Doctor of Astronomy

Course code

59602

Version

6

Faculty

Science and Engineering

Award Requirements

Candidature

Academic Requirements

Course Structure

Supervision

Progression

Evaluation

Appeal

Advanced Standing

Award Details

Admission Requirements

Pre-requisites

Completion of a bachelor degree with Honours class I or IIA, provided that the Dean of Graduate Research Studies, on the recommendation of the Head of the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, is satisfied that the standard and the subjects of the previous studies are adequate for the field of study being selected; or

Completion of the Master of Astronomy and has obtained at least a Credit average for the 12 credit points of Research Preparation; or

Other qualifications or practical experience recognised by the faculty as equivalent to the above.

Additional selection requirements

Nil

Special admission requirements

Nil

Candidature

Confirmation of candidature

The candidate shall apply to have their candidature confirmed:

  • normally within the first six months of enrolment for a full-time candidate; or

  • normally within the first 12 months of enrolment for a part-time candidate.

The candidature shall orally, or by electronic communication, present a seminar on the doctoral work. The candidate’s Supervisory Committee, which includes the Head of School, Head of Discipline and candidate’s Research Student Monitor (or their nominees), must attend the seminar and meet after the seminar to discuss the outcome.

The candidate shall present seven days before the seminar, to the Chair of the Higher Degrees by Research Sub-Committee (HDRS-C), through the Principal Supervisor and the Head of the School, a 2000 word project proposal including the aims, methodology, budget, timeline, progress to date and any other academic and/or artistic issues arising from the program of work, together with a second piece of substantive written work, usually a literature review.

The seminar presentation and the proposal shall be reported upon by the members of the Supervisory Committee in a combined report to the HDRS-C.

In considering the reports on the seminar presentation the HDRS-C may interview the candidate, and if appropriate, any member(s) of the Supervisory Committee, and any other relevant person.

The HDRS-C may make suggestions to the candidate as to how the research might be improved and may seek independent peer review. The Principal Supervisor and the Head of the School shall also be informed of such suggestions. The advice provided need not necessarily be accepted by the candidate.

The HDRS-C shall then approve one of the following:

  • confirmation of candidature;

  • confirmation of candidature together with additional specified work requirements;

  • reconsideration of candidature within six months of the initial presentation subject to work undertaken to the satisfaction of the HDRS-C;

  • candidature for Doctoral studies be replaced by candidature for Masters studies with the provision that the applicant may re-present the seminar within six months of the initial presentation; or

  • termination of candidature.

The decision of the HDRS-C shall be conveyed in writing to the candidate within 14 days of the date of the decision together with advice of the candidate’s right of appeal according to the University’s appeal procedures for Doctoral degrees.

Expected time to complete

3 years full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

10 years

Maximum leave of absence

1 year

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Minimum EFTSL (equivalent full-time student load) to complete

2 EFTSL

Expected EFTSL to complete

3.5 EFTSL

Additional course rules

A candidate must maintain regular contact with the School as required by the candidate’s Principal Supervisor.

Additional completion requirements

Nil

Course Structure

Core Subjects

AS5011:06   Modern Astrophysics

AS5012:06   Astronomy Instrumentation

PD7605:00   Professional Doctorate Research Thesis (Astronomy)

Supervision

Appointment of Supervisors

A candidate admitted to the Doctor of Astronomy shall be assigned a Principal Supervisor who shall be a member of staff of the University and on the Register of Supervisors of the University.

At least one co- or associate supervisor, who is on the Register of Supervisors, will be appointed because of his or her professional experience and special knowledge of the candidates intended program of study. Additional associate supervisors need not be staff members of this university, but should have appropriate expertise and professional experience.

Supervisors’ reports

The Principal Supervisor will be required to report annually on the candidate’s work. If, in the opinion of the Head of School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, the candidate’s progress is unsatisfactory, the Head of School may recommend to the HDRS-C the termination of candidature or other action he or she deems necessary.

Progression

Progression requirements

Must successfully complete AS5011 and AS5012 before attempting PD7605

Exit seminar

A candidate shall at a seminar present an overview and synthesis of major findings of the thesis in a public forum orally or by electronic communication, as specified in the Handbook for Research Higher Degree Students, during the final year of candidature. The candidate’s Supervisory Committee (or their nominees) must attend the seminar and meet after the seminar to discuss the outcome.

The seminar presentation on the work shall be reported upon by the members of the Supervisory Committee in a combined report to the HDRS-C.

The HDRS-C shall then approve one of the following:

  • that the research is of a standard and extent appropriate for submission as a thesis; or

  • that further research work is required, in which case it shall recommend an extension of candidature, but shall not normally recommend any extension beyond the end of the fifth year from the date of enrolment for a full-time candidate or beyond the end of the tenth year from the date of enrolment for a part-time candidate.

Evaluation

Thesis requirements

A candidate shall complete a research thesis and/or portfolio, normally of a maximum of 50,000 words, in a bound volume.

The thesis may include any of the following: dissertation, research papers, publications, all on a unified topic.

Published contributions may be submitted to support or to form part or all of the thesis, provided that they have not been submitted to support or to form part or all of a thesis for another academic qualification.

The original, plus three copies of the thesis, shall be submitted to the Graduate Research School.

Appointment of Examiners

The Higher Degrees by Research Sub-Committee (HDRS-C), on the advice from the Head of the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, shall appoint a minimum of two external examiners for the research thesis.

The HDRS-C shall inform the examiners of the scope and nature of the thesis requirements for the Doctor of Astronomy degree.

Examination

The HDRS-C, on the recommendation of the examiners, may require the candidate to undertake a written or an oral examination, or both, on the topic of the research thesis.

Examiners’ reports

The examiners’ reports and the recommendations that follow from them will be forwarded to the Head of the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences for recommendation to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty.

Appeal

Appeal procedures

As per the University appeals procedure for Doctor of Philosophy. See University Requirements for Doctor of Philosophy.

Advanced Standing

Eligibility

Subjects in related disciplines, and at the graduate level, may be allowed as advanced standing towards the Doctor of Astronomy.

Maximum allowed

12 credit points

Other restrictions

Advanced standing is granted at the discretion of the Dean of Postgraduate Studies on advice from the Head of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

Award Details

Inclusion of majors on testamur

Not applicable – this course does not have majors

Exit with a lesser award

Not applicable