View current

Professional Doctorates Guideline

This is the current version of the approved document. You can provide feedback on this document to the Enquiries Contact - refer to the Status and Details tab from the menu bar above.

Section 1 - Purpose and Objectives

(1) This Guideline supplements the Professional Doctorates Policy and RTP-Funded Professional Doctorates Procedure and provides practical advice to those involved in administering or undertaking a professional doctorate.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Term Definition
Associate Dean Means the Associate Dean of the relevant faculty.
Dean Means the Dean of the Graduate School.
Discipline expertise A faculty may be recognised as having discipline expertise through:

• its leadership in teaching and research in the discipline; and
• acknowledgement by the University.
Relevant faculty Means the faculty with the recognised discipline expertise of the doctorate program.
Research Training Program Block grants provided annually by the Federal Government to institutions to support research training for domestic students undertaking research doctoral and research masters degrees.
RTP Funded Professional doctorate structure that allows domestic students to undertake the program as part of the Research Training Program.
Non-RTP Funded Professional doctorate structure that does not allow domestic students to undertake the program as part of the Research Training Program or where a determination has been made by the relevant faculty that RTP funded places will not be made available.
Top of Page

Section 3 - Guideline Scope/Coverage

(2) This Guideline applies to the design and structure of all professional doctorate programs offered at The University of Queensland.

Top of Page

Section 4 - RTP Funded Professional Doctorate Model

Admissions and Graduations

(3) Applications for the program are managed by the Graduate School.

(4) Assessment of research preparedness for admission and selection of successful applicants is undertaken by the relevant faculty. The Research Preparedness Statement provides a reference point for assessing applications.

(5) Any departure from the admission prerequisite must be referred to the Dean, Graduate School for consideration.

(6) Where relevant, professional registration is processed at the admissions stage by the relevant faculty.

(7) The Graduate School is responsible for confirming graduation eligibility.

Research Component

(8) The Graduate School manages the research component of the program.

(9) The Graduate School MPhil milestone process applies to the research component, unless otherwise stated in the program rules. The Graduate School applies the same approach to managing milestones, communicating with students and liaising with enrolling units as it does for the PhD and MPhil programs; there will be no departure from this process for professional doctorate students.

(10) Advisory teams for the research component will be appointed when students are undertaking a research methods course or prior to commencing the research component of the program if not undertaking a research methods course.

(11) Advisory team composition must comply with the Eligibility and Role of Higher Degree by Research Advisors Policy which states that at least two advisors are to be in place by the confirmation milestone.

(12) The Graduate School thesis examinations process, as described in Higher Degree by Research Examination Policy, is applied by the Graduate School with the Dean, Graduate School making the final decision on the thesis. There will be no departure from this process for professional doctorate students.

(13) The Graduate School manages matters on an individual student level regarding milestones (including extensions), and thesis submission and examination (taking into account some students may be fee-liable). Faculties deal with matters on a student cohort level in accordance with University and program rules.

(14) Students may have various options if they cannot submit under the professional doctorate rules - for example, exit with MPhil, transfer to a PhD or a coursework masters.

(15) Part 4 of the General Award Rules govern the process referred to above that apply to students undertaking RTP funded professional doctorates.


(16) Students undertaking an RTP funded professional doctorate will be eligible to apply for a UQ awarded Higher Degree by Research scholarship.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Non-RTP Funded Professional Doctorate Model

Program Ownership

(17) The ownership of the program remains with the relevant faculty.

Admission and Graduations

(18) Applicants will be admitted to the program by the relevant faculty and in accordance with the program rules.

Research Component

(19) The relevant faculty manages the research component of the program.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Coursework and Placements Component

(20) The faculty manages the coursework and placements component (if relevant) of the program.

(21) The Associate Dean (Academic) may grant coursework credit up to a maximum of 24 units for other study.