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Rules Relating to Awards - Rule 7 - Masters by Thesis Awards

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Section 1 - Masters By Thesis

Part A - Admission to Candidature

(1) An application for admission to candidature is accepted subject to the availability of facilities and supervision.

(2) An application, which may be submitted at any time, will be made on the prescribed form and will be lodged with the Graduate School for consideration by the Dean, Graduate Studies.

(3) An applicant will seek admission to a Masters degree by thesis course as:

  1. a full-time candidate; or
  2. a part-time candidate.

(4) A candidate may convert from full-time to part-time candidature, and vice-versa, with the approval of the Manager of the Graduate School, upon the recommendation of the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training.

(5) To qualify for admission to a Masters degree by thesis course, applicants must:

  1. possess a degree that is equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from Southern Cross University; and
  2. satisfy such additional requirements for admission to Master by Thesis candidature, if any, as may be prescribed by the Higher Degrees Research Committee.

(6) All candidates, except those who are enrolled in a course offered in a language other than English, are expected to be proficient in English comprehension and expression. Applicants, the medium of whose previous education was not English, may be required to take a special test of English language proficiency approved by the Dean, Graduate Studies.

Part B - Enrolment

(7) The Dean, Graduate Studies will not permit an applicant to enrol as a candidate unless they have received:

  1. in the case of an applicant seeking admission either as a full-time or as a part-time candidate, a certificate from the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training, and the relevant Head of School, stating that the applicant is fit to undertake a course leading to the award of Masters degree by thesis and that the School is willing to undertake the responsibility of supervising the work of the applicant; and
  2. in the case of an applicant seeking admission as a candidate at an external site, a certificate from the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training stating that the applicant is fit to undertake a course leading to the award of Masters degree by thesis and that suitable arrangements for supervision and access to appropriate facilities have been negotiated and are acceptable to the School.

(8) [Reference to School will include reference to any other appropriate academic organisational unit such as, for example, College].

(9) A Masters qualifying student may apply for enrolment as a Masters by thesis candidate:

  1. upon successful completion of a program approved by the Dean, Graduate Studies at a level of performance prescribed by the Dean; and
  2. will lodge an application with the Graduate School for consideration by the Dean, Graduate Studies.

(10) A Masters qualifying student will not be eligible for enrolment as a Masters by thesis candidate if a period of more than one year, if full-time, or two years, if part-time, has elapsed from initial enrolment, except with the approval of the Manager of the Graduate School.

(11) The Dean, Graduate Studies will, in the case of a Masters qualifying student applying for enrolment as a Masters by thesis candidate, either:

  1. permit the student to enrol as a candidate; or
  2. decline the application.

(12) The Dean, Graduate Studies will not permit an applicant to enrol as a candidate unless the applicant has:

  1. qualified for admission in terms of clause (5); or
  2. been enrolled as a Masters qualifying student at Southern Cross University, and has subsequently carried out such work, passed such examinations and reached such standards as the Dean, Graduate Studies will prescribe, and has not previously been denied enrolment as a candidate on two occasions; and
  3. satisfied the Dean, Graduate Studies regarding fitness to become a candidate; and
  4. received a statement from the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training, and the relevant Head of School, that the School is willing to undertake the responsibility of supervising the work of the applicant.

(13) The Dean, Graduate Studies will approve or, if necessary, vary any periods of residency during which the candidate will be required to pursue study and research at the University, prescribed by the School proposing the candidate's enrolment.

(14) A commencing candidate is enrolled on completion of all of the following:

  1. acceptance of the offer of admission;
  2. completion of relevant forms;
  3. payment of prescribed fees (unless the Director of Student Services has granted an extension of time for such payment).

Part C - Concurrent Studies

(15) In the case of an applicant enrolled as a candidate, wishing to enrol for another award course at the University, approval of the Dean, Graduate Studies, upon the recommendation of the relevant Director(s) of Research and Research Training, is required.

(16) A candidate may be required by the Dean, Graduate Studies to undertake concurrently with thesis preparation a formal course of studies appropriate to the thesis. However, at least seventy (70) per cent of the course of study for the award of a Masters degree by thesis will comprise an original research project and a thesis.

Part D - Requirements for the Award

(17) To be eligible for the award of a Masters degree by thesis, a candidate will:

  1. complete the prescribed program involving an original investigation, review, criticism or design; and
  2. submit and have accepted a thesis prepared under the supervision of the Principal Supervisor nominated by the Dean, Graduate Studies; and
  3. complete such other work as may be prescribed by the Higher Degrees Research Committee.

