Doctor of Medical Science

(DMedSc) KA003 or DRHMEDSCI1000

What is the Doctor of Medical Science (DMedSc) degree at the University of Sydney?

The Doctor of Medical Science (DMedSc) is a higher doctorate, introduced to replace the previous higher doctorate, the Doctor of Medicine (MD), when the MD replaced the MBBS as the primary medical degree effective from 2014.

The DMedSc is awarded for published work which, in the opinion of the examiners, constitutes a distinguished contribution to knowledge or creative achievement and is recognised by scholars in the relevant field as constituting a distinguished contribution to knowledge or creative achievement in that field.

The DMedSc, unlike the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), is not a research training degree. It may be described as an award that one would receive when one's career is well established, rather than at the beginning, for an outstanding contribution to knowledge through a substantial body of research.

How is a distinguished contribution to knowledge assessed?

The published work may be regarded as a distinguished contribution to knowledge if:

  • it represents a significant advance in knowledge in the relevant field;
  • it has caused, or become a major part of, a significant debate among scholars in the relevant field (including in books and journals); or
  • it has caused significant changes in the direction of research or in the practice of recognised scholars in the relevant field.

How many publications are needed for a Doctor of Medical Science?

There is no set number of publications an applicant must have to be awarded the degree.

The Prima Facie Committee and the examiners will be asked to judge the work on its quality and based on the criteria above, rather than on the quantity of the papers. As a guide, it would be unusual for the Prima Facie Committee to find that a case for examination exists where there were less than 20 peer-reviewed publications in ERA-eligible journals*. Furthermore, the applicant should be able to demonstrate that the body of research has contributed to a chosen field in the way(s) described above. Most commonly this would be through measures of impact including citations by scholars in the field.

As the contribution of a body of research may not become fully apparent until many years after publication, the DMedSc is usually awarded to researchers with an established career. In general, the body of work submitted for consideration should have been undertaken after the award of a research training degree.

*For further information on ERA-eligibilty see http://www.arc.gov.au/excellence-research-australia.

Eligibility for admission to candidature

To be eligible for admission to candidature, the applicant must;

  • hold a medical degree from the University of Sydney (i.e. MD awarded after 2017 or MBBS) that was conferred ten or more years prior to the application date; or
  • have been a full-time member of the academic staff of the University of Sydney for at least five years (or pro-rata part-time), or have held an academic title at Sydney Medical School for at least five years, and be a graduate of the University of Sydney, or a graduate of another institution deemed as having equal standing to that of the University of Sydney. The degree on the basis of which admission is being sought must have been conferred ten or more years prior to the application date.

How to apply

Prospective candidates are strongly encouraged to discuss their intention to apply with either the head of the relevant discipline or the Associate Dean (Postgraduate Studies) of Sydney Medical School.

The following will need to be submitted as part of the application:

  • An Application For Admission form is available from http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/study/research/DMedSc_Application_Form.pdf. This includes details of the applicant’s academic qualifications and their association with the University;
  • A list of the published work that the candidate proposes to submit for examination;
  • A description of the themes of the published work; and
  • Where there are a large number of publications whose dates range over a period of time and cover a range of subjects, a statement of how these publications are related to one another and to the theme
  • Where jointly authored publications are to be submitted, a statement of the applicant's role in the initiation, conduct or direction of such conjoint research must be included.


For further information prospective students can contact:

Prima Facie worthiness

Applications are continuously open and you will be able to enroll in the first available Research Period after your application has been processed.

Applications will be assessed by the DMedSc Prima Facie Committee of Sydney Medical School which is comprised of the Associate Dean (Postgraduate Studies) (or his/her nominee), as chair, and three to four Professors of Sydney Medical School, nominated by the Dean. In addition, the head of the relevant discipline (or his/her nominee) will be asked to review the application and provide an assessment of the contribution to the chosen field.

