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Doctor of Philosophy (DPHD) - PhD

CRICOS code (International applicants): 088073M

 On-campusExternal
Semester intake:Semester 1 (February)
Semester 2 (July)
Semester 1 (February)
Semester 2 (July)
Campus:Ipswich, Springfield, Toowoomba -
Fees:Domestic full fee paying place
International full fee paying place
Research Training Program (RTP) - Fees Offset scheme
Domestic full fee paying place
International full fee paying place
Research Training Program (RTP) - Fees Offset scheme
Standard duration:Can be studied full-time or part-time (full-time students normally complete in 3 to 4 years). 

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Future Australian and New Zealand students  Future International students  Current students 
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Freecall (within Australia): 1800 269 500
Phone (from outside Australia): +61 7 4631 5315
Email: study@usq.edu.au  
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Phone: +61 7 4631 5543
Email: international@usq.edu.au 
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Freecall (within Australia): 1800 007 252
Phone (from outside Australia): +61 7 4631 2285
Email usq.support@usq.edu.au 

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Program aims

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree is awarded for research which demonstrates that the student has the capacity to conduct research and make a significant contribution to new knowledge.

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Program objectives

Graduates of this program should be able to:

  1. Investigate a substantial, complex and relevant area of research with specialised research skills that enable them to advance their discipline.

  2. Critically evaluate relevant research literature, theoretical propositions, methodologies and findings to design and conduct original research.

  3. Cogently present, verbally and in writing research findings which include propositions, creative works, insights and conclusions to their peers and professional community.

  4. Independently and systematically apply specialised technical and research skills to plan and execute a research project, undertake research ethically according to the discipline. standards and generate new knowledge and original insights that make a contribution to their discipline.

  5. Apply principles of integrity, research ethics, judgement, adaptability and responsibility in ways appropriate to an expert in their discipline.


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Australian Qualifications Framework

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is a single national, comprehensive system of qualifications offered by higher education institutions (including universities), vocational education and training institutions and secondary schools. Each AQF qualification has a set of descriptors which define the type and complexity of knowledge, skills and application of knowledge and skills that a graduate who has been awarded that qualification has attained, and the typical volume of learning associated with that qualification type.

This program is at AQF Qualification Level 10. Graduates at this level will have systematic and critical understanding of a complex field of learning and specialised research skills for the advancement of learning and/or for professional practice.

The full set of levels criteria and qualification type descriptors can be found by visiting www.aqf.edu.au.

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Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission, applicants must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Completion of a relevant Australian university bachelor honours degree with First Class Honours or Second Class Honours (Division A) or equivalent,

    or

  • completion of an Australian university Masters degree (with a significant research component) or equivalent,

    or

  • other qualifications equivalent to First Class or 2A Honours.


English Language Proficiency requirements for Category 3.

The PhD is based on supervision by a Principal and one or more Associate Supervisors, therefore it is essential that applicants clarify their topic for research and seek an academic staff member able to provide supervision. Application forms, procedures for enrolment, and the application process can be found on the Research website. Applicants are advised to allow several months for discussion with potential supervisors and for consideration of the application prior to the commencement of the program.

All students are required to satisfy the applicable English language requirements.

If students do not meet the English language requirements they may apply to study a University-approved English language program. On successful completion of the English language program, students may be admitted to an award program.

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Program fees

Domestic full fee paying place

Domestic full fee paying places are funded entirely through the full fees paid by the student. Full fees vary depending on the courses that are taken. Students are able to calculate the fees for a particular course via the Course Fee Finder.

Domestic full fee paying students may be eligible to defer their fees through a Government loan called FEE-HELP provided they meet the residency and citizenship requirements.

Australian citizens, Permanent Humanitarian Visa holders, Permanent Resident visa holders and New Zealand citizens who will be resident outside Australia for the duration of their program pay full tuition fees and are not eligible for FEE-Help.

International full fee paying place

International students pay full fees. Full fees vary depending on the courses that are taken and whether they are studied on-campus, via distance education/online. Students are able to calculate the fees for a particular course via the Course Fee Finder.