(18) A candidate will not normally be eligible for the award of a Masters degree by thesis until:

  1. in the case of a full-time candidate, at least nine months have elapsed from the time of enrolment as a Masters by thesis candidate; or
  2. in the case of a part-time candidate, at least eighteen months have elapsed from the time of enrolment as a Masters by thesis candidate,
  3. except that a candidate who is specially qualified in the relevant discipline may with approval of the Academic Board be allowed to complete the course in less than the normal minimum time.

Part E - Work Environment and Supervision

(19) All candidates will normally have appointed by the Dean, Graduate Studies at least two supervisors, who will act as Principal Supervisor and one who will act as Co-supervisor. The Principal Supervisor will be a member of the academic staff of the University. The Co-supervisor will be a member of the academic staff of the University or an adjunct appointment of the university.

(20) All candidates will be required to participate in such colloquia, research seminars and other work of the University as may be considered appropriate by their Principal Supervisor.

(21) Candidates will, as their Principal Supervisor may from time to time require, submit drafts of the major sections of the written thesis for review and will submit to their Principal Supervisor a final draft of the written thesis for advice and comment before submission for examination.

(22) In respect of candidates who undertake a major portion of their research at sites external to the University, the Dean, Graduate Studies may appoint a local Co-supervisor.

(23) If a person appointed as supervisor is unable to perform the duties of the appointment, the Dean, Graduate Studies will appoint a replacement supervisor on the recommendation of the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training.

Part F - Progress Reports

(24) Candidates will, through their Principal Supervisor and relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training, submit in the prescribed form and at the prescribed times progress reports to the Manager, Graduate School.

(25) The Principal Supervisor and the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training will at the same time provide comments to the Manager, Graduate School, on the progress of the candidates being supervised.

(26) The Manager, Graduate School may:

  1. take no action;
  2. recommend that the candidate undertake remedial action; or,
  3. may recommend termination of the candidature to the Dean, Graduate Studies where:
    1. progress reports have demonstrated unsatisfactory progress; and/or
    2. progress reports have not been submitted by the due dates.

(27) The Dean of Graduate Studies will consider any recommendation made under clause (26) and may terminate candidature at his or her discretion.

Part G - Confirmation of Candidature

(28) All Masters by Thesis candidates will serve a confirmation period, no longer than six (6) months full-time equivalent.

(29) The process of assessment of the confirmation period will be developed within a general framework approved by the Higher Degrees Research Committee, to be used in the respective School.

(30) A Supervisor-Candidate Agreement, containing criteria for satisfactory progress, will be developed between the candidate and the supervisor, and reviewed as required during candidature.

(31) Candidates must submit their Confirmation of Candidature proposal for text-matching analysis in accordance with the Text Matching Software Policy and the Text Matching Software Higher Degree by Research Procedures.

(32) The assessment of the completion of the confirmation period will result in one of the six following outcomes as determined by the Dean, Graduate Studies:

  1. Confirmed, with no further work required;
  2. Confirmed, with minor changes recommended by the Confirmation Committee to the satisfaction of the Principal Supervisor;
  3. Conditionally confirmed after major revisions to the literature review and research plan as recommended by the Confirmation Committee and made within 3 months to the satisfaction of the Confirmation Committee (resubmission and final sign-off to be coordinated by the Chair of the Confirmation Committee);
  4. Not confirmed but the candidate is required to revise and resubmit their paper and make another presentation within 6 months;
  5. Remedial Action: Remedial action or recommended transfer to Masters (if Confirmation is for PhD)
  6. Not Confirmed and candidature is terminated.

(33) Termination may also be recommended by the Dean, Graduate Studies under conditions in which the University is unable to provide adequate supervision.

Part H - Thesis

(34) Candidates must submit the final draft of their Thesis for text-matching analysis in accordance with the Text Matching Software Policy and the Text Matching Software Higher Degree by Research Procedures.

(35) On completion of studies during candidature, a candidate will submit a thesis that complies with the following requirements:

  1. the greater proportion of the work described must have been completed subsequent to initial enrolment as a candidate; and
  2. it must show evidence of competence in research and scholarship; and
  3. it must be in English or in a language approved by the Dean, Graduate Studies and reach a satisfactory standard of presentation; and
  4. it must have a substantial written component but may also contain a significant amount of non-written material.

(36) The thesis will consist of the candidate's own account of the work, except that in special cases work done conjointly with other persons may be accepted provided the Dean, Graduate Studies is satisfied in respect of the candidate's part in the joint work.

(37) On submitting a thesis the candidate will present sufficient evidence of its authenticity and originality, and to this end will submit a written statement at the front of the thesis:

  1. indicating which portions are original and which are not; and
  2. giving the sources of information if these are not adequately indicated in the thesis; and
  3. indicating whether, and if so to what extent, any of the material submitted, or work on which it is based, has been used in seeking another degree in the University or elsewhere.

