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Higher Degree Research

The Structured Program

The Structured Program in the School of Psychology has two components:

  1. The Core Component, which involves all incoming students;
  2. The Directed Studies Component, which individual students may be required to take, to prepare them for their research.

The Core Component to the Structured Program consists of two aspects, to be completed in the first six months of candidature.

  1. Attending all sessions in a Postgraduate Seminar Program, planned in advance at the beginning of the year, to run weekly throughout Seminar I.
  2. Presenting the thesis proposal within the Postgraduate Seminar Program.

Submission of Report and Outline of Proposed Research

The Report must be completed by the Postgraduate Coordinator before submission by the student to REDC upon completion of the Structured Program. At the same time, the student is also required to submit an outline of the proposed research on the prescribed form to REDC.

The Thesis Proposal

All HDR students must present this within the first 3-6 months of candidature, and it will therefore be based on preliminary work. Nonetheless, it should present a topic, supported by a body of relevant knowledge, derive a theoretical framework, formulate and justify a research question, outline a possible process, and so on. The aim here is to provide an opportunity for feedback from a variety of sources about early thoughts and plans.

Postgraduate Student Conference

All HDR students during the second year of candidature and beyond are expected to present a 30 minute seminar (including question time) at the annual Postgraduate Student Conference. These presentations form part of the Annual Review process beyond first year. The justification for participation in this program is that it disseminates information about ongoing research more widely, and provides valuable experience in making a public presentation.

Annual and Major Reviews of Progress All HDR students (including those on intermission or any form of leave) are required by the University to undergo an Annual Review of Progress, usually during September-October, and a Major Review, currently at the end of 12 months of candidature.

  1. The University posts the relevant materials to each student's semester address. (Note that it is very important, if you change your address, to notify both the General Office of the School of Psychology and Graduate Studies). It is the student's responsibility to ensure that this process is completed by the deadline permitted.

The purposes of the annual review are to evaluate progress during the review period and to set achievement goals for the next 12 months. Satisfactory progress in terms of the allowable timeline is the main focus. This School's policy requires that HDR students make a presentation within the School during both the second and third years of (full-time) candidature. This presentation can be made at either the Postgraduate Student Conference or the School Seminar Program.

The Annual Review is linked with renewal of scholarships and with re-enrolment for the following year, and fairly hefty fines attach to late returns; and failing to address these will lead very quickly to withdrawal from candidature.

The Major Review is the point at which candidature is reviewed to determine the shift from the initial provisional to confirmed status.

School of Psychology

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