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HDR Submission and Examination Procedure

Section 1 - context, section 2 - authority, section 3 - scope, section 4 - procedure, before submission, examination, research embargo, section 5 - schedules, section 6 - resources.

(1) This procedure provides the rules and classifications for the submission and examination of research towards a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) at RMIT and is supported by the RMIT  Dissemination of Research Outputs Procedure .

(2) Authority for this document is established by the  Higher Degrees by Research Policy .

(3) This procedure applies to all staff and examiners responsible for monitoring and managing the submission and examination of Higher Degrees by Research and all HDR candidates in the RMIT Group .

Appointment of Examiners

(4) Appointment of examiners must be conducted in accordance with RMIT Principles for nominating HDR examiners and the ACGR Good Practice Guidelines for Disclosing and Managing Interests in Graduate Research .

(5) All examiners must be external to the University and must:

  • be of appropriate standing in the relevant field of study,
  • hold a qualification equal to the level of the award they are examining or have equivalent experience and expertise,
  • have previous experience as a supervisor or examiner at the AQF level at which they will examine, and
  • be from different institutions

(6) Candidates may request the exclusion of specific individuals as their examiners at least three (3) months prior to submission.

(7) A completed Recommended Panel of Examiners form with all required attachments must be submitted to the School of Graduate Research (SGR) at least two (2) months prior to the candidate’s intended submission date. 

(8) It is the supervisors’ responsibility to provide details of any actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interest with proposed examiners. 

(9) Candidates must not be told the names of their examiners except where their examination includes an oral presentation or performance in the presence of the examiners. 

(10) The Recommended Panel of Examiners is subject to review and approval by the HDR Delegated Authority (HDR DA) and Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Training and Development (ADVC RT&D) or nominee.

(11) In cases where a confidentiality agreement is required, SGR will prepare and arrange execution of an examiner’s confidentiality agreement prior to commencing the examination. If an examiner is unable or unwilling to sign the deed then a new examiner will have to be nominated. 

Eligibility to Submit

(12) To be eligible to submit their research for examination, candidates must have:

  • been enrolled for at least the minimum duration of candidature as prescribed by the HDR Admissions and Enrolment Procedure
  • successfully completed all prescribed coursework components of the program, or received an exemption from the component/s (Refer to the  HDR Admissions and Enrolment Procedure )
  • successfully completed all compulsory milestone reviews, or received an exemption from the milestone/s
  • a current enrolment and active candidature
  • successfully completed research to the standard and specification of the program in accordance with the Australian Qualifications Framework
  • supervisory and school approval to submit for examination (if no approval will be given, see Approval to Submit for Examination clauses).

Submission Requirements

(13) Research for examination must: 

  • be original work which is unified and coherent in content, and
  • address a single, significant research question/theme in a field or area of professional practice, and 
  • have been completed under supervision during the period of enrolment for the degree, including transferred candidature, and 
  • not include work which has been submitted previously, in whole or in part for any other academic award, and
  • include a thesis or dissertation which is uploaded and submitted to SGR via the digital repository in PDF format, and
  • include a digital record of candidates’ published research outputs, artefacts or experiential presentations which embody candidates’ research undertaken during the course of candidature. 

(14) Candidates who enrol after 1 January 2023 must include a statement of impact as part of their submission. 

(15) Examination submissions must include a thesis or dissertation which provides the:

  • scholarly or practical context for the research
  • process and methodology
  • presentation of the results, analysis and conclusions of the research.

(16) Examination submissions may also include components such as research outputs and artefacts, for example: published articles, creative works, software and professional reports or policy documents.

(17) For candidates submitting after 1 January 2023, where a paper has been co-authored, it is expected that the candidate is the main contributor and/or lead author. Their contribution must be significant and have been reasonable for the key ideas, the development of the study and writing of the paper.

(18) In cases where the candidate is not the main contributor to the paper, the lead author must sign a declaration on behalf of the co-authors and included in the thesis or dissertation. 

(19) The candidate must declare any published research outputs by completing the Research Outputs Declaration. 

(20) Where two or more candidates collaborate on a project which will form the content of their submission for examination:

  • the contributions of each candidate must have sufficient individual value to the discipline or practice to be worthy of separate examination
  • each collaborator’s contributions to the overall research outcomes must be declared in each of the uniquely titled research submissions.

(21) Any use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the examination submission must be ethical, responsible and in keeping with principles of academic and research integrity including honesty, transparency, fairness and accountability. Candidates will appropriately declare, attribute and acknowledge use of AI, in keeping with research integrity principles, policy and procedures for responsible authorship and publication of research outputs. 

(22) Candidates enrolled in a Joint PhD must only be required to produce a single thesis/project for examination at both institutions and may be required to complete an oral defence or viva voce as part of the examination. 

(23) Candidates must maintain their research ethics approval until they have received confirmation of a “Passed” result. 

Doctoral Citation

(24) PhD candidates must provide a doctoral citation during submission to be eligible to graduate. 

Approval to submit for examination

(25) Candidates and senior supervisors must confirm that the research complies with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018 and has been prepared in accordance with legislative, copyright and privacy requirements.

(26) Candidates’ submissions must adhere to the prescribed RMIT format as well as the standards and conventions for scholarly work which apply in the relevant discipline of field, such that they may be assessed without prejudice by leading experts of that discipline or field. 

(27) Following submission, providing all submission requirements are fulfilled, SGR on behalf of the ADVC RT&D or nominee will approve the thesis or dissertation for examination.

(28) The submission date is the date that the thesis or dissertation is uploaded to SGR via the digital repository, provided it is approved for examination by the ADVC RT&D or nominee. 

(29) Candidates who meet the eligibility criteria to submit may choose to submit without school approval, subject to approval by the ADVC RT&D or nominee. 

Readmission for the Purpose of Examination

(30) If candidature has been terminated due to unsatisfactory progress, application for re-admission for examination may only be achieved after a period of 12 months in accordance with the HDR Unsatisfactory Progress Process . 

(31) Individuals may be readmitted for the purpose of examination within three years of their cancellation date, if their HDR candidature has been cancelled for any reason.

(32) Individuals must submit a completed, examinable draft of their thesis or dissertation, along with any associated artefact(s) where relevant, to their former senior supervisor or HDR DA if the senior supervisor is no longer available.

(33) The HDR DA must ensure that candidates meet the eligibility criteria for submission.

(34) Following a candidate’s readmission, the senior supervisor or HDR DA overseeing the submission is responsible for:

  • nominating examiners
  • providing a statement attesting that the research topic is current and has not been superseded by subsequent research in the field
  • recommending that the work is ready for examination to the Dean/Head of School or HDR DA.

(35) The candidate is required to submit their thesis or dissertation via the digital repository within 10 working days of re-enrolment.

Examination Processes

(36) Research for examination is disseminated to examiners via a digital repository. 

(37) Only the ADVC RT&D or nominee may communicate with examiners on behalf of RMIT while the research is under examination.

(38) Except for contact during a presentation forming part of the examination process:

  • supervisors and candidates must have no contact with examiners during the examination process. If an examiner attempts to make contact, individuals must not engage and immediately notify the examinations team in SGR,
  • no contact is permitted between examiners while the research is under examination, and
  • the examiners’ identities must not be disclosed to the candidate until after the final classification has been given, and only with permission of the examiner.

(39) The examination period extends from the date examiners are provided with the research submission to the date a final classification has been determined and registered. 

(40) Examiners must prepare independent and individual written reports of their assessment and submit these directly to the examinations team in SGR, accompanied by the Examiner’s Report Form indicating a recommended classification in accordance with Table 1 in HDR Submission and Examination Schedule 1 - HDR Examination Recommendations and Classifications .

  • R2: Passed subject to minor amendments
  • R3: Passed subject to major amendments
  • R4: Revise and resubmit, or
  • R5: Failed. 

(41) Master by Research candidates commencing on or after 1 January 2016 will receive a numeric grading for a successfully completed Master by Research degree at Schedule 1 .

(42) Examiners are requested to provide their reports within six (6) weeks of receipt of the submission. Examinations are monitored and any extensions are managed by the examinations team in SGR.

(43) Where a presentation of the research in a venue is required, examiners will be provided with the digital submission four (4) weeks prior to the presentation event and must provide their final reports within two weeks following the event.

(44) The ADVC RT&D or nominee may replace an examiner and/or annul their report where:

  • the examiner fails to return a completed examination report by the due date
  • there has been unauthorised contact between the examiner and the candidate or their supervisors during the examination
  • an unacceptable conflict of interest is discovered during or after the examination, and/or
  • the ADVC RT&D or nominee determines that the examination has otherwise not been properly conducted.

(45) Where a replacement examiner has been appointed, any report received from the examiner who has been replaced will not be considered. 

(46) In the event of an examiner or any other relevant party raising concerns about the integrity of the research during the examination process, the examinations team in SGR will immediately refer the matter to the ADVC RT&D or nominee, and: 

  • SGR will suspend the examination and notify the examiners, school and the candidate
  • a Designated Person will investigate in accordance with the Research Integrity Breach Management Procedure
  • recommendations arising from the investigation may include application of the Student Conduct Regulations .

Requirements for Presentation for Examination – Practice-based Research

(47) Presentations for examination are managed by the candidate’s enrolling school.

