Coursework in the PhD Degree

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Communications
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Business and Economics

Coursework in the PhD degree Ingrid Nielsen

The Monash PhD structure – “Brilliant Goes Beyond” • The first iteration of the Monash PhD represented a shift from a 100% research (thesis) model to a composite research (thesis) and research training model, where training was broadly conceptualised to encompass both coursework and more traditional training activities. • The fundamental driver of the original shift and its subsequent development has been a commitment to develop both the research and the researcher. • The degree subsumes discipline-based “Programs”, where the thesis model and the research training composition are specific to the discipline and reflect world’s best practice in the given discipline area. • The starting point for Program development was hence a thorough review of the international doctoral space, but with a particular emphasis on current practice among our key competitors. 2

The Monash PhD – degree components •

Research thesis (100,000 words)

Empirical study/studies following scientific method

Thesis by publication

Coursework options •

6000 level units (core and elective)

Genuine 5000 level units with 6000 level assessment (core and elective)

Enabling units

Training options •

Academic Practice

Professional Skills

Project Management

Research Practice

Responsible Research

Specialist Training

Technical Training

Communicating and Disseminating Research 3

Monash PhD structure – original arrangement • The original arrangement was an integrated coursework and training structure where each coursework credit point was deemed to be equivalent to 8 hours of research skills training, with students across all disciplines required to complete the equivalent of 192 hours. •

1x6cp unit + 144 skills training hours (including 9.5 mandatory skills training hours)

2x6cp units + 96 skills training hours (including 9.5 mandatory skills training hours)

3x6cp units + 48 skills training hours (including 9.5 mandatory skills training hours)

4x6cp units (plus 9.5 mandatory skills training hours)

• ‘Bean counting’ approach led to: •

Development of (some) skills training activities that added little to no value to the PhD experience

Artificial inflation of training hours

High administration costs of tracking student progress

A surveillance culture 4

Monash PhD structure – new arrangement • The new Monash PhD is an umbrella under which candidates can pursue one of either: •

Skills training (professional and academic development through University-led “Skills Essentials” programs (minimum of two weeks equivalent) and Faculty-led training (minimum of one week equivalent) throughout their candidature;

coursework (according to existing regulations); or

training activities through specially established and funded Graduate Research Interdisciplinary Programs.

• Under this new arrangement, the Faculty of Business and Economics and inter alia the Department of Management has adopted the coursework approach •

Philosophy of Research

Advanced Quantitative Methods or Advanced Qualitative Methods

Research Integrity training (centrally mandated)

Some further locally mandated (or not) training 5

Monash PhD structure – new arrangement •

All on-shore students enrolling in the approved Management PhD Program from 2014: •

complete all coursework units pre-confirmation, to a standard of no less than 70%;

Complete the following Faculty-mandated training, pre-confirmation:

online research integrity training

induction activities

(It is likely that the University will in future also mandate OHS training to meet legislative compliance requirements)

Coursework must comply with AQF requirements •

Research is the defining characteristic •

“Research in the program of learning will be for at least two years and typically two thirds or more of the qualification…coursework may support but not replace the research outcomes”

Learning outcomes at Level 10

Coursework must comply with Monash governance requirements 6

Monash PhD structure – new arrangement •

Any additional training over and above the Faculty mandated training is at the discretion of the Program Director in consultation with the supervisory team.

This approach allows for the Department to tailor any additional training as they see appropriate to individuals or cohorts.

Candidates will not be formally enrolled in any training activities and as such this will not appear on the academic transcript.

Any training activities will be captured in an e-portfolio, allowing candidates to record activities and to print a statement to provide to milestones panels or prospective employers.


Developing a coursework PhD – key considerations •

Who are your key competitors?

How do you want to differentiate yourself?

What do you want your graduates to be trained in: research/management/both?

Staff capability and capacity

Timetabling (against start dates, scholarship start dates, census dates, delivery mode, progression vis a vis confirmation etc)


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