7.8 Assessment of theses

7.8 Assessment of theses

7.8.1 Doctoral theses

Examiners are provided with advice concerning the examination of a doctoral thesis. They are requested to complete a form indicating whether the student has met certain listed criteria, to recommend a particular examination outcome and to provide a written report. The advice and form will vary depending on the degree program undertaken.

Doctoral thesis examiners are asked to provide a response to the following:

  • the thesis makes a significant contribution to knowledge and understanding in the relevant field;
  • the thesis contains material worthy of publication in a form appropriate to the discipline; and

7.8.2 Other components of assessment

7.8.2.1 Mandatory coursework and/or training program requirements

All program requirements must be completed successfully before the Pre-Submission Seminar. In the case of Students commencing their PhD on 1 January 2015 onwards, program requirements must be met before their Final Review.

Examiners will be notified of the nature and duration of such program requirements.

7.8.2.2 Oral examination

In normal practice, there is no provision for oral examinations.

The regulations do however provide for oral examination under certain provisions and students in some cotutelle and Joint Award Programs may be required to undertake an oral examination. Normally, the option is available to an Examination Review Board (see Section 7.16.2) to facilitate an outcome for a delayed or contentious outcome.

7.8.2.3 Specialty Degrees

Degree

Assessment requirements

Visual Arts

In the case of the PhD in the specialty of Visual Arts by exhibition, the work must constitute a doctoral-level contribution of substantial cultural significance. Each examiner is asked to indicate whether:

  • the work makes a significant contribution to culture in the visual arts;
  • the work makes a significant contribution to knowledge in the visual arts, displays mastery of the field of work and indicates understanding of its cultural significance;
  • the complete work contains material worthy of publication in a form suitable to the discipline; and
  • the format and literary presentation of the exegesis are satisfactory.

The core assessment is an exhibition with supporting documentation. For further information, consult the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture.

7.8.3

PhD in the specialty of Theatre Performance

In the case of the PhD in the specialty of Theatre Performance, the performance project embodies evidence of doctoral-level research into the practice genre: specifically, the social, historical, and performance contexts of the project; the aesthetic elements of the practice genre; and theoretical issues germane to the project.

Normally the performance project will be presented live to an audience in a public performance venue. The examiners will be required to be present at the live presentation. The examiners will be reminded that they must not consult with each other regarding the work before, during or after the performance. The examiners will be asked to write a report on the performance immediately after the live presentation of the performance and to 'hold' that report on file pending receipt of the written dissertation.

When the creative project is a performance text, the examination can be based on either a performance of the text or the written text itself. Where the primary examination of the creative project is on the written text, examiners will be invited to a rehearsed reading. The written dissertation is expected to be submitted within three months of the live presentation of the performance project. The examiners will be sent a recording of the performance together with a copy of the written dissertation to examine. The examiners will submit a written report on the performance project and written dissertation as for 'traditional' Monash University PhD theses.

Each examiner is asked to indicate whether:

  • the creative work makes a significant contribution to knowledge of the relevant aspect of theatre performance and displays mastery of the field;
  • the written dissertation demonstrates substantial conceptualisation of the topic, independent research and contribution to the field;
  • the complete work contains material worthy of publication in a form suitable to the discipline;
  • the format and presentation of the creative component are satisfactory; and
  • the format and literary presentation of the written dissertation is satisfactory.

7.8.4

PhD in the specialty of Music Performance

In the case of the PhD in the specialty of Music Performance, the performance project embodies evidence of doctoral-level research into music performance.

Normally the performance project will be up to 120 minutes in length, of which at least 80 minutes will be from a final live performance that is presented live at the School of Music's auditorium or alternate approved venue. The performance will be recorded by the School of Music and a copy as CD or DVD will be available to the examiners.

The examiners will be required to be present at the live presentation. Examiners will assess the student's role in the performance. If the performance involves performers other than the student, examiners will assess the performance of the individual within the ensemble.

The examiners will be reminded that they must not consult with each other regarding the work before, during or after the performance. The examiners will undertake the examination of the full work (performance project and exegesis). The examiners will be asked to write a report on the performance immediately after the live presentation of the performance and to 'hold' that report on file pending receipt of the written dissertation.

The project performance and exegesis are normally expected to be prepared simultaneously, with the exegesis to be submitted within two months of the live presentation. The examiners will be sent a recording of the performance together with a copy of the written exegesis to examine. The examiners will submit a written report on the performance project and exegesis as for 'traditional' Monash University PhD theses.

Each examiner is asked to indicate whether:

  • the creative work makes a significant contribution to knowledge concerning music performance and displays mastery of the field;
  • the exegesis demonstrates substantial conceptualisation of the characteristics of the topic, independent research and contribution to the field;
  • the complete work contains material worthy of publication in a form suitable to the discipline;
  • the format and presentation of the performance project are satisfactory; and
  • the format and literary presentation of the written exegesis is satisfactory

7.8.5

PhD in the specialty of Creative Writing

Students are required to submit a piece of their own creative writing (or a body of work) together with an exegesis. Both items must be produced during candidature and under supervision.

