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STUDENT AND RELATED RULES

Section 11 — Graduate Research Study

11.1 Application of these Rules

11.1.1 These Rules apply to all students enrolled in graduate research courses.

11.2 Course requirements

11.2.1 Students admitted to doctoral degrees are required to:

(1) undertake a program of study and research which demonstrates the capability for substantial independent research or creative activity and which has made an original and distinct contribution to knowledge and/or professional practice in the relevant field; and

(2) undertake a research component which is to comprise no less than two-thirds of the total course requirement; and

(3) submit a thesis, which may include a product and/or artefact, in a format according to requirements specified by the Graduate Research School Board.

11.2.2 Students admitted to masters degrees by research are required to:

(1) undertake a program of study and research which demonstrates competence in research or creative activity as well as an understanding of and contribution to knowledge; and

(2) undertake a research component which is to comprise no less than two-thirds of the total course requirement; and

(3) submit a thesis, which may include a product and/or artefact, in a format according to requirements specified by the Graduate Research School Board.

11.3 Enrolment

11.3.1 Prior to initial enrolment:

(1) each student who has been admitted to a graduate research course is required to certify that he or she can devote sufficient time to the advanced study and research such that he or she is likely to complete the program within the approved period of candidature determined by the Graduate Research School Board;

(2) the relevant faculty is required to certify that it will provide appropriate resources and facilities for the student to undertake the research and will undertake responsibility for supervision of the student and the student's work;

(3) in cases where all or part of the research and study will be undertaken at a site external to the University, a certificate of support must be provided by the external site management stating the student will be provided with the appropriate resources and facilities to undertake the research and study and that the site management is willing to support the work of the student.

11.3.2 Students are required to enrol in the components of the course as specified by the relevant faculty and published relevant official publications of the University.

11.3.3 Students are required to enrol in and complete such prerequisite or concurrent coursework as may be considered appropriate to their individual circumstances by their supervisory panel and Responsible Academic Officer.

11.4 Research work

11.4.1 All research work and related activities for graduate research courses shall be carried out at locations and under conditions approved by the Graduate Research School Board.

11.4.2 Students are required to participate in such colloquia, research seminars and other work of the University as may be considered appropriate by their supervisory panel and Responsible Academic Officer.

11.5 Course transfer

11.5.1 A student who wishes to transfer from one graduate research degree to another shall apply to the Dean, Graduate Research School on the appropriate form. Such applications would normally be received at the time of the candidature assessment and no later than the end of the third half year of study.

11.5.2 A student is not usually considered eligible for course transfer until he or she has completed at least one half year of full-time study (or equivalent) in the enrolled course.

11.5.3 A student who wishes to transfer between graduate research degree courses must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Dean, Graduate Research School and in accordance with guidelines approved by the Graduate Research School Board with respect to:

(1) evidence of progress to date in the enrolled course;

(2) the way in which the research project will be re-defined to satisfy the requirements of the course into which transfer is sought;

(3) suitability of the research and study undertaken in relation to the requirements of the course into which transfer is sought;

(4) certification from the student, the relevant Faculty and any external site management in accordance with the requirements of Rule 11.3.1.

11.5.4 The Dean, Graduate Research School will approve or reject the application for transfer on advice from the relevant Responsible Academic Officer.

11.5.5 Where a transfer is approved the new period of candidature will be determined taking into account the contribution of the current research and study towards the requirements of the course into which transfer has been approved.

11.6 Recognition of prior study and research

11.6.1 A student who has undertaken a course of study and research at this University or another university or institution but has not submitted that work for examination at this University or another institution may be given recognition for work done while undertaking that course of study and research.

11.6.2 Recognition of prior study and research including the extent of any such recognition shall be approved by the Dean, Graduate Research School after consideration of a report by the Responsible Academic Officer which is to include advice on:

(1) the nature, duration and quality of the prior work;

(2) the suitability of the prior work relative to the subject of the UTS graduate research course;

(3) the recommended period of candidature as a consequence of the recognition of prior study and research.

11.7 Period of candidature

11.7.1 The maximum time to complete a research degree is as follows:

(1) Doctoral degree by research, professional Doctoral degree and Doctoral degree by creative works:

(a) four years for a full-time student; or

(b) eight years for a part-time student.

(2) Masters degree by research:

(a) two years for a full-time student; or

(b) four years for a part-time student.

11.7.2 Notwithstanding the provisions of 11.7.1 above, a student who has had prior study and research recognised as contributing to the requirements of the current course may be required by the Dean, Graduate Research School to complete the program in less than the normal time.