(38) A candidate will submit with, but separately from, the thesis a short abstract of the thesis comprising not more than 400 words and written in a form suitable for publication.

(39) A candidate may not submit as the main content of the thesis any work or material which has previously been accepted for a degree or other similar award but will not be precluded from incorporating such work or material in the thesis, provided that the candidate indicates, generally in the preface and specifically in the notes, the work or material which has been so incorporated.

(40) The candidate may submit as supporting documents any work published by the candidate, but only if it bears on the subject of the thesis.

Part I - Thesis Submission

(41) A candidate will, through the Principal Supervisor and relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training, give the Graduate School two (2) months' written notice of intention to submit a thesis and such notice will be accompanied by the appropriate fee, if any.

(42) Three (3) copies of the thesis in a form of temporary binding prescribed by the Graduate School will be submitted by the candidate, through the Principal Supervisor, to the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training, and these copies may be retained by the University.

(43) These three copies of the thesis will be submitted to the Graduate School by the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training with a certificate signed by the Principal Supervisor certifying that the candidate's work, including the thesis, is in a form suitable for examination.

(44) A thesis will be prepared in the format prescribed by the Graduate School.

(45) HDR candidates will be required to submit two copies of their final thesis to the Graduate School:

  1. One unbound copy for distribution to the University Library;
  2. One digital copy.

(46) The digital copy of the thesis will be deposited with the Graduate School using the prescribed form. This digital copy will be:

  1. included in the institutional repository for archival purposes; and
  2. made available on open online access unless application to restrict access is made and decided in accordance with clauses (47) - (49). Some third party copyright material contained in the thesis may need to be removed to provide online access. This will be done on the advice of the University Copyright Officer.

(47) The copies of the thesis deposited with the University Library will be available for consultation, loan, or copying at the discretion of the University Librarian, unless the University on the application of the candidate determines that it will not be available until after the expiry of a period, which period will not normally exceed two (2) years. The University Librarian will require each user and recipient of a copy of a thesis to undertake in writing to respect the author's rights under the law relating to copyright.

(48) A candidate may, when lodging a thesis, make application on the prescribed form to the Director, Research Training, to restrict access to a thesis, either in whole or in part, and in all formats. The Director, Research Training, will decide such application in accordance with the terms detailed on the prescribed form. Normally, access may be restricted for a period up to two (2) years. In special cases, application may be made to restrict access for a longer period. Where the thesis contains material which the candidate considers should have restricted distribution, the Principal Supervisor, the Director, Research Training, and the examiners will be informed which parts are classified.

(49) Where a candidate states that a thesis contains confidential information which the candidate does not desire to be disclosed freely, or which the candidate is not at liberty to disclose freely, the candidate may, to the extent that it is possible, place that information in an appendix to the thesis. The copy of the thesis deposited in the University Library will have a notation, authorised by the Manager of the Graduate School, indicating which parts of the thesis are not included because they contain confidential information, and informing the reader to contact the candidate for further information.

Part J - Examination of Thesis

(50) The Dean, Graduate Studies will appoint two examiners both of whom will be external to the University. A supervisor of a thesis will not also be an examiner. Each examiner will make a separate report and recommendation on the merit of the thesis and any other work submitted for examination.

(51) The examiners' reports on a thesis will be forwarded to the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training for comment, who in turn will forward them to the Principal Supervisor and the candidate for comment. The examiners' reports, together with any written comments received from the Principal Supervisor and the candidate, will then be considered by the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training, who will make a recommendation to the Dean, Graduate Studies.

(52) The recommendation of the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training, together with the reports of the examiners and any written comments received from the Principal Supervisor and the candidate, will be considered by the Dean, Graduate Studies, who will have broad discretion to seek additional input as appropriate, and who will:

  1. recommend to the Academic Board that the candidate be admitted to the award of a Masters degree by thesis; or
  2. recommend to the Academic Board that the Masters by thesis candidature be terminated.

(53) Before making a recommendation to the Academic Board, the Dean, Graduate Studies may require:

  1. the candidate to address any matters raised in the examiners' reports,
  2. the candidate to address additional issues in the thesis,
  3. additional input to the examination process, for example, the candidate may be required to undertake a written or an oral examination of the thesis under such reasonable conditions as determined by the Dean, Graduate Studies; or
  4. re-examination of the thesis within six months if full-time, or within one year if part-time.

(54) Candidates required to undertake changes to their thesis in response to examiners' reports prior to award will be required to undertake these changes within a maximum of three months after the date of notification of these; and the School and supervisor are required to review these and submit a report on changes made for final ratification by the Dean, Graduate Studies no later than six months after the original notification of these to the student (unless a longer period is approved by the Dean, Graduate Studies).