The Prima Facie Committee will consider whether:

  • the applicant is eligible for admission to candidature;
  • the published work is in a field appropriate for the nominated degree;
  • the Faculty is able to examine the published work at the required level; and
  • the applicant should be admitted to candidature.


If the Committee finds that a prima facie case exists, it shall ask the Board of Postgraduate Studies that it recommend to the Academic Board:

  • the admission to candidature; and
  • the appointment of at least three examiners of whom at least two shall be external examiners. Examiners recommended should be known to be familiar with the examination of research theses, should normally still be active in research and/or scholarship and be free from conflict of interest. The Academic Board may appoint examiners in addition to those recommended by Sydney Medical School.

Enrolment and submission of published work

After the Academic Board has admitted the applicant to candidature and appointed examiners, the applicant must enroll as a candidate for the DMedSc in the first enrolment period following receipt of his or her offer of admission and must submit to Student Services of Sydney Medical School by the end of that Research Period five copies of the published work. The work must include:

  • a description of the theme of the published work;
  • a record of original research undertaken by the candidate;
  • a statement by the candidate of: (i) the sources from which the information in the work was derived; (ii) the extent to which the work draws on the work of others; and (iii) the portion of the work that the candidate claims as original.
  • if the work submitted contains research that was carried out conjointly, a statement by the candidate of the extent to which the candidate was responsible for the initiation, conduct or direction of the research; and
  • if the principle publications, as distinct from any supporting papers, incorporate work previously submitted for a degree or diploma at the University or at any other university or institution, a statement by the candidate of those parts of the publications that have previously been submitted

Fees

The Doctor of Medical Science (DMedSc) is a full-fee paying course and applicants are required to enrol for one research period when the students are ready to submit their thesis. In 2017 the fees will be as follows:

Research Periods Domestic International
Research Period 1 RP1 $4,843 RP1 $7,181
Research Period 2 RP2 $9,657 RP2 $14,319
Research Period 3 RP3 $7,250 RP3 $10,750
Research Period 4 RP4 $7,250 RP4 $10,750

The thesis

The thesis should be on international standard A4 size paper sewn and bound in boards covered with bookcloth, buckram or other binding fabric. Electronic submission of theses is possible when examiners agree to review the thesis in this form. Candidates should indicate their wish to submit electronically at the time of enrolment to allow Student Services to ascertain the examiners’ preference.

The title of the thesis, the candidate’s initials and surname, the title of the degree, the year of submission and the name of the University of Sydney should appear in lettering on the front cover and on the title page.

The lettering on the spine, reading from top to bottom, should conform as far as possible to the above except that the name of the University of Sydney may be omitted and the thesis title abbreviated. Supporting material should be bound in the back of the thesis as an appendix or in a separate set of covers.

The examination process

The thesis will be sent to three examiners. Each examiner shall make a separate and independent report on whether the published work meets the requirements for the award of the degree.

The examination process usually takes 6-9 months.

Outcome of the examination

When all examiners have reported, the Prima Facie Committee will reconvene and make one of the following recommendations:

  • recommend to the Academic Board that the degree be awarded;
  • recommend to the Academic Board that the degree not be awarded;
  • recommend to the Academic Board the appointment of a further examiner or examiners.


Please note that there is no provision for amendments or for “revise and resubmit”. The same body of work cannot be submitted for re-examination if the degree is not awarded.

Following notification of the award of the degree the candidate will submit one bound copy of the published work (printed on acid-free archival paper) and conforming to the conditions outlined in the thesis section above, to Student Services for lodgment with the University Library.

Graduation

At graduation ceremonies, higher doctorates are generally awarded before other degrees. In awarding the higher doctorate, it is customary for the speaker of the ceremony, usually the Dean, to deliver a citation extolling the achievements of the graduand.

Further Reading

Please read this document in conjunction with the University of Sydney (Higher Degree by Research) Rule 2011

Rules

Sydney Medical School resolutions and the printed handbook are the official statement of faculty policy.

