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Guidance for staff

Overview

Students registered on the Monash Warwick Alliance Joint PhD are enrolled at both institutions for the duration of the course. A students’ home institution is the institution to which they submitted their course application.

Supervisors will be appointed at both institutions and students should be in regular contact with both supervisors.

Students are required to enrol at both institutions on an annual basis, and are encouraged to regularly check both their Warwick and Monash email accounts.

Upon completion of the requirements of the degree, the student will be jointly awarded a PhD by both institutions.

Guidance for Warwick home students is also available.

Travel between institutions

Students are required to spend at least 12 months at their host institution – this can be a single block of study or can be split into multiple periods, subject to funding or visa restrictions. Students are expected to indicate their expected dates at each University by completing the Joint Supervision Statement during the application process. Any changes to these dates should be agreed with both supervisors and confirmed to respective academic departments and the Doctoral College via JointPhD at warwick dot ac dot uk.

The Alliance provides funding up to £2,000 to assist Alliance Joint PhD students, whose home institution is Warwick, with their travel to Monash. The funding can be used towards the cost of flights, transfers, visas and health insurance (if applicable) and can be accessed by completing the travel grant release form. Similar funding is available from Monash for students whose home institution is Monash.

Monash home students travelling to Warwick should be directed to Student Opportunity: Immigration & Compliance for visa advice well in advance of their expected arrival date.

Departments are responsible for reporting any change of study location for a Tier 4 sponsored student for a period of three months or longer. This applies to Warwick and Monash home students. A report should be made when a Warwick home student travels to Monash and on their subsequent return. Monash home students who travel to Warwick on a Tier 4 visa should also be reported as a change of study location when they leave Warwick to return to Monash.

Supervision

All students must have a minimum of two supervisors. Supervision of students will be a co-supervision model with a main supervisor from each university equally sharing the main supervisory load and responsibility (this does not preclude team supervision). Both main supervisors must sign off any variation to course of study.

Supervisors of students registered on the Joint PhD should normally have passed their probationary period at Warwick, or be a member of the Monash Institute of Graduate Research if employed at Monash. Exceptions to this rule can be considered by both universities.

A change of supervisor during the degree is not normally permitted, but under exceptional circumstances a request from a student for a change of supervisor should be considered.

Students should normally make contact with their supervisors at least once a fortnight; noting that this may not necessarily be a formal meeting but could, for example, be an exchange via e-mail, subject to the approval of the supervisory team and departments.

Attendance monitoring

Departments are responsible for monitoring attendance of all students registered on the joint PhD for the duration of the course in line with the Good Practice Guide on Monitoring Student Attendance and Progress.

Academic departments and, in particular, supervisors, are responsible for ensuring that a student is effectively engaging with their PhD during their registration at the University. Departments are expected to complete monitoring points for all students, regardless of their immigration status. Warwick academic departments need to return monitoring points for all students for the entirety of their registration for the joint programme, regardless of their physical location. When students are located at Monash University, their Warwick academic department should ensure that monthly monitoring points continue to be returned, noting that the expectations of the course are that students have contact with their supervisors on a fortnightly basis.

Departments should also be aware that, for students sponsored for a Tier 4 visa, sponsor duties are in place for the full duration of registration. Monash home students who are travelling to Warwick on a Tier 4 visa will be sponsored for the remainder of their registration period, including after they have returned to Monash. This means a record of engagement at Monash should be kept and any reporting duties required for Tier 4 students will remain in place for the full duration of their registration.

Progress monitoring

Students registered on the Joint PhD are required to undertake progress reviews to demonstrate satisfactory progress at 12, 24 and 36 months from the start of the course. It is the responsibility of a student’s home academic department to make arrangements for progress reviews, although these may take place at the host institution, depending on the timing of the student’s visit(s). Progress reviews for Warwick home students will operate as set out in the Guidelines on Supervision and Monitoring. Specific requirements and arrangements vary by department. Both supervisors will agree on how this will operate for joint PhD students.

