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Assessing & Ranking International Scholarship Applications

All scholarship applicants are required to demonstrate the following minimum level of academic achievement for scholarship consideration:

  • First Class Honours OR
  • Coursework Masters with High Distinction in the research component and a Distinction average overall OR
  • Master of Philosophy with high quality results

The Graduate Scholarships Committee asks academic staff to consider the following factors when assessing and ranking applicants for scholarships:

  • the research component and level of the highest qualification obtained
  • the quality of the institution at which the highest qualification was obtained
  • any special links between this University and the student's former institution
  • publications/research outputs (quality/quantity of publications/outputs; applicant’s contribution to the publications/research outputs)
  • research experience
  • the area of research undertaken (IPRS scholarships are only available to applicants studying in an area of research strength, evaluated via the most recent ERA rankings)
  • the academic merit and research potential of the individual applicants

Increasingly it is expected that the potential supervisor(s) interviews the applicant (via Skype or other means) as part of the assessment process, and makes reference to this in the supporting statement.
Academic Staff are also asked to allot a Postgraduate Band based on the information below assuming assessment is based on the highest qualification attained:

Honours

Look at the applicant’s Honours Class and use the table below as a guide to provide a postgraduate band.

Class and description Grade Postgraduate Score
1st class, in top third of their graduating year, or comparable 80+ Honours 1(i)
1st class, in middle third of their graduating year, or comparable 80+ Honours 1(ii)
1st class, in bottom third of their graduating year, or comparable 80+ Honours 1(iii)
Eligible Admission only
2nd class, in top half of their graduating year, or comparable 70-79 Honours 2A(i)
2nd class, in bottom half of their graduating year, or comparable 70-79 Honours 2A(ii)
Not Eligible Scholarship or Admission
2B class 60-69 Honours 2B
3rd class50-56 Honours 3

Where An Applicant Provides An Australian Honours Qualification

It is at the discipline’s discretion as to the method used to derive the bands. Where an Honours result is available without grades, it is up to the discipline to derive an appropriate Band for the applicant, in line with a comparable result at the University of Adelaide.

Some institution results will not be available. If the applicant has not provided a copy of their final honours thesis with their online application, please contact the applicant to request a copy and derive an appropriate band for the applicant, in line with a comparable result at the University of Adelaide.

Where An Applicant Provides An Honours Qualification From A Non- Australian University

The Admissions Officers will assess the equivalence of the qualification according to NOOSR/NARIC - please refer to the Orbit Assessment Summary for each individual applicant.

  • NOTE: This qualification assessment only evaluates the qualification level (bachelor/honours), not the quality (H1, H2A).
  • NOTE: Even when a qualification includes words such as “honours” or “awarded with honours” it does not guarantee that the qualification is the equivalent of an Australian honours degree.  Many universities use “honours” to indicate the level of achievement/performance rather than the presence of a research component.

If the AGC’s assessment indicates that it is the equivalent of an Australian honours degree then an argument for First Class Honours equivalence and allotment of the Postgraduate Band should be based on the level of academic achievement in the research component (wherever possible via examination of the honours thesis and comparison to relevant UA honours students).  Other factors that can be identified are those incurred above and beyond studies undertaken (eg publications, post-study research experience).

If the AGC’s assessment indicates that it is not the equivalent of an Australian honours degree then an argument for First Class Honours equivalence must make reference to factors above and beyond studies undertaken (eg publications, post- study research experience).

Masters by Coursework

Applicants with a Masters by Coursework program with 0-66% coursework and the remainder research need to be allotted a postgraduate band by the area.  Look at both the applicant’s overall Masters grade and the research component grade, then use the table below to provide a postgraduate band.

CW Masters Overall Grade
(excluding research component)
Research Component Grade Postgraduate Score
HD + HD = CWRES 1(i)
D + HD = CWRES 1(ii)
Eligible Admission only
D + D = CWRES 2A(i)
C+ HD = CWRES 2A(ii)
C+ D = CWRES 2A(iii)

Where An Applicant Provides An Australian Masters By Coursework Qualification (0-66% Coursework)

Applicant must obtain a High Distinction for the research component and a minimum Distinction GPA overall to attain first class standard.

If the academic standard identified above has not been met then the supporting statement must make reference to factors above and beyond studies undertaken (eg publications, post-study research experience) to argue for first class standard and allotment of the appropriate band.

Where An Applicant Provides A Masters By Coursework Qualification (0-66% Coursework) From A Non-Australian University

As the applicant does not have the required level of research the supporting statement must make reference to factors above and beyond studies undertaken (eg publications, post-study research experience) to argue for first class standard. Academic Staff should provide an equivalent Postgraduate Band using the table above.

Where An Applicant Provides An Australian Or International Masters By Coursework Qualification (67 - 100% Coursework)

As the applicant does not have the required level of research the supporting statement must make reference to factors above and beyond studies undertaken (eg publications, post-study research experience) to argue for admission or first class standard for scholarships purposes and an equivalent Postgraduate band should be recommended.

Masters by Research

Where An Applicant Provides An Australian Masters By Research Qualification (67-100% Research)

Applicants with a Masters of Philosophy need to be allotted a postgraduate band by the area. To calculate the overall band you need to look at both examiners reports.  For example:

Examiner report A results:          HD  85-89 = mid-range of 87
Examiner report B results:          C  65-74 = mid-range of 70
Research results average:          (87 +70)/2 = 78.5

Look at the applicant’s overall grade for their Master of Philosophy and use the table below to enter a postgraduate band.

Master of Philosophy Mark Master of Philosophy Grade Postgraduate Score
90-100 HD MPhil 1(i)
85-89 HD MPhil 1(ii)
80-84 HD MPhil 1(iii)
Eligible Admission only
75-79 D MPhil 2A(i)
65-74 C MPhil 2A(ii)

NOTE:   Where a Master of Philosophy is of the mixed pathway (2/3 Research 1/3 Coursework), then the final mark must be calculated by the academic area in order to allot the appropriate postgraduate band.

The final score is equal to the weighted average of the research and coursework components, with the average of the mid-range score of the examiners’ reports contributing 2/3 of the final score, and the coursework component contributing 1/3.

For example:
Examiner report A results:  HD 90-100 = mid-range of 95
Examiner report B results: HD 85-90 = mid-range of 87
Research results average: (95 +87)/2 = 91
Coursework results average: 90
91 x 2/3 = 60.67
90 x 1/3 = 30
Final score (60.67 + 30) = 90.67

If examiner reports are not available areas will need to assess the thesis and provide a band for the applicant to be considered

Where An Applicant Provides A Masters By Research Qualification (67-100% Research) From A Non-Australian University

The supporting statement must make reference to the quality and outcomes of the thesis (wherever possible by examining a copy of the thesis).  Other factors that can be made reference to are those incurred above and beyond studies undertaken (eg successful publications in high quality international journals, extensive post-study research experience). Academic Staff should suggest an equivalent Postgraduate Band from table above

Any other qualifications: Should be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

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