(55) A candidate whose thesis fails re-examination, as conducted under conditions prescribed by the Dean, Graduate Studies, will have candidature terminated by the Academic Board and will not be eligible for re enrolment in a Masters by thesis course in the same topic area.

Part K - Maximum Tenure, Extension, Interruption, Cancellation

(56) The maximum period of Masters by thesis candidature is two (2) years full-time, four (4) years part-time.

(57) A candidate will present a thesis for examination a minimum of two months prior to their maximum period of candidature, unless special permission for an extension of time has been granted by the Manager of the Graduate School. Maximum time allowed to complete a course will not include periods of approved leave of absence.

(58) The Manager of the Graduate School, on the recommendation of the Principal Supervisor and relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training, may permit an extension or interruption of candidature for a period or periods totalling no more than six (6) months.

(59) The Dean, Graduate Studies may on behalf of the Academic Board permit interruption beyond six (6) months, at its discretion and on the recommendation of the Manager of the Graduate School.

(60) Unless the Manager of the Graduate School (RTU), or the Dean, Graduate Studies, otherwise determines, a candidate will maintain continuous enrolment until all requirements for admission to the degree have been met.

(61) A candidate may cancel enrolment at any time by giving written notice to the Graduate School.

(62) A candidate who exceeds the maximum tenure without an approved extension, will be deemed to be, and recorded as having 'lapsed candidature'. A lapsed candidate may apply to the Graduate School for candidature for the purpose of submitting a thesis which, if the readmission is approved, would be submitted within one calendar month and sent for examination. An application for re-admission must be made within the following time periods:

(63) Candidates who were enrolled full time at time of their candidature's lapse, up to 6 months from notification of lapse of candidature

(64) Candidates who were enrolled part-time at time of their candidature's lapse, up to 12 months from notification of lapse of candidature

(65) Any lapsed candidate who does not apply for readmission to submit a thesis for examination by the end of their maximum period of lapsed candidature, or whose readmission application is rejected, or who does not submit within the one calendar month following readmission, will be considered to have failed and will have their candidature terminated.

(66) Within 8 weeks of a student being notified of SCU Withdrawn the principal supervisor will provide the Manager of the Graduate School with a written report on the reasons for the candidature's failure to submit a thesis within the maximum period of candidature. Upon receipt of this report the Manager of the Graduate School may seek further information from the supervisor, student and/or other members of the supervisory team concerning the unsuccessful candidature.

Part L - Readmission

(67) A candidate whose candidature is terminated will not be eligible to be readmitted until the lapse of one (1) year, unless approved by the Manager of the Graduate School.

(68) A candidate readmitted will have determined by the Dean, Graduate Studies the maximum period of time in which the candidate will be permitted to complete the course.

Part M - Query and Appeal

Query of Review of Progress Reports

(69) A candidate who is not satisfied with the review of progress reports under clause (26) or (27) may query the review with the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training.

(70) A candidate who is not satisfied with the result of discussions arising from clause (69) may query the review in writing with the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) within ten (10) working days of the date of sending of formal notification of the outcome of the review to the candidate.

(71) If, as a result of such a query, it is deemed appropriate to vary the decision, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) may make such variation, or they may uphold the original decision.

Query of Assessment of Completion of Confirmation Period

(72) A candidate who is not satisfied with the outcome of the assessment of completion of a confirmation period under clause (32) may query the assessment with the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training.

(73) A candidate who is not satisfied with the result of discussions arising from clause (72) may query the assessment in writing with the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) within ten (10) working days of the date of sending of formal notification of the outcome of the assessment to the candidate.

(74) If, as a result of such a query, it is deemed appropriate to vary the assessment, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) may make such variation, or may uphold the original decision.

Query of Decision Not to Submit Thesis

(75) A candidate who is not satisfied with a decision not to submit a thesis for examination may query the decision with the Principal Supervisor.

(76) A candidate who is not satisfied with the result of discussions arising from clause (75) may query the decision with the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training.

(77) A candidate who is not satisfied with the result of discussions arising from clause (76) may request the Dean, Graduate Studies to forward the thesis to examiners even though it is against the advice of the Principal Supervisor. The Dean, Graduate Studies is not obliged to accede to the request, but if the Dean does agree, the examiners will be advised that the thesis did not have the support of the Principal Supervisor after they have provided their reports. Reasons for wishing to submit without the Principal Supervisor's approval must be provided in writing to the Secretary of the Dean, Graduate Studies.

