This 6-12 month degree is available to individuals who have already generated a range of high-quality refereed publications that form a substantial contribution to knowledge.
Deciding to complete a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a major step, personally and professionally. Just over 1% of the world’s population holds a doctoral-level qualification. What is rarely discussed is the diversity of doctoral qualifications that are available. One of the lesser-known modes of the philosophical doctorate (PhD) is the PhD by Prior Published Work.
This mode of PhD is particularly configured for professionals in a diversity of fields. From urban planning to surgeons, from creative writers to educators, from social workers to engineers. Professionals who have accompanied their careers with research and publications have a particular form of doctoral qualification developed for their needs.
The PhD by Prior Published Work has its origins in the United Kingdom. It was a strategy to credential experienced academics who had a suite of refereed publications but who had not undertaken a doctorate. A careful and considered curricula strategy was configured to create a pathway to the qualification.
If you have published a series of refereed articles and/or scholarly monographs, then this PhD may be an option for you. Read through the information below to answer many of your questions and to assist in the preparation for your application.
The PPPW has two parts: (1) a contextual statement and (2) a collection of refereed publications, book chapters and/or books. The works must be completed and published prior to admission, whereas the contextual statement is completed during the PPPW enrolment period. Further information is detailed in section 8 of the HDR Thesis Rules.
The number of publications varies enormously, but a minimum of six first or sole author clustered refereed works is required. The publications can be a combination of books, book chapters, refereed journal articles, or a book and attendant articles. Works cannot have been submitted for examination as part of any another qualification.
The publications must be clustered and must reveal an arc of research development that confirms an original contribution to knowledge. The period of the publications can be historically spread, as long as they develop into an argument that becomes the original contribution to knowledge.
Domestic students are normally provided a Research Training Program fee offset to cover tuition fees. A compulsory Student services and amenities fee applies.
International students pay the prescribed tuition fee for the equivalent PhD course but for only up to 1 year, pro-rate for part-time enrolments. Refer to Research areas for CRICOS and annual tuition fee amounts.
Artefacts can be included in the PPPW, but a strong exegetical case must be made that demonstrates the original contribution to knowledge that is generated through the artefacts.
The student must be the sole author or the most significant author for all the publications that are included in the thesis. The student’s contribution to co-authored publications must be at least 75%. The examiners must be able to confirm the credibility and authenticity of the student’s research and authorship, and the student’s role and contribution in the thesis. It is a requirement to obtain the approval of co-authors of publications that are included in the thesis. These permissions must be completed on the Co-authorship Approval Form prior to submitting your thesis. This form will be provided to examiners.
The contextual statement is the over-arching introduction that commences the PPPW thesis. It is crucial to the success of the doctorate. It holds many functions. It must show the relationship between the articles and the originality of the thesis. These variables and attributes cannot be assumed.
Firstly, the contextual statement must connect the publications, showing their relationship, and the arc of knowledge they convey. Put another way, the contextual statement presents the ‘story’ of the research.
Secondly, it must demonstrate an awareness, use of and reference to relevant historic and current literature. Each individual paper will have its own references section but students should also include a reference list/bibliography for their contextual statement.
Thirdly, it must confirm the authorship, the role of the author in the construction of this research, with attention to methodology, ontology and epistemology.
Fourthly, and most importantly, the contextual statement confirms the original contribution to knowledge. The originality must be proven. In other words, the articles may disseminate strong research. But high-quality research is not sufficient for a PhD. The candidate must confirm the significant and original contribution to knowledge. What do we know now that we did not know before the publication of your research? To make this case, metrics can be deployed and/or more qualitative confirmations about impact and engagement.
Finally, a conclusion should highlight the original contribution to knowledge, discuss problems encountered throughout the research and future directions of the work.
Noting the requirements of the contextual statement – and its pivotal role in the success of the PhD – the length varies from between 10,000 words to 40,000 words.
The minimum period of enrolment is six months and the maximum is one year. Refer to the HDR Policy Section 4.5.
Please refer to the –
HDR Thesis Rules, section 8
HDR Supervisor Policy, Section 4
HDR Progression Procedures, Section 5
Watch an explanatory video on the PPPW
Watch a video on the experience of a PPPW student
List the publications you wish to include in your doctorate.
Confirm that these publications have not been submitted for another degree. Confirm that the publications are published and are available to review.
Verify that at least six of these publications list you as the sole or first author of the co-authored publications.
Ensure that the publications cluster in a research area and make a case for an original contribution to knowledge.
Review the Course Rule Admission Requirements sections 2.1 and 2.2. If you meet the eligibility criteria set out above, you must:
Prepare a research outline
This is a preliminary proposal of approximately two pages outlining your thesis and a showing a plan of which refereed publications e.g. journal article references and abstracts you intend to include in the body of your work, and why.
Prepare a research experience statement
In a maximum of two pages, summarise your:
Identify a supervisor
Applicants are likely to be more successful in attracting a supervisor if the area of research falls within a supervisor’s area of interest.
To identify a prospective supervisor, review the Research supervisors in Flinders Research areas. (If your research area is not listed, type key words in the search box to describe your field of interest. Review the generated list of academic staff.)
Review a staff member’s ‘Research’ and ‘HDR supervision’ tabs to see if they match your field of interest.
Contact them, ready to provide your prepared research outline and research statement.
Provide, in English, only relevant academic transcripts from university studies and include a grading key (usually found on the back of the transcript)
Submit your application online
After an academic staff member has agreed to supervise your PhD by Prior Published Work, review the How to Apply webpage to ensure you have everything you need to lodge your online application to study.
If you already hold a PhD, why not consider undertaking a Higher Doctorate at Flinders University? Options available include:
If you have a question about how to apply, please review our Frequently Asked Questions before submitting an enquiry.
For all other course enquiries complete the enquiry form.
You consent to the use of our cookies if you proceed.