11.8 Extension of candidature

11.8.1 A student who wishes to extend the period of his or her research candidature is required to seek approval from the Dean, Graduate Research School.

11.8.2 An extension of the approved period of candidature granted by the Dean, Graduate Research School shall not include periods of approved leave of absence.

11.8.3 The maximum period of extension shall not normally exceed:

(1) One calendar year for a Doctoral degree by research, a professional Doctoral degree and a Doctoral degree by creative works;

(2) One half calendar year for a Masters degree by research.

11.8.4 Where an extension of candidature means that a local student will exceed the maximum period for which Commonwealth support is normally provided the student may be liable for course fees for any period of time that is outside the maximum period of time normally covered by such Commonwealth support.

11.9 Leave of absence

11.9.1 A research student who wishes to withdraw temporarily from a course must lodge an application for leave of absence on the appropriate form no later than the census date of the first teaching period for which leave is being sought.

11.9.2 Leave of absence shall not normally be granted in the first half year of candidature.

11.9.3 Leave of absence shall not normally be granted for a total period exceeding one (1) year.

11.9.4 In exceptional and documented special or mitigating circumstances a student may request variations to the provisions of Rules 11.9.2 and 11.9.3. Any such variation will require approval by the Dean, Graduate Research School.

11.9.5 Students resuming a course after leave of absence shall be subject to the course requirements in operation at the time of resumption and will be required to be enrolled as directed by the Dean, Graduate Research School.

11.10 Failure to complete

11.10.1 A student who does not submit a thesis for examination within the approved period of candidature including any approved extension will normally have his or her candidature discontinued due to unsatisfactory progress (refer Rule 11.20.2).

11.11 Supervision

11.11.1 The criteria necessary for appointment as a supervisor of research students shall be approved by Academic Board on the recommendation of the Graduate Research School Board.

11.11.2 The Graduate Research School Board shall be responsible for maintaining a register of research student supervisors and for the appointment of suitably qualified staff to the register.

11.11.3 All students shall have a supervisory panel appointed by the Dean, Graduate Research School, and the composition of the supervisory panel shall be in accordance with the guidelines as approved by Academic Board from time to time.

11.11.4 All members of supervisory panels shall operate in accordance with the Code of Practice for Research Supervisors.

11.11.5 Where the student undertakes a major portion of his or her research at sites external to the University, the Dean, Graduate Research School may appoint an external principal supervisor or advisor.

11.11.6 Where the student has been approved at admission to undertake a program of study in a language other than English, the principal supervisor must be competent in that language.

11.12 Thesis title

11.12.1 The student shall submit the title of his or her thesis to the Dean, Graduate Research School for approval in accordance with the following time frames:

(1) Doctoral degree not later than one year after initial enrolment; or

(2) Masters degree by research not later than one half year after initial enrolment.

11.12.2 Any change to the approved thesis title requires the approval of the Dean, Graduate Research School.

11.13 Review of progress

11.13.1 A student is required to submit to the relevant Faculty each half year a report to enable review of progress in accordance with the guidelines approved by the Graduate Research School Board from time to time. A report shall not be required in respect of a student who has submitted their thesis to the Faculty.

11.13.2 The principal supervisor shall submit each half year to the relevant Responsible Academic Officer a report on the student's progress and, where applicable, on the suitability of the student's research work environment.

11.13.3 The relevant Responsible Academic Officer will consider the progress reports, take any necessary action within the faculty and when appropriate make recommendations to the Dean, Graduate Research School on overall progress in accordance with the guidelines approved by the Graduate Research School Board from time to time.

11.13.4 Upon receipt of a recommendation of unsatisfactory progress the Dean, Graduate Research School will provide:

(1) notification to the student that may include a request that the student attend an interview with the Responsible Academic Officer to discuss a suitable progress plan and also may include details of any other action or advice the student may wish to consider; and

(2) notification of a warning to the student that further unsatisfactory progress may result in discontinuation of candidature; or

(3) notification of discontinuation of candidature due to unsatisfactory progress (refer Rule 11.20.2).

11.13.5 Failure by a student to submit a review of progress report to the relevant faculty in a particular half year will normally be deemed as unsatisfactory progress for that half year.

11.14 Candidature assessment

11.14.1 Each student is required to undertake a candidature assessment:

(1) to ensure that he or she is equipped with the knowledge and skills to carry out his or her research program, and

(2) to demonstrate that he or she has made sufficient progress in his or her study and in the development of his or her research skills to make it likely that he or she will complete within the prescribed time.

11.14.2 The candidature assessment will be completed in accordance with guidelines approved by the Graduate Research School Board from time to time.

11.14.3 The requirements for each candidature assessment will be determined by each faculty, subject to the approval of the Dean, Graduate Research School and in accordance with guidelines as approved by the Graduate Research School Board from time to time.

11.14.4 The outcome of all candidature assessments will be reported by the Responsible Academic Officer to the Dean, Graduate Research School.

11.14.5 A student who satisfies the requirements of a candidature assessment will have his or her candidature in the course confirmed and will be eligible to proceed with his or her research program in accordance with guidelines as approved by the Graduate Research School Board from time to time and will be subject to further review of progress as provided for in Rule 11.13.1–11.13.5.

11.14.6 A student who does not satisfy the requirements of a candidature assessment:

(1) may be permitted by the Dean, Graduate Research School on advice from the Responsible Academic Officer to undertake a candidature re-assessment within a specified period of time; or

(2) may be permitted to apply for a course transfer as provided for in Rule 11.5; or

(3) will have his or her candidature discontinued due to unsatisfactory progress (refer Rule 11.20.2).

11.15 Thesis requirements

11.15.1 The nature and format of a thesis shall reflect international practices in the discipline or field and provide evidence of completion of substantial research or creative work in the form of:

(1) a written document which may include previously published work as appropriate; or

(2) material which is not 'print on paper' but which gives evidence of a scholarly or creative work; or

(3) a combination of (1) and (2).

11.15.2 A thesis shall comply with the following requirements:

(1) it must normally be in English;

(2) it must reach a satisfactory standard of presentation;

(3) it must consist of the student's own account of his or her work, except that in special cases work done conjointly with other persons may be accepted provided the Dean, Graduate Research School, is satisfied as to the extent of the student's part in the joint work;

(4) it must be embodied in a format as approved by the Dean, Graduate Research School;

(5) it must contain an abstract of not more than 400 words and written in a form suitable for publication;

(6) it must not include any work or material previously submitted in full or in part for another award, except as fully acknowledged within the text of the thesis; and,

(7) it may include work previously published by the student only if it bears on the subject of the thesis. Joint publications will be acceptable provided the Dean, Graduate Research School is satisfied with the graduate research student's part in the joint work.

11.15.3 In the event that a student wishes to present a thesis in a language other than in English, the following requirements must be complied with:

(1) an application for approval must be made to the Dean, Graduate Research School via the relevant Faculty Committee within the first six months of candidature, such application to include the justification for presenting a thesis in a language other than English;

(2) approval has been given by the Dean, Graduate Research School, to the presentation of the thesis in the specified language;

(3) the thesis complies with Rules 11.5.2(2)–(7);

(4) following examination, a substantial summary of the thesis (approximately 5,000–10,000 words) in English should be bound in the thesis, such summary to include an introduction, brief chapter outline, and conclusion; and,

(5) examiner reports for the thesis must be available in English.

11.16 Oral presentation of thesis

11.16.1 Doctoral research students are required to make an oral presentation of the thesis to an audience drawn from within the broad disciplinary area.

11.16.2 The oral presentation shall normally be made during the final six months prior to the submission of the thesis.

11.16.3 The oral presentation may form part of the approved examination process as provided for in procedures approved by the Graduate Research School Board.

11.17 Submission of thesis

11.17.1 A student shall provide two (2) months prior notice in writing to the Dean, Graduate Research School of his or her intention to submit the thesis for examination.

11.17.2 A student may, when submitting a thesis for examination, indicate that the thesis contains restricted or confidential information that the student does not wish to be disclosed freely and may apply to the Dean, Graduate Research School for consideration of restriction to access.

11.17.3 The student may, to the extent that it is possible, place such information in an appendix to the thesis.

11.17.4 The Dean, Graduate Research School may approve such restriction indefinitely or for a specified period not normally exceeding two (2) years and may impose conditions on disclosure of such information. If the requested restriction is approved by the Dean, Graduate Research School, such information shall not be disclosed to other persons unless the Dean, Graduate Research School, after consultation with the Responsible Academic Officer and the student, has authorised such disclosure or the period of restriction approved by the Dean, Graduate Research School has expired.

11.17.5 The student shall submit to the relevant Responsible Academic Officer:

(1) the required number of copies of the thesis including a certificate of authorship and originality; and

(2) a student statement to confirm that the work has not been submitted previously for a degree or other award; and

(3) if appropriate, a statement for consideration by the Dean, Graduate Research School identifying any parts of the thesis the student considers should have restricted distribution or disclosure and the period of any such restriction.