Appeal Against Assessment of Completion of Confirmation Period

(78) A candidate who is not satisfied with the determination of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) under clause (74), may appeal on the prescribed form to the Academic Board Appeals Committee on one or more of the following grounds:

  1. improper action in the conduct of the confirmation assessment;
  2. irregularity in the conduct of the assessment;
  3. negligence on the part of any person involved in the conduct of the assessment;
  4. discrimination against the candidate which is unlawful under State or Federal legislation;
  5. prejudice or bias on the part of the assessor or any other person involved in determining the outcome of the assessment;
  6. the assessment process as detailed in the Supervisor-Candidate Agreement or similar document or any subsequent amendment not being followed;
  7. where additional evidence for special consideration can be provided or where procedures for consideration of an application for special consideration were not properly followed

(79) An appeal made under this Rule will be lodged with the Secretary, Academic Boards Appeals Committee, within ten (10) working days of the date of sending of formal notification of the determination of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research). A late appeal may be received at the discretion of the Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee where the candidate is able to satisfy the Chair that the appeal was lodged late through no fault of the candidate.

(80) The Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee will assess the content of the appeal and determine whether it is appropriate for the appeal to proceed to a hearing by the Academic Board Appeals Committee under the relevant Rule. The Secretary, on behalf of the Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee, will contact the candidate in writing within ten (10) working days of receipt of the appeal by the Chair, informing them that:

  1. the appeal is rejected on the basis that the grounds for appeal are frivolous or vexatious, no ground of appeal is revealed on the face of the correspondence received, or the candidate has not followed the processes, as described in the Rules and Procedures (which will be reported to the next meeting of the Academic Board Appeals Committee); or
  2. the Chair on behalf of the Appeals Committee is proceeding with the appeal, and may be seeking further information.

(81) The decision of the Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee whether or not to proceed to a hearing by the Academic Board Appeals Committee will be final within the University.

Appeal Against Review of Progress Reports

(82) A candidate who is not satisfied with the determination of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) under clause (71) may appeal on the prescribed form to the Academic Board Appeals Committee on one or more of the following grounds:

  1. improper action in the conduct of the review process;
  2. irregularity in the conduct of the review;
  3. negligence on the part of any person involved in the conduct of the review;
  4. discrimination against the candidate which is unlawful under State or Federal legislation;
  5. prejudice or bias on the part of any person involved in determining the outcome of the review;
  6. the reporting process as detailed in the Supervisor-Candidate Agreement or similar document or any subsequent amendment not being followed;
  7. where additional evidence for special consideration can be provided, or where procedures for consideration of an application for special consideration were not properly followed.

(83) An appeal made under this Rule will be lodged with the Secretary, Academic Board Appeals Committee, within ten (10) working days of the date of sending of formal notification of the determination of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research). A late appeal may be received at the discretion of the Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee where the candidate is able to satisfy the Chair that the appeal was lodged late through no fault of the candidate.

(84) The Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee will assess the content of the appeal and determine whether it is appropriate for the appeal to proceed to a hearing by the Academic Board Appeals Committee under the relevant Rule. The Secretary, on behalf of the Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee, will contact the candidate in writing within ten (10) working days of receipt of the appeal by the Chair, informing them that:

  1. the appeal is rejected on the basis that the grounds for appeal are frivolous or vexatious, no ground of appeal is revealed on the face of the correspondence received, or the candidate has not followed the processes as described in the Rules and Procedures (which will be reported to the next meeting of the Academic Boards Appeals Committee); or
  2. the Chair on behalf of the Appeals Committee is proceeding with the appeal, and may be seeking further information.

(85) The decision of the Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee whether or not to proceed to a hearing by the Academic Board Appeals Committee will be final within the University.

Appeal Against Decision not to Submit Thesis

(86) A candidate who is not satisfied with the determination of the Dean, Graduate Studies under clause (77) may appeal on the prescribed form to the Academic Board Appeals Committee on one or more of the following grounds:

  1. improper action in the conduct of the examination submission process;
  2. irregularity in the conduct of the examination submission process;
  3. negligence on the part of any person involved in the conduct of the examination submission process;
  4. discrimination against the candidate which is unlawful under State or Federal legislation;
  5. prejudice or bias on the part of any person involved in determining the outcome of the examination submission process;
  6. the examination submission requirements as detailed in the Supervisor-Candidate Agreement or similar document or any subsequent amendment not being followed;
  7. where additional evidence for special consideration can be provided, or where procedures for consideration of an application for special consideration were not properly followed.

(87) An appeal made under this Rule will be lodged with the Secretary, Academic Board Appeals Committee, within ten (10) working days of the date of sending of formal notification of the decision of the Dean, Graduate Studies. A late appeal may be received at the discretion of the Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee where the candidate is able to satisfy the Chair that the appeal was lodged late through no fault of the candidate.

(88) The Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee will assess the content of the appeal and determine whether it is appropriate for the appeal to proceed to a hearing by the Academic Board Appeals Committee under the relevant Rule. The Secretary, on behalf of the Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee, will contact the candidate in writing within ten (10) working days of receipt of the appeal by the Chair, informing them that:

  1. the appeal is rejected on the basis that the grounds for appeal are frivolous or vexatious, no ground of appeal is revealed on the face of the correspondence received, or the candidate has not followed the processes as described in the Rules and Procedures (which will be reported to the next meeting of the Academic Boards Appeals Committee); or
  2. the Chair on behalf of the Appeals Committee is proceeding with the appeal, and may be seeking further information.

(89) The decision of the Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee whether or not to proceed to a hearing by the Academic Board Appeals Committee will be final within the University.

(90) If the appeal is upheld and the thesis forwarded for examination, then the certificate will be signed by the Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee, and neither the Principal Supervisor nor the Director of Higher Degree Research Training nor the Dean, Graduate Studies will be required to sign it.

Appeal Against Additional Examination Requirements and Failure of Admission to the Degree

(91) A candidate who is not satisfied with the determination of the Dean, Graduate Studies under clauses (52),(53) or (54) may appeal on the prescribed form to the Academic Board Appeals Committee on one or more of the following grounds:

  1. improper action in the conduct of the examination process;
  2. irregularity in the conduct of the examination process;
  3. negligence on the part of any person involved in the conduct of the examination process;
  4. discrimination against the candidate which is unlawful under State or Federal legislation;
  5. prejudice or bias on the part of any person involved in determining the outcome of the examination process;
  6. the examination requirements as detailed in the Supervisor-Candidate Agreement or similar document or any subsequent amendment not being followed;
  7. where additional evidence for special consideration can be provided, or where procedures for consideration of an application for special consideration were not properly followed.

(92) An appeal made under this Rule will be lodged with the Secretary, Academic Board Appeals Committee, within ten (10) working days of the date of sending of formal notification of the decision of the Dean, Graduate Studies. A late appeal may be received at the discretion of the Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee where the candidate is able to satisfy the Chair that the appeal was lodged late through no fault of the candidate.

(93) The Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee will assess the content of the appeal and determine whether it is appropriate for the appeal to proceed to a hearing by the Academic Board Appeals Committee under the relevant Rule. The Secretary, on behalf of the Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee, will contact the candidate in writing within ten (10) working days of receipt of the appeal by the Chair, informing them that:

  1. the appeal is rejected on the basis that the grounds for appeal are frivolous or vexatious, no ground of appeal is revealed on the face of the correspondence received, or the candidate has not followed the processes as described in the Rules and Procedures (which will be reported to the next meeting of the Academic Boards Appeals Committee); or
  2. the Chair on behalf of the Appeals Committee is proceeding with the appeal, and may be seeking further information.

(94) The decision of the Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee whether or not to proceed to a hearing by the Academic Board Appeals Committee will be final within the University.

Appeal Against Termination of Enrolment due to Special Circumstances or to Exceeding Maximum Tenure

(95) A candidate whose enrolment is terminated under (33) or (61) may appeal on the prescribed form to the Academic Board Appeals Committee against the termination of enrolment on the following grounds:

  1. clause (33) or (61) was unreasonably applied;
  2. there were exceptional circumstances not likely to continue which contributed to poor academic performance.

(96) An appeal to the Academic Board Appeals Committee against termination of enrolment must reach the University within ten (10) working days of the date of sending of formal notification.

(97) A candidate whose appeal is unsuccessful will have termination of enrolment confirmed. The decision of the Academic Board Appeals Committee will be final.

Appeal Against a Decision to Refuse Readmission After Termination

(98) An applicant refused readmission after termination of enrolment may appeal against that decision to the Academic Board Appeals Committee on the prescribed form within ten (10) working days of sending of formal notification by the University.

Section 2 - Masters by Thesis Qualifier

Part N - Admission to a Masters by Thesis Qualifier

(99) An application for admission is accepted subject to the availability of facilities and supervision.

(100) An application, which may be submitted at any time, will be made on the prescribed form and will be lodged with the Graduate School for consideration by the Dean, Graduate Studies.

(101) An applicant will seek admission to a Masters by thesis Qualifier as:

  1. a full-time student; or
  2. a part-time student.

(102) A student may convert from full-time to part-time, and vice-versa, with the approval of the Manager of the Graduate School, upon the recommendation of the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training.

(103) To qualify for admission to a Masters by thesis Qualifier, applicants must submit such evidence of general and professional qualifications as will satisfy the Dean, Graduate Studies that the applicant possesses the educational preparation and capacity to pursue graduate studies, and satisfy such additional requirements for admission, if any, as may be prescribed by the Higher Degrees Research Committee.

(104) Applicants who do not meet the requirements under clause (103) but who are able to provide evidence of research experience at an appropriate level may, at the discretion of the Dean, Graduate Studies, be admitted to candidature on such terms and under such conditions as the Dean, Graduate Studies may determine.