Research Training Program (RTP) - Fees Offset scheme

All Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and New Zealand citizens commencing a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) program will have their tuition fees paid by the Australian Commonwealth Government under the Research Training Program (RTP) Fees Offset scheme. The RTP Fees Offset scheme covers program fees for an HDR student up to a maximum period of four years for full-time study or up to eight years part-time study for a Doctoral program, and up to a maximum period of two years for full-time or four years part-time for a Masters by Research program.
As part of the enrolment process, students are required to submit proof of citizenship or permanent residency status and transcripts of all previous academic study. This documentation enables the University of Southern Queensland to determine eligibility for an RTP Fees Offset place.

If a student's RTP Fees Offset entitlement expires before completion of the program, the student will be required to pay full tuition fees.

Students eligible for an RTP Fees Offset place are those who:

  • have not used RTP Fees Offset funding in the previous three years; or

  • have already used RTP Fees Offset funding and have successfully completed an HDR program. Once a student completes an HDR program, full entitlements of RTP Fees Offset are restored.


The Australian Commonwealth Government’s contribution to program fees must be acknowledged on all published material relating to a research project via a statement identifying the support received through the RTP Fees Offset scheme.

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Program structure

The Doctor of Philosophy (DPHD) program is a 24-unit program made up of one unit of research training, one unit of approved postgraduate elective (coursework or research training as approved by the program coordinator), two units for a Research Proposal to support Confirmation of Candidature and 20 units of independent research within your selected area of study.

The award of the Doctor of Philosophy requires the successful examination of the student’s thesis or research outcomes, work based research project/s and professional learning.

The Doctor of Philosophy comprises a minimum of 16 units, although students would normally complete 24 units, with the option to extend to 32 units if needed. Students are required to enrol in appropriate course(s) in Semester 1 and Semester 2 from date of admission through to the date that they submit their thesis for examination, or alternatively be on approved leave. Failure to enrol or not be on approved leave may result in the student’s enrolment being cancelled. Students studying full-time will need to enrol in 4 units each semester (Semester 1 and Semester 2). Part-time students will need to enrol in 2 units each semester (Semester 1 and Semester 2).

The enrolment pattern of this program is required to reflect the following:

  • Research Methodology Course (Schedule A) must be completed in the first four units of enrolment.

  • Advanced Approved Course (Schedule B) must be completed within the first six units of enrolment.

  • Research Proposal for Confirmation of Candidature (Schedule C) must be completed after the successful completion of Schedule A and Schedule B Courses and within the first eight units of enrolment.

  • Independent Research Courses (Schedule D) to commence in parallel with Schedule A, B & C Courses as appropriate. After completion of 8 units, it is mandatory to have completed the Schedule C Course prior to enrolment further Schedule D courses.


Based on the research project (lab-based or non-lab based), the appropriate courses should be selected within Schedule C and Schedule D.

The proposed enrolment pattern for individual students will be checked by the Faculty Associate Dean (Research & Research Training).

Assessment

A student is admitted to this program as a provisional candidate until successful completion of the Confirmation of Candidature process.

All students are required to complete successfully a Confirmation of Candidature through enrolment in RES9510 or RES9511 course within the first eight units of the program. The purpose of the Confirmation of Candidature process is to ensure, as far as possible, a student’s steady progress towards the successful and timely completion of the PhD program. Students are expected to complete the Confirmation of Candidature within 12 months full-time, or 24 months part-time enrolment. The Confirmation of Candidature is completed in the courses RES9510 or RES9511, and consists of two components:

  • a written document; and

  • an oral presentation to a review panel leading to a recommendation on Confirmation of Candidature.


The Faculty Research Office will notify students by email when the Confirmation of Candidature is due.

Student progress will be monitored by compulsory Progress Reports. Students who are deemed to be making adequate progress will be awarded an ongoing grade. Those students who fail to submit a report, or who have been deemed to be making little or no progress may be awarded a Fail grade. When the progress is not satisfactory, the student would normally be placed on conditional academic standing and performance management processes will be implemented as per the Academic Standing, Progression and Exclusion Procedure. The Office of Research Graduate Studies will notify students by email when Progress Reports are due.

The final assessment in the PhD program is the submission of PhD thesis that will be examined as per the Higher Degree Research (HDR) examination schedule outlined below.

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Program completion requirements

All PhD students must successfully complete appropriate courses in Schedule A and Schedule B and complete the Confirmation of Candidature process through Schedule C. Finally, a PhD thesis must be submitted for examination as part of Schedule D.