(48) Examinations must be convened by a person appointed as Convenor by the ADVC RT&D or nominee. Persons who have acted in a supervisory or consultative capacity must not be appointed as the Convenor.

(49) Presentations of research for examination must not occur without the appointed Convenor being present.

(50) In the case of an oral presentation by the candidate, the time allowed is:

  • PhD candidates – one-hour oral presentation plus half- to one-hour discussion with the examiners.
  • Master by Research candidates – half-hour oral presentation plus up to half hour discussion with the examiners.

(51) The Convenor is not permitted to comment on the content of the research and is responsible for ensuring that each examiner is uncompromised in their ability to make an independent evaluation of the research.

(52) The presentation of the research must be recorded digitally to enable electronic archival.

Examination Results

(53) Following the receipt of all examiners’ reports and recommendations, the ADVC RT&D or nominee will classify the examination in accordance with Table 2 in Schedule 1 . Examination classifications are: 

  • C2: Passed with minor amendments
  • C3: Passed with major amendments
  • C4: Revise and resubmit

(54) In order to pass, an HDR submission must receive two externally provided pass recommendations on the same version of the submitted work.

(55) A third examiner will be appointed if:

  • the examiners’ recommendations diverge, as per Schedule 1 , or
  • the ADVC RT&D or nominee concludes that the result is undetermined.

(56) The third examiner examines the submission independently, is not given the reports of the co-examiners, and has the full set of options available to them in assessing the thesis or dissertation in accordance with Table 1 in Schedule 1 .

(57) In cases where the examination includes an artefact or oral presentation, SGR will provide the third examiner a digital recording of the artefact and/or a recording of the full presentation.

(58) The classification of the examination is determined in accordance with the majority recommendation of the examiners, in accordance with Table 3 and Table 4 of Schedule 1 , following receipt of examiners’ recommendations. 

(59) After the examination outcome has been classified, SGR must send a notification to the candidate, their supervisors, the HDR DA, and the Dean/Head of School and the examiners, to advise them of the examination classification.

(60) SGR must forward the examiners’ reports to the candidate’s senior supervisor to enable them to provide academic guidance on any necessary amendments.

(61) In the event of one or both examiners recommending an R5 ‘Failed’ after re-examination of a doctoral or Master by Research HDR submission, the ADVC RT&D or nominee will refer the case to the Dean/Head of School to seek a recommendation. The Dean/Head of School may recommend that adjudication be sought or the examiners’ recommendations be referred to the Graduate Research Committee Executive to review and ratify a final classification of the HDR submission.

(62) The GRC Executive may refer the work to an external adjudicator where appropriate. A record of the Graduate Research Committee Executive’s decisions in respect of the examination will be transmitted to the candidate and their supervisor(s) following classification.

(63) If the work is referred to an adjudicator, the adjudicator’s decision will be final. 

(64) For research classified as C5 (Failed):

  • the candidate will not be awarded the degree for which they were enrolled and will not be permitted to revise and resubmit their research for re-examination for the same degree
  • one copy of the examined thesis or dissertation becomes the property of RMIT and shall be filed with the candidate’s official records
  • a record of the fail will be placed on the RMIT student system 
  • in the event of one or both examiner(s) recommending an R5 ‘Failed’ for an examination or re-examination of a doctoral submission, the examiner(s) are required to confirm whether they consider the research to be suitable for examination at the level of a Master by Research.

Master by Research Grades

(65) Master by Research examinations follow the rules prescribed in this procedure and Schedule 1 .

(66) All Master by Research grades must be approved by the ADVC RT&D or nominee before they are finalised. 

(67) Candidates are informed of their overall grade when they receive their final examination classification. Individual grades are not disclosed. 

Re-examination Process – Following a Classification of C4 (Revise and Resubmit) (Doctoral or Master by Research)

(68) Where a candidate is given the interim classification C4 ‘Revise and Resubmit’ for re-examination, they have one opportunity to ensure the thesis or dissertation meets the requirements for the award of the degree on second examination and:

  • a re-examination is undertaken with the original examiners, if they are willing and available to re-examine the revised submission, or with replacement examiners such that the revised work still receives assessment from two independent, external experts.
  • all material submitted and recommendations made in the context of a re-examination supersedes all previous material and recommendations, with the exception of the candidate’s response to the examiners’ remarks provided in the initial examination.

(69) The revision period is 12 months for PhD candidates and six months for Master by Research candidates. If a candidate does not resubmit within this timeframe, they will be awarded a classification of C5 ‘Failed’.

(70) International candidates who receive a C4 ‘Revise and Resubmit’ classification should not required to remain in Australia to complete revisions for re-examination. 

(71) Resubmitting candidates must include a list or requested amendments with the revised thesis. This list must include justification for any amendments not made. 

(72) The original and any replacement examiners of a revised and resubmitted thesis are provided with:

  • the revised thesis or dissertation,
  • the candidate’s response to examiners’ reports, listing the amendments made to address the initial examiners’ requirements and justification for any amendments not made at the request of those examiners, and
  • the de-identified co-examiners’ reports to determine if the required amendments and revisions have been made. 

(73) Examiners of a revised and re-submitted thesis must provide a recommendation of ‘passed’ or ‘failed’. 

(74) Where two examiners examine a re-submitted thesis and their recommendations diverge, a third examiner is appointed. The third examiner must examine the submission independently and must not be provided with the reports of their co-examiners. 

(75) The final classification of the examination is determined in accordance with the majority recommendation of the examiners, in accordance with Table 5 and Table 6 of Schedule 1 . 

(76) The result of the second examination is final.

Request for Extension of time To Submit Amendments

(77) The candidate must request an Extension of Time to Submit Amendments before the nominated resubmission or lodgement date passes. Extensions are not guaranteed. 

(78) A candidate may apply for approval of an extension to the resubmission or archival date, where the candidate cannot meet the nominated date for the resubmission of their research for re-examination or the lodgement date for the archival of their research.

(79) Failure to re-submit or lodge a thesis or dissertation by the date specified by SGR may lead to the examination being classified as ‘Failed’. Candidates will be notified if this process is being initiated.

Appeal Against Final Examination Results

(80) Candidates whose examination has been completed and who have a result of ‘Failed’ may appeal against any perceived procedural irregularities in the conduct of their HDR examination that has had significant impact on the examination result. 

(81) Candidates must ensure their appeal application is received by the Secretary of the University Appeals Committee within 20 working days of the date of the formal notification from SGR of their final examination outcome.

Lodgement of the Final Archival and Completion of the Degree

(82) After a candidate’s research has been classified by the ADVC RT&D or nominee, any amendments requested by the examiner(s) must be completed by the candidate, or a defence presented as to why they do not need to be undertaken.

(83) Candidates must provide a list of amendments/points of defence for uploading with their final archival submission.

(84) Candidates whose research includes artefacts and/or presentation in a venue in addition to their dissertation must provide a digital record of these for archival storage.

(85) Completion and graduation processes require that:

  • the final electronic archival submission of the thesis or dissertation and any related digital records are uploaded to the digital repository within the timeline specified by the University and after completion of any appropriately supervised amendments deemed necessary by the University
  • the candidate is not indebted to the University
  • the candidate has fulfilled the academic and administrative requirements for the award of the degree.

(86) When the final archival submission has been approved for lodgement by the senior supervisor and the Dean/Head of School (or HDR DA):

  • a record of the completion is provided to the ADVC RT&D or nominee, who will approve the research for archival and recommend the candidate for award
  • the final archival submission is uploaded into the RMIT Research Repository after which the research will be publicly available
  • the result for the research component of the program will be entered on the student record
  • SGR will provide written notification of the satisfactory completion of the degree to the Academic Registrar, candidate, their supervisors, the Dean/Head of School and HDR DA, and any sponsor(s) of international onshore candidates.

(87) Candidates who wish to apply for an embargo on the publication of their research in the RMIT Research Repository must meet the requirements for embargo detailed in Table 1.

Table 1: Grounds for Embargo

(88) Candidates can request an embargo on any submitted component of their research whilst allowing other components to be published in the RMIT Research Repository .

(89) Candidates whose research meets the grounds for embargo must ensure their embargo applications are submitted prior to their archival submission; and that any subsequent application for an extension to the embargo is submitted at least two months prior to the embargo’s expiry.

(90) The outcome of an application will be determined in accordance with Table 1: Grounds for Research Embargo, listed above.

(91) In exceptional circumstances and on production of compelling evidence, the GRC Executive may grant:

  • an embargo that does not meet the prescribed criteria
  • further extension to an embargo.

(92) Notification of the outcome is provided to the candidate, their senior supervisor and the school HDR DA.

(93) Archival research which has been approved for embargo is stored in a restricted repository until the embargo expiration date, when it is published.

(94) In cases where an embargo has been approved but no longer required, the candidate or their supervisor should inform the examinations team in SGR to enable the candidate’s submission to be published in the public domain.

Posthumous Examination

(95) In cases where an HDR candidate is deceased before submission of their thesis or dissertation, their work may be considered for posthumous examination if: 

  • the candidate was enrolled at RMIT in the relevant course of study at the time of their death; or had an active enrolment at RMIT in the 12 months prior to their death; and
  • they had a successful outcome for their third milestone review; and
  • an application to undertake this process is made on behalf of the candidate, with the consent of the family; and 
  • the work is substantially complete and of an appropriate level to be examined for the degree, as attested to by two independent assessors.