11.17.6 Submission of any other part of the thesis which is not 'print on paper' shall be in accordance with guidelines approved by the Graduate Research School Board from time to time.

11.17.7 The thesis and other works shall be transmitted to the Dean, Graduate Research School by the Responsible Academic Officer with a certificate signed by the principal Supervisor certifying that:

(1) the thesis has been completed and is ready for examination; and

(2) in the case of a Doctoral degree, the student has made an oral presentation of the thesis.

11.17.8 If the principal Supervisor and the Responsible Academic Officer decline to certify that a thesis is ready for examination the student may request a review of this decision by the Graduate Research School Board.

11.18 Examination of thesis

11.18.1 Under certain circumstances the procedures and arrangements for examination of a thesis may, with the approval of the Dean, Graduate Research School be varied from those prescribed in Rules 11.18.3 to 11.18.5. These circumstances include but are not limited to:

(1) theses produced as a result of research candidature conducted jointly with another university as part of a 'cotutelle' arrangement;

(2) research degrees where part of the work is not 'print on paper' that necessitates a variation in examination procedures.

11.18.2 In cases where a variation of thesis examination procedures and arrangements is required, the proposed procedures and arrangements must be documented and submitted for approval by the Dean, Graduate Research School on advice from the Responsible Academic Officer no later than six (6) months prior to the expected thesis submission date.

11.18.3 On the recommendation of the Responsible Academic Officer the Dean, Graduate Research School shall appoint examiners, which in normal circumstances shall be as follows:

(1) in the case of a Doctoral degree, a minimum of two and a maximum of three examiners all of whom must be external examiners;

(2) in the case of a Masters degree, at least two examiners both of whom must be an external examiner;

(3) a member of the student's supervisory panel is not normally permitted to be an examiner.

11.18.4 Where restricted distribution or disclosure of certain parts of the thesis has been approved by the Dean, Graduate Research School, the principal Supervisor, the Responsible Academic Officer, the University Librarian and the examiners shall be informed which parts are classified and the period, if any, of restriction. If further precautions are required in the handling or transmission of the thesis the costs incurred are to be borne by the student.

11.18.5 Should examiners or any other parties to the examination process question whether the work is that of the student, the Dean, Graduate Research School will consider the matter and take action as provided for in the procedures approved by the Graduate Research School Board from time to time.

11.18.6 A student may be required to undertake an oral examination of his or her thesis as provided for in procedures approved by the Graduate Research School Board.

11.18.7 The reports of the examiners shall be forwarded to the Dean, Graduate Research School who shall consult the Responsible Academic Officer and may decide:

(1) to recommend to the Graduate Research School Board and Academic Board that the student has satisfied requirements for the award of the degree; or

(2) to recommend to Graduate Research School Board and Academic Board that, subject to minor changes being made to the thesis as required in Rule 11.18.8, the student has satisfied requirements for the award of the degree; or

(3) that the student be permitted to re-submit a revised thesis within a specified period of normally twelve (12) months for re-examination by one or more examiners; or

(4) that the student has failed to satisfy requirements for award of the degree and that the student's candidature be discontinued; or

(5) in the case of a Doctoral degree by research, that the student be advised to apply for admission to another degree; or

(6) to take any other action it deems appropriate before making a decision.

11.18.8 After examination of the thesis, any minor changes to the thesis that do not require re-submission for re-examination, must be completed to the satisfaction of the Responsible Academic Officer within six (6) months of date of notification. The Responsible Academic Officer will report satisfactory completion of the changes to the Dean, Graduate Research School.

11.18.9 If a student who has been given the opportunity to submit a revised thesis for re-examination fails to do so in the specified period the student will be deemed to have failed to satisfy requirements for the award of the degree consistent with Rule 11.18.7(4) and the student's candidature will be discontinued (refer Rule 11.20).

11.18.10 A thesis submitted for re-examination consistent with Rule 11.18.7(3) shall not be submitted for a further re-examination.

11.19 Deposit of thesis

11.19.1 A student is required to deposit with the University Library for permanent retention one complete copy of each thesis for which the award of a degree is recommended subject to the following requirements:

(1) the original or an acceptable copy of the print component of the thesis shall be printed on quality acid-free paper as specified in procedures approved by the Graduate Research School Board; and

(2) any part of the thesis which is not 'print on paper' must be recorded or produced in a format approved by the Dean, Graduate Research School on the advice of the University Librarian in regard to its preservation and maintenance.