All PhD students are required to submit a thesis for examination which will be examined by suitably qualified examiners as per the Higher Degree Research (HDR) examination schedule. A PhD degree will only be awarded on the basis of the student successfully completing the thesis examination process.

There is no prescribed minimum length for a doctoral thesis as this will vary with the research topic and the form of presentation, however, there is normally a maximum prescribed length of 80 000 words for doctoral theses. A PhD thesis may be presented in the form of a:

  • Standard Thesis

  • Thesis by Publication, or

  • Thesis with Creative Works.


Examination Criteria for the Standard PhD Thesis and PhD Thesis by Publication

The thesis will be examined according to the following criteria:

  1. The extent to which the student has demonstrated:

    1. Originality;

    2. Critical insight; and

    3. Capacity to carry out independent research; and


  2. The extent of the contribution to knowledge made by the thesis and, in particular, its contribution to the understanding of the subject with which it deals; and

  3. The suitability of the thesis for publication.


Examination Criteria for a PhD with Creative Works

The PhD with Creative Work Component examination criteria includes the student’s demonstrated capacity to produce original creative work. The student’s production of original creative work should be evidenced in the creative work itself together with an exegesis.

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Required time limits

Students have a maximum of 4 years (Full-time) or 8 years (Part-time) to complete this program.

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IT requirements

Students should visit the USQ minimum computing standards to check that their computers are capable of running the appropriate software and versions of Internet web browsers and to check the minimum and recommended standards for software.

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Credit

Exemptions/credit will be assessed based on the USQ Credit and Exemption Procedure.

Recommended enrolment patterns

In this section:

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Recommended enrolment pattern - Full-time students who commenced prior to semester 2, 2017

Students are able to enrol in any offered mode of a course (on-campus, external or online), regardless of the program mode of study they enrolled in.

Full-time candidates undertaking research in the following areas should enrol in RES9502 Doctoral Research Project D (Non-Lab) - full-time for each semester of their candidature. This will normally be for a total of six semesters.

  • Business and Commerce

  • Creative Arts and Media

  • Education

  • Health and Community (non-lab) i.e. except Biomedical and Laboratory Medicine and, Psychology

  • Humanities and Communication

  • Information Technology

  • Law and Justice

  • Sciences (non-lab) i.e. sub-areas of Applied Data Science, and, Mathematics and Statistics.


Full-time candidates undertaking research in the following areas should enrol in RES9503 Doctoral Research Project D (Lab) - full-time for each semester of their candidature. This will normally be for a total of six semesters.

  • Engineering and Built Environment

  • Health and Community (lab) i.e. sub-areas of Biomedical and Laboratory Medicine, and, Psychology

  • Sciences (lab) all sub-areas except Applied Data Science, and, Mathematics and Statistics.


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Recommended enrolment pattern - Part-time students who commenced prior to semester 2, 2017

Students are able to enrol in any offered mode of a course (on-campus, external or online), regardless of the program mode of study they enrolled in.

Part-time candidates undertaking research in the following areas should enrol in RES9500 Doctoral Research Project B (Non-Lab) - part-time for each semester of their candidature. This will normally be for a total of 12 semesters.

  • Business and Commerce

  • Creative Arts and Media

  • Education

  • Health and Community (non-lab) i.e. except Biomedical and Laboratory Medicine and, Psychology

  • Humanities and Communication

  • Information Technology

  • Law and Justice

  • Sciences (non-lab) i.e. sub-areas of Applied Data Science, and, Mathematics and Statistics.


Part-time candidates undertaking research in the following areas should enrol in RES9501 Doctoral Research Project B (Non-Lab) - part-time for each semester of their candidature. This will normally be for a total of 12 semesters.

  • Engineering and Built Environment

  • Health and Community (lab) i.e. sub-areas of Biomedical and Laboratory Medicine, and, Psychology

  • Sciences (lab) all sub-areas except Applied Data Science, and, Mathematics and Statistics.


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Recommended enrolment pattern - Full-time students who commenced in semester 2, 2017 onwards

Students are able to enrol in any offered mode of a course (on-campus, external or online), regardless of the program mode of study they enrolled in.

Students are able to enrol in any offered mode of a course (on-campus, external or online), regardless of the program mode of study.

