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1.0 Purpose and Scope

1.1 Purpose

1. This policy identifies the requirements for the development, structure, and administration of higher doctorate programs, and to consistency between disciplines across The University of Queensland.

2. This policy reflects, and gives effect to, the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). It also demonstrates the University’s compliance with relevant legislation including the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (the TEQSA Act) and the Education Services and Overseas Students Act 2000 (the ESOS Act).

3. Effective from January 1, 2019, higher doctorate programs have no specific program rules, and are bound by PPL 4.70.04 Higher Doctorates Policy and Procedures.

1.2 Scope and Coverage

1. This policy applies to:

  • all higher doctorate programs offered at The University of Queensland,
  • all prospective and currently enrolled candidates for a higher doctorate program, and
  • staff of the University and external persons involved in relevant decision-making processes, such as external examiners.

2. Each higher doctorate program is administered by the appropriate faculty in accordance with this policy and PPL 4.70.04 Higher Doctorates – Procedures.

2.0 Principles and Key Requirements

2.1 Principles

1. A higher doctorate is the highest academic award granted by the University. It is delivered as a level 10 doctoral degree qualification, in accordance with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

2. Higher doctorates recognise excellence and give formal public recognition to scholars who have made a substantial, original, distinguished and internationally recognised contribution to knowledge and understanding in their field of expertise.

3. Candidates for a higher doctorate are assessed on the basis of already completed research, rather than through the process of supervised independent study. Applicants have typically reached a peak in their professional careers, and enrol in a higher doctorate program to explore a theoretical framework and present a synthesis of their published research.

2.2 Key Requirements

1. Proposals to approve, amend or discontinue higher doctorate programs must follow the University’s academic program approval process, as outlined in PPL 3.20.01 Academic Program Approval.

2. The criteria and requirements for admission and examination of all higher doctorate programs offered at the University are outlined in PPL 4.70.04 Higher Doctorates – Procedures. The administration and management of higher doctorate programs is the responsibility of the relevant faculty.

3.0 Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

3.1 Vice-Chancellor

The Vice-Chancellor exercises delegated authority from Senate to approve the conferral of the higher doctorate degree to a candidate who has fulfilled the requirements of PPL 4.70.04 Higher Doctorates, on the executive endorsement of the President of the Academic Board, and recommendation from the Executive Dean.

3.2 Executive Deans

The Executive Dean oversees admission, enrolment and examination of higher doctorate programs administered by their faculty and is responsible for:

  • establishing the Faculty Higher Doctorate Committee (HDC), its terms of reference and membership;
  • approving the admission, enrolment and withdrawal of higher doctorate candidates administered by their faculty;
  • setting enrolment requirements and milestones; and
  • recommending the conferral of a higher doctorate award upon successful completion of program requirements.

3.3 Higher Doctorate Committee

1. The Executive Dean must appoint a standing Faculty Higher Doctorate Committee (HDC) of eminent researchers and qualified persons to provide guidance and advice in relation to:

  • whether an application for admission is of sufficient merit and otherwise satisfies the criteria for eligibility for admission to the higher doctorate program;
  • nomination of the examiners of the submitted work;
  • whether the material submitted by the candidate for examination is of a suitable standard and in an appropriate format;
  • implementation of recommendations on the award of the higher doctorate degree; and
  • procedures to be employed in exceptional circumstances concerning particular candidates.

2. The HDC will consult appropriate individuals with relevant expertise on matters as they arise.

3.4 Faculty Board of Studies

The Faculty Boards of Studies advise the Executive Dean on proposals for the introduction, amendment or discontinuation of programs administered by the Faculty, including higher doctorate programs.

4.0 Monitoring, Review and Assurance

1. Compliance with policy will be monitored through the following academic policies and processes:

2. This policy is monitored by the President of the Academic Board and reviewed by the Academic Board and its committees.

5.0 Recording and Reporting

5.1 Records

The Faculties are responsible for the management of records generated from the administration and management of higher doctorate programs. Student records are maintained in SI-net.

5.2 Reports

When required, the Executive Dean will provide relevant information and reports to the Academic Board and Vice-Chancellor to demonstrate and provide assurance that the objectives and outcomes of this procedures are being achieved.

6.0 Appendix

6.1 Appendix A – Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Applicant – a prospective candidate wishing to apply for admission into the program.

Candidate – an applicant admitted for examination.

Degree – an award at the bachelor, master or doctoral level.

Enrolment – enrolment in courses or programs approved by an authorised officer and after fees and charges have been paid.

Executive dean – the executive dean of the faculty administering the award. For non-award students, the executive dean of the faculty administering the course.

Faculty Board of Studies – a faculty committee which advises the Executive Dean on current and future issues that relate to the development, content, structure and rules pertaining to academic programs. Boards of Studies will generally include representatives of the staff teaching the degree concerned, as well as of students and relevant external professional or employer groups.

Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson