Policy

Higher Doctorates - Policy

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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.

Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson

Procedures

Higher Doctorates – Procedure

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1. Purpose and Scope

1. These procedures cover the criteria and requirements for admission and examination for all higher doctorate programs offered at The University of Queensland.

2. These procedures apply to all prospective and currently enrolled candidates for a higher doctorate degree, as well as to staff of the University and external persons involved in relevant decision-making processes, such as external examiners.

2.0 Process and Key Controls

1. An applicant is admitted and assessed based on the information submitted by the applicant.

2. Candidates admitted to a higher doctorate program who meet the requirements set out in these procedures to the satisfaction of the Executive Dean will be recommended for conferral of the higher doctorate degree.

3. After considering the Executive Dean’s recommendation and the advice of the President of the Academic Board, the Vice-Chancellor on delegated authority from Senate will approve the conferral of the higher doctorate degree if they are satisfied that the candidate has completed the requirements for the award.

3.0 Key Requirements

3.1 Application for admission

1. To be eligible to apply to be admitted to a higher doctorate program an applicant must satisfy the minimum admission requirements set out in the schedule for the relevant higher doctorate (refer to the Higher Doctorate Admission Requirements Schedule).

2. A written application for enrolment as a candidate for a higher doctorate degree must be submitted to the faculty offering the relevant higher doctorate program and must include:

  • the applicant’s curriculum vitae including details of research history and full publication record,
  • copies of the applicant’s academic record and relevant documents;
  • an overview of the material to be submitted, presented in sufficient detail to indicate its scope, substance and significance; and
  • a statement of how the material to be submitted:
    • covers a coherent theme; and
    • contributes to the advancement of knowledge in a relevant field.

3. An applicant may be admitted as a candidate if in the opinion of the Executive Dean, upon consultation with the Faculty Higher Doctorate Committee (HDC), that the applicant is suitably qualified in accordance with section 3.1.1 and the material submitted is of sufficient merit (refer to Section 2.1 of PPL 4.70.04a).

3.2 Enrolment requirements

1. The applicant must enrol for the higher doctorate program immediately on receipt of confirmation of acceptance.

2. The Executive Dean shall set the conditions of enrolment for the candidate.

3. For clause 3.2.2, the minimum period of enrolment for all higher doctorates is one (1) semester, after which material may be submitted for examination.

3.3 Withdrawal from candidature

1. Candidates may withdraw voluntarily from the higher doctorate at any time.

2. The Executive Dean may withdraw a candidate if the candidature:

  • has supplied incomplete or inaccurate information associated with their enrolment, including information provided in the application for admission;
  • has not complied with University rules, policies and procedures; or
  • is found guilty of misconduct under PPL 3.60.04 Student Integrity and Misconduct - Policy.

3. If the Executive Dean decides that candidature is to be withdrawn for any reason listed in Clause 3.3.2, the candidate will be issued with a notice of intention to withdraw and provided 10 working days to appeal the notice to the Executive Dean.

4. In cases where the candidate appeals and the appeal is dismissed by the Executive Dean, the candidate will be issued with a second notice of intention to withdraw and provided 20 working days to appeal to the Senate Student Appeals Committee (SSAC). The candidate’s enrolment will be maintained during the SSAC process. Candidates should refer to PPL 3.60.05 Appeals to Senate by Students prior to submitting an appeal to the SSAC.

5. If no appeal to the SSAC has been received within 20 working days, or if the appeal is dismissed by SSAC, a withdrawal of candidature will be processed and the candidate will be withdrawn from their program with no further appeal options available through the University.

6. In cases where the candidate appeals and the appeal is upheld, the Executive Dean may set conditions on enrolment.

7. If a candidate is withdrawn from a higher doctorate program for any reason, they must re-apply for admission.

3.4 Submission of material for examination

1. The material submitted for examination must constitute an original and distinguished contribution to the relevant field that comprises:

a. the previously published scholarly work; and

b. the theoretical basis and the synthesis of the previously published work; and

c. additional material as directed by the faculty.

2. Any additional material required by the faculty shall be identified in writing at the point of admission to the higher doctorate program.

3. The candidate must lodge examinable material to the faculty as a single submission that must include, in the following order:

a. a title defining the field;

b. an abstract of up to 700 words;

c. an indexed list of contents;

d. a statement of the candidate’s internationally-recognised contribution to the field and the candidate’s achievements as reflected in the material to be submitted for the degree;

e. an introduction summarising the theoretical basis and synthesis of the previously published work, and the significance and impact of the examinable materials;

f. the previously published scholarly work;

g. a signed statement indicating:

i. any part of the material that is not original work and confirming the originality of the remaining submitted work;

ii. any part of the material that was submitted for another award at this University or elsewhere;

iii. that the candidate is the sole author of a substantial part of the material;

iv. in the case of joint authorship, the extent of the candidate’s  contribution, supported by a statement signed by the other author; and

h. acknowledgements, as applicable.

4. The Executive Dean may reject a submission without reference to the examiners if the Executive Dean decides that the submission does not provide evidence of the candidate's qualifications for the award of the degree.

5. The faculty will provide written notification to the candidate of the intention to proceed with examination of the submission.

3.5 Examination of material

1. After consideration of nominations from the Faculty HDC, the Executive Dean will appoint at least three examiners, of whom at least two must be external to the University. Examiners shall be remunerated in accordance with PhD honorarium guidelines.

2. The examiners must determine the academic merit of the examination material submitted, and advise the Executive Dean whether the research:

  • represents a significant advance in knowledge in the relevant field;
  • has caused significant changes in the direction of research or in the practice of recognised scholars in the relevant field; and
  • is of sufficient quality and international reputation for award of the degree.

3. Examiners may consult with each other, but each examiner must provide a written report separately to the Executive Dean.

4. Examiners may question the candidate, in writing through the secretary to the HDC, regarding any aspect of the material that requires clarification. The secretary will send a copy of the question and the candidate’s response to each examiner.

5. The Executive Dean may appoint an adjudicator if there is disagreement between the examiners, or if the Executive Dean considers this is warranted.

6. There is no provision for an oral examination.

3.6 Award of the higher doctorate degree

1. After considering the examiners’ reports, the Executive Dean will make a determination on whether to recommend the conferral of the higher doctorate award.

2. The Executive Dean’s recommendation must be submitted to the President of the Academic Board for executive endorsement, before final approval is sought from the Vice-Chancellor.

4.0 Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

4.1 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.

4.2 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.

4.3 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.

4.4 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.

5.0 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.

6.0 Recording and Reporting

6.1 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.

6.2 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.

7. Appendix

7.1 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.

Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson
Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson