Changing from a research masters to doctoral candidature
Candidates may apply to upgrade from a research masters to doctoral candidature by completing and submitting the online form via myGriffith, My Research, My Candidate Centre. Master of Philosophy candidates may apply to upgrade to a Doctor of Philosophy program only. Candidates enrolled in a research masters other than the Master of Philosophy may apply to upgrade to a professional doctorate program only.
Matters to be assessed
When considering an application to upgrade, the Dean, Griffith Graduate Research School will require evidence to be presented that demonstrates the candidate has attained a level of academic achievement in the Master of Philosophy/research masters program that is equivalent to Honours 2A, that being the standard for admission to doctoral candidature. In order to demonstrate this, the candidate will need to have produced a coherent body of work of sufficient substance during the research masters candidature to enable an assessment to be made about the candidate's capacity to produce work at doctoral standard.
There are occasions when an applicant who is academically qualified for admission to doctoral candidature enrols in a research masters program in the first instance. In this case an assessment of a body of work is not required.
Revised research proposal
A research masters candidate applying to upgrade will be required to demonstrate how the original research proposal has been expanded and enhanced in a manner that effects the demands of a doctoral program.
An application to upgrade candidature will include
- an explanation of how the original research proposal has been revised to reflect the demands of a doctoral program of research
- the revised research proposal
- a thesis outline
- a body of work of sufficient quality and quantity as has been completed to date in a form suitable to be assessed. The quantity of the work to be assessed is relative to the field of study. Students should be advised by the principal supervisor of the amount of work required for the particular field of study. (Candidates who are academically qualified for admission to doctoral candidature will not be required to present this work), and
- a statement of support from the candidate's principal supervisors, including a statement indicating their willingness to continue supervising the candidature if it is upgraded.
Assessment of the application to upgrade
In collaboration with the principal supervisor, the Dean or Deputy Dean (Research) will arrange for the research proposal and body of work, if applicable, to be assessed by a disinterested expert in the relevant field of study. Normally, it would be expected that the assessor be external to the host Element, and hold a doctoral level qualification. Approval of the assessor by the Dean or Deputy Dean (Research) is required prior to the assessment.
The assessor should be asked to advise whether the project described in the revised research proposal is viable at doctoral level, and whether the body of work indicates that the candidate is capable of submitting a thesis at a standard appropriate for the award of a doctoral level degree. The assessor will be provided with detail of Griffith University's standard for a Doctor of Philosophy/Professional Doctorate.
If the candidate is academically qualified for admission to doctoral candidature and is not required to present a body of work, the Dean or Deputy Dean (Research) will recommend on whether the revised research proposal is viable at doctoral level.
The Dean or Deputy Dean (Research) will assess supervisory requirements and determine whether the host element is able to provide supervision appropriate to the candidature should the application to upgrade be successful.
On the basis of the advice of the assessor, the Dean or Deputy Dean (Research) will decide whether to recommend to the Dean, Griffith Graduate Research School that the candidate's candidature be upgraded. If the Dean or Deputy Dean (Research) does not support the application the candidate will be advised accordingly, and provided with reasons for the decision.
Recommendation to the Dean, Griffith Graduate Research School supporting an application will be accompanied by
- the candidate's body of work, if applicable, and any supporting documents
- the assessor's recommendations with respect to the research proposal and body of work, or the Dean or Deputy Dean (Research)'s recommendation with respect to the research proposal, and
- advice on proposed supervision arrangements.
The candidate will be advised of the outcome.
The period of candidature already completed at research masters level will be deemed to be candidature completed towards the doctoral program. The maximum date for submission of the thesis will be adjusted to reflect the date applicable to a doctoral candidature.
A Master of Philosophy candidate will not be permitted to upgrade to doctoral candidature before completing the Master of Philosophy confirmation procedure. However, upon a candidate's request, upgrade to doctoral candidature may be considered as part of the confirmation procedure. Where all confirmation assessors deem the research to be viable at doctoral level and on the recommendation of the HDR Convenor, the Dean (Research) may approve an upgrade to doctoral candidature, subject to candidature also being confirmed.
Where a request to upgrade is made following confirmation of candidature, work completed with respect to the Master of Philosophy candidature confirmation procedure may form part of an application to upgrade to doctoral candidature provided it is assessed in terms of the requirements of the upgrade policy.