The PhD is a program of independent, supervised research that is assessed solely on the basis of a thesis, sometimes including a creative work component, that is examined externally. The work presented for a PhD must be a substantial and original contribution to scholarship, demonstrating mastery of the subject of interest as well as an advance in that field of knowledge.
The PhD requires the development and implementation of a rigorous research plan, based on a comprehensive understanding of the relevant literature and the need for answers to questions posed in that literature or as the result of a new theory. The thesis demonstrates a student's ability to document and interpret results, formulate theories and discuss the results in light of the current literature to a high level of competence.
PhD graduates move into a wide range of careers, depending on their areas of research. The traditional pathways are to research and academic careers, but many graduates progress into other professional areas, including management. Because the PhD is a demonstration of a graduate's ability to conceptualise and implement an independent program of research, manage a project, organise resources, work with other people and communicate effectively in writing at a high level, it is a ticket to many destinations.
To be accepted an applicant must demonstrate that they have sufficient background and experience in independent supervised research to successfully complete a PhD. The normal requirement is for a bachelor's degree with at least upper second class honours in an appropriate discipline.
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Last updated February 5, 2016