Faculty of ScienceDepartment of Optometry & Vision Sciences

Departmental Postgraduate Regulations

In order to assist and monitor the progress of all research postgraduate students, we ask that you familiarise yourself with the following Departmental regulations concerning postgraduate study.

Advisory Committee

Within the first six months of candidature, an Advisory Committee will be established for all PhD and MPhil candidates:

PhD: Doctor of Philosophy

Probationary Candidature and the Confirmation Process.

As you are probably aware, the first year of your PhD candidature is subject to probationary enrolment conditions (unless you have converted from a Masters degree). Nearing the end of the first year of enrolment (usually about nine months after commencement), you will be sent a confirmation report form by the Melbourne School of Graduate Research (MSGR). In order to confirm your candidature, the Department and MSGR require you to undertake a four-stage confirmation process before returning the completed report form. You will be required to:

Students also have to meet any special requirements noted at enrolment and necessary for confirmation.

It is your responsibility to ensure that this process is completed by the due date on your confirmation report form. Failure to confirm by the due date may lead to a change in your enrolment status, the cessation of any scholarship payments, and ultimately the termination of your enrolment. Extension of probationary candidature is normally only granted under exceptional circumstances, with the support of your supervisor, the Head of Department, and the approval of the MSGR. If you are having difficulties with any aspect of this process, please consult with the Department Administration staff.

The purposes of confirmation are to:

The Confirmation Committee:

A confirmation committee of three or more persons is nominated for each candidate by the Head of Department, who will also nominate the Chairperson. The committee will comprise the Advisory Committee and the Postgraduate Coordinator. The Head of Department will advise probationary candidates of the composition of their Confirmation Committee.

The Confirmation Committee will make a recommendation to the Head of Department to either:

Candidates should note that the Confirmation Committee may be utilised throughout candidature, as appropriate, to assist the candidate with progress. If a recommendation to confirm is not received by MSGR, the candidature and any scholarship held will be terminated at the end of the probationary period.

Guidelines for the format of the proposal:

Guidelines for Written Proposal (3,000-10,000 words). The content and structure will vary across disciplines but should include:

Annual Progress Report

After confirmation in the first year of candidature, PhD students are required by MSGR to submit an Annual Progress Report in the second and third years of candidature. A progress report form will be sent directly to you by MSGR two months prior to the due date. The due date will be adjusted for any approved periods of leave.

Progress reports provide an opportunity for both you and your supervisor to review and evaluate progress on the project, and can alert the Head of Department and the Chair of the RHD Committee to any difficulties in candidature. You should read the supervisor's comments and are required to sign the form after completion of the supervisor's section.

As a PhD student in the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, you will be required to submit at least one further experimental chapter along with updated versions of the first experimental chapter and introduction chapter previously submitted as part of your confirmation. The chapters should be submitted along with your completed annual review form to the Departmental Office.

Completion Report

PhD candidates within two months of their expected completion date are required to complete a Completion Report form for PhD Candidates. A completion report form will be sent by MSGR directly to you two months prior to the due date. Candidates requiring an extension will need to attach a complete thesis outline (maximum 4 pages), state number of thesis chapters completed and provide a one-page plan of how they propose to complete the thesis within the extension period.

Completion Seminar

All PhD Candidates will be required to make a public presentation of their research findings at the Departmental Research Seminar 3 months prior to submitting their thesis for examination. The Seminar should present the objectives, methods, findings and significance of the candidate's PhD thesis research.

Thesis Submission

Notice of intention to submit thesis (80 word summary):
Three months prior to the submission date of the thesis, you are required to submit an 80-word summary of your thesis argument to the MSGR. Your 80-word summary should be submitted via the on-line form at:
http://thesis.msgr.unimelb.edu.au/eforms/thesissubmission/

You are required to discuss the time-frame for thesis submission with your supervisor prior to submitting an 80-word summary.

In addition to the 80-word summary you are asked to supply the following:

The summary activates the process of nominating potential examiners for the thesis.

You are not informed of the names of examiners, but you are permitted to name individuals whom you do not wish appointed as examiners. If this is the case, please provide a written statement to the Head of Department at the time of submission of the 80-word summary.

NOTE: if more than 3 months lapses between submission of the 80-word summary and the thesis for examination, it is recommended that you notify MSGR 2 weeks before the thesis is to be submitted to avoid delays with the examination. You can notify the MSGR by e-mail at: msgr-exams@unimelb.edu.au.

On receipt of your 80-word summary, the MSGR will send to you:
- a 'Submission of PhD thesis: Statement by Candidate, Supervisor and Chairperson of Examiners' form. Please complete the form and send it to the Research Administration Officer in the department office with your thesis copies after your supervisor has signed.

Word limit of a PhD thesis:
A PhD thesis must be no more than 100,000 words in length, exclusive of tables, maps, bibliographies and appendices.

Further information regarding extension of probationary candidature, thesis submission, thesis format and PhD thesis examination can be found in the 'PhD Handbook'.

