that would normally be produced and published within the  approved medium as an outcome of two year's full-time work, e.g. a  feature-length (70–90 minutes) film/video documentary where the student is  researcher and writer and director; a non-fiction book of 50,000–80,000 words;  a series of six thematically related 45-minute video documentaries where the  student is researcher, journalist and interviewer/presenter as part of a larger  television production team; or a series of ten 50–60 minute radio documentaries  researched, produced and presented by the student.

The exegesis should  demonstrate how the professional/creative component contributes to scholarly  knowledge in the field. It should address contextual, methodological and/or  theoretical issues related to the themes or issue explored in the journalism  project. It should demonstrate that the student has acquired the ability to  research and contribute to journalism studies, and will normally be between  25,000 and 30,000 words.

1.3.11 Staff PhD

From 28 May 2014, students will no longer be admitted into a Staff PhD. Requirements as outlined below are for students who are currently enrolled in this study program.

Staff students submit a thesis based upon published or unpublished papers.

Staff students enrolled in the practice-based degrees identified in sections 1.3.5 to 1.3.10 submit a practice-based component together with an exegesis  based on published and unpublished papers. Students must meet the requirements  governing the relationship between the content of the exegesis and the  practice-based component and 75% of each component will be based upon research  undertaken during the course of employment at Monash University. Staff students are exempt  from program requirements (such as graduate research professional development  or coursework development).

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