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The Degree of Doctor of Social Work
These regulations are to be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate Certificates.
1. Admission to the Degree of Doctor of Social Work requires that the candidate will:
(a) meet the University admission requirements as specified; and
(b) have been awarded or qualified for a Master of Applied Social Work or Master of Social Work, or an equivalent Social Work qualification which includes a research component, with the award of First Class or Second Class Division I honours; and
(c) have sufficient background and good standing in professional social work to satisfy the Doctoral Research Committee they have the capacity to successfully undertake the programme.
2. Candidates for the Degree of Doctor of Social Work shall follow a parts-based programme of study, which shall consist of courses and a thesis totalling 360 credits, comprising:
(a) Part One: Provisional Registration; and
(b) Part Two: Full Registration;
(c) the courses listed in the Schedule for the Qualification;
(d) a thesis;
(e) participation in required activities including presentation of a research report at a confirmation event and defending a thesis in an oral examination.
3. The Degree of Doctor of Social Work is awarded without specialisation.
4. The thesis must demonstrate the candidate's ability to carry out independent research, which must make a significant contribution to knowledge and understanding in professional social work. The thesis shall be a cohesive and integrated report of the candidate's supervised work and may consist of several studies or cases, and will include the candidate's published or unpublished material or a combination of both.
5. There shall be one main supervisor, who shall be a member of the academic staff of the University, and at least one co-supervisor who shall also be a member of the academic staff of the University. All supervisors, including any additional co-supervisors, must be approved by the Doctoral Research Committee.
6. The thesis must comply with the following requirements:
(a) the work on which the thesis is based has not been accepted either in whole or in part for any other degree or diploma; and
(b) must clearly define the nature and extent of any assistance the candidate has received in pursuing the research on which the thesis is based;
(c) reference to work other than that of the candidate must be appropriately acknowledged;
(d) all relevant policies underpinning research practice have been complied with as appropriate; and
(e) the thesis must not exceed 65,000 words (excluding appendices and bibliography);
(f) the thesis must be submitted for examination in the manner specified by the Doctoral Research Committee in accordance with the published guidelines.
7. The thesis will be independently examined by an Examination Committee experienced in the subject area, appointed by the Doctoral Research Committee in accordance with published guidelines, and will include an oral examination of the candidate on the thesis and the subject area. The oral examination will not proceed if the examiners agree that the thesis is of an inadequate standard.
8. The Thesis Examination Committee shall make a recommendation to the Doctoral Research Committee on the whole examination and will advise the result of the examination by using one of the following categories:
(a) Pass without emendation.
(b) Minor emendations required.
(c) Major emendations required.
(d) Further research and re-examination required.
(e) Fail. The candidate shall not be awarded the degree and shall not be permitted to apply for re-examination.
9. If minor emendations are required the candidate will have a maximum of three months full time, or five months part time, to complete the emendations. The candidate must complete the emendations to the satisfaction of the examination panel within the specified time period or the candidate will be failed.
10. If major emendations are required the candidate will have a maximum of six months full time, or nine months part time, to complete the emendations. The candidate must complete the emendations to the satisfaction of the examination panel within the specified time period or the candidate will be failed.
11. If further research and re-examination is required, the candidate will have a maximum of one year full-time or eighteen months part time to conduct the required additional research and/or revisions. The candidate must re-enrol and pay tuition fees on a pro-rata basis. A candidate may only revise and resubmit a thesis for re-examination once. If the candidate does not complete the revisions to the satisfaction of all the examiners within the specified period, the candidate will be failed.
12. No appeals are allowed except on completion of the examination process on the grounds of procedural irregularities in the examination process. For an appeal to be considered, applications must be received by the Doctoral Research Committee within three months of formal notification of the examination result by the Graduate Research School.
13. For progression from Provisional Registration to Full Registration candidates must have:
(a) achieved a B+ or higher for each of the courses specified for the Provisional Registration;
(b) participated in a confirmation event, during which they have presented their research report to, and had it accepted by, a confirmation committee;
(c) their main proposed supervisor and co-supervisor(s) approved by the Doctoral Research Committee.
14. Any candidate who fails to achieve a B+ grade in just one course will be permitted to re-enrol and repeat that course on only one occasion. Should the candidate fail to achieve a B+ grade in more than one course, fail to achieve a B+ grade in the repeated course on the second attempt, or subsequently fail to achieve a B+ grade for any other course, the candidate's registration will be terminated.
15. Candidates are required to make successful progress in the thesis as determined by six-monthly progress reports in accordance with the guidelines published by the Doctoral Research Committee and assessed by the Supervisors, Head of Academic Unit, and the Doctoral Research Committee.
16. A candidate's period of registration (including provisional registration) shall be a minimum period of three years (36 months) and a maximum of four years (48 months) if full time, and a minimum period of four years (48 months) and a maximum of six years (72 months) if part-time, unless a specified time of suspension or extension has been approved by the Doctoral Research Committee.
17. The maximum period of registration shall include:
(a) completion of courses as listed in the Schedule to the Qualification;
(b) submission of a thesis in the manner required under the published Doctoral Research Committee guidelines;
(c) application to be examined;
(d) examination (including, completion of any emendations or re-examination);
(e) submission of one PDF copy of the final thesis, as approved by the Examination Committee.
18. Candidates may be graduated when they meet the Admission, Qualification and Thesis requirements within the prescribed timeframes; candidates who do not meet the requirements for graduation may, subject to the approval of Academic Board, be awarded the Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work or Postgraduate Certificate in Social Work should they meet the relevant Qualification requirements.
Unsatisfactory Academic Progress
19. For candidates enrolled in the Degree of Doctor of Social Work, the following will lead to termination of registration by the Doctoral Research Committee:
(a) failure to achieve a B+ or higher on the first attempt in more than one of the courses specified for the Provisional Registration in Part One;
(b) failure to achieve a B+ grade in the one permitted repeated course after the second attempt.
20. In the following circumstances a candidate enrolled in the Degree of Doctor of Social Work will either be permitted to withdraw without prejudicing future doctoral applications, or have their registration terminated by the Doctoral Research Committee:
(a) failure to make adequate progress in their research thesis with the objectives established in the six-monthly progress reports in accordance with the guidelines published by the Doctoral Research Committee as assessed by the Supervisors, Head of Academic Unit and the Doctoral Research Committee.
21. Candidates who commenced their provisional registration in the Doctor of Social Work prior to 01 January 2021 may be exempt from the Regulation 19 requirement to achieve the specified grade average on the first attempt, or after repeating one course as permitted. Such candidates are required to achieve a B+ or higher grade for each of the courses specified for the Provisional Registration in Part One.
Schedule for the Doctor of Social Work
Part One: Provisional Registration (At least 120 credits from)
179.911 Advanced Social Work and Social Development Theory 30 credits
Part Two: Full Registration (At least 240 credits from)
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Last updated on Monday 20 September 2021