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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The regulations below set down the requirements for award of the PhD degree.
Formal policies and procedures related to enrolment and examination for the PhD are set out in the Handbook for the Master of Philosophy and Doctorates at the University of Waikato, which also includes information about administration matters and is available on request from the Postgraduate Studies Office.
Both regulations set out below and the formal policies and procedures set out in the Handbook for the Master of Philosophy and Doctorates at the University of Waikato are administered by the University’s Postgraduate Studies Committee by delegated authority of the Academic Board. Any changes to these regulations, or to the formal policies and procedures, are subject to approval by the Academic Board.

Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
1.   The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is awarded to candidates who have successfully completed approved and supervised research, and presented the results lucidly in a thesis which
  (a)   critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, and
  (b)   demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, and
  (c)   displays intellectual independence, and
  (d)   makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned and is of publishable quality.
2.   To qualify to enrol for the PhD, a candidate must
  (a)   have qualified for the award of a bachelors degree with honours or a masters degree, and must have achieved at least second class honours (first division) or distinction, or
  (b)   have qualified for the degree of Master of Philosophy, or
  (c)   have enrolled for the degree of Master of Philosophy and demonstrated that he or she is able to transfer to the PhD, or
  (d)   have passed qualifying papers at a satisfactory level, or
  (e)   in exceptional circumstances have produced other evidence to the satisfaction of the Postgraduate Studies Committee that he or she has adequate skills and knowledge to proceed with the proposed research.
3.   Applicants for the PhD must apply on the prescribed form which is available from the Postgraduate Studies Office.
4.   Applications to enrol for the PhD and the conditions of enrolment are subject to approval by the Postgraduate Studies Committee under delegated authority of the Academic Board.
5.   As one of the preconditions for the approval of an application to enrol, the Postgraduate Studies Committee will establish that the necessary supervision and resources can be provided for the chosen topic. If either prior to, or at any time during the study period the University encounters staffing or resource difficulties beyond its control which impact on the availability of resources or supervision for a student’s PhD research, it will make all reasonable efforts, within budget and staffing constraints, to provide satisfactory arrangements so as not to disadvantage any affected student. Because of the specialist nature of research and supervision at this level, however, the University cannot guarantee that under such circumstances, a student’s conditions of enrolment will not be subject to change.
6.   For each PhD candidate, the Postgraduate Studies Committee appoints a supervisory panel, one member of which is a continuing staff member of the University and the chief supervisor. Normally, a second member of the panel is also a continuing staff member of the University.
7.   Candidates whose applications to enrol for the PhD are approved by the Postgraduate Studies Committee must enrol in the relevant Faculty or School of Studies and, subject to satisfactory progress, pursue their research for
  (a)   at least two years, if they are enrolled on a full-time basis, or
  (b)   at least four years, if they are enrolled a part-time or mixed mode basis.
8.   Enrolment is approved, in the first instance
  (a)   for a maximum of four years if the candidate is enrolled on a full-time basis, or
  (b)   for a maximum of eight years if the candidate is enrolled on a part-time or mixed mode basis.
9.   Enrolment of all new candidates for the PhD approved by the Postgraduate Studies Committee is conditional for an initial period of six months. Confirmation of enrolment by the Postgraduate Studies Committee after the initial period of six months is subject to the submission by the candidate of
  (a)   an acceptable research plan and
  (b)   a report by the supervisors recommending confirmation of enrolment.
10.   Candidates may apply to the Postgraduate Studies Committee for a six month extension to the conditional enrolment period. If the candidate’s enrolment is not confirmed within 12 months of initial enrolment it will be terminated.
11.   The Postgraduate Studies Committee has authority to terminate the enrolment of a candidate at any time if the candidate fails to demonstrate satisfactory progress or comply with any regulations or policies which relate to enrolment for the degree.
12.   A candidate may apply to the Postgraduate Studies Committee for a suspension from enrolment for a maximum of one year. A candidate is not entitled to access to supervision or any University resources during a period of suspension.
13.   Candidates must submit six-monthly reports on the progress of their research work.
14.   A PhD thesis may consist of either published or unpublished material, or a combination of both and must be presented within the term of enrolment.
15.   A candidate must indicate in the thesis any part that has been used or presented for any other degree.
16.   Candidates must comply with the Dissertations and Theses Regulations 2005 which set out the University’s requirements with respect to the submission and presentation of theses.
17.   The Postgraduate Studies Committee appoints at least two examiners for the candidate's thesis who are external to the University and not directly connected with the candidate or the candidate’s research.
18.   Provided that at least half of the examiners recommend that the thesis be accepted, an oral examination of the candidate is conducted.
19.   The Postgraduate Studies Committee makes a final decision on the award of the degree. On the basis of the final report of the examiners following the oral examination, the Postgraduate Studies Committee may resolve either
  (a)   that the thesis be accepted in its present form as fulfilling the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, or
  (b)   that the thesis be accepted as fulfilling the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, subject to the candidate undertaking minor amendments and/or correcting typographical errors as required by the examiners, to the satisfaction of the chief supervisor, or
  (c)   that the thesis be accepted subject to the candidate completing substantial amendments to the satisfaction of the examiners or chief supervisor, provided that these amendments are not so substantial as to necessitate re-submission and are completed within six weeks of the oral examination, or
  (d)   that the thesis is not acceptable in its present form and should be returned to the candidate, who may revise it and re-submit it for examination after a re-enrolment for a minimum period of six months, or
  (e)   that the thesis not be accepted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, but be accepted as fulfilling the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy, or
  (f)   that the candidate has failed to meet the required standard and that no degree be awarded.
20.   A candidate may revise and re-submit a thesis only once.
21.   A candidate may apply to the Postgraduate Studies Committee at any time between enrolment and submission of the thesis to transfer from a PhD to an MPhil.
22.   Candidates who have concerns about standards of supervision or who wish to appeal against any process or decision of a supervisor, pro-Dean, Dean, or the Postgraduate Studies Committee with respect to their registration or the examination process may do so in writing to the Chairperson of the Postgraduate Studies Committee. If the matter is not resolved by the Chairperson of the Postgraduate Studies Committee to the satisfaction of the candidate, the candidate may refer his or her appeal to the Vice-Chancellor. The Vice-Chancellor will appoint a person or panel to investigate and will make a final decision based on the report of that person or panel.
23.   These regulations may be varied or waived by the Postgraduate Studies Committee under delegated authority of the Academic Board.

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