Higher Degree by Research
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The School of Psychology provides opportunities for Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) in a wide range of fields, including human cognition and decision making, individual differences in abilities and personality, psychotherapy, neuropsychology, health psychology, social psychology, organizational psychology, discourse analysis, development during childhood, and changes during older age.
To enter our program for the PhD degree, you will require a Bachelor degree that includes four years training in Psychology, including first-class Honours, usually with scholarship support for three years. It is expected that the PhD should be completed within those three years, although up to an additional fourth year may be permissible. It is also possible to enrol for the shorter degree of Research Master, including provision to upgrade to the PhD, should that be appropriate. There is also provision, in exceptional cases, for a candidate to complete a PhD/Master of Psychology (Clinical), PhD/Master of Psychology (Health), PhD/Master of Psychology (O & HF) which normally requires four years of concurrent course work and research.
The aim of the HDR program is to produce graduates who are capable of conducting independent research of high quality and originality. At the outset of candidature new HDR students complete a formal program, designed to induct students into the University and School; and, throughout candidature, continuing academic support is provided by a panel of two or more supervisors and by continuing training in research-related and future employment skills. A special bridging program is available to international students.
The Structured Program
The Structured Program in the School of Psychology has two components:
- The Core Component, which involves all incoming students; and,
- The Directed Studies Component, which individual students may be required to take, to prepare them for their research
The Core Componen t comprises all aspects relating to the development of a successful research proposal, which are common to all students. Rather than devolving the responsibility for these aspects to individual supervisors, the School has developed a seminar program, which ensures that all HDR students are systematically introduced to the elements of the Core. These elements include:
Induction into the School, including governance structures, academic and social activities, School procedures for obtaining equipment, sharing of School resources, computers systems and operation etc;
- Issues to be considered in the identification of a research topic and the structure, content and presentation of a research proposal, including feasibility, the budget and resource requirements, access to Psychology I students as participants in research, if required, the timetable, the University’s intellectual property policy, stylistic and citation considerations and the role of the literature review;
- University facilities to aid research, including library resources
- The presentation of draft research proposals, including consideration of the Concise Outline;
- Exposure to research methodologies and technologies and the critical analytic skills required in the discipline;
The Directed Studies Component will be developed in conjunction with the candidate’s supervisors, to strengthen weaknesses in the candidate’s academic background where appropriate.