Candidature Management  

Research Higher Degrees Policies and Procedures

The research higher degree policies and procedures, available online, outline the rules for undertaking a research higher degree at Flinders University - students should familiarise themselves with these rules.


If students have a scholarship, this is a separate component of the Research Higher Degree candidature. The Student Finance Office - Scholarships manages scholarships. The office is located in Enrolment Services, Telephone: 8201 3115, Fax: 8201 2580, Email: 

Faculty Milestones

The Faculty Research Higher Degrees Committee in consultation with the Schools has developed research higher degree milestones for candidates based on the University's student record system Equivalent Full-Time Student Load (EFTSL) enrolment.

The Faculty Milestones are intended to provide candidates with an overview of what is expected by the School, Faculty and University with respect to their candidature. For further details download the milestones document - Faculty Milestones (DOC 58KB)

Advice regarding Supervision

The University requires that each student have two supervisors, a principal and a co-supervisor, refer clause 7.1 of the Student Related Policies and Procedures Manual. Students may change their supervisors at any stage of the candidature and this should be discussed with the Postgraduate Coordinator or the Administrative Officer (Research Higher Degrees).

Conciliation Process

The University has various policies and procedures to deal with student grievances and problems. There is a network of contact officers who will provide advice and assistance in the resolution of complaints. The Higher Degree Contact Officers are:

Contact Officers

Dr Robyn Najar, Humanities (English) (8201 3086)

Research Proposal

The initial definition of the topic is provided in the application for candidature and a more detailed research proposal is required 6-12 months after beginning candidature. The form of the research proposal will vary across Schools but will normally cover such matters as: proposed title and topic; rationale, aims and objectives and methodology; literature review; preliminary bibliography; timetable; a provisional table of contents and an indication of any special considerations that may be required. This proposal is examined by a Committee of the supervisors, postgraduate coordinator and at least one other person not involved in the supervision of the student. A report on the status of the proposal, signed by members of the Proposal Committee is forwarded to the Faculty Research Higher Degrees Officer soon after the proposal meeting. The recommendation will be forwarded to the Chair of the Faculty Research Higher Degrees Committee and a copy will be kept on file.

The proposal will be assessed to ensure that the project is viable and that there are resources available to support the proposed project. In the case of MA students seeking to upgrade to a PhD the research proposal may be used as part of the upgrade procedure. Other requirements, such as for presentation of seminars by students, vary across Academic Organisational Units. Students should consult with their Postgraduate Coordinator for further details.

Click on your School (below) for specific policies and procedures regarding the Research Proposal process:

Humanities Research Proposal (DOC 78KB)

Education Research Proposal (DOCX 111KB)

Flinders Law School Research Proposal Guidelines


At Flinders University, Induction sessions for new Research Higher Degree (RHD) students are held each semester in March and August. These are facilitated by the Student Learning Centre, this seminar will provide a general introduction to all essential information about candidature. Additionally, Induction aims to provide guidance and advice on how to adjust to University life at this level. At Induction, student entitlements and responsibilities are defined and clearly communicated, and information is given about the opportunities to meet other research students and staff. Students are given the opportunity to learn about the experience of undertaking a doctoral thesis from an experienced student, and also to hear about the career advantages of taking a higher degree from Flinders University from a highly successful past student.

New students will receive a formal letter of invitation to the Induction session after enrolment from the Student Learning Centre.

Research Higher Degrees with a Creative Component

Research Higher Degrees in EHL can include a Creative Component which must be negotiated at the time of admission and approved by the Faculty Research Advisory Group (Higher Degrees)f.  The majority of these research higher degrees occur in the Department of English, Creative Writing and Australian Studies.  For information about undertaking a research higher degree in the Department of English, Creative Writing and Australian Studies ECWAS Creative MA & PhD (2011) .  For information about undertaking a research higher degree with a creative component in the Department of Drama  Drama Creative MA & PhD (2009) . For information about undertaking a research higher degree with a creative component in the Department of Screen & Media Creative Screen and Media (2013) (PDF 36KB) . For additional information contact the Faculty Administrative Officer (Research Higher Degrees).

Word Limits

Higher degree students are advised to consult their supervisors about the appropriate length of theses subject to the following guidelines:


In the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Law, a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy should be a minimum of 70,000 words and a maximum of 100,000 words and for Masters a minimum of 35,000 words and a maximum of 50,000. This excludes footnotes, bibliography, tables and appendices, but students should not make use of extensive footnotes or very large appendices in order to bypass the word limit. When students submit their thesis they will be asked to indicate how long the thesis is, and where it exceeds the normal word limit they will be asked to provide a detailed explanation of the reasons for its length.


Information on the preparation of the thesis can be obtained from Appendix E.


Approximately 3 months prior to submission of the thesis, the student must discuss potential examiners with the supervisor(s). Names of examiners must be submitted on the Nomination of Examiners (DOC 98KB) to the EHL Faculty Office, so that they can be invited to examine the thesis prior to the submission. This reduces the time to wait between submission and notification of examination results. Three copies of the thesis are required by the Faculty Office, one for each of the examiners and one spare. When the Faculty has received both exam reports, the student is notified in writing.

The Faculty recommends the following binders for theses:

  • Coil Binding                  Flinders Press, Flinders University, car park 9 - 8201 2332
  • Soft or Hard Cover       Harley & Sons Bookbinders, 28 Dew St, Thebarton - 8443 7515



General Enquiries

Research Higher Degrees Coordinator, Ms Sally Mathews 8201 3590, room 4.09 Education Building,