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Course (2017)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2017 academic year.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


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Title Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Course Code D1067; D1068
Study Level Doctorate by Research (Graduate)
School No Specific School
Academic Contacts http://www.murdoch.edu.au/contacts/academic/school/University
Qualification Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Duration 4 years full-time or part-time equivalent
Availability Murdoch campus (internal)
Murdoch campus (external)
Mandurah campus (internal)
Mandurah campus (external)
Rockingham campus (internal)
Rockingham campus (external)
Restriction All graduate courses are subject to restriction.
Description The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) involves students independently researching a specific topic under the guidance of a supervisor. The aim of the PhD is to foster the development of independent research skills including the capacity to formulate a problem, develop mastery of appropriate conceptual and methodological skills to address it, and relate the research topic to a broader framework of knowledge in a relevant discipline. Research involves critical inquiry designed to further human knowledge. Students are required to produce a thesis no more than 100,000 words, with the research representing a significant new contribution to the discipline.

Graduate research offers an opportunity for you to develop a research project that fascinates you and acquire critical thinking and research skills that will transform the way you see the world.
The process of completing your thesis means you have exciting opportunities to:
* Make an original contribution to human knowledge.
* Work with and be challenged by top academics and experts in your field, as well as attending national and international conferences.
* Experience the joy of spending several years exploring a research topic you're passionate about.
* Gain knowledge and critical thinking skills that will change the way you see the world.

Candidature for research degrees is offered in all Schools. The University encourages research in interdisciplinary areas as well as in the basic disciplines.

For further information on Graduate Research Degrees, see the Future Research Students web site:
Admission Requirements: Onshore course offerings To be eligible for admission as a candidate for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), an applicant must:
* have a Bachelor Degree with at least a 2A Honours (AQF level 8); or
* have a Masters Degree (AQF level 9) which incorporates satisfactory research preparation equivalent to at least 12 credit points; or
* be enrolled as a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) candidate in the University (AQF level 9) and satisfy the Manager with evidence of the ability to complete a Doctoral Degree (Research) successfully (AQF level 10) within the enrolment period specified in Regulation 29;
* have a Bachelor Degree (AQF Level 7) and satisfy the Manager of Graduate Research with evidence of substantive and significant scholarly or professional attainments providing satisfactory research preparation equivalent of AQF level 8 or 9.

Equivalent of an Academic IELTS overall score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0.
Admission Requirements: Offshore course offerings Remote candidates should generally spend a period of at least six months (not necessarily continuously) at the University during their candidature. A library, and any other facilities necessary for graduate research, must be available at the student's location. Applications are considered individually on their own merits.
Equivalent of an Academic IELTS overall score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0.
Special Requirements Applicants for part-time study must submit a statement that they will be able to devote a minimum of 15 hours per week to their research in each year of their candidature. Full-time students must devote at least 37.5 hours per week on average to research.

Internet access is required for students studying externally; exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Some students propose to carry out research in the course of their current employment. The conditions of this kind of enrolment must be agreed by the research candidate, their employer and the Research Degrees and Scholarships Committee.

Before you apply for admission to a graduate research project at Murdoch University, you will need to write a research proposal. For the best chance of being accepted, you should also find and nominate a potential supervisor.

Given the amount of time and effort you'll be investing in your research, it's important that your research topic inspires you and will keep you motivated throughout your research journey. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you develop your research proposal and find a supervisor:
Course Learning Outcomes KNOWLEDGE
Graduates of this degree will be able to:
a) demonstrate a substantial body of knowledge at the frontier of their field of research, including knowledge that constitutes an original contribution
b) demonstrate substantial knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to their field of research

Graduates of this degree will be able to:
a) demonstrate expert understanding of theoretical knowledge and to reflect critically on that theory and practice
b) demonstrate intellectual independence to think critically, evaluate existing knowledge and ideas, undertake systematic investigation and reflect on theory and practice to generate original knowledge
c) demonstrate expert technical and creative skills applicable to the field of their research,
d) demonstrate communication skills to explain and critique theoretical propositions, methodologies and conclusions
e) 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
f) design, implement, analyse, theorise and communicate research that makes a significant and original contribution to knowledge and/or professional practice

Graduates of this degree will be able to:
a) demonstrate intellectual independence
b) demonstrate initiative and creativity in new situations &/or for further learning
c) show full responsibility and accountability for personal outputs
d) plan and execute original research
e) demonstrate ongoing capacity to generate new knowledge, including in the context of professional practice

Adapted from the Australian Qualifications Framework: http://www.aqf.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/AQF-2nd-Edition-January-2013.pdf
Professional Recognition This is an internationally recognised graduate research degree that involves undertaking a significant research project.
Intake Periods You can apply for research degrees at any time during the year. Degrees that are comprised solely of a research project can be commenced at any time.
Scholarships Scholarships are available for both domestic students and international students. Financial assistance can include tuition fees, living allowances and even international travel awards. See the future research students web site for more details:
Further Information See 'Graduate Studies: A General Guide'
Graduate Research web site
Graduate Research web site
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.

Course Structure - 96 credit points

For further information on Graduate Research Degrees, see the future research students website:

For assistance with course planning, please contact your Student Advisor.

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