The resolutions contained in the printed handbook are accurate at the time of publication. If a conflict is perceived between the content of the printed handbook and information available elsewhere, Sydney Medical School resolutions and the information available in the handbook online shall always take precedence.

See the Policy Register at sydney.edu.au/policies.

 

Doctor of Medical Science


These resolutions must be read in conjunction with applicable University By-laws, Rules and policies including (but not limited to) the University of Sydney (Coursework) Rule 2014 (the 'Coursework Rule'), the Coursework Policy 2014, the Resolutions of the Faculty, the University of Sydney (Student Appeals against Academic Decisions) Rule 2006 (as amended) and the Academic Board policies on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism. Up to date versions of all such documents are available from the Policy Register: http://www.sydney.edu.au/policies.

Course resolutions

Part 1: Preliminary

1 Course codes

Code

Course title

RHMEDSCI-01

Doctor of Medical Science

 


 

2 Award of the Higher Doctorate

(1)
the higher doctorate is awarded for published work, that in the opinion of examiners:
(a)
constitutes a distinguished contribution to knowledge or creative achievement; and
(b)
is recognised by scholars in the relevant field as constituting a distinguished contribution to knowledge or achievement in that field.
(2)
without limiting subclause (1) a published work may be regarded as a distinguished contribution to knowledge if:
(a)
it represents a significant body of research that advances knowledge in a chosen field; or
(b)
it has given rise to, or is a major part of, a significant debate in scholarly books and journals among recognised scholars in a chosen field; or
(c)
it has directly given rise to significant changes in the direction of research, or of practice, of a newer generation of recognised scholars in a chosen field.
(3)
the higher doctorate is generally awarded to mature candidates with well developed careers.

 

Part 2: Admission requirements

3 Eligibility for admission to candidature

(1)
To be eligible to be admitted to candidature an applicant must:
(a)
hold a medical degree from the University of Sydney that was conferred ten or more years prior to the application date; or
(2)
To be eligible to be admitted to candidature an applicant who does not meet the requirements of clause 3(1) must:
(a)
hold another degree from the University that was conferred ten or more years prior to the application date; or
hold a degree from another university or institution that was conferred ten or more years prior to the application date; or
have qualifications that were conferred ten or more years prior to the application date and standing that are determined by the Faculty and by the Graduate Studies Committee of the Academic Board to be equivalent to holding a degree from the University.
(b)
have been a full-time member of the academic staff of the University for at least five years (or pro-rata part-time); or
be recognised by the Academic Board, on the recommendation of the Dean, to have been involved in the teaching and research of the University to an equivalent level.
(3)
To be eligible for candidature, an applicant who does not meet the requirements of subclause 3(1) or 3(2), must be recognised by the Academic Board, on the recommendation of the Dean, to have equivalent academic standing.

 

4 Application for admission to candidature

(1)
An applicant for admission to candidature must:
(a)
state the name of the higher doctorate;
(b)
specify the applicant's academic qualifications; and
(c)
describe the applicant's association with the University.
(2)
The application must be accompanied by:
(a)
a list of the published works that the candidate proposes to submit for examination;
(b)
an overview of the theme of the published works;
(c)
a statement of how the publications are related to each other and the overall theme;
(d)
a self appraisal of the published works highlighting their significance in relation to the field of research and the world stage, including evidence of research impact;
(e)
where there are a large number of publications whose dates range over a period of time and cover a range of subjects, a statement of how these publications are related to one another and to the field of research; and
(f)
where jointly authored publications are to be submitted, a statement of the applicant's role in the initiation, conduct or direction of such conjoint research.

