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Research Handbook

Engineering - 2685

This Program is no longer accepting new enrolments

Program Summary

Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Research
Typical Duration: 1.5 Years
Typical UOC Per Semester: 24
Min UOC Per Semester: 3
Max UOC Per Semester: 24
Min UOC For Award: 72
Master of Philosophy (Research)

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, design or engineering development. 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 selected from the Coursework Masters offerings for the relevant discipline. Courses may also be selected from the Graduate School of Engineering. Candidates may undertake interdisciplinary studies subject to approval.

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 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 Registrar or the Director, Student Administration, ADFA on the prescribed form at least one calendar month before the commencement of the Session in which registration is to begin.

Program Objectives and Learning Outcomes

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 entrepreneurial and research methods.

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, selected from School postgraduate coursework and/or the Graduate School of Engineering electives


approved courses from other tertiary institutions (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

1. The degree of Master of Philosophy by research may be awarded by the Council on the recommendation of the Higher Degree Committee of the Faculty of Engineering, or the Research Committee of the University College, ADFA, (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 (18 UOC) of the degree.
2. Qualifications
(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.
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 registrar or the director, student administration, ADFA at least two calendar months before the commencement of the session in which 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 may undertake the research as an internal student i.e. at a campus, teaching hospital, or other research facility with which the University is associated or as an external student not in attendance at the University except for 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 at least two supervisors 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.
(8) Schools may, at their discretion, appoint a Management Panel (which might include members from outside the school) to provide administrative support to the candidate and the supervisors. In addition to administrative matters, the panel could have responsibility for progress review and examination of the candidate’s work, assistance with timely appointment of examiners and consultation with the candidate at other critical times. The Management Panel should not include any supervisor of the research.
(9) There is an expectation that coursework be completed as soon as feasible within the MPhil program.
4. Progression
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 or at University College and previously noted by the Committee.
(1) 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.
(2) 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. 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.
5. Thesis
(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 (or equivalent length).
(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 about 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) It shall be understood that the University retains the three copies of the thesis submitted for examination and is free to allow the thesis to be consulted or borrowed. Subject to the provisions of the Copyright Act, 1968, the University may issue the thesis in whole or in part, in photostat or microfilm or other copying medium. The University may protect Intellectual Property by restricting circulation of the thesis for a limited period (usually not exceeding 2 years).
(6) An electronic version of the thesis shall be submitted to the library on completion of all work and corrections.
(7) Notwithstanding the above, the submission of the thesis will comply with future thesis submission requirements of the University.
6. Examination
(1) There shall be no fewer than two examiners of the thesis, appointed by the committee acting on advice of the school , one of whom should be external to the university unless the committee resolves otherwise, and neither of whom should be supervisors of the research.
(2) The entire examination process will include both the examination of the thesis and the conduct of a concurrent oral defence.
(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 Higher Degree 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 resubmission would be likely to alter that assessment.
(4) Concurrently with examination of the thesis, the Committee will convene an Oral Defence Panel (the Panel), comprising no less than 3 and no more than 5 panel members, including usually the two examiners and, where appropriate, members of the Management Panel, or any members who may otherwise be selected by the Committee. Supervisors and co-supervisors would not normally be members of the panel. The Panel will conduct an oral defence by the candidate of the work reported in the thesis, at which the examiners’ questions, and those of other members of the Panel shall be put to the candidate. The oral defence may include a colloquium delivered by the candidate, time permitting. (It is noted that in many Schools, review of candidature involves a colloquium, in which case a further colloquium may be unnecessary). Where circumstances demand, the Committee may recommend that the oral defence be conducted by an appropriate alternative means, (e.g. a telephone link with the external examiner, or less usually the candidate). Following the defence, the Panel will prepare a short report for the Committee, 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 all components of the examination process: the thesis reports from the examiners and the report of the oral defence.
(6) The School shall report to the Committee satisfactory completion of any further work required by the Committee on the recommendation of the examiners and the Oral Defence Panel.
(7) The Committee shall, after consideration of the examiners’ 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.
7. Fees
A candidate shall pay such fees as may be determined from time to time by the Council.


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© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.