AUT Postgraduate Regulation Updates

The University Postgraduate Board (UPB) has recently approved changes to regulations for the following items below.  The changes will be reflected in the online PG Handbook.
The changes are effective as of the start of Semester 2, Monday 16 July, 2018. 
1. Thesis Presentation/Structure
The terminology ‘Pathways’ will be replaced by ‘Formats’:
Pathway 1 = Format 1 (Traditional Thesis structure)
Pathway 2 = Format 2 (Manuscript structure)
Pathway 3 = Format 3 (Practice-Led structure)
In Format 2, the term ‘publication’ and ‘article’ will be replaced with ‘manuscript’.  The Manuscript structure requires a strong conclusion and strong links of a minimum of half a page, as a prelude between distinct chapters each of which form a sequential and cohesive thesis.
There is now no requirement to have papers published in order to meet the requirements for Format 2.
For doctoral theses, a minimum of two manuscripts are to be submitted to peer reviewed journals prior to submission for examination. It is important for students and supervisors to continue to publish papers, and to sign a statement that the papers are either submitted or ready for submission.
Masters and Bachelor with Honours with a research component of 90pts and above will be able to use the manuscript structure (Format 2) and must include a minimum of one submitted manuscript to a peer reviewed journal prior to submission for examination.

It is important for all students using this format to be aware that “Research that has been published or accepted for publication does not ensure a pass in a degree. Examiners will judge a student’s research on its original contributions to knowledge and scholarship. The thesis must stand on its own merits as a thesis and will be assessed on its totality. Examiners may request changes to any part of the thesis whether the articles have been previously published or not” (p.102, 2018 PG Handbook).


2.  Word Limits
A doctoral thesis which follows the traditional thesis (Format 1) is normally between 60,000 and 80,000 words, with an upper limit of 100,000 words (excluding bibliographies and appendices).
For manuscript structure (Format 2), it was approved that some disciplines may consider a word limit between 45,000 and 80,000 words, with an upper limit of 100,000 words (excluding bibliographies and appendices). Students should consult their primary supervisor on what is appropriate for their thesis topic and their proposed research.
For practice-led structure (Format 3), there are no changes to the word limit. 
(i) Thesis presentation comprising an exhibition of creative work and exegesis.
The length of a project report (including literature review) requires a minimum word requirement of 30,000 for a doctoral exegesis, and is generally expected to be between 40,000 to 50,000 words.
(ii) Thesis presentation comprising an exhibition of creative work and exegesis.
A doctoral exegesis would normally have a minimum word requirement of 30,000 words, which is normally between 40,000 to 50,000 words, excluding bibliographies or appendices. The remainder of the presentation comprises an exhibition of creative work.
A master’s thesis following the manuscript format is normally between 20,000 and 40,000 words (excluding bibliographies), with an upper limit of 60,000 words. This is dependent on the topic and the specific research undertaken, and varies depending on methodology and the relevant point’s value of the research e.g. 90 points vs 120 points.
3.  PGR10 Form – Change of Thesis Topic
Students are requested to complete a PGR10 – ‘Change of Thesis Topic’ form where they are making a change to the ‘Format’ structure. 
4.  PGR16 Form – Application for Embargo
Currently the PGR16 form requires sign off from the student, primary supervisor, secondary supervisor and advisor/mentor (where applicable). 
The requirement for other signatories will no longer be mandatory and that only the student and primary supervisor will be required to sign off the PGR16.  Any retrospective embargoes submitted for approval to the faculty are only approved in exceptional circumstances on a case by case basis.

5.  Doctoral Examiner Reports Provided to Supervisors on the Morning of the Pre-Meeting.
The Graduate Research School will provide supervisors with copies of anonymised examiner reports the morning of the doctoral examination pre-meeting.  This is so supervisors can read the reports in advance and be prepared for any questions the student may have.  Please liaise with the Doctoral Examinations team ( if you have any questions.
Contact the Graduate Research School if you have any questions regarding the above changes.
Graduate Research School

About Graduate Research School (Auckland University of Technology)

The Auckland University of Technology Graduate Research School offers support and resources to all postgraduate students at AUT. Come and visit us on the 5th floor of the WU building.

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