 

5 Preliminary assessment of application for admission

(1)
The Dean will appoint a Prima Facie Committee (Assessment Committee) to assess applications for admission to candidature.
(2)
The Prima Facie Committee will be comprised of Associate Dean (Postgraduate Studies) (or his/her nominee), as chair, and three to four Professors of Faculty, nominated by the Dean. In addition, the head of discipline (or his/her nominee) will be asked to review the application and provide an assessment of the contribution to the chosen field.
(3)
The Prima Facie Committee will consider, in each application for admission, whether:
(a)
the applicant is eligible for admission to candidature;
(b)
the published work is in a field appropriate for the nominated degree;
(c)
the Faculty is competent to examine the work at the required level; and
(d)
whether the applicant should be admitted to candidature.

 

6 Admission to candidature


If a prima facie case exists, the Academic Board may on the recommendation of the Dean, on advice from the Prima Facie Committee, admit the applicant to candidature.
 

7 Enrolment


A successful applicant must enrol as a candidate for the higher doctorate in the first enrolment period for one part-time semester following receipt of his or her offer of admission
 

Part 3 Thesis and examination

8 Submission of work for examination


The candidate must submit to the Dean five copies of the published work (thesis) that meets the requirements of higher doctorates specified in the HDR Rule.
 

9 Form of the thesis

(1)
The thesis shall be submitted for examination in permanent form as set out below. Provision for electronic submission of theses for the purpose of examination may occur where both the candidate wishes to submit in this form and examiners are prepared to examine in this way. Candidates wishing to submit electronically are required to advise of their intent at the time of enrolment so that arrangements may be made with prospective examiners.
(2)
Permanent form thesis
(a)
The thesis shall be on international standard A4 size paper sewn and bound in boards covered with bookcloth, buckram or other binding fabric.
(b)
The title of the thesis, the candidate's initials and surname, the title of the degree, the year of submission and the name of the University of Sydney should appear in lettering on the front cover and on the title page.
(c)
The lettering on the spine, reading from top to bottom, should conform as far as possible to the above except that the name of the University of Sydney may be omitted and the thesis title abbreviated. Supporting material should be bound in the back of the thesis as an appendix or in a separate set of covers.
(3)
Electronic form thesis
(a)
A thesis submitted in electronic form must normally be submitted on disk and must be in a format that the faculty determines as acceptable to both the candidate and the examiner(s), with the same structure as the ultimate printed version, and each chapter must be in a separate document.
(b)
The title of the thesis, the candidate's initials and surname, the title of the degree, the year of submission and the name of the University of Sydney should appear on the title page and on a label affixed to the disk.
(4)
A hard copy of the thesis should normally be submitted for retention by the faculty office, and further copies for any examiner(s) unwilling or unable to examine the thesis electronically. A copy for retention in the faculty office may also be submitted in electronic form.

 

10 Appointment of examiners

(1)
The Academic Board will, on the recommendation of the Dean, on advice from the Prima Facie Committee, appoint at least three examiners, of whom at least two will be external examiners. Recommended examiners should be known to be familiar with the examination of research theses, be active in research and/or scholarship and be free from conflict of interest.
(2)
The Academic Board may appoint examiners in addition to those recommended by the Dean.

 

11 Examination


Examination of the thesis shall be conducted in accordance with the HDR Rule.
 

12 Lodging the published work


If the Academic Board decides to award a higher doctorate to the candidate, the candidate must lodge one bound copy of the published work printed on acid-free archival paper with the faculty for lodgment with the University Library.
 

Part 4: Other

13 Transitional provisions

(1)
These course resolutions apply to students who commenced their candidature after 1 January 2014 and persons who commenced their candidature prior to 1 January 2014 who formally elect to proceed under these resolutions.
(2)
Candidates who commenced prior to 1 January, 2014 and elect not to proceed under these resolutions complete the requirements in accordance with the resolutions in force at the time of their commencement, provided that requirements are completed by 31 December 2014 The Dean or Associate Dean may specify a later date for completion or specify alternative requirements for completion of candidatures that extend beyond this time.

Further Information

Prospective students can contact: