Information Technology (PrDoc) - 1743

Program Summary

Faculty: UNSW Canberra at ADFA


Campus: UNSW Canberra at ADFA

Career: Research

Typical Duration: 4 Years  

Typical UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC Per Semester: 12

Max UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC For Award: 144


Doctor of Information Technology

Doctor of Information Technology (Research)

View program information for previous years

Program Description

The DIT degree provides an opportunity to combine a doctoral thesis with the coursework component of a Masters in Science specialising in Information Technology. The degree consists of one-third coursework (equivalent to one year full-time) and two-thirds research (equivalent to two years full-time) which may be in an area encountered by the student while undertaking coursework. The program is intended to prepare candidates for the highest level of professional practice, in which they can contribute significantly to the development of the discipline of Information Technology.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

High level professional practice in the field of information technology involves the continuous improvement of the associated body of knowledge in order to manage the ever-increasing complexity of IT systems. This extension requires significant experience and a mastery of the professional body of knowledge, underpinned by strong research skills.

In this program, mastery of the professional body of knowledge is achieved in the coursework component, which builds on prior education and the experience gained through professional practice.

Based on this mastery of the professional body of knowledge, the thesis component of the program develops the research skills necessary for an experienced practitioner to be able to make a significant contribution to the continuous improvement of their discipline’s professional practice.

Program Structure

The degree consists of one third coursework (equivalent to two semesters’ full time) and two thirds research (equivalent to a minimum of four semesters’ full time) which may be taken in an area encountered by the student while undertaking coursework. All coursework must be completed before the commencement of the dissertation. Assessment of the research component is as for other final research degrees, i.e. award / not award / re-submit.

Academic Rules

1. Award of the Degree

The degree of Doctor of Information Technology may be awarded by the Council on the recommendation of the UNSW Canberra Higher Degree Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) to a candidate who after satisfactorily completing a qualifying program comprising 48 units of credit in the Master of Science specialising in Information Technology degree has, through the submission of a thesis based on his or her research, made an original and significant contribution to knowledge in the field of Information Technology.

Full credit for the qualifying program will be given for students who have previously completed the Master of Science specialising in Information Technology.

2. Qualifications

(1) A candidate for the degree shall have been awarded an undergraduate degree 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, and shall have completed the qualifying program to an approved standard. The standard required is an average of 75 or better in the candidate's qualifying program. In addition, a research proposal must be submitted as soon as feasible after completion of the qualifying program. Admission to the program will be conditional on the viability of the research proposal.

(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.

3. 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 Research Student Unit, UNSW Canberra by the advertised due date.

(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 and the applicant on the provision of adequate facilities to be prescribed 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 candidate will present the thesis for examination no earlier than four academic semesters and no later than six academic semesters from the date of enrolment for the degree (ie after completion of the qualifying program), or part-time equivalent, except with the approval of the committee.

(5) The candidate must complete the qualifying coursework component before progressing to their proposed research. He or she may undertake the research as an as an external student who is not in attendance at the University except for such periods as may be prescribed by the Committee.

(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 supervisor and where possible a co-supervisor who are members of the academic staff of the School 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.

4. Progression

(1) The progress of the candidate will be monitored by the Committee throughout the candidature.

(2) The enrolment of all candidates is subject to confirmation.
(a) In addition to a progress review, the first annual review must include consideration of the confirmation of candidature.
(b) Satisfactory progress, as assessed in accordance with the university procedures for confirmation of candidature between six and nine months after enrolment, is required in order for the candidature to be confirmed.
(c) The confirmation period may be extended for the purpose of re-assessment as per 4.4(c) but the full confirmation period may not be extended beyond fifteen months for full-time candidates or thirty months for part-time candidates.

(3) Following the confirmation review:
(a) the progress of all candidates must be assessed at least annually at subsequent reviews in accordance with the University procedures for reviewing the progress of higher degree research candidatures.
(b) Re-enrolment in each year of the degree is conditional upon approval of the Committee following the annual review of candidature.