11.19.2 A student is also required to deposit a digital copy of the thesis for lodgement in the University Library. It shall be provided in the format and in accordance with procedures approved by the Graduate Research School Board.

11.19.3 The copies of the thesis deposited with the University Library will be available for consultation, loan or copying at the discretion of the University Librarian unless the Dean, Graduate Research School on the application of the student determines that the thesis, or parts of the thesis, shall not be available until after the expiry of a period, which shall not normally exceed two (2) years.

11.20 Discontinuation of candidature

11.20.1 A student who wishes to withdraw permanently from candidature in a research course must lodge an application for withdrawal in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Registrar.

11.20.2 The University may discontinue a student's candidature in a research course in certain circumstances including but not limited to:

(1) unsatisfactory progress

(a) where a student has not submitted a thesis for examination within the approved period of candidature as specified in Rule 11.7 (refer Rule 11.10);

(b) where a student has not satisfied progress requirements (Rule 11.13);

(c) where a student has not satisfied candidature assessment requirements (Rule 11.14)

in which case the student's candidature in the course will be discontinued and the result for the thesis component will be recorded as withdrawn.

(2) unsatisfactory examination

(a) where a student has not re-submitted a revised thesis for re-examination in the required time period (Rule 11.18.9);

(b) where a student has failed to satisfy requirements for the award of the degree (Rule 11.18.7(4))

in which case the student's candidature in the course will be discontinued and the result for the thesis component will be recorded as a failure.

11.20.3 Where a student's candidature has been discontinued by the University, the student shall be notified in writing by the Graduate Research School as soon as reasonably possible and giving the reason for the discontinuation.

11.21 Appeal against discontinuation of candidature

11.21.1 A student whose candidature is discontinued in accordance with Rule 11.20.2 may lodge an appeal against the discontinuation of candidature with the Registrar.

11.21.2 Under normal circumstances an appeal against discontinuation of candidature must reach the Registrar within four (4) weeks of the date of official notification.

11.21.3 A student may request the Registrar to consider an extension of time to submit an appeal against discontinuation. Any such request should normally be received within three (3) weeks of the date of official notification.

11.21.4 In normal circumstances, the grounds for appeal against a decision of discontinuation of candidature due to unsatisfactory progress made pursuant to Rule 11.20.2(1) are:

(1) the existence of procedural irregularities in the candidature assessment, in the handling of progress reports or in the implementation of other requirements deemed necessary for satisfactory progress;

(2) mitigating circumstances, supported by documentary evidence, which directly and significantly affected the student's progress, an awareness of which would have reasonably led to a decision other than the discontinuation of candidature;

(3) the decision was based on factual errors of such magnitude as to invalidate the decision.

11.21.5 In normal circumstances, the grounds for appeal against a decision of discontinuation of candidature due to an unsatisfactory examination made pursuant to 11.20.2(2) are:

(1) procedural irregularities in the conduct of the examination;

(2) documentary evidence of errors or irregularities on the part of one or more of the examiners.

11.21.6 The Registrar shall refer the appeal to the Dean of the relevant Faculty. The Dean should consult the appropriate Responsible Academic Officer and other academic staff members he or she considers relevant to enable a recommendation to be prepared.

11.21.7 The recommendation of the Dean of the relevant Faculty, together with any supporting documentation, must be forwarded to the Registrar.

11.21.8 The Registrar shall then refer the Dean's recommendation to the student for the student to provide a written response to the recommendation.

11.21.9 Under normal circumstances the student's response must reach the Registrar within ten (10) days of the date of notification.

11.21.10 In exceptional circumstances the Registrar may approve an extension of time for the student to respond to the Dean's recommendation.

11.21.11 The Registrar shall then refer the student's appeal, the Dean's recommendation and the student's response to the Graduate Research Students' Appeals Committee, constituted under Rule 17.2, for consideration and decision.

11.22 Result of appeal

11.22.1 Where an appeal against discontinuation due to unsatisfactory progress is upheld:

(1) the student's candidature will be re-instated;

(2) the Dean, Graduate Research School will, upon advice from the Responsible Academic Officer, determine the period of candidature remaining and any other requirements for the student to complete the course.

11.22.2 Where an appeal against discontinuation due to unsatisfactory examination is upheld:

(1) the student's candidature will be re-instated;

(2) the Dean, Graduate Research School will, upon advice from the Responsible Academic Officer, determine the steps and processes necessary for the re-examination to be conducted in an appropriate timeframe or for the examination to be repeated as appropriate.

11.22.3 Where an appeal against discontinuation is not upheld the discontinuation of candidature will be confirmed.