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Higher Degree Research Degree Transfer Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy sets out the conditions under which Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates enrolled at Macquarie University may transfer their degree between either Departments / Schools and Faculties or between different types of HDR degrees.

Background

(2) HDR candidates often seek to change the scope or topic area of their research and thesis during the course of their candidature.

(3) This Policy relates to requests to transfer HDR candidature:

  1. between Departments / Schools and Faculties;
  2. between a Master of Philosophy and a Doctor of Philosophy or vice versa; and
  3. from a PhD to a joint PhD.

(4) This Policy does not apply to:

  1. transfers between the Doctor of Philosophy and professional doctorate degrees. This type of transfer will require an application to be submitted to enter the new degree and will be assessed according to the current admission eligibility criteria.
  2. transfers from the Bachelor of Philosophy / Master of Research or Master of Research to the Doctor of Philosophy or Master of Philosophy. This type of transfer will require an application to be submitted for direct entry to the Doctor of Philosophy or Master of Philosophy and will be assessed according to the current admission eligibility criteria.
  3. transfers from the Doctor of Philosophy or Master of Philosophy to the Bachelor of Philosophy / Master of Research. This type of transfer will require an application to be submitted for the Bachelor of Philosophy / Master of Research and will be assessed according to the current admission eligibility criteria.
  4. Transfers to or from another Australian Higher Education Provider.

Scope

(5) All HDR candidates enrolled at Macquarie University and University staff engaged in the support of HDR candidates.

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Section 2 - Policy

(6) The University requires a change of enrolment of an HDR candidate to reflect any change in Department / School, Faculty or specified HDR degree.

(7) Transfer applications can be submitted to the Graduate Research Academy at any time and, if approved, are effective from the commencement of the next half year enrolment period.

(8) Enrolment periods commence on 1 January and 1 July. The closing date for receipt of transfer applications for the first enrolment period is 7 February and for the second enrolment period is 7 August.

(9) Transfer applications received after these dates will, if successful, take effect from the next enrolment period.

Transfers for Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Candidates

Departments / Schools

(10) Transfers between Departments for Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy candidates must have the approval of the current and proposed new supervisor, current and proposed Head of Department / School (or nominee) and the Faculty Associate Dean, Research Training and Performance.

Faculties

(11) Transfers between Faculties for these candidates must also have the approval of the Faculty Associate Dean, Research Training and Performance of the proposed new Faculty.

Degrees

Transfers from Master of Philosophy to Doctor of Philosophy

(12) The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Graduate Research may, on the recommendation of the Associate Dean, Research Training and Performance of the Faculty, in which a candidate for a Master of Philosophy is enrolled, approve the transfer of candidature to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) after a minimum of one (1) year and a maximum of one and a half (1.5) years (or part time equivalent) following enrolment in the MPhil.

(13) The Faculty must provide assurance that adequate supervision and facilities are available in the Faculty to support the candidate. The period of prior enrolment in the MPhil will be counted toward the maximum period in the PhD.

(14) If the candidate has already met the eligibility requirements to a PhD course the candidate’s Principal Supervisor must provide a two part statement which makes it clear that the study being undertaken is:

  1. likely to reach a level which would satisfy the expectations of examiners with respect to it making a distinct contribution to the area in which it deals; having an originality which will be shown by the discovery of new facts; demonstrating independent critical thinking; and likely to contain material suitable for publication; and
  2. sufficiently advanced to be completed within the new maximum period of candidature.

(15) If the candidate does not meet the eligibility requirements for entry to a PhD course, the Principal Supervisor must provide a case which confirms that the candidate is working at a pace and a level which will enable them to satisfy examination of the work at the end of the new maximum period of candidature if the transfer is approved. That is, the candidate’s Principal Supervisor must provide a report about the candidate’s achievements and progress containing:

  1. a short statement about the nature of the work being undertaken within the current candidature;
  2. the stage reached in the work;
  3. how the work will be extended to reach PhD standard;
  4. a report from an academic external to the University other than the Principal Supervisor, who has read the work and is able to state that the work undertaken so far is at the level required for a PhD; and the proposed extension of the work encompasses the parameters ordinarily required for a PhD;
  5. evidence of journal articles undertaken within the MPhil that have been accepted for publication; and
  6. evidence of directly related work experience.

Transfers from Doctor of Philosophy to Master of Philosophy

(16) The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Graduate Research may, on the recommendation of the Associate Dean, Research Training and Performance of the Faculty, in which a candidate for a PhD is enrolled, approve the transfer of candidature to a Master of Philosophy where they are satisfied that the candidate has fulfilled all of the requirements of that degree and / or where the candidate is no longer able to continue in the PhD due to extenuating circumstances.

Transfers between Doctor of Philosophy and Joint Doctor of Philosophy

(17) The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Graduate Research may, on the recommendation of the Associate Dean, Research Training and Performance of the Faculty, in which a candidate for a PhD is enrolled, approve the transfer of candidature to a joint PhD where:

  1. the joint degree is with an approved Partner University;
  2. the joint degree course is planned in line with Guiding Principles for Cotutelle and Joint PhD enrolment;
  3. the candidate has qualified for admission to candidature for a PhD, at the Partner University; and
  4. an individual joint doctoral supervision agreement with the Partner University covering the candidate’s period of joint enrolment has been finalised.

(18) The period of prior enrolment in the PhD will be counted toward the maximum period in the joint PhD.

Transfers for Bachelor of Philosophy / Master of Research and Master of Research Candidates

Departments / Schools (or Disciplines)

(19) Transfers between Departments (or Disciplines) for Year 1 Bachelor of Philosophy / Master of Research and Master of Research candidates must have the approval of the current and proposed new MRes Advisor, current and proposed Head of Department / School or nominee and the Faculty Associate Dean, Research Training and Performance.

(20) Transfers between Departments/Schools for Year 2 Master of Research candidates must have the approval of the current and proposed new supervisor, current and proposed Head of Department/School or nominee and the Faculty Associate Dean, Research Training and Performance.

Faculties

(21) Bachelor of Philosophy / Master of Research (BPhil / MRes) or Master of Research (MRes) candidates seeking to transfer between Faculties must:

  1. meet the standard and any additional admission requirements for the proposed discipline in the new Faculty;
  2. have completed at least ten (10) but no more than forty (40) credit points in their current Faculty;
  3. have achieved a satisfactory performance in the BPhil / MRes or MRes course at the time of request to transfer; and
  4. have the approval of the current and proposed new MRes Advisers and Faculty Associate Dean, Research Training and Performance of each Faculty.

(22) Fee contributions for Bachelor of Philosophy students may change depending on the new course/discipline. 

International Students

(23) A new letter of offer and Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) will be issued for an international student transferring between courses. This will specify the relevant fees and course duration.

(24) Transfers between courses may impact the student’s visa. 

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Section 3 - Procedures

(25) Nil.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(26) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(27) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purposes of this Policy:

  1. Joint Research Degree means joint enrolment by a student in a course at Macquarie University and selected international partner universities. A student has supervisors at both universities and spends time at both universities. The final thesis is jointly examined and the two universities may jointly award a degree.
  2. Partner University means an institution which has entered into a formal written agreement with Macquarie University to facilitate Higher Degree Research courses.