(4) As a result of the review process, including the confirmation review and subsequent reviews, the Committee will determine to:
(a) confirm the candidature and approve re-enrolment (following the confirmation review), or
(b) continue the candidature and approve re-enrolment,(following subsequent reviews) or
(c) approve re-enrolment for the purpose of re-assessment of the candidature within a specified timeframe and according to prescribed conditions and/or criteria that will be provided to the candidate in writing, or
(d) transfer the candidature to a Masters Degree (Research), or
(e) take such other action regarding the candidature as it considers appropriate.

(5) Where the progress of a candidate towards the completion of the degree is unsatisfactory, the Committee may:
(a) approve re-enrolment for a three month period for the purpose of re-assessment of the candidature against prescribed conditions and/or criteria that will be provided to the candidate in writing; and/or
(b) require the candidate to show cause as to why that candidature should not be terminated. In such cases, the candidate must be given written notification of the reasons for the unsatisfactory progress and must be provided with the opportunity to make a written submission to the Committee; and/or
(c) terminate the candidature, where, in the opinion of the Committee, the candidate does not show good cause.

5. Thesis

(1) On completing the program of study a candidate must submit a thesis embodying the results of the investigation. The length of the thesis shall normally be not more than 70,000 words.

(2) The candidate may request in writing to the Research Student Unit, UNSW Canberra six months in advance of the thesis submission date that the contents of the thesis be kept confidential for a period of up to two years.

(3) The candidate will give in writing to the Student Administrative Services, UNSW@ADFA six weeks notice of intention to submit the thesis.

(4) The thesis must comply with the following requirements:
(a) it must be an original and significant contribution to knowledge of the subject;
(b) the research work described must have been completed during the period of enrolment for the degree;
(c) it must be written in English;
(d) it must reach a satisfactory standard of expression and presentation;
(e) it must consist of an account of the candidate’s own research with all research performed conjointly with other persons fully acknowledged and inclusion of a statement of the candidate’s contribution to the conjoint research.

(5) The candidate must not submit as the main content of the thesis any work or material that has previously been submitted for a university degree or other similar award.

(6) Four copies of the thesis must be presented in a form that complies with the requirements of the University for the preparation and submission of theses for higher degrees.

6. Examination

(1) The thesis must be examined by two external examiners. External examiners must not be an employee of the University within the past 5 years.

(2) At the conclusion of the examination each examiner shall submit to the Committee a concise report on the thesis and shall recommend to the Committee that:

(a) The thesis merits the award of the degree, or

(b) The thesis merits the award of the degree subject to minor corrections as listed being made to the satisfaction of the Head of School, or

(c) The thesis requires further work on matters detailed in the examiner's report. Should performance in this further work be to the satisfaction of the Committee, the thesis would merit the award of the degree, or

(d) The thesis does not merit the award of the degree in its present form and further work as described in the examiner's report is required. The revised thesis should be subject to re-examination, or

(e) The thesis does not merit the award of the degree and does not demonstrate that resubmission would be likely to achieve that merit.

(3) If the performance at the further work recommended under (2)(c) above is not to the satisfaction of the Committee, the Committee may permit the candidate to re-present the same thesis and submit to further examination as determined by the Committee within a period specified by it but not exceeding eighteen months.

(4) The Committee shall, after consideration of the examiners' reports and the results of any further work, 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 be permitted to resubmit the thesis after a further period of study and/or research. If the decision of the Committee results non-award of the DIT the candidate may take out a Master of Information Technology degree on the basis of the coursework completed before the DIT thesis.


For information regarding fees for UNSW programs, please refer to the following website:  UNSW Fee Website.

Further Information

Prospective students are strongly advised to make contact with a potential supervisor and the UNSW Canberra Research Student Unit before applying for research study at the University.

Further information about the DIT program and scholarships at UNSW Canberra can be found by emailing a query via

Please refer to the following web-page for further information on how to apply, scholarships, English language requirements, thesis preparation and other research related matters:

Area of Specialisation

[an error occurred while processing this directive]