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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Please note. This content is from the 2018 Research Student Handbook and should only be used as a guide. Please refer to the 2019 Research Student Handbook PDF for current information.

The PhD is the basic qualification for a research career or academic position and is a stepping stone to a range of career opportunities. The PhD involves three – four years of research for a full-time candidate or the equivalent in half-time candidature, together with participation in the compulsory Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) program which requires completion of 120 hours of activities prior to thesis submission.

In the course of completing the PhD under appropriate supervision, you will develop the capacity to conduct research independently at a high level of originality and quality and make a significant original contribution to knowledge in your chosen discipline.

A PhD thesis at the University of Adelaide may be prepared in one of the following formats:

  • Conventional written narrative presented as typescript
  • Publication - A thesis by publication may include publications that have been published and/or accepted and/or submitted for publication and/or unpublished and unsubmitted work written in a manuscript style
  • Combination of conventional and publication formats;
  • Major (creative, musical or visual) work (Volume 1) and exegesis (Volume 2)

Irrespective of the form of thesis presented, examiners will be looking for a candidate to:

  • produce a clearly, accurately and cogently written thesis that is suitably illustrated and documented;
  • demonstrate a deep knowledge of the research topic;
  • relate the research topic to the broader frame-work of the discipline within which it falls;
  • demonstrate an independence of thought and approach; and
  • make a significant and original contribution to knowledge by the discovery of new facts, the formulation of theories, or the innovative reinterpretation of known data and established ideas.

Entry Requirements

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