About PhD coursework

All commencing PhD students in the Faculty of Arts are required to successfully complete compulsory coursework in parallel with regular meetings with their supervisor.

Overview

All commencing PhD students (and any MA students considering converting to a PhD) in the Faculty of Arts are required to successfully complete a 25 point component of compulsory coursework in parallel with regular meetings with your supervisor, providing you a rounded research training experience, with some identifiable subsidiary knowledge and skills.

The Arts PhD Coursework is completed before confirmation, which normally occurs at the end of the first year of candidature (full-time). It consists of 25 credit points, made up of a two-part workshop (12.5 points) and two electives (6.25 points each).

The coursework is designed to offer high-level engagement with the key literature and research in the discipline(s) in your research area, to assist with your preparation for confirmation, and to enhance your cohort experience with PhD colleagues and academic staff.

  • The two-part workshop focuses on the intellectual frontiers of your core area of study and enhances the preparation of your research project, through a comprehensive understanding of the relevant literature, and through formulating and discussing your project proposal in relation to the current literature
  • The electives provide graduate-level engagement with contemporary work in your own or cognate disciplines, as a source of intellectual enrichment and - if necessary - may also provide development of specific knowledge and expertise necessary for your thesis work

The workshop and electives will be assessed; however, the award of the PhD will be based solely on the result of the 80,000 word dissertation. Consequently, work written for the coursework can, if appropriate, be incorporated into the final thesis.

To finalise your enrolment, submit the PhD Coursework Enrolment Request Form below.

Sample course plans

How to enrol

To finalise your enrolment please submit the online Arts PhD Coursework enrolment request form.

PhD coursework enrolment request form

On the form you must:

  1. Agree to the terms and conditions of coursework enrolment
  2. Confirm your candidature commencement date
  3. Confirm your PhD Coursework subject selection

Please be aware of census dates when changing your enrolment or applying for Leave of Absence. If you have any questions please email Arts Research.

PhD workshop

The PhD workshop (12.5 points) is comprised of a series of discipline based seminars during Semester 1 (6.25 points) and an whole cohort intensive, also in Semester 1 (6.25 points). It is taught in discipline groups and is designed to enhance the critical, theoretical and methodological skills necessary for PhD study and for confirmation.

Students choose one of the seven available streams, which are:

  • Researching Media and Culture
  • Researching Ideas
  • Researching Images
  • Researching Language
  • Researching Politics and Policy
  • Researching Society and Culture
  • Researching Texts
  • Researching the Past

The first component of the workshop is designed to enhance your awareness of the range of contemporary scholarship and methodology in your discipline or interdisciplinary area.

The intensive component of the workshop focuses on the common challenges of designing a research project at PhD level. These include framing research questions in the context of the existing research literature, selecting and developing an appropriate and refined research strategy, and clarifying the stages of a research project. The subject will be collaboratively taught to reflect the diversity of approaches to research across the many disciplines in the faculty.

Students must achieve a minimum grade of H2A (75%) or above in their Workshop assessment as a necessary hurdle requirement for confirmation.

Choosing a workshop

In some cases, supervisory panels, disciplines or Schools will require their students to take particular workshops. Some workshops may be restricted to students with cognate disciplinary expertise in that area of study.

It is recommended that you discuss your workshop and electives selections with your supervisor before you complete your coursework enrolment. For more information please visit the University Handbook DR-PHILART Doctor of Philosophy - Arts web page.

Doctor of Philosophy - Arts Handbook

PhD electives

With the guidance of your PhD Advisory Panel, you will select two 6.25 point electives which are completed during the first year of candidature (full-time). These electives are designed to give you an enhanced knowledge of leading-edge research work and theoretical approaches to doctoral research in the humanities and social sciences.

The list of available electives is designed to encompass the diversity of disciplines across the Faculty. Substantive content will include current research projects being conducted by senior Faculty staff, graduate seminars offered by distinguished visiting scholars, leading-edge research in specific disciplinary fields, and high level research methods.

Some electives are run as a regular seminar (such as weekly or fortnightly) and some are offered as intensives over several days.

Students must achieve a minimum grade of H3 (65%) or above in each elective.

Choosing an elective

In some cases, supervisory panels, disciplines or Schools will require their students to take particular electives. Some electives may be restricted to students with cognate disciplinary expertise in that area of study. With the consent of your Advisory Committee you may be permitted to substitute 1 of the electives with a subject considered necessary for your research and at an equivalent level. Language study, academic English or specialised subjects that will aid your research are examples of permissible exceptions. Any application for substitution will need to be approved by the Assistant Dean, PhD Coursework.

It is recommended that you discuss your workshop and electives selections with your supervisor before you complete your coursework enrolment. For more information, including available subjects, please visit the University Handbook DR-PHILART Doctor of Philosophy - Arts web page.

Doctor of Philosophy - Arts Handbook

PhD coursework enrolment request form