(96) Applications for posthumous examinations are submitted by the senior supervisor with the support of the HDR DA in the school where the candidate was enrolled.

(97) The GRC Executive has final approval for a request to proceed with a posthumous examination.

(98) If a posthumous examination is approved, submission and examination procedures will be followed in accordance with the HDR Posthumous Submission and Examination Guidelines. 

(99) This procedure includes the following schedule:

  • HDR Submission and Examination Schedule 1 - HDR Examination Recommendations and Classifications

(100) Refer to the following documents:

  • Principles for nominating HDR Examiners
  • HDR Posthumous Submission and Examination Guidelines
  • Recommended Panel of Examiners form
  • Extension of time to submit new amendments form 
  • Request for embargo form

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Library subject guides

  • RMIT theses

About the RMIT theses collection

Finding rmit theses and dissertations, obtaining ​/ accessing an ​rmit thesis or dissertation.

  • Australian and overseas theses
  • RMIT thesis submission
  • External requests for RMIT theses

Need help? Ask the Library!

rmit phd thesis length

Upcoming Research Spotlight webinars

A collection of computer and laptop screens showing online meetings.

We run regular online presentations by guest speakers on different aspects of research. Recordings of past webinars are also available.

RMIT's Open Scholarship Policy - What it means for you as a researcher.

Hosted by Anne Lennox and Tristan Badham from the Library's Research Support and Services team, the session will delve into the core aspects of open research and gain a comprehensive understanding of the university's enterprise-wide policy.  

This session aims to heighten awareness and illuminate the crucial role researchers play in advancing open scholarship. Explore the policy's implications for your work and discover how you can actively contribute to the university's commitment to open research practices.  

Date & Time:  February 21, 2.20pm to 3.30pm

Research Spotlight webinars

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay

The RMIT theses collection consists of the research outcomes of RMIT Masters by Research and Doctor of Philosophy candidates (including theses and dissertations), who have successfully completed their degree.

Coursework and minor theses generally are not kept in the Library. Contact the relevant School for these items.

Project-based research dissertations

At RMIT, a Masters by Research or Doctor of Philosophy candidate undertaking  project-based research  submits a product or artefact(s) (or a record thereof) and a dissertation which outlines and defines the purpose and theoretical basis of the work. There may also be a recording of an oral presentation made by the candidate where required.

The  RMIT Research Repository  contains digital copies of RMIT Masters by Research and Doctor of Philosophy degree outcomes. To find them:

  • Go to the RMIT Research Repository and and click on the  Theses option.

rmit phd thesis length

  • This will present a list of all RMIT University theses listed in the Research Repository.

rmit phd thesis length

You can refine your search results using the facets on the left hand side of the search results list. 

rmit phd thesis length

Alternatively, you can limit your search to the Dissertations & Theses search scope and enter in some keywords, e.g. photonics

rmit phd thesis length

To access pre-2006 RMIT theses/dissertations for research or study purposes, RMIT students or staff can submit a request for Document Delivery who will supply a copy of the work.

  • Locate the thesis using LibrarySearch (NOTE: They will display a location of Bundoora Storage in LibrarySearch. )
  • Record the title and call number
  • Email your request for digitisation to [email protected] OR submit the request using the online Document Delivery request form

Note that conditions apply for requests from other institutions.

Please note also that there are a number of art-related theses in the RMIT Swanston Library Special Collection room. The LibrarySearch record will indicate Swanston Thesis Collection and the call number will include the THR prefix. Please follow the link below for instructions on how to access theses from the Special Collection.

https://rmit.libguides.com/library-special-collection/procedures

  • Next: Australian and overseas theses >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 12, 2024 6:02 PM
  • URL: https://rmit.libguides.com/theses

rmit phd thesis length

  • How Long Is a PhD Thesis?
  • Doing a PhD

It’s no secret that one of the most challenging aspects of a PhD degree is the volume of work that goes into writing your thesis . So this raises the question, exactly how long is a thesis?

Unfortunately, there’s no one size fits all answer to this question. However, from the analysis of over 100 PhD theses, the average thesis length is between 80,000 and 100,000 words. A further analysis of 1000 PhD thesis shows the average number of pages to be 204 . In reality, the actual word count for each PhD thesis will depend on the specific subject and the university it is being hosted by. This is because universities set their own word length requirements, with most found to be opting for around 100,000.

To find out more about how these word limits differ between universities, how the average word count from STEM thesis differ from non-STEM thesis and a more detailed breakdown from the analysis of over 1000 PhDs, carry on reading the below.

Word Count Differences Between Universities

For any PhD student writing a thesis, they will find that their document will be subject to a word limit set by their university. In nearly all cases, the limit only concerns the maximum number of words and doesn’t place any restrictions on the minimum word limit. The reason for this is that the student will be expected to write their thesis with the aim of clearly explaining their research, and so it is up to the student to determine what he deems appropriate.

Saying this, it is well accepted amongst PhD students and supervisors that the absence of a lower limit doesn’t suggest that a thesis can be ‘light’. Your thesis will focus on several years worth of original research and explore new ideas, theories or concepts. Besides this, your thesis will need to cover a wide range of topics such as your literature review, research methodology, results and conclusion. Therefore, your examiners will expect the length of your thesis to be proportional to convey all this information to a sufficient level.

Selecting a handful of universities at random, they state the following thesis word limits on their website:

  • University of Edinburgh: 100,000
  • University of Exeter: 100,000
  • University of Leister: 80,000
  • University of Bath: 80,000
  • University of Warwick: 70,000

The above universities set upper word limits that apply across the board, however, some universities, such as the University of Birmingham and the University of Sheffield, set different word limits for different departments. For example, the University of Sheffield adopts these limits:

  • Arts & Humanities: 75,000
  • Medicine, Dentistry & Health: 75,000
  • Science: 80,000
  • Social Sciences: 75,000-100,000

Although there’s a range of limit, it’s safe to say that the majority fall within the 80,000 to 100,000 bracket.

Word Count Based on Data from past Theses

A poll of 149 postdocs.

In mid-2019, Dr Eva Lantsoght, a published author, academic blogger and Structural Engineering Professor, conducted a poll which asked postgraduate doctoral students to share the length of their final thesis. 149 PostDoc students responded to the survey, with the majority reporting a length falling within the ‘80,000 – 120,000 words’ bracket as seen below.

DiscoverPhDs_How-long-is-a-PhD-Thesis_Poll

Analysis of 1000 PhD Theses

Over a three-year time period, Dr Ian Brailsford, a then Postgraduate Learning Adviser at the University of Auckland, analysed 1000 doctoral thesis submitted to his university’s library. The PhD theses which formed the basis of his analysis were produced between 2008 to 2017 and showed:

  • Average number of pages = 204
  • Median number of pages = 198
  • Average number of chapters = 7.6

We should note that the above metrics only cover the content falling within the main body of the thesis. This includes the introduction, literature review, methods section, results chapter, discussions and conclusions. All other sections, such as the title page, abstract, table of contents, acknowledgements, bibliography and appendices were omitted from the count.

Although it’s impossible to draw the exact word count from the number of pages alone, by using the universities recommended format of 12pt Times New Roman and 1.5 lines spacing, and assuming 10% of the main body are figures and footnotes, this equates to an average main body of 52,000 words.

STEM vs Non-STEM

As part of Dr Ian Brailsford’s analysis, he also compared the length of STEM doctorate theses to non-STEM theses. He found that STEM theses tended to be shorter. In fact, he found STEM theses to have a medium page length of 159 whilst non-STEM theses had a medium of around 223 pages. This is a 40% increase in average length!

Can You Exceed the Word Count?

Whilst most universities will allow you to go over the word count if you need to, it comes with the caveat that you must have a very strong reason for needing to do so. Besides this, your supervisor will also need to support your request. This is to acknowledge that they have reviewed your situation and agree that exceeding the word limit will be absolutely necessary to avoid detriment unnecessary detriment to your work.

This means that whilst it is possible to submit a thesis over 100,000 words or more, it’s unlikely that your research project will need to.

How Does This Compare to a Masters Dissertation?

The average Masters dissertation length is approximately 20,000 words whilst a thesis is 4 to 5 times this length at approximately 80,000 – 100,000.

The key reason for this difference is because of the level of knowledge they convey. A Master’s dissertation focuses on concluding from existing knowledge whilst a PhD thesis focuses on drawing a conclusion from new knowledge. As a result, the thesis is significantly longer as the new knowledge needs to be well documented so it can be verified, disseminated and used to shape future research.

Finding a PhD has never been this easy – search for a PhD by keyword, location or academic area of interest.

Related Reading

Unfortunately, the completion of your thesis doesn’t mark the end of your degree just yet. Once you submit your thesis, it’s time to start preparing for your viva – the all-to-fun thesis defence interview! To help you prepare for this, we’ve produced a helpful guide which you can read here: The Complete Guide to PhD Vivas.

Browse PhDs Now

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Check your eligibility

To be eligible for admission to an RMIT University PhD program, you must:

  • Satisfy the University’s entry requirements for research programs; and
  • Applicants must also meet the minimum English language requirements.

