Course Title: PhD Thesis/Project A

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: PhD Thesis/Project A

Credit Points: 24

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Media and Communication

Distance / Correspondence

Sem 1 2009


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 2 2009

Course Coordinator: Dr Les Horvat

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99253

Course Coordinator

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

In order to be eligible for direct admission to PhD candidature the applicant must have qualified for:

A degree of Master by Research

A degree of Master by Coursework which includes a research program with a duration of at least one semester full-time (or part-time equivalent). The College/School may consider for direct entry a student who has qualified for a Master by Coursework without having undertaken a research program of at least one semester’s duration provided that the candidate can demonstrate other areas of research experience relevant to the discipline in the form of publications and conference presentations

An Honours Batchelor degree with first class honours, or upper second class honours (For Assessing First Class Honours Equivalence see

Another award deemed to be equivalent in character and standard to the above degrees

Such other qualifications or experience as the College/School considers appropriate.

Course Description

Postgraduate degrees by research offer the framework, the focus and the discipline necessary to conduct speculative inquiry. The province of the PhD is the exploration of new territories of inquiry, contributions to the knowledge-base of the discipline, and steps toward the redefinition of aspects of that discipline. A PhD by Project includes a creative project within a chosen field, which by its nature and depth achieves the objective of a significant contribution to the area. The creative project will be supported and accompanied by a written Exegesis.

Current individually supervised research programs are focused on theoretical and creative positions drawn from the relevant discipline. These projects engage with critical, historical, technological and practical knowledge in digital media & animation, photography, and creative writing. The Doctor of Philosophy may be undertaken in project or thesis mode.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

- a significant and original contribution to knowledge in the field.

- independent and critical thought.

- the capacity to work independently of supervision.

- effective communication.

- a significant and original contribution to knowledge in the field:

While it is difficult to assess what constitutes a ’significant contribution’, one important way of gauging this expectation is to consider the extent to which the work is publishable or a project is publicly presentable at the highest level. Normally a satisfactory PhD project would be expected to form the basis of at least one article in a recognised research journal, conference proceedings, a public exhibition in a recognised venue, or, in some disciplines, a monograph from a specialist publisher.  ’Originality’ may be shown in several ways. For example, you may have posed an important new issue, have formulated an existing issue in a novel and useful way, investigated previously ignored material, offered new and significant insights about issues which have been examined by other researchers, developed new techniques for investigating issues or have applied appropriate techniques to a new set of problems. Replications of previous investigations would be acceptable only if you incorporated important new elements in the design or execution of the investigation.

- independent and critical thought:

You are required to demonstrate  that you have the ability to conceive original ideas for further investigation from independent, critical examination of the literature, to state clearly the central theme or argument, to develop this theme systematically and to assess the results of those investigations in a critical manner, relative to the work of others.

- the capacity to work independently of supervision and communicate effectively:

The originality and significance of the contribution to the field, and the rigor of the independent, critical thought should be high enough to suggest that you can initiate and conduct independent research leading to publication in a scholarly journal or equivalent and exhibition in a recognised venue.

Overview of Learning Activities

Ongoing participation in Graduate Research Conferences (GRC), interim reviews and meetings with supervisor(s)

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT University Library supports the teaching, learning and research of the University. The Library works to meet the needs of students and staff, providing services, facilities and study space. Further recommended reading is provided in the induction kit and through the supervisor and panel reviews.

Overview of Assessment

During your time as a research candidate you are graded as ‘NEX’. This means that the grades are withheld until such time that you are examined, recommended for a pass and have submitted your final archive. A progress report is a written report from the chair of your panel/supervisor when you present at either a GRC or interim presentation or a written report from your supervisor. To continue with your program you need to consistently receive satisfactory progress reports.