All students registered on the Joint PhD will have a probationary period of registration of 12 months. If, after the 12 month progress review, a student has not demonstrated that they have completed the probationary period, they will be given one further opportunity to demonstrate that they meet the requirements. Students who fail to demonstrate that they meet the requirements at the second attempt may be permitted to transfer their registration to an MPhil or Master’s by Research (Warwick/Monash degree only, not joint award). Any funding provided through the Alliance would be withdrawn for students who fail to be confirmed in their course of study.

Changes to registration

All students should be enrolled in the Joint PhD on a full-time basis. Part-time enrolment will only be allowed according to established procedures at each university. As part-time enrolment is normally not allowed for international students in either jurisdiction, part-time students would have to undertake periods of study at the other institution on a full-time basis.

Any variations to the course of study, such as temporary withdrawal, extension, change of mode of attendance, must be authorised by both the Warwick and Monash supervisor. Students should submit a request to change their registration period to their home institution (Warwick home students should request via eVision). If the home institution approves the request, the host institution should be informed so that records can be updated.

Thesis submission and examination

Students are required to submit their completed thesis to their Home institution following its standard procedures and accompanied by a statement by the supervisors indicating that the thesis is ready for examination. Warwick home students should present and submit their thesis in line with the Guide to Examinations of Higher Degrees by Research.

The thesis should be a maximum of 80,000 words excluding footnotes, references, appendices, equations, tables, diagrams or other illustrations. Prior approval from both institutions is required for a thesis in excess of 80,000 words. The Home institution is responsible for administering the examination, including coordinating the nomination of examiners, distribution of the thesis and approval of examiners’ recommendation.

Approximately one month before submission of the thesis, the student and their supervisors should complete the Nomination of Examiners form and send to the home institution for approval. Two independent examiners, external to both institutions and normally with experience in both the Australian and UK styles of examination, will be appointed and approved by both institutions. In addition an experienced examination advisor, usually a member of academic staff at Warwick, will be appointed to co-ordinate the examination and provide guidance on procedures and the recommendations available to examiners. Further information on the criteria for the appointment of examiners is available in the Guide to Examinations for Higher Degrees by Research.

Students will undergo a viva/oral defence of the thesis, undertaken in English. The examination advisor is responsible for the coordination of arrangements for the viva. Both examiners and the examination advisor will attend the viva, which can be held via videoconference, subject to the consent of all participants. Supervisors may attend the viva, subject to the agreement of the student and examiners, but will not play a decision-making role.

Examiners are required to complete independent reports before conferring with each other in advance of the oral examination and a joint report containing their recommendation following the oral examination. The examination advisor will chair and maintain a summary record of the oral examination. The examiners’ reports will be made available to the student after the oral examination and the approval of the examiner’s recommendation.

The recommendations available to examiners are:

  • That the degree be awarded,
  • That the degree be awarded subject to minor or major corrections being made to the thesis (within a maximum period of three months),
  • That the thesis be resubmitted in a revised form (within a maximum period of twelve months),
  • That a lesser degree be awarded, or
  • That no degree be awarded

Further information on the outcomes available to examiners is available in the Guide to Examinations of Higher Degrees by Research.

If the examiners recommend that a lesser degree be awarded, the student can choose to resubmit for a lower award at either the home or the host institution if the regulations of the relevant institution permit.

If the examiners are unable to agree on a joint recommendation, an external adjudicator will be appointed. The recommendation of the adjudicator will normally prevail.

In the event of the student only satisfying the degree requirements at one institution, the joint degree cannot be awarded, and either institution may exercise its discretion to allow the student to continue in one of its other programs in accordance with its usual policies of.

Students are required to submit the final version of the thesis to both institutions, in line with instructions provided. Information on submission to Warwick is available in the Guide to Examinations of Higher Degrees by Research.

Following the completion of the examination process, students will be asked to choose the institution at which they would like to graduate. They will receive two certificates, one issued by each institution, that act as a counterpart to each other referring to the joint nature of the degree. The certificates will be physically issued by the institution chosen for graduation.