To be successful, you must demonstrate capacity to conduct independent research. Places are also subject to academic supervisor and resource availability, and where appropriate, the suitability of the proposed research.

English language requirements

The minimum academic requirements for admission to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program (course) are:

  • a bachelor's degree requiring at least four (4) years of full-time study in a relevant discipline awarded with honours. The degree should include a research component comprised of a thesis, other research projects or research methodology courses that constitute at least 25% of a full-time academic year (or part-time equivalent). The applicant must have achieved at least a distinction average in the final year; or
  • a master's degree that includes a research component comprised of at least 25% of a full-time academic year (or part-time equivalent) with an overall distinction average or a master degree without a research component with at least a high distinction average; or
  • evidence of appropriate academic qualifications and/or experience that satisfies the ADVC SGR or nominee that the applicant has developed knowledge of the field of study or cognate field and the potential for research sufficient to undertake the proposed program (course).

At RMIT a grade of Distinction represents academic achievement of 70% or higher and a High Distinction is 80% or higher.

Current master by research candidates are eligible to apply for a transfer to a PhD program (course) through the process prescribed in  RMIT's Higher Degree by Research policy .

  • English language requirements  must be met - IELTS (academic) 6.5 (no band less than 6.0) or equivalent.  
  • For other international English entry requirements, please view  English equivalency requirements .

How to apply for PhD programs

Find more about how to prepare your expression of interest and application for PhD programs at RMIT Vietnam.

Choose your program

Identify your research project

Costs and scholarships

Prepare your application

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The length of introductions vary depending on your disciplinary area and the nature of your project so before writing one, it may be wise to discuss length and expectations of content with your supervisor. It is also worth taking a look at a range of past theses in your area to see what is expected in your field.

The introduction to the whole thesis can make up roughly 10 per cent of the total word count. So if you are doing a PhD of 80,000 - 100,000 words, you may have a 8,000 - 10,000 word introduction. And if you are writing a Masters thesis of 15,000 - 20,000 words, your introduction could be 1,500 - 2,000 words long. Exegeses tend to be anywhere between seven to 12 pages in length (1.5 cm spacing) and include images and/or diagrams.

Theses that generally have longer introductions do so because they incorporate more substantial background information and/or an extended literature review section.

Theses that have shorter introductions, say eight to ten pages (1.5 spacing) or about 4000 words for a PhD, do so in order to give a broad overview of the research project which is typically followed by a longer background or literature review chapter. 

Regardless of the type of project you are doing or thesis you are writing, the introduction to the thesis or exegesis should give a broad overview of the project, as discussed in the page on introductions. 

Individual chapters should also have introductions. An introduction to a chapter that is 10,000 words long could be about two to three pages long, whereas in shorter theses the chapter introductions may only be a page or two, or even just a paragraph or two. The length varies depending on how much you need to establish for your reader to understand how the chapter contributes to your research and argument. 

Timing>>

Introductions

Chapter introductions

  • ANU Library Academic Skills
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MIT Libraries logo MIT Libraries

Distinctive Collections

MIT Specifications for Thesis Preparation

Approved November 2022 for use in the 2022-2023 academic year. Updated March 2023 to incorporate changes to MIT Policies and Procedures 13.1.3 Intellectual Property Not Owned by MIT .

View this page as an accessible PDF .

Table of Contents

  • Thesis Preparation Checklist

Timeline for submission and publication

  • Bachelor’s degree thesis
  • Graduate degree thesis

Dual degree theses

Joint theses, what happens to your thesis, title selection, embedded links.

  • Special circumstances

Signature page

Abstract page.

  • Acknowledgments

Biographical notes

Table of contents, list of figures.

  • List of tables
  • List of supplemental material

Notes and bibliographic references

Open licensing, labeling copyright in your thesis, use of previously published material in your thesis, digital supplementary material, physical supplementary material, starting with accessible source files, file naming.

  • How to submit thesis information to the MIT Libraries

Placing a temporary hold on your thesis

Changes to a thesis after submission, permission to reuse or republish from mit theses, general information.

This guide has been prepared by the MIT Libraries, as prescribed by the Committee on Graduate Programs and the Committee on Undergraduate Program, to assist students and faculty in the preparation of theses. The Institute is committed to the preservation of each student’s thesis because it is both a requirement for the MIT degree and a record of original research that contains information of lasting value.

In this guide, “department” refers to a graduate or undergraduate program within an academic unit, and “thesis” refers to the digital copy of the written thesis. The official thesis version of record, which is submitted to the MIT Libraries, is the digital copy of the written thesis that has been approved by the thesis committee and certified by the department in fulfillment of a student’s graduation requirement.

The requirements in this guide apply to all theses and have been specified both to facilitate the care and dissemination of the thesis and to assure the preservation of the final approved document. Individual departments may dictate more stringent requirements.

Before beginning your thesis research, remember that the final output of this research—your thesis document—should only include research findings that may be shared publicly, in adherence with MIT’s policy on Open Research and Free Interchange of Information . If you anticipate that your thesis will contain content that requires review by an external sponsor or agency, it is critical that you allow sufficient time for this review to take place prior to thesis submission. 

Questions not answered in this guide should be referred to the appropriate department officer or to the MIT Libraries ( [email protected] ).

  • Final edited and complete thesis PDF is due to your department on the date specified in the Academic Calendar.
  • Hold requests should be submitted to the Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate and Graduate Education or TLO concurrent with your thesis submission.
  • Thesis information is due to the MIT Libraries before your date of graduation.
  • Departments must transfer theses to the MIT Libraries within 30 days from the last day of class (end of term).
  • One week later (30 days from the last day of classes + 7 days) or one week after the degree award date (whichever is later) the MIT Libraries may begin publishing theses in DSpace@MIT.
  • If you have requested and received a temporary (up to 90-day) hold on the publication of your thesis from the Vice Chancellor, your thesis will be placed on hold as soon as it is received by the Libraries, and the 90-day hold will begin 30 days from the last day of class (end of term).
  • If your thesis research is included in a disclosure to the TLO, the TLO may place your thesis on temporary hold with the Libraries, as appropriate.

Submitting your thesis document to your department

Your thesis document will be submitted to your department as a PDF, formatted and including the appropriate rights statement and sections as outlined in these specifications. Your department will provide more specific guidance on submitting your files for certification and acceptance.

Your department will provide information on submitting:

  • A PDF/A-1  of your final thesis document (with no signatures)
  • Signature page (if required by your department; your department will provide specific guidance)
  • Original source files used to create the PDF of your thesis (optional, but encouraged)
  • Supplementary materials  (optional and must be approved by your advisor and program)

Degree candidates must submit their thesis to the appropriate office of the department in which they are registered on the dates specified in the Academic Calendar. ( Academic Calendar | MIT Registrar ). September, February, and May/June are the only months in which degrees are awarded.

Bachelor’s degree theses

Graduate degree theses, submitting your thesis information to the libraries.

Information about your thesis must be submitted to the Libraries thesis submission and processing system  prior to your day of graduation. The information you provide must match the title page and abstract of your thesis . See How to submit thesis information to the MIT Libraries section for more details .

The academic department is required to submit the thesis to the MIT Libraries within one month after the last day of the term in which the thesis was submitted ( Faculty Regulation 2.72 ). The thesis document becomes part of the permanent archival collection. All thesis documents that have been approved will be transferred electronically to the MIT Libraries by a department representative via the MIT Libraries thesis submission and processing system .

The full-text PDF of each thesis is made publicly available in DSpace@MIT . A bibliographic record will appear in the MIT Libraries’ catalog, as well as the OCLC database WorldCat, which is accessible to libraries and individuals worldwide. Authors may also opt-in to having their thesis made available in the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global database.

Formatting specifications

Your work will be a more valuable research tool for other scholars if it can be located easily. Search engines use the words in the title, and sometimes other descriptive words, to locate works. Therefore,

  • Be sure to select a title that is a meaningful description of the content of your manuscript; and
  • Do: “The Effects of Ion Implantation and Annealing on the Properties of Titanium Silicide Films on Silicon Substrates”
  • Do: “Radiative Decays on the J/Psi to Two Pseudoscalar Final States”

You may include clickable links to online resources within the thesis file. Make the link self-descriptive so that it can stand on its own and is natural language that fits within the surrounding writing of your paragraph. The full URL should be included as a footnote or bibliography citation (dependent on citation style).

  • Sentence in thesis: Further information is available on the MIT Writing and Communications Center’s website . The full-text PDF of each thesis is made publicly available in DSpace@MIT .
  • Footnote or Bibliography: follow the rules of your chosen citation style and include the full website URL, in this case http://libraries.mit.edu/mit-theses

Sections of your thesis

Required (all information should be on a single page)

The title page should contain the title, name of the author (this can be the author’s preferred name), previous degrees, the degree(s) to be awarded at MIT, the date the degree(s) will be conferred (May/June, September, or February only), copyright notice (and legend, if required), and appropriate names of thesis supervisor(s) and student’s home department or program officer.

