Chapter 2: Research Degrees
2.3 The PhD
Doctoral candidates should refer to the Doctoral Information Handbook, which is available online at: www.mrgs.monash.edu.au/research/doctoral/index.html
The 'Doctoral Information Handbook' contains detailed information on all matters relevant to doctoral candidature. The information included here is intended as a guide to specific issues that affect Arts research candidates and reiterates only some of the major points from that publication.
The PhD is a University degree therefore the regulations and procedures pertaining to it are controlled not by Faculties but by a central University body called the Research Graduate School Committee (RGSC).
The PhD at Monash is a degree that requires research candidates to submit a thesis of approximately 80,000 words in length, and no more than 100,000 words. Candidates may include published work of which they are sole or joint author that is directly relevant to the argument of the thesis, provided such work has been written during the period of candidature. Candidates may not present in, or in support of, a thesis any work that the candidate has presented for any degree or diploma at Monash University or any other institution.
A candidate may be enrolled on either a full-time or part-time basis. Full-time PhD candidature is for a maximum period of four years whilst part-time candidates have up to eight years to submit. An extension of candidature will normally only be considered where research has been delayed by circumstances beyond the candidate's control, for example equipment breakdown, change in research direction, change in supervision, inadequate library or other resources, or illness of candidate. Initially, extensions of up to three months may be approved, with the possibility of a further three months after a second application.
Minimum qualifications for admission to PhD candidature are:
(1) A bachelor's degree requiring at least four years of full-time study, which normally includes a research component in the fourth year, leading to an honours degree at first or upper second class level; or
(2) A program leading to a Master's preliminary qualification at a level rated by the relevant school and Faculty as equivalent to a first or upper second class honours degree; or
(3) A Master's degree that entailed work, including a significant research component, at least equivalent to (1) above.
Under exceptional circumstances, the Research Graduate School Committee may accept candidates with a degree of a lower grade than Honours 2A if they have demonstrated an ability to undertake research at PhD level, by, for example, producing evidence of quality work that can be reported on by a referee, or by adducing relevant professional experience at a high level. Such instances of H2A equivalence are decided on a case-by-case basis and require substantial effort on the part of the applicant to compile sufficient evidence of aptitude and experience for entry to the degree. Such evidence may include full-length articles in recognised refereed journals or other suitable publications; examiners' reports and results of other postgraduate work, or evidence of advances made by the applicant in their professional field.
Candidates in both the PhD and Masters degrees can call upon support from structures within the Faculty of Arts, but on PhD matters authority resides outside the Faculty, and research candidates should seek information from Monash Research Graduate School. Within the Faculty of Arts, the normal support structure for research candidates includes:
Supervisor and Associate Supervisor;
Graduate Coordinator (or equivalent) for your School;
Head of Section;
Arts Research Graduate School (Second Floor, Humanities Building); and
Arts Research Graduate School Committee. The Executive Officer of (ARGSC ) is the Manager of the Arts Research Graduate School.
The Associate Dean (Graduate Research) - messages can be left at the Arts Research Graduate School
The Dean of the Faculty
In pursuing a research degree it is important to maintain regular contact with academic staff, which is mandatory in the case of your supervisors. It is also desirable for research candidates to work regularly in close proximity to their School, and to contribute to the intellectual life of the community at Monash. You can do this by presenting a research paper and attending other postgraduate presentations, organising a reading group, and keeping up-to-date with the research activities in your School.
Workspace can be sought initially from your School, the Research Graduate Centre or the Main Library. The Research Graduate Centre also provides photocopy and computer facilities, meeting rooms and a kitchen. For further information, please contact the Research Graduate Centre Supervisor's Office on 9905 9976.