Schedule A course must be completed within the first four units of enrolment and Schedule B course must be completed within the first six units of enrolment. Schedule C course must be completed within the first eight units of enrolment. The enrolment is to be consulted with a student’s supervisor.

Full-time candidates undertaking non-lab based research should enrol in RES9500 Doctoral Research Project B (Non Lab) (2 unit) or RES9502 Doctoral Research Project D (Non Lab) (4 unit). This will normally be for a total of six semesters. (Students should contact the Faculty Research Office.)

Full-time candidates undertaking lab based research should enrol in RES9501 Doctoral Research Project B (Lab) (2 unit) or RES9503 Doctoral Research Project D (Lab)(4 unit). This will normally be for a total of six semesters. (Students should contact the Faculty Research Office.)


CourseYear of program and semester
in which course is normally studied
Enrolment requirements
On-campus
(ONC)
External
(EXT)
Online
(ONL)
YearSemYearSemYearSem

Schedule A - Research Methodology Course – choose one course from the list below, to be completed within first four units of enrolment:

RSH8001 Research Methods1, 21, 2Co-requisite: RSH8000 or student must be enrolled in the DPHD
ENG8001 Engineering Research Methods1, 2, 31, 2
LAW8001 Legal Research Methodology1, 21, 2Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following programs: DPHD, DJUR, LLBH, LLMR or LLMC
HSC8050 Research Methodology for the Human Sciences1, 2
DCA9000 Research Methods in Creative Arts Practice*11Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following programs: DCAR or DPHD
PSY8020 Advanced Research Techniques1Pre-requisite: PSY8010 or must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: MPPS or DPHD
MAR8006 Guided Arts Studies A11Pre-requisite: Students must have successfully completed HMT4005 or BCA8002 or be enrolled in DPHD program

Schedule B - Advanced approved Course – choose one course from the list below, to be completed within first six units of enrolment

Approved postgraduate course as appropriate to the relevant field of study, decided on by the student in consultation with their supervisor. Alternative courses, endorsed by the supervisor, must be approved by the Associate Dean (Research & Research Training). The following are recommended courses.

STA8180 Advanced Statistics A1
ENG8208 Advanced Engineering Project Management11
EDR8001 Effective and Ethical Educational Research1, 2, 3
EDR8005 Discourse Analysis1, 2
HSC8060 Research Project Design1, 2Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: DPHD or MNRS or MNSG or PDEV or GCHH or GDHH or MOHH or DOHH
NUR8040 Qualitative Research Methods1Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: DPHD or MSCR or MNRS or MOHH or PDEV or BPSH or MNSG or (BSCI with Psychology major 13815)
MAR8007 Guided Arts Studies B22Pre-requisite: Students must have successfully completed HMT4005 or BCA8002 or be enrolled in DPHD program
MBA8000 Applied Business Research and Ethics11, 2
CIS8500 Applied Research for Information System Professionals1, 21, 2Pre-requisite: CIS8000

Schedule C — Research Proposal for Confirmation of Candidature

Candidates must complete one of the following courses to be completed within first eight units of enrolment:

RES9510 Confirmation of Candidature (Non-Lab)#1, 21, 2Pre-requisite: Student must be enrolled in the following Program: DPHD
RES9511 Confirmation of Candidature (Lab)#1, 21, 2Pre-requisite: Student must be enrolled in the following Program: DPHD

Schedule D — Independent Research

Plus 20 units of independent research from:

RES9500 Doctoral Research Project B (Non-Lab)#1, 21, 2Pre-requisite: Student must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: DPHD or DOHH
RES9502 Doctoral Research Project D (Non-Lab)^1, 21, 2Pre-requisite: Student must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: DPHD or DOHH

OR

RES9501 Doctoral Research Project B (Non-Lab)#1, 21, 2Pre-requisite: Student must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: DPHD or DOHH or DASC
RES9503 Doctoral Research Project D (Lab)^1, 21, 2Pre-requisite: Student must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: MPHD or DPHD or DOHH or DASC

Footnotes
*DCA9000 is a two unit course. Students who wish to enrol in DCA9000 do not need to select a course from Schedule B.
#2 unit course
^4 unit course

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Recommended enrolment pattern - Part-time students who commenced in semester 2, 2017 onwards

Students are able to enrol in any offered mode of a course (on-campus, external or online), regardless of the program mode of study they enrolled in.

