Chapter 1: Introduction

1. Handbook for Research Master's Degrees

The Handbook for Research Master’s Degrees outlines the University’s procedures and guidelines as they relate to graduate research students. In addition, it is designed to assist students, Graduate Research Coordinators, supervisors and professional staff in interpreting relevant University regulations, linking to relevant policies and procedures published on the University’s Policy Bank.

1.1 The degrees to which this handbook applies

This handbook applies to:

  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
  • Faculty research masters degrees.

1.2 Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Faculty research master's degrees

Enrolment in a Master of Philosophy or faculty research masters degree involves the independent investigation of a research problem that has been formulated by the student. It is expected that the research undertaken will make a contribution to the discipline in which the student is enrolled by applying, clarifying, critiquing or interpreting that knowledge.

The student's research master's project is to be conceived from the outset as clearly achievable within the standard duration of the degree, taking into consideration all elements, including any compulsory coursework required.

1.2.1 Course requirements

All students commencing their degree in 2017 should refer to the 2017 University Handbook for information on the requirements of their degree.

Previous years of the University Handbook can be accessed here.

Unless formally exempted from doing so, students are required to complete the following compulsory activities:

  • Monash Graduate Research Induction (online);
  • Research Integrity (online);
  • Any Faculty or Program induction requirements.

1.3 Administrative structures overseeing doctoral degrees

1.3.1 Graduate Research Committee

The overall aims of the Graduate Research Committee (GRC) are to ensure excellence in research training and the timely completion of theses and courses of study.

GRC is responsible for administering the relevant regulations and for advising the Monash University Academic Board on all matters of policy relating to these degrees. GRC has final responsibility for approving admission to doctoral enrolment and for such matters as: amendments to individual study programs; changes to enrolment and supervision; student progress; and submission and examination of theses. The Committee is also responsible for the allocation of central scholarships, awards and grants to graduate research students. 

The chair of GRC is the Vice-Provost (Faculty and Graduate Affairs).The Committee comprises the chair; a deputy chair (who also chairs the Graduate Research Committee Steering Committee (GRSC) and is the Academic Director, Graduate Research; the Director of the Monash Graduate Research Office; a representative of each faculty (including remote campuses); two representatives of the Monash Graduate Association; and may include any other relevant person co‐opted from time to time by the Committee. 

Two student members represent the humanities/social science and science/technology disciplines. The GRC steering committee, convened by the Academic Director, Graduate Research, meets on a regular basis to consider various policy and individual student matters. GRC also has a number of other formal sub-committees providing oversight of the selection of scholarships and the Monash Doctoral Program.

1.3.2 Monash Graduate Research Office (MGRO)

Key functions of MGRO include:

  • developing University-wide research and employment training programs relevant to all graduate research students;
  • ensuring students are equipped with professional skills required for careers both within and outside of academia and research institutes;
  • reviewing and enhancing graduate research supervision;
  • identifying and disseminating examples of best practice in supervision and research training;
  • training and accrediting academic supervisors of graduate research students;
  • administering University-wide research degrees, including all doctoral and research master's degrees;
  • developing and administering graduate research scholarships and graduate research training policies;
  • establishing and maintaining the guidelines that ensure high research standards.
  • supporting the University in attracting and retaining quality graduate research students, both domestic and international;
  • ensuring the equitable provision of graduate research support, resources and facilities across the University's campuses;
  • establishing a forum which provides a focus for the evaluation of graduate research program requirements and identification of issues of particular relevance to graduate research students; and
  • implementing the graduate research strategies and targets of the University