The title page should have the following fields in the following order and centered (including spacing) :

Thesis title as submitted to registrar

Author’s preferred name

Previous degree information, if applicable

Submitted to the [department name] in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree(s) of

[degree name]

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Month and year degree will be granted (May or June, September, February ONLY)

Copyright statement

This permission legend MUST follow: The author hereby grants to MIT a nonexclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free license to exercise any and all rights under copyright, including to reproduce, preserve, distribute and publicly display copies of the thesis, or release the thesis under an open-access license.

[Insert 2 blank lines]

Note: The remaining fields are left aligned and not centered

Authored by: [Author name]

[Author’s department name] (align with the beginning of the author’s name from the previous line)

[Date thesis is to be presented to the department] (align with the beginning of the author’s name from the first line)

Certified by: [Advisor’s full name as it appears in the MIT catalog]

   [Advisor’s department as it appears in the MIT catalog] (align with the beginning of the advisor’s name from the previous line), Thesis supervisor

Accepted by: [name]

[title – line 1] (align with the beginning of the name from the previous line)

[title – line 2] (align with the beginning of the name from the first line)

Note: The name and title of this person varies in different degree programs and may vary each term; contact the departmental thesis administrator for specific information

  • Students in joint graduate programs (such as Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) should list both their MIT thesis supervisor and the supervisor from the partner academic institution.
  • The name and title of the department or the program officer varies in different degree programs and may vary each term. Contact the departmental graduate administrator for specific information.
  • For candidates receiving two degrees, both degrees to be awarded should appear on the title page. For candidates in dual degree programs, all degrees and departments or programs should appear on the title page, and the names of both department heads/committee chairs are required. Whenever there are co-supervisors, both names should appear on the title page.

Here are some PDF examples of title pages:

  • Bachelor’s Degree – using a Creative Commons license
  • PhD candidate – using a Creative Commons license
  • Master’s candidate – dual degrees
  • Masters’ candidates – multiple authors
  • Masters’ candidates – multiple authors with dual degrees and extra committee members
  • Bachelor’s Degree – change of thesis supervisor

Title page: Special circumstances – change of thesis supervisor

If your supervisor has recently died or is no longer affiliated with the Institute:

  • Both this person and your new supervisor should be listed on your title page
  • Under the new supervisor’s name, state that they are approving the thesis on behalf of the previous supervisor
  • An additional page should be added to the thesis, before the acknowledgments page, with an explanation about why a new supervisor is approving your thesis on behalf of your previous supervisor. You may also thank the new supervisor for acting in this capacity
  • Review this PDF example of a title page with a change in supervisor

If your supervisor is external to the Institute (such as an industrial supervisor):

  • You should acknowledge this individual on the Acknowledgements page as appropriate, but should not list this person on the thesis title page
  • The full thesis committee and thesis readers can be acknowledged on the Acknowledgements page, but should not be included on the title page

Not Required

Please consult with your department to determine if they are requiring or requesting an additional signature page.

Each thesis must include an abstract of generally no more than 500 words single-spaced. The abstract should be thought of as a brief descriptive summary, not a lengthy introduction to the thesis. The abstract should immediately follow the title page.

The abstract page should have the following fields in the following order and centered (including spacing):

  • Thesis title

Submitted to the [Department] on [date thesis will be submitted] in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of [Name of degree to be received]

[Insert 1 blank line]

Single-spaced summary; approximately 500 words or less; try not to use formulas or special characters

Thesis supervisor: [Supervisor’s name]

Title: [Title of supervisor]

The Abstract page should include the same information as on the title page. With the thesis title, author name, and submitting statement above the abstract, the word “ABSTRACT” typed before the body of the text, and the thesis supervisor’s name and title below the abstract.

Acknowledgements

An acknowledgement page may be included and is the appropriate place to include information such as external supervisor (such as an industrial advisor) or a list of the full thesis committee and thesis readers. Please note that your thesis will be publicly available online at DSpace@MIT , which is regularly crawled and indexed by Google and other search-engine providers.

The thesis may contain a short biography of the candidate, including institutions attended and dates of attendance, degrees and honors, titles of publications, teaching and professional experience, and other matters that may be pertinent. Please note that your thesis will be publicly available online at DSpace@MIT , which is regularly crawled and indexed by Google and other search-engine providers.

List of Tables

List of supplemental material.

Whenever possible, notes should be placed at the bottom of the appropriate page or in the body of the text. Notes should conform to the style appropriate to the discipline. If notes appear at the bottom of the page, they should be single-spaced and included within the specified margins.

It may be appropriate to place bibliographic references either at the end of the chapter in which they occur or at the end of the thesis.

The style of quotations, footnotes, and bibliographic references may be prescribed by your department. If your department does not prescribe a style or specify a style manual, choose one and be consistent. Further information is available on the MIT Writing and Communications Center’s website .

Ownership of copyright

The Institute’s policy concerning ownership of thesis copyright is covered in Rules and Regulations of the Faculty, 2.73 and MIT Policies and Procedures 13.1.3 . Copyright covers the intellectual property in the words and images in the thesis. If the thesis also includes patentable subject matter, students should contact the Technology Licensing Office (TLO) prior to submission of their thesis.

Under these regulations, students retain the copyright to student theses.

The student must, as a condition of a degree award, grant to MIT a nonexclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free license to exercise any and all rights under copyright, including to reproduce, preserve, distribute and publicly display copies of the thesis, or release the thesis under an open-access license. The MIT Libraries publish the thesis on DSpace@MIT , allowing open access to the research output of MIT.

You may also, optionally, apply a Creative Commons License to your thesis. The Creative Commons License allows you to grant permissions and provide guidance on how your work can be reused by others. For more information about CC: https://creativecommons.org/about/cclicenses/ . To determine which CC license is right for you, you can use the CC license chooser .

You must include an appropriate copyright notice on the title page of your thesis. This should include the following:

  • the symbol “c” with a circle around it © and/or the word “copyright”
  • the year of publication (the year in which the degree is to be awarded)
  • the name of the copyright owner
  • the words “All rights reserved” or your chosen Creative Commons license
  • Also include the following statement below the ©“ The author hereby grants to MIT a nonexclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free license to exercise any and all rights under copyright, including to reproduce, preserve, distribute and publicly display copies of the thesis, or release the thesis under an open-access license.”
  • Also include the following statement below the © “The author hereby grants to MIT a nonexclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free license to exercise any and all rights under copyright, including to reproduce, preserve, distribute and publicly display copies of the thesis, or release the thesis under an open-access license.”

You are responsible for obtaining permission, if necessary, to include previously published material in your thesis. This applies to most figures, images, and excerpts of text created and published by someone else; it may also apply to your own previous work. For figures and short excerpts from academic works, permission may already be available through the MIT Libraries (see here for additional information ). Students may also rely on fair use , as appropriate. For assistance with copyright questions about your thesis, you can contact [email protected] .

When including your own previously published material in your thesis, you may also need to obtain copyright clearance. If, for example, a student has already published part of the thesis as a journal article and, as a condition of publication, has assigned copyright to the journal’s publisher, the student’s rights are limited by what the publisher allows. More information about publisher policies on reuse in theses is available here.

Students can hold onto sufficient rights to reuse published articles (or excerpts of these) in their thesis if they are covered by MIT’s open access policy. Learn more about MIT’s open access policy and opt-in here . Contact [email protected] for more information.

When including your own previously published articles in your thesis, check with your department for specific requirements, and consider the following:

  • Ensure you have any necessary copyright permissions to include previously published material in your thesis.
  • Be sure to discuss copyright clearance and embargo options with your co-authors and your advisor well in advance of preparing your thesis for submission.
  • Include citations of where portions of the thesis have been previously published.
  • When an article included has multiple authors, clearly designate the role you had in the research and production of the published paper that you are including in your thesis.

Supplemental material and research data

Supplemental material that may be submitted with your thesis is the materials that are essential to understanding the research findings of your thesis, but impossible to incorporate or embed into a PDF. Materials submitted to the MIT Libraries may be provided as supplemental digital files or in some cases physical items. All supplementary materials must be approved for submission by your advisor. The MIT Libraries can help answer questions you may have about managing the supplementary material and other research materials associated with your research.

Contact [email protected] early in your thesis writing process to determine the best way to include supplemental materials with your thesis.

You may also have other research data and outputs related to your thesis research that are not considered supplemental material and should not be submitted with your thesis. Research materials include the facts, observations, images, computer program results, recordings, measurements, or experiences on which a research output—an argument, theory, test or hypothesis, or other output—is based. These may also be termed, “research data.” This term relates to data generated, collected, or used during research projects, and in some cases may include the research output itself. Research materials should be deposited in appropriate research data repositories and cited in your thesis . You may consult the MIT Libraries’ Data Management Services website for guidance or reach out to Data Management Services (DMS)( [email protected] ), who can help answer questions you may have about managing your thesis data and choosing suitable solutions for longer term storage and access.

