Art, Design and Media (MPhil) - 2267

Program Summary

Faculty: Faculty of Art & Design


Campus: Paddington

Career: Research

Typical Duration: 1.5 Years  

Typical UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC Per Semester: 12

Max UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC For Award: 72

View program information for previous years

Program Description

The Master of Philosophy is a research degree with an examinable coursework component, taken over three sessions and comprising 72 units of credit. A thesis, awarded 54 units of credit, embodies the result of an original investigation. The thesis may take the form of a written dissertation or a combined submission, comprising a studio/production component or curated exhibition and a written dissertation. A program of advanced study, comprising 18 units of credit of coursework, makes up the remainder of the program. The coursework component will normally comprise three courses:

1. An approved research or methodology course (6 UOC)
2. An open elective (6 UOC)
3. A literature review course (6 UOC)

Subject to the approval of the program authority, candidates may enrol in postgraduate courses from other tertiary institutions.

Before enrolment an applicant should submit an intended program (including a research proposal) for approval by the School or Academic Unit controlling the research discipline for the degree. The School will ensure that the coursework component is relevant to, or complements, the research component, and that the candidate satisfies prerequisite requirements for the study.

A candidate for registration for the degree of Master of Philosophy should hold a relevant Bachelor's degree, usually at Honours level, from the University of New South Wales or from another approved University. Applications for admission should be made to the Graduate Research School on the prescribed form at least one calendar month before the commencement of the Session in which registration is to begin.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

The objectives of the program are:
  • to provide the opportunity for research training requiring a significant basic or applied research project; and
  • to support the research training with coursework to provide in-depth discipline skills, or skills in relevant research methods.
The MPhil offers training for potential doctoral candidates, and the potential to upgrade to a doctoral program (subject to School and Faculty approval).

Program Structure

The normal period is three academic sessions (full-time) and six academic sessions (part-time) from the date of enrolment. Subject to feasibility of supervision, research may be undertaken during Summer Session. The maximum period of registration is five academic sessions (full-time) and ten academic sessions (part-time). In special cases, extensions may be granted.

The degree provides the opportunity to complete a research program with associated coursework in one calendar year.

The structure of the degree is flexible, but might typically comprise:

Session 1
3 courses (18 units of credit)
Plus Research Thesis (6 units of credit)

Session 2
Research Thesis (24 units of credit)

Session 3
Research Thesis (24 units of credit)

Academic Rules

The degree of Master of Philosophy by research may be awarded by the Council on the recommendation of the Higher Degree Committee of UNSW Art and Design, (hereinafter collectively referred to as the Committee) to a candidate who has demonstrated ability to undertake research by the submission of a thesis (54 UOC) embodying the results of an original investigation, and who has satisfied the advanced postgraduate coursework requirements (18UOC) of the degree.

1. A candidate for the degree shall have been awarded an appropriate degree of Bachelor in the relevant discipline from the University of New South Wales or a qualification considered equivalent, from another university or tertiary institution at a level acceptable to the Committee, usually an Honours level.

2. In exceptional cases an applicant who submits evidence of such other academic and professional qualifications as may be approved by the Committee may be permitted to enrol for the degree.

3. If the Committee is not satisfied with the qualifications submitted by an applicant the Committee may require the applicant to undergo such assessment or carry out such work as the Committee may prescribe, before permitting enrolment.

1. An application to enrol as a candidate for the degree shall be made on the prescribed form which shall be lodged with the Graduate Research School at least one calendar month before the commencement of the session in which the enrolment is to begin.

2. In every case before making the offer of a place the Committee shall be satisfied that initial agreement has been reached between the School controlling the relevant discipline and the applicant on the research area, supervision arrangements, provision of adequate facilities and the coursework to be undertaken, and that these are in accordance with the provisions of the guidelines for promoting postgraduate study within the University.

3. The candidate shall be enrolled as either a full-time or part-time student.

4. A full-time candidate will present the thesis for examination no earlier than the equivalent of 3 sessions and no later than 5 sessions from the date of enrolment and a part-time candidate will present the thesis for examination no earlier than 6 sessions and no later than 10 sessions from the date of enrolment, except with the approval of the Committee.