Students are able to enrol in any offered mode of a course (on-campus, external or online), regardless of the program mode of study.

Schedule A course must be completed in within the first four units of enrolment and Schedule B course must be completed within the first six units of enrolment. Schedule C course must be completed within the first eight units of enrolment. The enrolment is to be consulted with a student’s supervisor.

Part-time candidates undertaking non-lab based research should enrol in RES9506 Doctoral Research Project A (Non Lab) (1 unit) or RES9500 Doctoral Research Project B (Non Lab) (2 unit). This will normally be for a total of 12 semesters. (Students should contact the Faculty Research Office.)

Part-time candidates undertaking lab based research should enrol in RES9507 Doctoral Research Project A (Lab) (1 unit) or RES9501 Doctoral Research Project B (Lab) (2unit). This will normally be for a total of 12 semesters. (Students should contact the Faculty Research Office.)


CourseYear of program and semester
in which course is normally studied
Enrolment requirements
On-campus
(ONC)
External
(EXT)
Online
(ONL)
YearSemYearSemYearSem

Schedule A — Research Methodology Course – choose one course from the list below to be completed within first four units of enrolment:

RSH8001 Research Methods1, 21, 2Co-requisite: RSH8000 or student must be enrolled in the DPHD
ENG8001 Engineering Research Methods1, 2, 31, 2
LAW8001 Legal Research Methodology1, 21, 2Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following programs: DPHD, DJUR, LLBH, LLMR or LLMC
HSC8050 Research Methodology for the Human Sciences1, 2
DCA9000 Research Methods in Creative Arts Practice*11Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following programs: DCAR or DPHD
PSY8020 Advanced Research Techniques1Pre-requisite: PSY8010 or must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: MPPS or DPHD
MAR8006 Guided Arts Studies A11Pre-requisite: Students must have successfully completed HMT4005 or BCA8002 or be enrolled in DPHD program

Schedule B — Advanced approved elective Course – choose one course from the list below, to be completed within first six units of enrolment

Approved postgraduate course as appropriate to the relevant field of study decided on by the student in consultation with their supervisor. Alternative courses, endorsed by the supervisor, must be approved by the Associate Dean (Research & Research Training). The following are recommended courses

STA8180 Advanced Statistics A1
ENG8208 Advanced Engineering Project Management11
EDR8001 Effective and Ethical Educational Research1, 2, 3
EDR8005 Discourse Analysis1, 2
HSC8060 Research Project Design1, 2Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: DPHD or MNRS or MNSG or PDEV or GCHH or GDHH or MOHH or DOHH
NUR8040 Qualitative Research Methods1Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: DPHD or MSCR or MNRS or MOHH or PDEV or BPSH or MNSG or (BSCI with Psychology major 13815)
MAR8007 Guided Arts Studies B22Pre-requisite: Students must have successfully completed HMT4005 or BCA8002 or be enrolled in DPHD program
MBA8000 Applied Business Research and Ethics11, 2
CIS8500 Applied Research for Information System Professionals1, 21, 2Pre-requisite: CIS8000

Schedule C — Research Proposal for Confirmation of Candidature

Candidates must complete one of the following courses within first eight units of enrolment:

RES9510 Confirmation of Candidature (Non-Lab)#1, 21, 2Pre-requisite: Student must be enrolled in the following Program: DPHD
RES9511 Confirmation of Candidature (Lab)#1, 21, 2Pre-requisite: Student must be enrolled in the following Program: DPHD

Schedule D — Independent Research

Plus 20 units of independent research from:

RES9500 Doctoral Research Project B (Non-Lab)#1, 21, 2Pre-requisite: Student must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: DPHD or DOHH
RES9506 Doctoral Research Project A (Non-Lab)1, 21, 2Pre-requisite: Student must be enrolled in the following Program: DPHD

OR

RES9501 Doctoral Research Project B (Non-Lab)#1, 21, 2Pre-requisite: Student must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: DPHD or DOHH or DASC
RES9507 Doctoral Research Project A (Lab)1, 21, 2Pre-requisite: Student must be enrolled in the following Program: DPHD

Footnotes
*DCA9000 is a two unit course. Students who wish to enrol in DCA9000 do not need to select a course from Schedule B.
#2 unit course