Key information and requirements

Whether you're writing a traditional thesis, or a reserch article, your work needs to have an argument and follow a particular format. The argument is your answer to your research question/s, and the structure of your thesis should support the argument.

The following information will provide you with the tools necessary to meet your research thesis requirements. Each postgraduate research course will have different requirements and we urge you to read the policies and guidelines carefully.

  • MSc thesis

    The MSc degree program provides a basic training in research. The thesis submitted for an MSc degree must describe the results obtained from the project undertaken as part of the MSc program.

    PhD thesis

    The degree of PhD is awarded for a research program that makes a substantial contribution to knowledge. The thesis submitted for a PhD must describe the research undertaken and the results obtained.

    Full details of the conditions are available via Procedures and Policies for Research Candidates.

    Physical format of thesis

    The UNSW rules governing the physical format of the thesis for either the PhD or MSc degree can be found in the UNSW Postgraduate Research Handbook provided by The Graduate Research School. This guide contains information regarding the submission and examination of research degree theses.

    An important point, buried deep in the regulations, is that initially you submit the required number of copies of your thesis in temporary binding, preferably a spiral-bound format. While the initial binding is temporary, the format of the text, mathematics and other material must meet the standards specified in the UNSW regulations.

  • School of Mathematics and Statistics practice

    All research degrees within the School of Mathematics and Statistics are supervised by a member of the academic staff of the School. A co-supervisor is also assigned to the student to assist with the research project as needed. The co-supervisor is usually also a member of the School, but under various circumstances the co-supervisor may be from outside the School, or even outside UNSW, if certain expertise is required.

    The appointment of a supervisor for a given student is made after informal discussions between the student and members of the School with interests similar to those expressed by the student in their application for admission to the research degree.

    The Director of Postgraduate Studies (Research) facilitates these discussions and generally assists the student in finding an appropriate supervisor and co-supervisor for the project proposed. This procedure is designed to minimise changes of supervisor and project during the student's candidature.

    UNSW policies

    For a list of UNSW policies for research candidates, see Forms, Procedures and Policies for Research Candidates.

  • School of Mathematics and Statistics practice

    The School of Mathematics and Statistics follows the UNSW policies on the selection of examiners for research theses in all respects and imposes some extra constraints. Firstly it is a well established School practice that members of the School of Mathematics and Statistics do not examine research theses submitted by students from within the School. Secondly, wherever possible, the examiners are selected from high calibre research intensive universities or institutions outside Australia.

    UNSW policies

    See the Policy on Examination of Research Degrees for the UNSW policy on examination of research theses. The Thesis Submission and Examination guide contains some of this information as well.