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Entry requirements

Entry requirements for admission to a JCU Higher Degree by Research (Research Doctorate, Research Masters or Professional Doctorate) are detailed in the Higher Degree by Research Degree (HDR) Requirements, and provided below for ease of access. All HDR applicants must also meet the English Language Requirements or equivalent as defined by the University.

1.1.1 All applicants must normally demonstrate academic capacity at a satisfactory level (Grade Point Average of Credit or equivalent) in their final year of coursework study that was used as part of the basis for admission.

1.1.2 All applicants must meet the IELTS Band 2 English Language Requirements or equivalent as defined by the University. Exceptions to this requirement require written permission of the Dean, Graduate Research.

1.1.3 If the proposed research involves working with children under 18 years of age, the applicant must be eligible to hold a ‘Positive Notice for Child Related Employment’ (Blue Card), as required by law and the University’s ethics approval process.

1.1.4 To be eligible to apply for entry to a Doctoral program, an applicant must demonstrate the capacity to undertake research at the Doctoral level by the attainment of at least one of the following:

(i) A Bachelor’s degree with at least Second Class, Division A (Honours) in a degree program that included a total of at least a semester of supervised project work, the results of which contributed to the Honours grade;

(ii) A postgraduate qualification which included: (a) supervised research component(s) of at least one semester or equivalent and resulted in the production of output(s) graded at the equivalent of Distinction or better, and (b) at least one research methods subject;

(iii) A Research Masters degree, where at least two thirds of the degree consisted of a supervised research component and resulted in the production of a thesis or equivalent;

(iv) Enrolment at this or another Australian university in a higher degree by research for the equivalent of at least 0.5 EFTSL with demonstrated satisfactory performance in the supervised research component(s);

(v) A combination of qualifications, research training and experience, considered equivalent to the above by the Responsible Academic Officer in the Enrolling Organisational Unit, e.g., senior authorship of at least one peer-reviewed publication plus completion of an appropriate research methods subject.

1.1.5 Applicants for a doctoral degree who are seeing admission under conditions 1.1.4 (ii) and (v) and who have not completed an appropriate research methods subject may be exempted from that requirement on condition that they enrol in and successfully complete an appropriate research methods subject before their Confirmation of Candidature Milestone, in addition to the normal course requirements.

1.1.6 Professional Doctorate applicants must also have demonstrated professional experience as specified by the requirements for that degree.

1.1.7 To be eligible to apply for entry to a Research Masters degree an applicant must demonstrate the capacity to undertake research at the Research Masters level by the attainment of at least one of the following:

(i) A Bachelor’s degree with at least Second Class, Division B (Honours) in a degree program that included a total of at least a 0.5 semester of supervised project work, the results of which contributed to the Honours grade;

(ii) A postgraduate qualification, which included: (a) supervised research component(s) of at least 0.5 semester (or equivalent) and resulted in the production of output(s) graded at the equivalent of Credit of better, and (b) at least one research methods subject;

(iii) A Graduate Certificate or Diploma in Research Methods with a Grade Point Average of Credit or above in addition to a Bachelor’s degree;

(iv) Enrolment at this or another university in a higher degree by research for the equivalent of at least 0.5 EFTSL with demonstrated satisfactory performance in the supervised research component;

(v) A combination of qualifications and research experience considered equivalent to the above by the Responsible Academic Officer in the Enrolling Organisational Unit, e.g. junior authorship of a peer-reviewed research publication plus completion of an appropriate research methods subject.

1.1.8 Applicants for a Research Masters degree who have not completed an appropriate research methods subject as required in 1.1.7 (ii) and (v) above may be exempted from that requirement on condition that they enrol in and successfully complete an appropriate research methods subject before their Confirmation of Candidature Milestone, in addition to the normal course requirements.

1.1.9 Applicants for a Research Masters degree that includes compulsory research methodology training in addition to the normal course requirements may be admitted on the basis of an appropriate Bachelor’s degree.

(extract from HDR Requirements)

Undertaking a higher degree by research at James Cook University requires a high standard of academic English.  You are strongly advised to ensure that you can meet the formal entry standards in this area as exceptions are not normally granted.

Applicants to a higher degree by research (HDR) whose native language is not English must demonstrate their English language proficiency by achieving Band 2 in a test such as Academic IELTSTOEFL or Pearson (PTE Academic). Please see this table for the scores required. The test result must be no more than two years old.

If you have not completed an approved IELTS, TOEFL or Pearson test, there are two other ways of meeting the ELR.  These are:

  • Successful completion of two years of full-time postgraduate level study for which the qualification was awarded no more than two years ago in an English speaking country, and the language of instruction was English.
  • Successful completion of an English language course offered by an approved pathway provider, with a benchmark score of 80% or above for the final assessment.

Candidates who meet the entry standards may also be required to undertake a Post-Entry Language Assessment (PELA) upon commencement of their degree, to determine whether they require additional English language support in the early stages of candidature. Please refer to the PELA website for further information.