The creative writing component should be constituted by a novel, a group of short stories, a play or group of plays, a sequence of poems, or a portfolio of works of various genres.

The writing of the creative component is considered an act of research into the nature of literary creativity. To satisfy the requirements of the degree it must make a significant contribution to knowledge concerning literature and culture, and display mastery of the field.

The exegesis should be constituted by a piece of critical writing focused on the student’s piece of creative writing. It will be the result of research into the various aspects of the creative writing project: the characteristics of the genre, the theoretical and literary influence of the context and the shaping elements in a work of art. To satisfy the requirements of the degree it must demonstrate substantial conceptualisation of the characteristics of the genre, the influence of the context and the shaping elements in a creative work.

The creative component and the exegesis must each be no less than 35,000 words. The combined word total of the creative writing and exegesis must not normally exceed 100,000 words or be less than 75,000 words.

Examiners are provided with notes for the examination of Doctor of Philosophy in the specialty of Creative Writing. They are requested to complete a form indicating whether the student has met certain listed criteria, to recommend a particular examination outcome, and to provide a written report.

The exegesis in the PhD in Creative Writing is to be assessed as a contextualisation of the research undertaken in the form of critical writing, and not as a separate research paper. In other words, the creative writing component constitutes the research outcome and the exegesis is intended to comment on that research as it was applied to the student’s creative process.

Each examiner is asked to indicate whether:

  • the creative work makes a significant contribution to knowledge concerning literature and culture, and displays mastery of the field;
  • the exegesis demonstrates substantial conceptualisation of the characteristics of the genre, the influence of the context and the shaping elements in a creative work;
  • the complete work contains material worthy of publication in a form suitable to the discipline; and
  • the format and literary presentation of the creative component and the exegesis are satisfactory.

7.8.6

PhD in the specialty of Music Composition

The PhD in Music Composition consists of 100% research leading to a substantial folio of original music compositions. A minimum of 50% of the music compositions in a folio must have been performed in public concerts, which must be evidenced by the concert program notes. The folio of music compositions must also include the concert program notes and a critical commentary on the compositions. The normal duration of the original music in the portfolio is 50–80 minutes and the critical commentary is 20,000–25,000 words in length.

Examiners are asked to assess the critical commentary as a contextualisation of the research undertaken in the form of composition and not as a separate research paper. The composition folio constitutes the research outcome and the critical commentary is intended to comment on that research.

Examiners are provided with notes for the examination of Doctor of Philosophy in the specialty of Music Composition. They are requested to complete a form indicating whether the student has met certain listed criteria, to recommend a particular examination outcome, and to provide a written report.

Each examiner is asked to indicate whether:

  • the creative work makes a significant contribution to knowledge concerning music creativity and displays mastery of the field;
  • the exegesis demonstrates substantial conceptualisation of the characteristics of the genre, the influence of the context and the shaping elements in a creative work;
  • the complete work contains material worthy of publication in a form suitable to the discipline; and
  • the format and literary presentation of the creative component and the exegesis are satisfactory.

The assessable work includes musical compositions (at least 50% of which have been performed in public), a critical commentary and concert program notes.

7.8.7

PhD in the specialty of Translation Studies

There are two assessable components for this degree and both will be submitted, in writing, for review by the examiner:

  • the body of translation work; and
  • the accompanying exegesis.

Together, the two components present the research project and result and are to be examined according to the established principles for examination of a traditional thesis.

It is proposed that examiners respond to the following five criteria:

  • the complete work translation and exegesis) constitutes a significant contribution to knowledge and understanding of translation both as process and product
  • the complete work (translation and exegesis) demonstrates a sophisticated understanding of the transmission of literary texts across languages and cultures
  • the complete work (translation and exegesis) bears evidence of research into the nature of the chosen text/s and the application of relevant theory
  • the complete work contains material worthy of publication in a form suitable to the discipline
  • the format and literary presentation of the complete work are satisfactory

7.8.8

Professional doctorates

Examiners are informed that a professional doctorate program is a research-driven degree oriented to the improvement of professional practice by extending the knowledge, expertise and skill of students through the application of research to relevant problems and issues. The criteria for the thesis examination are that the dissertation should display mastery of, and ability to apply, research findings, new analyses, syntheses, interpretations, etc. in order to contribute to the improvement of practice and professional development generally.

Examiners are provided with notes for the examination of a professional doctorate thesis. They are requested to complete a form indicating whether the student has met certain listed criteria, to recommend a particular examination outcome, and to provide a written report.

Professional doctorate examiners are asked to indicate whether:

  • the thesis makes a significant contribution to knowledge and understanding of the professional area with which it deals;
  • the thesis contains material worthy of publication in a form suitable to the discipline; and
  • the format and literary presentation of the thesis are satisfactory.

7.8.9

Doctorate of Psychology

Three practica comprising the equivalent of 125 days must be completed satisfactorily.

7.8.10

Doctorate of Public Health

A professional practice component is included in this program.

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