Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (PhD) AWARD SUMMARY

Qualifications for Admission to Candidature: A person may apply for admission to the PhD if he or she has obtained or is qualified to obtain a four-year Bachelor degree, or the equivalent, in an appropriate discipline, to at least a Distinction standard. For details see Regulation D.4.1 below

In all cases, prior studies should include sufficient preparation to undertake the proposed research in a theologically related area.

In exceptional cases, candidates may be admitted on the grounds of academic and/or professional attainments, including publications, in the theologically related area in which they wish to pursue research for the degree.

Notwithstanding the provisions above, the College may require suitability for candidature to be by such examination or other work as determined by the College.

The College will decline to accept an applicant if it cannot offer supervision in the proposed field of research.

Duration: 3-4 years full-time or 6-8 years part-time.
Structure: Research and thesis of 80,000 words maximum, including footnotes/endnotes but excluding bibliography and appendices, under the direction of a supervisor; AND

compulsory participation in the Research Degree Workshop and Research Seminars.

Some thesis topics may require competence in ancient and/or modern foreign languages or other relevant areas of knowledge.

English Proficiency: Applicants whose entry qualifications were obtained in an institution where English is not the language of instruction require a minimum IELTS (or equivalent) score of 7.0 in all bands of the test.
Contact: The Research Director, Office of the Dean.

1. RATIONALE

The Doctor of Philosophy meets the specifications for a Doctoral Degree (Research) set by the Australian Qualifications Framework. It provides men and women with the opportunity to pursue advanced study in a theologically related area by research at the highest academic level. It is designed for those who seek to further their study in such an area, including interdisciplinary study, for academic, vocational, professional and/or personal reasons. It also offers research training and experience that would support an academic or professional career involving research.

The Doctor of Philosophy is undertaken by research and thesis alone. It provides the opportunity for candidates to embark on a significant, extended piece of research, which investigates a theologically related topic in a systematic, creative and comprehensive manner that is not available in coursework programs. The research will contribute to knowledge in an original way.

2. LEARNING OUTCOMES

Graduates will have systematic and critical understanding of a complex field of theologically related learning and specialized research skills for the advancement of learning in the field. They will have:

Knowledge

  • systematic and critical understanding of the chosen theologically related area
  • mastery of a substantial body of knowledge at the frontier of knowledge in the field, including knowledge that constitutes an original contribution
  • expert understanding of theories pertaining to the field
  • substantial knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to the field

Skills

expert and specialized cognitive, creative, and technical skills in the field of research, so that they are able independently and authoritatively to:

  • critically evaluate existing knowledge and ideas pertaining to the field of research
  • systematically investigate and integrate other information potentially relevant to that field including potentially relevant theories
  • demonstrate and apply theoretical understanding of the field
  • develop or adapt research methodologies to extend existing understanding of the field
  • communicate results of research cogently and appropriately to specialist and non-specialist audiences, using the English language competently and effectively for the purpose

Applications of Knowledge and Skills

  • as a practitioner or learner in relation to the inter-dependent building up of the church and good of the wider community, ongoing capacity to:
  • plan and execute a coherent, significant and original piece of research with intellectual independence and authority
  • generate significant and original knowledge in the field
  • contribute expertise to academic discourses in the field
  • take initiatives, think creatively and make innovations in new situations and/or undertake further learning
  • assume full responsibility and accountability for personal outputs

3. GRADUATE ATTRIBUTES

PhD Graduates will:

  • Be able to identify, analyse and articulate problems and issues in discourses current in their academic, professional and social communities
  • Recognize the level of their own understanding
  • Demonstrate creativity and originality of thought in solving problems and dealing with complex and abstract conceptual matters
  • Be able to access information efficiently using the means most appropriate to purpose and context
  • Value academic integrity and rigour and exercise critical thinking in forming judgments
  • Work autonomously and with an open mind
  • Understand the distinction between information and argument and be adept in marshalling information as evidence in argument
  • Hold responsible values and attitudes as members of academic, professional and social communities, based in part on their experience as SCD research candidates
  • Be able to communicate their thinking coherently and effectively, with appropriate English proficiency, in public debate and printed word
  • Have confidence to engage in public discussions of faith and ethics
  • Appreciate and act on opportunities for lifelong learning and encourage others to recognize learning opportunities for themselves
  • Be willing to assume high-level leadership in their academic, professional and social communities as needed

4. ACADEMIC REGULATIONS

The Academic Regulations below must be read in conjunction with Common Elements for Research Awards found in Section A above.

4.1 Admission to Candidature
4.1.1 The Sydney College of Divinity may admit to candidature in the PhD those persons who have attained:

(a) A Bachelor (Hons) degree or equivalent with results at Class II, Division 1, from the Sydney College of Divinity or an equivalent institution; or

(b) A Graduate Diploma with a GPA of 3+ and one 18 cpt research unit at Distinction level from the Sydney College of Divinity or an equivalent institution; or

(c) Qualifications deemed by the College to be equivalent to or higher than those above.

In all cases, prior studies should include sufficient preparation to undertake the proposed research in a theologically related area.

4.1.2 In exceptional cases, candidates may be admitted on the grounds of academic and/or professional attainments, including publications, in the theologically related area in which they wish to pursue the research.
4.1.3 Notwithstanding the provisions above, the Sydney College of Divinity may require suitability for candidature to be demonstrated by such examination or other work as determined by the Sydney College of Divinity.
4.1.4 The College will decline to accept an applicant if it cannot offer supervision in the proposed field of research.
4.1.5 Applicants must submit together with their application a Summary of Research Intentions, sufficient for the Research Committee to determine the general suitability of the topic and availability of appropriate resources and supervision.
4.1.6 Applicants whose entry qualifications were obtained in an institution where English is not the language of instruction will be required to demonstrate competency in English by an IELTS result of 7.0 in all bands of the test and may be required to attend such English language co