Policies and procedures

Policy No.
Teaching And Learning
Authoring Organisational Unit
Graduate Research and Scholarships
Date Approved
06/07/2011 Revised 01/04/2015
Next Review Date
Approving Body
Academic Council

The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Adequate Research Preparation

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

This policy deals with the requirement that students undertaking postgraduate research at the University have adequate research preparation.


In the context of this policy,

the University means The University of Western Australia

relevant faculty or board is the faculty or board with responsibility for administering the student's course and may include a position or committee with authority to carry out the function concerned

Policy statement:

1 Underlying Principles

1.1 Students undertaking a dissertation or thesis as part of a postgraduate course must have acquired adequate research preparation, normally prior to being accepted into the course.

1.2 Students without adequate research preparation may enrol in a master's course with a dissertation component, subject to successfully demonstrating adequate research preparation, to the level specified in the course rules, which normally is a minimum level of credit, during the course but prior to commencing the dissertation component.

2 Adequate research preparation

2.1 Subject to clauses 2.2 and 2.3, adequate research preparation may be demonstrated by one or more of the following:

2.1.1 by completing an honours course of this University, or an equivalent course as recognised by the relevant faculty or board, at a standard acceptable to the relevant faculty or board;

2.1.2 by completing at an acceptable standard at this or another recognised institution a preliminary course of study prescribed or approved by the relevant faculty or board;

2.1.3 by having previously undertaken at this or another recognised institution and at a standard acceptable to the relevant faculty or board work towards a postgraduate degree with a research component;

2.1.4 by providing evidence acceptable to the relevant faculty or board of research preparation gained in the course of an occupation since graduation.

2.2 An applicant will be considered to have fulfilled the requirements for admission to the course for a higher degree by research administered by the Graduate Research School when the applicant can demonstrate that they have undertaken supervised individual research in which they have designed and conducted a scholarly investigation in the context of an existing body of knowledge, critically analysed and evaluated the outcome in that context, and communicated the process effectively in writing.

2.3 An applicant referred to in 2.2 must be able to provide evidence of scholarly work in at least one of the following forms:

  • a supervised research dissertation project completed as a program undertaken after a three year or during a four year bachelor's degree course, carrying the equivalent credit of at least 25 per cent of an annual full-time load and awarded an assessed result at or above distinction level;
  • The Board of theGraduate Research School may deem a three-year Bachelor degree including a supervised dissertation of at least 25 per cent of an annual full-time load awarded with first class Honours from a highly- ranked university as meeting this criterion;
  • scholarly papers as sole or primary author, appearing in recognised academic journals or in volumes published by recognised academic publishers;
  • published research reports prepared for industry, government or business, which adhere to the broad conventions of academic publishing (ie contain an up-to-date review of relevant literature, a description of relevant research methods and an evaluation of results) and which identify the applicant as sole or primary author;
  • a portfolio of published creative work together with published critical discussion of some or all of that work, or of a comparable body of work by others, and which demonstrates the applicant's development of a scholarly approach to creative work as research investigation.

Related forms: (Link)

TRIM File No:


Contact position:

Academic Secretary

Related Policies or legislation:

Higher Degree by Research Preliminary Course (UP11/20)