Policy

Professional Doctorates - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This document sets out the policy statement for Professional Doctorate qualifications offered at The University of Queensland.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Academic programs – sequence of study leading to the award of a qualification such as an undergraduate degree or diploma, and/or postgraduate coursework qualification.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) – a single comprehensive national qualifications framework that represents the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training.

Volume of Learning – identifies the notional duration of all activities required for the achievement of the learning outcomes specified for a particular AQF qualification type. It is expressed in equivalent full time years.

Learning Outcomes – the knowledge, skills, and application of knowledge and skills required to be met by graduates of a particular AQF qualification type.

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy is applicable to all Professional Doctorate programs offered at The University of Queensland. The policy reflects, and gives effect to, the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

4. Policy Statement

The Professional Doctorate is a structured program of learning designed to make a significant contribution to original knowledge and/or research integrated practice developed in collaboration with relevant statutory and regulatory bodies. These programs serve to generate advanced competency in the application and generation of knowledge in the professional context.

This policy reflects, and gives effect to, the TEQSA Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2011 at http://www.teqsa.gov.au/regulatory-approach/higher-education-standards-framework

Custodians
Dean, Graduate School
Professor Alastair McEwan

Procedures

Professional Doctorates - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures are intended to give effect to the uniform implementation of PPL 4.70.03a Professional Doctorates – Policy.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Academic programs – sequence of study leading to the award of a qualification such as an undergraduate degree or diploma, and/or postgraduate coursework qualification.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) – a single comprehensive national qualifications framework that represents the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training.

Discipline expertise – a faculty may be recognised as having discipline expertise through:

  • its leadership in teaching and research in the discipline; and
  • acknowledgement by the University.

Relevant Faculty – means the faculty with the recognised discipline expertise of the doctorate program.

Research Training Program – Commonwealth block grant provided, on a calendar year basis, to higher education providers to support domestic and overseas students undertaking a research higher degree.

Volume of Learning – identifies the notional duration of all activities required for the achievement of the learning outcomes specified for a particular AQF qualification type. It is expressed in equivalent full time years.

Learning Outcomes – the knowledge, skills, and application of knowledge and skills required to be met by graduates of a particular AQF qualification type.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to the design and structure of all Professional Doctorate programs offered at The University of Queensland.

4. Procedure Statement

These procedures reflect, and give effect to, the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) for professional doctorates. All professional doctorates offered at The University of Queensland are delivered as level 10 doctoral degree qualifications, in accordance with the AQF.

The AQF defines the professional doctorate as a structured program on learning that typically includes advanced coursework and research and is designed to enhance the student's capacity to make a significant contribution to original knowledge in the discipline and/or research-integrated practice developed in collaboration with a relevant professional, statutory or regulatory body.

5. Program Development Principles

5.1 The skills and knowledge taught within a professional doctorate should have clear relevance to a specific profession (and in some instances more than one profession), with an identifiable career outcome for each program.

5.2 Professional doctorate programs emphasise advanced professional practice and are considered a substantial advance in terms of depth and breadth of knowledge and skills, over and above masters coursework programs, with content that is clearly distinct from the doctorate (research PhD), masters (research) and masters (coursework) programs. Where relevant, professional doctorates may build on strong and focused masters coursework programs in the same discipline(s).

5.3 All professional doctorates must have a set of graduate attributes that build on the University’s graduate attributes for postgraduate coursework programs and map onto the four program components:

  1. basic knowledge of the discipline;
  2. advanced knowledge in a focused area;
  3. professional skills and practice; and
  4. research.

5.4 The graduate attributes from the research component should be at least equivalent to those for the MPhil degree (as specified in PPL 4.60.03 Research Higher Degree Graduate Attributes).

6. Structure and Management of Professional Doctorates

6.1 Two models of professional doctorates operate at the University.

Model 1: Programs with a structure that allows domestic students to undertake the program as part of the Research Training Program (RTP funded).

Model 2: Programs with a structure that does not allow domestic students to undertake the program as part of the Research Training Program or where a determination has been made by the relevant faculty that RTP places will not be made available (non-RTP funded).

6.2 All professional doctorates must incorporate a minimum of two years of research that makes an original and significant contribution to knowledge in the context of professional practice.

6.3 The program may include an industry placement where feasible and dependent on accrediting body requirements.

6.4 Professional doctorates must be designed to provide a program of structured learning and independent supervised study that produces significant and original research outcomes, culminating in a thesis, for independent examination by two examiners. The examiners must not be staff members of the University.

6.5 Professional doctorates must incorporate advanced coursework and research-integrated practice that will support the research outcomes. At least 50% of this component must be from courses coded at level 8.

6.6 Professional doctorates that are RTP funded are managed by the Graduate School, with students enrolled as research students from the commencement of their program.

6.7 Professional doctorates that are non-RTP funded are managed by the relevant Faculty.

7. Oversight of Candidature

7.1 In accordance with the TEQSA Provider Course Accreditation Standards, Section 4 Teaching and learning are of high quality (sub-section 4.2), a research advisor must have a qualification one level higher than the program they are teaching. For AQF10 programs, the advisor is required to hold a qualification at level 10 of the AQF or have equivalent professional experience.

7.2 For all candidates in the professional doctorate program, an advisor must be appointed to supervise the research component of the program.

7.3 Advisors for the research component of the professional doctorate must meet the requirements outlined in PPL 4.60.01 Eligibility and the Role of Research Higher Degree Advisors.

8. Program Approval

8.1 Submissions for the introduction of new RTP funded professional doctorate programs, or changes to existing RTP funded professional doctorate programs, must receive approval from the Research Higher Degrees Committee (RHDC) in addition to the process outlined in PPL 3.20.01 Academic Program Approval.

8.2 The approval of proposals for the introduction of new non-RTP funded professional doctorate programs, or changes to existing programs, follows the process identified in PPL 3.20.01 Academic Program Approval.

8.3 Fees for professional doctorates will be proposed by the relevant faculty at the time of submitting the program to University Senior Management Group for endorsement.

Custodians
Dean, Graduate School
Professor Alastair McEwan

Guidelines

Professional Doctorates - Guidelines

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These guidelines supplement PPL 4.70.03 Professional Doctorates and provide practical advice to those involved in administering or undertaking a professional doctorate.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Associate Dean - means the associate dean of the relevant faculty

Dean - means the dean of the Graduate School

Discipline expertise - a faculty may be recognised as having discipline expertise through:

  • its leadership in teaching and research in the discipline; and
  • acknowledgement by the University.

Relevant faculty - means the faculty with the recognised discipline expertise of the doctorate program

Research Training Program - block grants provided annually by the Federal Government to institutions to support research training for domestic students undertaking research doctoral and research masters degrees

RTP funded - Professional doctorate structure that allows domestic students to undertake the program as part of the Research Training Program

Non-RTP funded - Professional doctorate structure that does not allow domestic students to undertake the program as part of the Research Training Program or where a determination has been made by the relevant faculty that RTP funded places will not be made available.

3. Guidelines Scope/Coverage

These guidelines apply to the design and structure of all professional doctorate programs offered at The University of Queensland.

4. RTP Funded Professional Doctorate Model

4.1 Admissions and graduations

  • Applications for the program are managed by the Graduate School.
  • Assessment of research preparedness for admission and selection of successful applicants is undertaken by the relevant faculty. The Research Preparedness Statement provides a reference point for assessing applications.
  • Any departure from the admission prerequisite must be referred to the Dean for consideration.
  • Where relevant, professional registration is processed at the admissions stage by the relevant faculty.
  • The Graduate School is responsible for confirming graduation eligibility.

4.2 Research component

  • The Graduate School manages the research component of the program.
  • The Graduate School MPhil milestone process applies to the research component, unless otherwise stated in the program rules. The Graduate School applies the same approach to managing milestones, communicating with students and liaising with enrolling units as it does for the PhD and MPhil programs; there will be no departure from this process for professional doctorate students.
  • Advisory teams for the research component will be appointed when students are undertaking a research methods course or prior to commencing the research component of the program if not undertaking a research methods course.
  • Advisory Team composition must comply with PPL 4.60.01a Eligibility and Role of Research Higher Degree Advisors which states that at least two advisors are to be in place by the confirmation milestone.
  • The Graduate School thesis examinations process, as described in PPL 4.60.08a Research Higher Degree Thesis Examination, is applied by the Graduate School with the Dean making the final decision on the thesis. There will be no departure from this process for professional doctorate students.
  • The Graduate School manages matters on an individual student level regarding milestones (including extensions), and thesis submission and examination (taking into account some students may be fee-liable). Faculties deal with matters on a student cohort level in accordance with University and program rules.
  • Students may have various options if they cannot submit under the professional doctorate rules for example, exit with MPhil, transfer to a PhD or a coursework masters.
  • Part 4 of the General Award Rules govern the process referred to above that apply to students undertaking RTP funded professional doctorates.

4.3 Scholarships

Students undertaking an RTP funded professional doctorate will be eligible to apply for a UQ awarded research higher degree scholarship.

5. Non-RTP Funded Professional Doctorate Model

5.1 Program ownership

The ownership of the program remains with the relevant faculty.

5.2 Admission and graduations

Applicants will be admitted to the program by the relevant faculty and in accordance with the program rules.

5.3 Research component

The relevant faculty manages the research component of the program.

6. Coursework and Placements Component

The faculty manages the coursework and placements component (if relevant) of the program.

The Associate Dean (Academic) may grant coursework credit up to a maximum of 24 units for other study.

Custodians
Dean, Graduate School
Professor Alastair McEwan
Custodians
Dean, Graduate School
Professor Alastair McEwan