Skip to content | Change text size
Handbooks Courses Units
Monash University

Master of Science

Course code: 2700 / 3532 ~ Course abbreviation: MSc ~ Total credit points required: 96 ~ 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time ~ Managing faculty: Science

Study mode and course location

On-campus (Clayton; Gippsland; Sunway)

External (Clayton; Gippsland)

Course description

The MSc (by research) permits students to show independence of thought and demonstrate their ability to carry out research in their chosen discipline.

Assessment is by 100 per cent thesis, and should have a length of between 50,000 and 70,000 words although individual school requirements may differ. The thesis should embody the results of an investigation carried out by the candidate under supervision.

Course objectives

Successful completion of the program will signify that the candidate has successfully completed a course of research training and has satisfied the examiners that he/she can carry out a research project and analyse critically the results.


Duration of candidature

Except where the faculty board in any particular case otherwise determines, a thesis must be submitted in a minimum of 12 months of full-time or 24 months of part-time candidature and a maximum of 24 months of full-time or 48 months of part-time candidature.

Part-time candidature

Applicants may be admitted to part-time candidature if they can provide written evidence that they can devote at least two full working days per week or its equivalent to the research project.

A research assistant in full-time employment in the university may, on the recommendation of a head of school, be permitted to enrol as a part-time candidate. The Research Degrees Committee will require a letter from the supervisor, countersigned by the head of school, certifying:

  • that there is sufficient freedom to pursue original research
  • the extent to which the research undertaken as part of the employment overlaps with that undertaken as a candidate, and
  • that there will be no limitation on the publication of results of the candidate's primary research work.

External candidature

External mode candidature allows candidates to undertake research in an approved research institution in Australia or in another country where resources and complementary supervision are available. Candidates may also have the option to spend some of their time at the Monash South Africa campus, if the project allows. External candidates must have access to email as well as telephone and/or video-conferencing facilities. An external supervisor with the appropriate expertise, based in the external location, will normally be appointed. This supervision will be in addition to the supervision provided by academic staff members of the university. Regular interactive communication between the candidate and the main supervisor should take place at least once per month. An annual 15-day attendance requirement in the school or department in which the candidate is enrolled must be met each year (or eight days in the case of part-time candidates), although in special circumstances a reduction in the 15-day attendance requirement after the first year may be considered by the Research Degrees Committee.


Writing-up away

Approval to write the thesis away from the university may be sought by candidates who have been enrolled for at least the minimum time specified in the regulations, providing their supervisor has sighted the first draft of the thesis. A maximum of six months writing-up away may be approved in the first instance. Candidates should note that the writing-up away period is not additional to that of the length of candidature.

Thesis format and submission requirements

Guidelines for the presentation and preparation of masters theses can be found on the Faculty of Science website at thesis should normally have a word length of between 50,000 and 70,000 words although individual school requirements may differ. This should not include footnotes, references or appendices, nor should it include equations, tables, diagrams and other illustrations. Where it is proposed that the thesis will exceed the specified maximum length, the candidate will be required to submit a request to the Research Degrees Committee in advance of the thesis being submitted for examination.

Contact details

Further information can be obtained from the graduate studies website at or from the Faculty of Science office by email at