Doctor of Philosophy
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD or Doctorate) is the highest degree offered by the University and should demonstrate a critical application of advanced knowledge and expertise in your field, and high level research and writing skills. It is a sustained piece of independent research and writing that examines a specific problem, issue or topic and, upon completion, makes a significant and new contribution to existing knowledge. All PhDs in the Faculty of Arts are research-based.
From 2012, all students commencing their candidature will be required to complete a small component of compulsory coursework, to enhance their first year of candidature. Successful completion of this coursework is a hurdle requirement for Confirmation of candidature, but the award of the PhD will continue to be based solely on the examination of the thesis.
For international and domestic students, there are no additional fees and no additional time to the length of the PhD.
For further information, please visit the GSHSS PhD coursework web page.
Minimum entry requirements
Completion of a four year Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree with a research component or equivalent in the appropriate area of study or closely related area, with an Honours thesis result at least equivalent to an H2A (75%) and an overall Honours result at least equivalent to an H2A (75%) at the University of Melbourne.
Applicants without the required honours degree may still be considered with significant fourth year, masters or graduate diploma research experience. Research experience must also be relevant to the proposed topic of research.
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is usually undertaken over three years (full time) or six years (part time).
The normal length of a PhD thesis is 80,000 words, exclusive of words in tables, maps, bibliographies and appendices. Footnotes are included as part of the word limit. The thesis should not exceed 100,000 words (or equivalent) without special approval from the Research Higher Degrees Committee. In some disciplines, such as the creative arts, the thesis may instead take the form of performance and/or corpus of creative work plus a dissertation which addresses, elucidates and contextualises the work. The creative work and dissertation will be examined as an integrated whole.
All PhD candidates are required to complete the equivalent of at least 12 months full-time (24 months part-time) advanced study and research in the University unless studying at an outside institution approved by the Research Higher Degrees Committee (RHDC). The RHDC will not approve entirely distance supervision or entirely on-line supervision for research higher degree students.
Throughout your candidature, you will be expected to attend the University in order to benefit from planning, accomplishing your research and writing up your thesis within a University community and environment.
The residency requirement is deemed especially important during the first year of probationary candidature. During your first year on campus in a research degree, you will be expected to interact on a regular basis with your supervisor, School, other research students and University staff so that you can build the skills and knowledge necessary to carry out the proposed research program. You will also be expected to acquire an understanding of the standards and requirements for a PhD awarded by the University, and make use of support programs and facilities provided by the GSHSS and the Melbourne School of Graduate Research.
It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a GSHSS Student Adviser and Disability Liaison.