Postgraduate Initiatives

Examination of Doctoral Degrees

The creative arts disciplines constitute an important growth area for research higher degrees (HDR) and, in the years since the Strand Report (1998), they have built a body of knowledge and set of practices associated with research and research higher degrees. However, there is virtually no empirical work in, or across, the creative arts disciplines that investigates how HDR examiners arrive at the commentary presented in their reports. Based on a process of national benchmarking and through extensive consultation, this project investigated assessment practices, processes and standards in creative arts HDR, as well as beliefs and expectations of HDR students, supervisors and examiners, in order to establish a shared understanding of standards within this field of study.

The project was generously funded by the Office of Learning and Teaching, and supported by the lead institution, the University of Canberra (UC), and by Central Queensland University (CQU).

The AAWP supported this project in a number of ways:

  • project leader (Prof Jen Webb, UC), co-investigator (Prof Donna Lee Brien, CQU), and project manager (Dr Sandra Burr, UC) are all established AAWP members, and the former two are also executive members of long standing
  • AAWP executive members Dr Marcelle Freiman and Prof Claire Woods served on the Reference Group
  • the AAWP hosted a cross-arts workshop on doctoral examinations, on the Australian Postgraduate Writing Network website, in August 2012
  • the AAWP acted as publisher for the booklet, Examining Doctorates in the Creative Arts: A Guide