  • Supplementary information may be submitted with your thesis to your program after approval from your thesis advisor. 
  • Supplemental material should be mentioned and summarized in the written document, for example, using a few key frames from a movie to create a figure.
  • A list of supplementary information along with brief descriptions should be included in your thesis document. For digital files, the description should include information about the file types and any software and version needed to open and view the files.
  • Issues regarding the format of non-traditional, supplemental content should be resolved with your advisor.
  • Appendices and references are not considered supplementary information.
  • If your research data has been submitted to a repository, it should not also be submitted with your thesis.
  • Follow the required file-naming convention for supplementary files: authorLastName-kerb-degree-dept-year-type_supplemental.ext
  • Captioning ( legally required ): text versions of the audio content, synchronized with the video: ways to get your video captioned
  • Additional content, not required:
  • For video, an audio description: a separate narrative audio track that describes important visual content, making it accessible to people who are unable to see the video
  • Transcripts: should capture all the spoken audio, plus on-screen text and descriptions of key visual information that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible without seeing the video

For physical components that are integral to understanding the thesis document, and which cannot be meaningfully conveyed in a digital form, the author may submit the physical items to the MIT Libraries along with their thesis document. When photographs or a video of a physical item (such as a model) would be sufficient, the images should be included in the thesis document, and a video could be submitted as digital supplementary material.

An example of physical materials that would be approved for submission as part of the thesis would be photographs that cannot be shared digitally in our repository due to copyright restrictions. In this case, the photographs could be submitted as a physical volume that is referred to in the thesis document.

As with digital supplementary information and research materials, physical materials must be approved for submission by your advisor. Contact [email protected] early in your thesis writing process to determine if physical materials should accompany your thesis, and if so how to schedule a transfer of materials to the MIT Libraries.

Creating your thesis document/digital format

You are required to submit a PDF/A-1 formatted thesis document to your department. In addition, it is recommended that original files, or source files, (such a .doc or .tex) are submitted alongside the PDF/A-1 to better ensure long-term access to your thesis.

You should create accessible files that support the use of screen readers and make your document more easily readable by assistive technologies. This will expand who is able to access your thesis. By creating an accessible document from the beginning, there will be less work required to remediate the PDF that gets created. Most software offers a guide for creating documents that are accessible to screen readers. Review the guidelines provided by the MIT Libraries .

In general:

  • Use styles and other layout features for headings, lists, tables, etc. If you don’t like the default styles associated with the headings, you can customize them.
  • Avoid using blank lines to add visual spacing and instead increase the size of the spaces before and/or after the line.
  • Avoid using text boxes.
  • Embed URLs.
  • Anchor images to text when inserting them into a doc.
  • Add alt-text to any images or figures that convey meaning (including, math formulas).
  • Use a sans serif font.
  • Add basic embedded metadata, such as author, title, year of graduation, department, keywords etc. to your thesis via your original author tool.

Creating a PDF/A-1

PDF/A-1 (either a or b) is the more suitable format for long term preservation than a basic PDF. It ensures that the PDF format conforms to certain specifications which make it more likely to open and be viewable in the long term. It is best for static content that will not change in the future, as this is the most preservation-worthy version and does not allow for some complex elements that could corrupt or prevent the file from being viewable in the future. Guidelines on how to convert specific file types to PDF/A .

In general: (should we simplify these bullets)

  • Convert to PDF/A directly from your original files (text, Word, InDesign, LaTeX, etc.). It is much easier and better to create valid PDF/A documents from your original files than from a regular PDF. Converting directly will ensure that fonts and hyperlinks are embedded in the document.
  • Do not embed multimedia files (audio and video), scripts, executables, lab notebooks, etc. into your PDF. Still images are fine. The other formats mentioned may be able to be submitted as supplemental files.
  • Do not password protect or encrypt your PDF file.
  • Validate your PDF/A file before submitting it to your department.

All digital files must be named according to this scheme: authorLastName-kerb-degree-dept-year-type_other.ext

  • Thesis PDF: macdonald-mssimon-mcp-dusp-2023-thesis.pdf
  • Signature page: macdonald-mssimon-mcp-dusp-2023-sig.pdf
  • Original source file: macdonald-mssimon-mcp-2023-source.docx
  • Supplemental file: macdonald-mssimon-mcp-2023-supplmental_1.mov
  • Second supplemental file: macdonald-mssimon-mcp-2023-supplmental_2.mov
  • Read Me file about supplemental: macdonald-mssimon-mcp-2023-supplemental-readme.txt

How to submit thesis information to the MIT Libraries

Before your day of graduation, you should submit your thesis title page metadata to the MIT Libraries  prior to your day of graduation. The submission form requires Kerberos login.

Student submitted metadata allows for quicker Libraries processing times. It also provides a note field for you to let Libraries’ staff know about any metadata discrepancies.

The information you provide must match the title page and abstract of your thesis . Please have a copy of your completed thesis on hand to enter this information directly from your thesis. If any discrepancies are found during processing, Libraries’ staff will publish using the information on the approved thesis document. You will be asked to confirm or provide:

  • Preferred name of author(s)as they appear on the title page of the thesis
  • ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher. The goal is to support the creation of a permanent, clear, and unambiguous record of scholarly communication by enabling reliable attribution of authors and contributors. Read ORCID FAQs to learn more
  • Department(s)
  • A license is optional, and very difficult to remove once published. The Creative Commons License allows you to grant permissions and provide guidance on how your work can be reused by others. Read more information about CC .
  • Thesis supervisor(s)
  • If you would like the full-text of your thesis to be made openly available in the ProQuest Dissertation & Theses Global database (PQDT), you can indicate that in the Libraries submission form.
  • Open access inclusion in PQDT is at no cost to you, and increases the visibility and discoverability of your thesis. By opting in you are granting ProQuest a license to distribute your thesis in accordance with ProQuest’s policies. Further information can be found in the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Author FAQ .
  • Full-text theses and associated supplemental files will only be sent to ProQuest once any temporary holds have been lifted, and the thesis has been published in DSpace@MIT.
  • Regardless of opting-in to inclusion in PQDT, the full text of your thesis will still be made openly available in DSpace@MIT . Doctoral Degrees: Regardless of opting-in the citation and abstract of your thesis will be included in PQDT.

Thesis research should be undertaken in light of MIT’s policy of open research and the free interchange of information . Openness requires that, as a general policy, thesis research should not be undertaken on campus when the results may not be published. From time to time, there may be a good reason for delaying the distribution of a thesis to obtain patent protection, or for reasons of privacy or security. To ensure that only those theses that meet certain criteria are withheld from distribution and that they are withheld for the minimum period, the Institute has established specific review procedures.

Written notification of patent holds and other restrictions must reach the MIT Libraries before the thesis in question is received by the MIT Libraries. Theses will not be available to the public prior to being published by the MIT Libraries. The Libraries may begin publishing theses in DSpace@MIT one month and one week from the last day of classes.

Thesis hold requests should be directed to the Technology Licensing Office (TLO) ( [email protected] ) when related to MIT-initiated patent applications (i.e., MIT holds intellectual property rights; patent application process via TLO). Requests for a thesis hold must be made jointly by the student and advisor directly to the MIT Technology Licensing Office as part of the technology disclosure process.

Thesis hold or restricted access requests should be directed to the Office of the Vice Chancellor ([email protected]) when related to:

  • Student-initiated patents (student holds intellectual property rights as previously determined by TLO) [up to 90-day hold]
  • Pursuit of business opportunities (student holds intellectual property rights as previously determined by TLO)[up to 90-day hold]
  • Government restrictions [up to 90-day hold]
  • Privacy and security [up to 90-day hold]
  • Scholarly journal articles pending publication [up to 90-day hold]
  • Book publication [up to 24-month hold]

In the unusual circumstance that a student wants to request a hold beyond the initial 90-day period, they should contact the Office of Vice President for Research , who may consult with the TLO and/or the Office of the Vice Chancellor, as appropriate to extend the hold. Such requests must be supported by evidence that explains the need for a longer period.

Find information about each type of publication hold, and to learn how to place a hold on your thesis

After publication

Your thesis will be published on DSpace@MIT . Theses are processed by the MIT Libraries and published in the order they are transferred by your department. The Libraries will begin publishing theses in DSpace@MIT one month and one week from the last day of classes.

All changes made to a thesis, after it has been submitted to the MIT Libraries by your department, must have approval from the Vice Chancellor or their designee. Thesis documents should be carefully reviewed prior to submission to ensure they do not contain misspellings or incorrect formatting. Change requests for these types of minor errors will not be approved.

There are two types of change requests that can be made:

  • Errata: When the purpose is to correct significant errors in content, the author should create an errata sheet using the form and instructions (PDF)  and obtain approval first from both the thesis supervisor or program chair, before submitting for review by the Vice Chancellor.
  • Substitution: If the purpose of the change is to excise classified, proprietary, or confidential information, the author should fill out the  application form (PDF) and have the request approved first by the thesis supervisor or program chair, before submitting for review by the Vice Chancellor.

Students and supervisors should vet thesis content carefully before submission to avoid these scenarios whenever possible.

You are always authorized to post electronic versions of your own thesis, in whole or in part, on a website, without asking permission. If you hold the copyright in the thesis, approving and/or denying requests for permission to use portions of the thesis in third-party publications is your responsibility.

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PhD (Digital Health)

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Apply your advanced research skills to shape the future of digital healthcare. 

rmit phd thesis length

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  • intending to study on a student visa, or
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  • not a a person seeking asylum who holds either a: Temporary Protection Visa (TPV), or Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) or Bridging Visa E or Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) visa or Temporary Humanitarian Concern Visa.