5. The candidate will undertake the research as an internal student.

6. An internal candidate will normally carry out the research on a campus or at a teaching or research facility of the University except that the Committee may permit a candidate to spend a period in the field, within another institution or elsewhere away from the University provided that the work can be supervised in a manner satisfactory to the Committee. In such instances the Committee shall be satisfied that the location and period of time away from the University are necessary to the research program.

7. The research shall be supervised by a least one supervisor who is a member of the academic staff of the faculty or under other appropriate supervision arrangements approved by the Committee. Normally an external candidate within another organisation or institution will have a co-supervisor at that institution.

8. Schools will appoint a Review Panel (which might include members from outside the school) to provide academic and administrative support to the candidate and the supervisors. Reviews should be conducted in accordance with UNSW and Faculty guidelines.

9. There is an expectation that coursework be completed as soon as feasible within the MPhil program.

1. The progress of the candidate shall be considered by the Higher Degree Committee following report from the School, in accordance with the procedures established within the Faculty previously noted by the Committee.

2. The research proposal will be reviewed as soon as feasible after enrolment. For a full-time student this will normally be after one session. This review will focus on both the viability of the research proposal, and evidence of satisfactory commencement of the research.

3. Progress in the program will require that 18 units of credit of approved coursework are undertaken during candidature, and that all courses are passed at the first attempt. Candidates will normally be expected to pass courses at Distinction level or above. As a result of failure in any part of the coursework component, the Committee, advised by the School, may cancel enrolment or take such other action as it considers appropriate. Thereafter, the progress of the candidate will be reviewed each session.

1. On completing both the program of research and all coursework, a candidate shall submit a thesis embodying the results of the investigation. The thesis would not normally exceed 40,000 words. Where the submission embodies a substantial studio/production/exhibition component, the length of the written component is proportionally reduced.

2. The candidate shall give in writing to the Registrar one month's notice of intention to submit the thesis.

3. The thesis shall present an account of the candidate's own research. In special cases work done conjointly with other persons may be accepted, provided the Committee is satisfied on the candidate's part in the joint research, and the candidate submits an individual thesis.

4. Three copies of the thesis shall be presented in a form which complies with the requirements of the University for the preparation and submission of theses for higher degrees.

5. An electronic version of the thesis shall be submitted to the library on completion of all works and corrections.

6. Notwithstanding the above, the submission of the thesis will comply with future thesis submission requirements of the University.

1. There shall be no fewer than two examiners of the thesis, appointed by the Committee acting on advice of the School, at least one of whom should be external to the University, and neither of whom should be supervisors of the research.

2. The examination process may include both the examination of the thesis and the conduct of a concurrent oral defence, if appropriate. An oral defence may occur where the submission includes an exhibition component to be viewed by the examiners.

3. At the conclusion of the examination process each examiner shall submit to the Committee a concise report on the thesis, and shall recommend to the Committee that:
a) The thesis is satisfactory.
b) The thesis is satisfactory subject to minor corrections as listed being made to the satisfaction of the Head of School.
c) The thesis requires further work on matters detailed in the report. Should performance in this further work be to the satisfaction of the Committee, the thesis would be satisfactory.
d) The thesis is not satisfactory in its present form and further work as described in the report is required. The revised thesis should be subject to re-examination.
e) The thesis is not satisfactory and does not demonstrate that re-submission would be likely to alter that assessment.

4. Where an Oral Defence Panel (the Panel) is convened, the Panel should comprise the two examiners only. It should be chaired by a member of the Committee. Supervisors and co-supervisors should not normally be members of the Panel. The Panel will conduct an oral defence by the candidate of the work exhibited. Members of the Panel should note in their report the outcomes of the defence, recommending either that the oral defence was satisfactory, or that it was unsatisfactory.

5. Recommendation to award the degree will be made by the Committee on consideration of the thesis reports from the examiners.

6. The School shall report to the Committee satisfactory completion of any further work required by the Committee on the recommendation of the examiners.

7. The Committee shall, after consideration of the examiner's reports and the results of the oral defence, recommend whether or not the candidate may be awarded the degree. If it is decided that the candidate be not awarded the degree the Committee shall determine whether or not the candidate should be permitted to resubmit the thesis after a further period of study and/or research; the Committee may also determine whether a supplementary oral defence of the thesis is required.

A candidate shall pay such fees as may be determined from time to time by the Council.


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Area(s) of Specialisation