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5. Admission to Higher Degree Candidature

5.1 Application for Admission to Higher Degree Candidature

5.1.1 A person seeking admission to higher degree candidature shall apply to the Associate Dean (Research) of the Relevant Faculty via the Graduate Research Office on the prescribed form.

5.1.2 Doctorate and Master of Philosophy applications for admission to higher degree candidature may be received throughout the year. The HDR date of admission is determined by the particular Research Term. There are four Research Terms designated by the Commonwealth Census dates.

5.1.3 Master by Research applications must be received by the commencement of the year as these degrees involve coursework.

5.1.4 Master by Research applications must be received by Graduate Research by the due date determined by the University which shall be not later than one month prior to the first week of the start of units in a particular course. Applications for admission to courses with a thesis only requirement may be submitted at any time.

5.1.5 Applicants shall also lodge with the application any other documents which the RTSC shall require to determine suitability for entry to the degree program outlined on the application form, including a research proposal of 300-500 words.

5.1.6 An applicant may also submit, or may, on the recommendation of the Associate Dean (Research) be required to submit, in support of the application for admission, other relevant material (such as tapes, recordings, drawings and sketches). All such material shall be accompanied by a formal statement by the applicant specifying the extent to which the applicant has been responsible for its preparation.

5.1.7 An applicant who has previously been enrolled as a Doctoral or Master’s candidate at this or another institution and who has failed the examination for the degree shall not be admitted as a candidate for the same degree except in extraordinary circumstances approved by the RTSC and/or the URC.

5.1.8 Criteria to be Used in Assessing Applicants for Admission

The matters to be taken into account in assessing applicants for admission to candidature are:

  • the academic record and any other qualifications and professional experience of the applicant relevant to the proposed course of study and research;
  • academic referees' reports;
  • professional referees' reports, as required;
  • the practicability and quality of the proposed research project;
  • the relevance of the proposed research project to the current research interests and goals of the School/Faculty;
  • performance at a selection interview, where required by the Associate Dean (Research) or nominee responsible for making a recommendation for admission to the URC; and
  • any other matters which the URC and/or RTSC, in consultation with the Associate Dean (Research) and such other persons as it deems appropriate, considers relevant.

5.2 Proposed Program of Advanced Study and Research

5.2.1 In addition to satisfying the provisions of Regulation 5.1 above, an applicant shall submit to the Associate Dean (Research) and/or RTSC, a research proposal of 300 to 500 words.

5.2.2 The Associate Dean (Research) must be satisfied, after consultation with the Head of School and such other persons as may be appropriate, that:

  1. the program proposed is appropriate to candidature for the degree;
  2. the applicant has adequate training and background or experience to pursue such a program; and
  3. adequate supervision and facilities necessary for the pursuit of the proposed research project can be provided.

5.3 Master’s Preliminary Program

5.3.1 If an applicant is not eligible for admission to candidature for a Master’s degree, the RTSC, acting on the advice of the Associate Dean (Research), in the case of an MPhil applicant (or the advice of the Head of School for a professional Master’s program) may admit that applicant to a Master’s preliminary course of studies. Such a Master’s preliminary courseshall normally occupy up to two semesters of full-time study or four semesters of part-time study. This program shall be charged at the relevant rates in place at the time of commencement

5.3.2 On successful completion of a Master’s preliminary course a candidate may apply for admission to candidature for the relevant Master’s degree.

5.3.3 Successful completion of a Master’s preliminary program shall not in itself be a guarantee of admission to a Master’s degree program.

5.4 Special Conditions

5.4.1 An applicant who meets the relevant admission requirements and who has maintained an acceptable standard of Master’s or Doctoral level work at another institution may be admitted by the RTSC to advanced status on the advice of the Associate Dean (Research) in consultation with such other persons as it considers appropriate.

The University shall set in place the minimum length of candidature to be completed at the University prior to the submission of the thesis. In general this period shall be set as a minimum of one year of candidature at ACU prior to the submission of the thesis.

5.4.2 On admission to candidature the RTSC shall determine, on the recommendation of the Associate Dean (Research), any courses, seminars or practical experience which a candidate shall be required to attend and complete successfully, and at what level the candidate shall successfully complete such work.

5.5 Deferment of Admission

An offer of enrolment in a higher degree program may not be deferred. Requests for an application to be reactivated must be received by Graduate Research a minimum of one month prior to the first week of the start of units in a particular course. Applications for admission to a course with a thesis only requirement may be re-submitted at any time.

5.6 Cancellation of Enrolment in Event of Fraudulent Basis of Admission

The RTSC and/or URC will cancel enrolment if an applicant is found to have been admitted on the basis of fraudulent or misleading information. Fees paid may be forfeited.

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