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Research Training Scheme

See admissions

AU$36,480 (2024 annual)

Apply your advanced research skills to shape the future of digital healthcare.

Digital health research plays an important role in enhancing our knowledge of the application and impact of digital technologies in healthcare and medicine. The School of Health and Biomedical Sciences conducts discovery, translational and clinical research focused on healthy ageing and chronic diseases. 

This is an interdisciplinary course, focused on building the capacity for digitally enabled healthcare. Our digital health research interests encompass electronic health records, mobile health applications, wearable devices, virtual care, health informatics, artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare and data analytics.

Why study digital health at RMIT?

Interdisciplinary networks.

Take advantage of interdisciplinary focused research with clinical and industry connections.

Practical applications

Gain the opportunity to help build the digital health capacity of the healthcare workforce.

Holistic approach

Enjoy a bench-to-bedside-to-community approach involving clinical, non-clinical, experimental and educational research.

How you will learn

Research at rmit, time spent on research.

Full-time candidates are expected to commit at least four days per week (or at least two days per week for part-time candidates) to their research. The academic year is 48 weeks.

Regular contact with your supervisor

A schedule of meetings with your supervisor/s must be established to assess progress against milestones and timely completion.

Resources, facilities and support

You will have access to the Learning Hub and other online and digital resources through the myRMIT student portal.

You will be part of an active research community and have access to resources and workshops to help you succeed.

School of Graduate Research

The School of Graduate Research works with Schools to further support candidates during their postgraduate research degree.

This course maintains strong local, national and international connections and collaborations with industry, including various health and medical sectors, the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, government and public health, hospitals and research institutes.

Many of the projects are conducted in collaboration with industry and industry partners. This broadens your knowledge and skill of the field, and can also unlock valuable interdisciplinary opportunities for the future.

Learning outcomes

The knowledge and skills you will acquire throughout this degree and how they can be applied in your career are described in the  learning outcomes .

Electives and course plan

You will complete this program under academic supervision.

The PhD program is structured to enable you to:

  • complete a compulsory research methods course
  • receive training in research integrity and ethics
  • select studies in qualitative and quantitative research techniques
  • complete a thesis/project which demonstrates your original contribution to the field and your ability to communicate complex or original research for peers and the community to an international standard

You are required to complete:

Research Integrity modules

You are required to complete the online modules:

  • Research integrity
  • Copyright and intellectual property

Research methods for sciences

Research methods courses step you through the literature review and preparing your research proposal for confirmation of candidature. They are taught in large discipline groups.

You may need to complete an ethics module to ensure your research is ethical and responsible.

Research Techniques

You may elect to take (where relevant) electives in qualitative or quantitative research techniques once data collection has begun. You can use your own data to explore different research analysis techniques. Your supervisor will help you decide when you should take these electives.

Co-curricular activities

You are encouraged to participate in activities offered with the university, college and school according to your needs and interests.

This PhD may be undertaken in a project, thesis by publication or thesis mode. Prospective candidates should discuss these modes of submission with their potential supervisor/s.

Course structure

Choose a plan below to find out more about the subjects you will study and the course structure.

*The maximum duration of the PhD program is 4 years full-time and 8 years part-time. However, candidates are expected to complete their program within 3-4 years full-time equivalent and 6-8 years part-time equivalent.

*The maximum duration of the PhD program is 4 years full-time. However, candidates are expected to complete their program within 3-4 years full-time equivalent.

Note: International student visa holders can only study full-time.

As a graduate, you will be highly sought after for a research or research-related career (including senior leadership and management positions) in various health and medical sectors, such as the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, government and public health, hospitals, universities and research institutes.

Expected career pathways for graduates of this degree include: 

  • research and academic positions in universities, hospitals and research institutes
  • pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry roles in research and development, data analysis, quality control, regulatory affairs, medical affairs or leadership and management
  • government and public health careers, investigating public health issues, epidemiology, health policy and contributing to evidence-based decision-making.

Minimum requirements for admission

Prerequisites, selection tasks.

The minimum requirements for admission to a PhD program are:

  • a bachelor degree requiring at least four years of full-time study in a relevant discipline awarded with honours. The degree should include a research component comprised of a thesis, other research projects or research methodology courses that constitute at least 25% of a full-time academic year (or part-time equivalent). The applicant must have achieved at least a distinction average in the final year;  or
  • a master degree that includes a research component comprised of at least 25% of a full-time academic year (or part-time equivalent) with an overall distinction average or a master degree without a research component with at least a high distinction average;  or
  • evidence of appropriate academic qualifications and/or experience that satisfies the Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Training and Development or nominee that the applicant has developed knowledge of the field of study or cognate field and the potential for research sufficient to undertake the proposed program.

At RMIT a grade of distinction represents academic achievement of 70% or higher and a high distinction is 80% or higher.

If you are a current master by research candidate, you are able to apply for a transfer to a doctor of philosophy program through the process prescribed in the  RMIT Higher Degree by Research policy .

There are no prerequisite subjects required for entry into this qualification.

These entrance requirements are the minimum academic standard you must meet in order to be eligible to apply for the program. You will need to complete a selection task as part of your application.

A selection process will be conducted in conjunction with the School and supervisors you nominate.

For further information on the steps you need to take to apply for a research program see  How to apply – Research programs .

English language requirements

Research proposal and supervisor.

You must attach a substantive research proposal that is 2 to 5 pages in length which articulates the intent, significance and originality of the proposed topic using the following headings:

a) title / topic b) research questions to be investigated in the context of existing research/literature in the area c) significance and impact of the research d) methodology / research tasks required to undertake the research e) particular needs (e.g. resources, facilities, fieldwork or equipment that are necessary for your proposed research program, if applicable).

Your application will not be considered if you have not discussed your research topic with a proposed senior and associate supervisor or joint senior supervisors. You must provide the names of the academic staff in the school you have applied to and with whom you have discussed your proposed research.

To study this course you will need to complete one of the following English proficiency tests:

  • IELTS (Academic): minimum overall band of 6.5 (with no individual band below 6.0)
  • TOEFL (Internet Based Test - IBT): minimum overall score of 79 (with minimum of 13 in Reading, 12 in Listening, 18 in Speaking and 21 in Writing)
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTE (A)): minimum score of 58 (with no communication band less than 50)
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): minimum of 176 with no less than 169 in any component.

For detailed information on English language requirements and other proficiency tests recognised by RMIT, visit  English language requirements and equivalency information .

Don't meet the English language test scores? Complete an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Advanced Plus Certificate at  RMIT English Worldwide .

You can gain entry to this program from a range of RMIT four year  Bachelor and Honours degrees  or  Postgraduate  or Masters by Research programs.

Fee summary

Fee information for masters by research and doctorate (PhD) programs.

If you are an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or New Zealand citizen you may be eligible for a Research Training Scheme (RTS) place where your tuition costs are funded by the Commonwealth Government under the RTS and you have full exemption from tuition fees.

Acceptance in an RTS place is very competitive and places are granted on the condition that you meet annual progress requirements and complete within the allotted time for your program and your status as a part-time or full-time candidate.

This means a maximum of 2 years for a full-time Masters by Research or 4 years for a PhD (or the equivalent part-time).

Contact the School of Graduate Research for more information.

The  student services and amenities fee (SSAF)  is used to maintain and enhance services and amenities that improve your experience as an RMIT student.

In addition to the SSAF there may be  other expenses  associated with your program.

Income tax deductions

Candidates may be eligible to apply for income tax deductions for education expenses linked to their employment. See the  Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website  for more information.

RMIT awards more than 2000 scholarships every year to recognise academic achievement and assist students from a variety of backgrounds.

The annual tuition fee for 2023 is AU$36,480.

The total indicative tuition fee for 2023 commencement is AU$151,680.

International applicants

  • Fees information  for international candidates looking to study at RMIT's Melbourne campuses.
  • PhD  and  masters by research  fees for international candidates studying offshore. 

Other costs

Important fee information.

Find out more details about  how fees are calculated  and the expected annual increase.

Applying for refunds

Find information on how to apply for a  refund  as a continuing international student.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.

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Program duration and fees

Program details.

  • The PhD duration will be maximum 4 years  
  • Students will be co-supervised by academics from both BITS and RMIT throughout their candidature  
  • Wh ile at a BITS campus in India , students will complete the required coursework and be required to develop their research proposal for confirmation of candidature by the end of their first year  
  • Students will visit RMIT in Melbourne for up to one year (normally in the second year of their program)  
  • RMIT coursework requirements will be completed when the students are at RMIT .

Costs, fees and scholarships

Costs when at bits campuses in india.

