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CRICOS #00212K Developing a coursework integrated PhD Joelle Vandermensbrugghe Graduate Research Office University of Canberra.

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Presentation on theme: "CRICOS #00212K Developing a coursework integrated PhD Joelle Vandermensbrugghe Graduate Research Office University of Canberra."— Presentation transcript:

1 CRICOS #00212K Developing a coursework integrated PhD Joelle Vandermensbrugghe Graduate Research Office University of Canberra

2 CRICOS #00212K University of Canberra University of Canberra (UC) Located in Australia’s capital, Canberra Graduates consistently ranked among the most employable in Australia.

3 CRICOS #00212K Strategic plan 2013 – 2017 Objective 1: To ensure UC is competitive nationally Objective 2: To build a truly international UC Objective 3: To achieve world ranking as a young university. to be achieved through strengthening research UC research areas: environment, governance, communication, health and education UC research focus: research discoveries and applications that can solve big problems and directly benefit industry, business, government and the wider community.

4 CRICOS #00212K Research students UC has about 600 research masters and doctoral students. Focus is on Increase completions On time completions To be facilitated through Selection of quality students Professional skills development opportunities for supervisors and students Coursework integrated PhD

5 CRICOS #00212K Doctoral degrees led by AQF, TEQSA and Higher Education Standards AQF (Australian Qualifications Framework) : national policy consisting of specifications for qualifications and policies for issuing qualifications. TEQSA (Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency) registers and evaluates the performance of higher education providers against the Higher Education Standards FrameworkTEQSA The Higher Education Standards Framework is a legislative instrument Higher Education Standards Framework

6 CRICOS #00212K Coursework component added in 2013 PhD initially only research (72 credit points – or 3 yrs FT load) Course component involves extra 12 credit point (6 months FT load) To be completed before starting research Advanced standing for the coursework is given to candidates who obtained a bachelor with first or upper second class honours (or equivalence) and who can demonstrate evidence of research training and aptitude for research (through study or work)

7 CRICOS #00212K Coursework aims to Offer greater support to research students, particularly to those entering the program via a non ‐ traditional route Develop a student cohort Offer a clear exit point to students who are not developing successfully (the Graduate Certificate)

8 CRICOS #00212K The Graduate Certificate in Research Methods and Design A six month accredited training program to be completed at the beginning of the degree. Graduate Certificate awarded upon completion to a pass level of all coursework units. AQF Level 8 qualification: Graduates at this level will have advanced knowledge and skills for professional highly skilled work and/or further learning Clear exit point for students who are not successfully developing

9 CRICOS #00212K Graduate Certificate learning outcomes are about ensuring that PhD students are research ready, and therefore have developed: broad disciplinary understanding relevant to the proposed topic area basic understanding of core methodologies & methods skills to manage the acquisition and synthesis of relevant materials capacity to design & finalise a specific research plan skills to communicate research, influence, negotiate and prioritise

10 CRICOS #00212K Learning outcomes are to be achieved through Completion of units designed by faculties to enable students to acquire disciplinary specific research skills (6 cr pts). Faculties have the flexibility to propose units relevant to the disciplines. Development of a Research Skills Portfolio Unit with supervisors. Includes – identification of skills and knowledge required for the PhD –strategies to acquire skills –Demonstration of acquisition of skills.

11 CRICOS #00212K Progression requirements Students must meet their faculty’s minimum grade requirements for the coursework Students must, on the first attempt and within the first six months (or part ‐ time equivalent), successfully complete all coursework units to the level of a Pass grade or higher A student who does not achieve the minimum grade requirements on the first attempt for all coursework units will not progress in the PhD Credit for previous learning is only given to students having done one of the recommended units

12 CRICOS #00212K To graduate for the Graduate Certificate, students who failed, can repeat the unit, if they did not fail more than 6 credit points worth of coursework. This will require a transfer from the PhD course into the Graduate Certificate in Research Methods and Design course. Fees for the PhD course are covered by Research Training Scheme (RTS) (for domestic students), but the Graduate Certificate in Research Methods and Design course is a full fee paying course

13 CRICOS #00212K Our experience Graduate Research Office overseas course but units are assessed at faculty level. As a small university, communication is relatively easy, but we still struggled with Availability of suitable research methods units Some students did not receive adequate advice about units to enrol in Requirements were not well understood by supervisors who tended to rely on students to understand the process

14 CRICOS #00212K Many part time students were advised to do the portfolio first - which does not work Resistance to explicit skills development, which seems to be often seen to be irrelevant and waste of time at an early stage – many supervisors still prefer to see their students start work on the research project Short term approach to the coursework – portfolio as a quick tick the box exercise rather than as a genuine attempt to engage in skills and knowledge development The Grad Cert as exit point

15 CRICOS #00212K To make it work Ensure faculties understand and can put in place what is required Provision need to be in place for Part Time and off campus students Need to engage supervisors with the coursework, its requirements and their role


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