(105) All students, except those who are enrolled in a course offered in a language other than English, are expected to be proficient in English comprehension and expression. Applicants, the medium of whose previous education was not English, or whose first language is not English, may be required to take a special test of English language proficiency approved by the Dean, Graduate Studies.

Part O - Enrolment

(106) The Dean, Graduate Studies may permit the applicant to enrol as a Masters by thesis qualifying student for the purpose of preparing for candidature for a Masters degree by thesis provided it has received:

  1. in the case of an applicant seeking admission either as a full-time or as a part-time student, a certificate from the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training, and the relevant Head of School, stating that the applicant is fit to undertake a program leading to qualification for entry to the Masters degree by thesis and that the School is willing to undertake the responsibility of supervising the work of the applicant; and
  2. in the case of an applicant seeking admission as a student at an external site, a certificate from the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training stating that the applicant is fit to undertake a course leading to qualification for entry to the Masters degree by thesis and that suitable arrangements for supervision and access to appropriate facilities have been negotiated and are acceptable to the School.

(107) Reference to School will include reference to any other appropriate academic organisational unit such as, for example, College.

(108) A Masters by thesis qualifying student may apply for enrolment as a Masters by thesis candidate, upon successful completion of a program approved by the Dean, Graduate Studies at a level of performance prescribed by the Dean, by lodging an application with the Graduate School for consideration by the Dean, Graduate Studies.

(109) A Masters by thesis qualifying student will not be eligible for enrolment as a Masters by thesis candidate if a period of more than one year, if full-time, or two years, if part-time, has elapsed from initial enrolment, except with the approval of the Manager of the Graduate School.

(110) The Dean, Graduate Studies will, in the case of a Masters by thesis qualifying student applying for enrolment as a Masters by thesis candidate, either:

  1. permit the student to enrol as a Masters by thesis candidate; or
  2. decline the application.

(111) The Dean, Graduate Studies will not permit an applicant to enrol as a Masters by thesis candidate unless the applicant has:

  1. qualified for admission in terms of clause (5); or
  2. been enrolled as a Masters by thesis qualifying student at Southern Cross University, and has subsequently carried out such work, passed such examinations and reached such standards as the Dean, Graduate Studies will prescribe, and has not previously been denied enrolment as a Masters by thesis candidate on two occasions; and
  3. satisfied the Dean, Graduate Studies regarding fitness to become a Masters by thesis candidate; and
  4. satisfied the Dean, Graduate Studies that sufficient time can be devoted to Masters by thesis research; and
  5. received a statement from the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training, and the relevant Head of School, that the School is willing to undertake the responsibility of supervising the work of the applicant.

(112) The Dean, Graduate Studies will determine any periods of residency during which the student will be required to pursue study and research at the University.

(113) A commencing student is enrolled on completion of all of the following:

  1. acceptance of the offer of admission;
  2. completion of relevant forms;
  3. payment of prescribed fees (unless the Director of Student Services has granted an extension of time for such payment).

Part P - Concurrent Studies

(114) In the case of an applicant enrolled as a Masters by thesis qualifying student wishing to enrol for another award course at the University, approval of the Dean, Graduate Studies, upon the recommendation of the relevant Director(s) of Research Training, is required.

Part Q - Requirements for Completion

(115) To be eligible to apply for admission to a Masters degree by thesis, a qualifying student will complete such work as may be prescribed by the Higher Degrees Research Committee, and to the satisfaction of the Dean, Graduate Studies.

Part R - Work Environment and Supervision

(116) All qualifying students will normally have appointed by the Dean, Graduate Studies at least one supervisor, who will act as Principal Supervisor and who will be a member of the academic staff of the University. Where more than one supervisor is appointed, one of the supervisors will be nominated as the Principal Supervisor, who will be a member of the academic staff of the University.

(117) All Masters by thesis qualifying students will be required to participate in such colloquia, research seminars and other work of the University as may be considered appropriate by their Principal Supervisor.

(118) In respect of students who undertake a major portion of their research at sites external to the University, the Dean, Graduate Studies may appoint a local Co-supervisor.

(119) If a person appointed as supervisor is unable to perform the duties of the appointment, the Dean, Graduate Studies will appoint a replacement supervisor on the recommendation of the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training.

(120) Termination may be recommended by the Dean, Graduate Studies under conditions in which the University is unable to provide adequate supervision.

Part S - Progress Reports and the Supervisor Candidate Agreement

(121) Students will, through their Principal Supervisor and relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training, submit in the prescribed form and at the prescribed times progress reports to the Manager, Graduate School.

(122) The Principal Supervisor and the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training will at the same time provide comments to the Manager, Graduate School, on the progress of the students being supervised.