  • Tuition fees at BITS:
  • Fee to be paid at the time of joining: INR 62,225
  • Annual Fee from the Second Year: INR 49,225 (these amounts are reviewed annually)
  • The First Year Fee includes an Admission Fee of INR 10,000 and a refundable deposit of INR 3,000
  • Other costs/fees
  • There is a Ph.D. Thesis Submission Fee of INR 15,000 which needs to be paid at the time of thesis submission
  • You will also be required to pay boarding charges which depend on your campus and living arrangements
  • A Stipend will be made available:
  • Annual Stipend for those with First Degree (B.E. / M.Sc.) Qualification: INR 336,000
  • Annual Stipend for those with Higher Degree (M.E. / M.Tech.) Qualification: INR 372,000
  • In addition, you will receive an annual top-up stipend of around INR 106,000

Costs when at BITS campuses in Dubai

  • Fee to be paid at the time of joining: AED 22,920 (including the caution deposits, first year tuition fee and hostel fee)
  • The First Year Fee includes an Admission Fee of AED 2000 and a refundable deposit of AED, 4000
  • Annual Fee from the Second Year: AED 16,700 (these amounts are reviewed annually- includes hostel fee)
  • There is a Ph.D. Thesis Submission Fee of AED 1,000 which needs to be paid at the time of thesis submission.
  • Annual Stipend of AED 30,000
  • In addition, you will receive an annual top-up stipend of around AED 4,900

Costs when at RMIT campuses in Australia

  • Your tuition fees at RMIT
  • You will not have to pay tuition fees at RMIT for the duration of your time in Melbourne (up to one year)
  • You will receive a stipend of around A$33,826 per year pro rata to cover your cost of living including accommodation, food and entertainment (this amount is reviewed annually and published on the RMIT website)
  • Other costs and fees
  • You will be required to pay an RMIT annual student services and amenities fee of around A$326 (this amount is reviewed annually)
  • Your Overseas Student Health Cover (medical insurance) will be paid for by RMIT
  • BITS and RMIT will purchase for you a single return economy class airfare to get you to Melbourne and back. Any additional costs related to travel to and from Melbourne (such as taxis or additional baggage charges) will need to be covered by you.
  • As noted above, many of these figures are estimates based on this year’s relevant costs or stipends. You will be informed annually in advance of each of these amounts.

Note, these figures will be reviewed annually.

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Multi-scale interlaminar toughening of fibre-polymer composites

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IMAGES

  1. RMIT Thesis Template

    rmit phd thesis length

  2. RMIT Thesis Template

    rmit phd thesis length

  3. 2013 PhD Thesis by Daniel Davis (RMIT University) by Pablo C. Herrera

    rmit phd thesis length

  4. 2013 PhD Thesis by Daniel Davis (RMIT University) by Pablo C. Herrera

    rmit phd thesis length

  5. RMIT Thesis Template

    rmit phd thesis length

  6. RMIT Thesis Template

    rmit phd thesis length

VIDEO

  1. PhD Thesis Defense. Viktoriia Chekalina

  2. Writing That PhD Thesis

  3. PhD Thesis Defense. Vadim Sotskov

  4. Nadia Egalita

  5. PhD Thesis Writing clinic series 1

COMMENTS

  1. HDR submission formatting

    The thesis/dissertation shall be in English and be formatted in clearly readable font (no smaller than 10 point), in blue or black ink. The thesis/dissertation must contain the following in the order outlined below: a) a title page in the prescribed RMIT format (no page number) - RMIT Title Page (DOC, 44KB).

  2. Preparing a research proposal

    Your proposal should be a two to five page overview of your research divided under the following headings: Title and topic Research questions you plan to investigate in the context of existing research/literature in the area Significance and impact of the research Methodology/research tasks required to undertake the research

  3. PDF SGR-310 School of Graduate Research RMIT guidelines for examiners

    At RMIT, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a degree with a duration of between three and four years full-time (or part-time ... The length and format of the thesis/dissertation should be consistent with the normal standards for the discipline/field. Thesis The thesis must be unified and coherent in content addressing a single, significant ...

  4. Thesis and dissertation structures

    general-specific PhD by Project: "the creative dissertation": Workshop: The p roject-led dissertation Thesis moves and functions This useful document lays out the function of the different sections of chapters in a traditional thesis. It assists you to know what to write about and in what order.

  5. Submitting for examination

    The following sections detail the process for submitting for Higher Degree by Research examination. You need to make sure you have viewed the Prior to submission page before reading the information below.

  6. Research programs

    The duration is usually 2 years full time for Masters and 4 years full time for doctoral (PhD) studies. Search Choose a study area Architecture Art Aviation Biomedical sciences Building Business Communication Design Education Engineering Environment Fashion Health Information technology Law Media Property Psychology Science Social and community

  7. Examples of theses and dissertations in the Research Repository

    Taj, F 2023, The Coevolution of Organizational Routines and IT Systems in IT-enabled Organizational Transformation: A Social Constructivist Perspective, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Accounting, Information Systems and Supply Chain, RMIT University. Economics, Finance and Marketing

  8. Writing your research proposal

    Some schools ask for 2 - 5 pages, some 8 - 10 pages, and others can be considerably longer. Specific elements found in research proposals also vary between disciplines. Here is a list of elements that are always included and elements that are often included: _________________________________________________________

  9. RMIT thesis submission

    All RMIT theses (as described below) which are classified as fully completed after 1 st June 2006 must be submitted electronically. Where it is determined that a thesis/project is not suitable for digital archiving alternative provisions are made. What can be deposited? Your thesis must be: PhD, Professional Doctorate or Masters (by research)

  10. HDR Submission and Examination Procedure

    Section 1 - Context (1) This procedure provides the rules and classifications for the submission and examination of research towards a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) at RMIT and is supported by the RMIT Dissemination of Research Outputs Procedure. Top of Page Section 2 - Authority

  11. PhD (Design)

    Full-time 3-4 years Part-time 6-8 years Fees: Research Training Scheme Next intake: Continuous (scholarship application closing dates apply) Location: Melbourne City Overview The RMIT School of Design is internationally recognised as a leader in design education, research and practice.

  12. RMIT theses

    At RMIT, a Masters by Research or Doctor of Philosophy candidate undertaking project-based research submits a product or artefact (s) (or a record thereof) and a dissertation which outlines and defines the purpose and theoretical basis of the work. There may also be a recording of an oral presentation made by the candidate where required.

  13. FAQs

    It allows you to: stake your research territory and establish a reputation in your field. Many more scholars will read about your research in a journal than will read your thesis. get valuable feedback from peer reviewers deepen and broaden your knowledge of the topic by writing from different perspectives

  14. PDF RMIT Vietnam Postgraduate Research Admission and Scholarship

    By post or in person: Hoang Tram, Research Office - RMIT Vietnam Room 2.3.20, 702 Nguyen Van Linh, Tan Phong Ward, District 7, HCMC, Vietnam By email: [email protected] Please check the closing dates for application and scholarship applications on the RMIT Vietnam Research Admission and Scholarship Instruction Sheet or online at: https:/...

  15. PDF Research Writing: Tables and Figures

    Tables and figures are useful in your research writing because they can summarise data or dense/complex information in a more readable way. However, you should only use them if they assist the reader to understand. There are different writing conventions for tables and figures. Tables have vertical columns and horizontal rows; figures include ...

  16. RMIT University

    Welcome to the RMIT University Research Repository. The Research Repository is an open access institutional repository providing free, searchable access to scholarly publications authored by RMIT University researchers. ... Search Theses by School ; Downloads by country . Country Downloads Percent; Repository metrics . Top Ten. Recently added ...

  17. How Long Is a PhD Thesis?

    However, from the analysis of over 100 PhD theses, the average thesis length is between 80,000 and 100,000 words. A further analysis of 1000 PhD thesis shows the average number of pages to be 204. In reality, the actual word count for each PhD thesis will depend on the specific subject and the university it is being hosted by.

  18. Entry requirements

    Entry requirements English language requirements The minimum academic requirements for admission to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program (course) are: a bachelor's degree requiring at least four (4) years of full-time study in a relevant discipline awarded with honours.

  19. Length

    So if you are doing a PhD of 80,000 - 100,000 words, you may have a 8,000 - 10,000 word introduction. And if you are writing a Masters thesis of 15,000 - 20,000 words, your introduction could be 1,500 - 2,000 words long. Exegeses tend to be anywhere between seven to 12 pages in length (1.5 cm spacing) and include images and/or diagrams.

  20. MIT Specifications for Thesis Preparation

    Approved November 2022 for use in the 2022-2023 academic year. Updated March 2023 to incorporate changes to MIT Policies and Procedures 13.1.3 Intellectual Property Not Owned by MIT. View this page as an accessible PDF. Table of Contents Thesis Preparation Checklist General information Timeline for submission and publication Submitting your thesis document to your department Bachelor's ...

  21. PhD (Digital Health)

    Full-time 2 years Part-time 4 years Fees: Research Training Scheme Next intake: Continuous (scholarship application closing dates apply) Location: Melbourne City Overview Apply your advanced research skills to shape the future of digital healthcare.

  22. Program duration and fees

    Fee to be paid at the time of joining: AED 22,920 (including the caution deposits, first year tuition fee and hostel fee) The First Year Fee includes an Admission Fee of AED 2000 and a refundable deposit of AED, 4000. Annual Fee from the Second Year: AED 16,700 (these amounts are reviewed annually- includes hostel fee) There is a Ph.D. Thesis ...

  23. Multi-scale interlaminar toughening of fibre-polymer composites

    Substantial enhancements on the fracture toughness and delamination resistance translated to improvements on the load bearing properties of carbon fibre reinforced composite structures (e.g. laminates and joints). Findings from this PhD thesis helps identify news pathways in enhancing the damage tolerance of fibre-reinforced composites.