Monash University

Postgraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2012 should refer to this course entry for direction on the requirements; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course.

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This course entry should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Science

Managing facultyScience
Abbreviated titleMPhil
CRICOS code046741E
Total credit points required96
Standard duration of study (years)2 years FT, 4 years PT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Clayton, Gippsland)
Off-campus (Clayton, Gippsland)
Admission, fee and application details
Contact details

Monash Research Graduate School: email; telephone +61 3 9905 3009


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the handbook are not available for study in the current year.


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

The Research Graduate School Committee is the body responsible for administering the MPhil. It has final responsibility for approving admission to MPhil and for such matters as variations to candidature, questions of supervision, progress, and submission and examination of theses. For further information on the MPhil degree, refer to the 'Doctoral and MPhil information Handbook for research candidates and their supervisors' available at

Additional information on research areas in the Faculty of Science can be accessed from the website for each school available via


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

The normal period of candidature is 24 months full-time equivalent. The minimum and maximum period of candidature is 12 and 24 months full-time equivalent respectively.

Part-time candidature

The faculty board, through the Committee on Graduate Matters, may, on the recommendation of the head of school concerned, recommend to the Research Graduate School Committee admission of applicants to part-time MPhil enrolment who comply with the following guidelines.

(1.) Subject to the requirements of the regulations relating to the degree of Master of Philosophy, the faculty has determined that applicants shall provide written evidence that they can devote:

(a.) at least two full working days per week or equivalent to their studies in a laboratory discipline, or

(b.) at least one full working day per week or its equivalent in a non-laboratory discipline.

(2.) Applicants in full-time employment shall provide written evidence from the employer to the effect that sufficient time as defined above will be made available for them to undertake their research.

External candidature

Where the research is principally being undertaken at another research site (for example an archives repository, field site, laboratory, commercial or governmental research station, or another university), suitably qualified applicants may apply for external MPhil candidature. The applicant must demonstrate that the external research site provides a research environment that offers appropriate resources, facilities, and research expertise for the duration of the candidature. Candidates must have the personal maturity to pursue independent, sustained, and structured research off-campus. Such evidence might include previous successful and timely completion of a postgraduate research degree, publications, or relevant work experience particularly in a research-oriented institution. An annual on-campus attendance of 10 days is required for external MPhil candidates. Apportionment of these days would be determined on a case-by-case basis (for example, a single block of time or the equivalent in shorter blocks). The residency requirement assumes the relevant academic unit has a regular seminar program from which external candidates may benefit while on-campus. A special application form, available from the Monash Research Graduate School website at must be completed and submitted to the relevant school.

Transfer of candidature

Transfer from PhD to MPhil candidature

A PhD candidate may transfer from PhD to MPhil candidature. Doctoral candidates who wish to transfer to masters candidature must lodge an MPhil application form from the Monash Research Graduate School. This form may be downloaded from

Transfer from MPhil to an MSc or to PhD candidature

Where appropriate, an MPhil candidate may discontinue the MPhil program and transfer to another appropriate masters-level program. A candidate may also upgrade from the MPhil program to a PhD degree. In such cases, the Research Graduate School Committee's existing upgrade procedures shall apply, with the start date of the doctoral candidature normally backdated to the start date of the MPhil program.


A candidate for the degree of Master of Philosophy is required to carry out a prescribed program of research for a specified period under the direct supervision of a member of the academic staff. The candidate, together with the supervisor, is responsible for developing the research program to be followed. Both report at regular intervals on the progress of the project.


Assessment in the MPhil is by 100 per cent thesis, the length of which would not normally exceed 50,000 words.

MPhil thesis based or partially based on conjointly published or unpublished work

This option allows candidates to submit for examination a thesis consisting of, or partially consisting of, conjointly published or unpublished work, linked by a clear theme. A detailed statement at the front of the thesis must indicate the nature and extent of the candidate's contribution to the work presented and the underlying research. Essentially, the initiation, key ideas, development and writing up of each of the works should be the primary responsibility of the candidate. An introductory chapter that places the specific work in the broader context of its relevant research area and a concluding chapter that draws together the research documented in the preceding chapters are required. Other linking material that converts the work into a coherent whole is also essential.


Master of Philosophy