(123) The Manager, Graduate School may:

  1. take no action;
  2. recommend that the candidate undertake remedial action; or,
  3. may recommend termination of the candidature to the Dean, Graduate Studies where:
  4. progress reports have demonstrated unsatisfactory progress; and/or
  5. progress reports have not been submitted by the due dates.

(124) The Dean of Graduate Studies will consider any recommendation made under clause (123) and may terminate candidature at his or her discretion.

(125) A Supervisor-Candidate Agreement, containing criteria for satisfactory progress, will be developed between the student and the supervisor.

Part T - Maximum Tenure, Interruption, Cancellation

(126) The maximum period of Masters by thesis qualifying candidature is twelve (12) months full-time, two (2) years part time, unless special permission for an interruption has been granted by the Dean, Graduate Studies. Maximum time allowed to complete a course will not include periods of approved leave of absence.

(127) Unless the Dean, Graduate Studies otherwise determines, a student will maintain continuous enrolment until all requirements for the qualifier have been met.

(128) A student may cancel enrolment at any time by giving written notice to the Graduate School.

(129) A qualifying student who exceeds the maximum tenure, including any periods for which an application for interruption has been approved, will be considered to have failed and will have their candidature terminated by the Dean, Graduate Studies.

Part U - Readmission

(130) A student whose enrolment is terminated will not be eligible to be readmitted until the lapse of one (1) year.

(131) A student readmitted will have determined by the Dean, Graduate Studies the maximum period of time in which the student will be permitted to complete the course.

Part V - Query and Appeal

Query of Review of Progress Reports

(132) A student who is not satisfied with the review of progress reports under clause (123) may query the review with the relevant Director of Higher Degree Research Training.

(133) A student who is not satisfied with the result of discussions arising from clause (132) may query the review in writing with the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) within ten (10) working days of the date of sending of formal notification of the outcome of the review to the student.

(134) If, as a result of such a query, it is deemed appropriate to vary the decision, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) may make such variation.

Appeal Against Review of Progress Reports

(135) A student who is not satisfied with the determination of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) under clause (133) may appeal on the prescribed form to the Academic Board Appeals Committee on one or more of the following grounds:

  1. improper action in the conduct of the review process;
  2. irregularity in the conduct of the review;
  3. negligence on the part of any person involved in the conduct of the review;
  4. discrimination against the student which is unlawful under State or Federal legislation;
  5. prejudice or bias on the part of any person involved in determining the outcome of the review;
  6. the reporting process as detailed in the Supervisor-Candidate Agreement or similar document or any subsequent amendment not being followed;
  7. where additional evidence for special consideration can be provided, or where procedures for consideration of an application for special consideration were not properly followed.

(136) An appeal made under this Rule will be lodged with the Secretary, Academic Board Appeals Committee, within ten (10) working days of the date of sending of formal notification of the determination of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research). A late appeal may be received at the discretion of the Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee where the student is able to satisfy the Chair that the appeal was lodged late through no fault of the student.

(137) The Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee will assess the content of the appeal and determine whether it is appropriate for the appeal to proceed to a hearing by the Academic Board Appeals Committee under the relevant Rule. The Secretary, on behalf of the Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee, will contact the student in writing within ten (10) working days of receipt of the appeal by the Chair, informing them that:

  1. the appeal is rejected on the basis that the grounds for appeal are frivolous or vexatious, no ground of appeal is revealed on the face of the correspondence received, or the student has not followed the processes as described in the Rules and Procedures (which will be reported to the next meeting of the Academic Boards Appeals Committee); or
  2. the Chair on behalf of the Appeals Committee is proceeding with the appeal, and may be seeking further information.

(138) The decision of the Chair of the Academic Board Appeals Committee whether or not to proceed to a hearing by the Academic Board Appeals Committee will be final within the University.

Appeal Against Termination of Enrolment due to Exceeding Maximum Tenure

(139) A student whose enrolment is terminated under clause (129) may appeal on the prescribed form to the Academic Board Appeals Committee against the termination of enrolment on the following grounds:

  1. clause (129) was unreasonably applied; or
  2. there were exceptional circumstances not likely to continue which contributed to poor academic performance.

(140) An appeal to the Academic Board Appeals Committee against termination of enrolment must reach the University within ten (10) working days of the date of sending of formal notification.

(141) A student whose appeal is unsuccessful will have termination of enrolment confirmed. The decision of the Academic Board Appeals Committee will be final.

Appeal Against a Decision to Refuse Readmission After Termination

(142) An applicant refused readmission after termination of enrolment may appeal against that decision to the Academic Board Appeals Committee on the prescribed form within ten (10) working days of sending of formal notification by the University.

(143) In these Rules, an academic staff member is defined as being a member of the academic staff of the University appointed to a fixed-term contract of three years or more.