MPhil: Master of Philosophy

6 Monthly Review/Progress

MPhil candidates are required to submit six monthly reports to the Melbourne School of Graduate Research (MSGR). Completion of the reports is required for the continuation of enrolment and any scholarship held.

Formal Review Report

The first six month report (i.e. formal review report) will serve as the Confirmation hurdle for the MPhil.

Progress Review Report

After confirmation in the 1st half year of candidature, MPhil students are required by the MSGR to submit a Progress Review by the end of the 1st year of candidature.

A progress review report form will be sent directly to you by MSGR two months prior to the due date. The due date will be adjusted for any approved periods of leave. Progress reports provide an opportunity for both you and your supervisor to review and evaluate progress on the project, and can alert the Head of Department and the Chair of the RHD Committee to any difficulties in candidature. You should read the supervisor's comments and are required to sign the form after completion of the supervisor's section.

An oral presentation is not required for this progress process. However, a brief summary (one A4 page) of your research progress to date is required to attach to the progress report form.

Completion Seminar

All Masters Candidates will be required to make a public presentation of their research findings at the Departmental Research Seminar 3 months prior to submitting their thesis for examination. The Seminar should present the objectives, methods, findings and significance of the candidate’s Masters thesis research.

Thesis Submission

Notice of intention to submit thesis (80 word summary):
Three months prior to the submission date of the thesis, you are required to submit an 80-word summary of your thesis argument to the MSGR. Your 80-word summary should be submitted via the on-line form at:
http://thesis.msgr.unimelb.edu.au/eforms/thesissubmission/

You are required to discuss the time-frame for thesis submission with your supervisor prior to submitting an 80-word summary.

In addition to the 80-word summary you are asked to supply the following:

The summary activates the process of nominating potential examiners for the thesis.

You are not informed of the names of examiners, but you are permitted to name individuals whom you do not wish appointed as examiners. If this is the case, please provide a written statement to the Head of Department at the time of submission of the 80-word summary.

NOTE: if more than 3 months lapses between submission of the 80-word summary and the thesis for examination, it is recommended that you notify the MSGR 2 weeks before the thesis is to be submitted to avoid delays with the examination. You can notify the MSGR by e-mail at: msgr-exams@unimelb.edu.au.

On receipt of your 80-word summary, the MSGR will send to you: - a 'Submission of Masters Thesis: Statement by Candidate, Supervisor and Chairperson of Examiners' form. Please complete the form and send it to the Postgraduate Administrator with your thesis copies after your supervisor has signed.

Word limit of a Masters thesis:
A Masters thesis is approximately 30,000 - 40,000 words in length, exclusive of tables, maps, bibliographies and appendices.

Conversion of Candidature: MPhil to PhD

Master students can apply to convert from Masters to PhD candidature under advice from their supervisor and fulfill the entry requirements for the PhD for conversion.

The PhD entry requirements are detailed in the PhD Handbook at http://gradresearch.unimelb.edu.au/handbooks/phd/index.html

The application for conversion normally takes place at the end of one year of full-time Masters candidature. At this time, the candidate presents an overview of the project to a Conversion Panel. The presentation acts as both a conversion and confirmation process.

The candidate needs to complete the application for conversion of candidature supplied by MSGR. Please note that the date of commencement of your PhD will be backdated to the date of commencement of your Masters. Normally students who convert from Masters to PhD candidature are admitted into confirmed candidature. The application form including the conversion procedure can be found at: http://gradresearch.unimelb.edu.au/info-resources/forms.html#transfer.

Outside Work

The Department will enforce the University guideline that full-time research students do not undertake more than 9 hours per week of paid work during the normal working week. This will include preparatory time for tutorials as stated in the University handbook. With the time constraints of 3 years and 18 months for the completion of a PhD and MPhil respectively by full-time study, the Department would discourage students from over committing themselves to the detriment of their research studies. You should always discuss with your supervisor your intention to undertake outside work during the normal working week prior to making any commitments. The first call on paid work during the normal working week should be to fulfill the demonstrating/teaching requirements of the Department.

Attendance at Research Seminars

You will be expected to attend all regular Departmental Research Seminars to listen to colleagues and visiting speakers. The seminars will be held on Thursdays from 1:00 – 2:00 pm during academic semester. Details of speakers and venues can be found at
http://www.optometry.unimelb.edu.au/current/pgrad/seminar.html

Attendance at Journal Club

You will be required to attend the Journal Club on a regular basis and present at least 1 paper per year. The Journal Club will be held on Fridays from 1:00-2:00pm during academic semester. Acrobat pdf versions of papers, along with the current Journal Club roster, can be found on the department server at: Information\Journal Club.

Appropriate Journal Clubs outside the Department will also be acceptable (e.g. vision club in psychology or biochemistry) as long as you keep a record of attendance and any papers you have given.

Stationery Supply

General/Specific stationery can be obtained/ordered via the Department Office.

top of page