Master of Surgery

Course 552AA (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Year and Campus: 2013 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 006666J
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Research Higher Degree
Duration & Credit Points: Students are expected to complete this research in 1.50 years full time, or equivalent part time.




Prospective Student Enquiries:

Melbourne Medical School
Telephone: 61 3 8344 5998
Email your enquiry about Melbourne Medical School research courses to:

Currently enrolled student enquiries:

Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences Student Centre
Level 1, Brownless Biomedical Library
The University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 5890
Fax: +61 3 9347 7084

Course Overview:

The degree of Master of Surgery has been structured to comprise two parts. Exemption from Part 1 may be granted to candidates who have passed postgraduate examination by an approved body, such as the FRACS, or who have completed other approved programs.

All candidates for the the degree will be examined on the basis of their thesis. A candidate will have appropriately experienced supervisor/s and an Advisory Committee who in consultation with the candidate, arranges a course of supervised research. A candidate may be required to supplement their research program by attendance at, or enrolment in, additional subjects if considered necessary by the supervisor(s).

Duration of candidature is normally 12 months full-time equivalent. An extension of up to twelve months may be allowed. The Research Training Scheme (RTS) is available for a maximum of two years. For more information refer to the
Australian Government's RTS website.

All candidates are required to complete the equivalent of at least 6 months full-time (12 months part-time) advanced study and research at the University (unless studying at an approved outside institution). The Research Higher Degrees Committee will not approve entirely distance supervision or entirely on-line supervision for research higher degree students.

All candidates are required to submit six monthly progress reports. Completion of progress reports is required for the continuation of enrolment and any scholarship held. The first six month progress report is a major hurdle for the degree in which candidates will also be required to give a 15 minute presentation of their work. The Completion Report attachment is normally submitted at 12 months full-time and whenever an extension to candidature or lapse in good standing is sought. Candidates can check the Student Portal at any time to see the date of their next progress review. International AusAID-sponsored students will be required to submit end-of-semester reports to AusAID.

For further information about enrolment requirements, supervisors, progress reports, advisory committees and more, refer to the Masters by Research Generic Guidelines.


Research Masters degrees at the University of Melbourne are designed for students to develop advanced skills in carrying out independent and sustained research. The thesis should demonstrate a critical application of specialist knowledge and make an independent contribution to existing scholarship in the area of research.

On completion of the course students should be able to:

  • demonstrate advanced learning in research skills and mastery of appropriate techniques, such as the use of archival or primary evidence, analysis of data, judgment of conflicting evidence etc;
  • demonstrate specialist knowledge in the area of their research;
  • present the results of their research in publishable form or work towards incorporating their findings in further research;
  • proceed to a research doctorate if the Masters thesis has demonstrated appropriate research potential;
  • gain admission to certain types of employment through this specialist qualification;
  • apply the research skills acquired to other projects;
  • demonstrate an understanding of, and commitment to, research ethics or code of practice.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

An approved research program on a specific aspect of surgery.

Students enrol in a year-long thesis subject.

The thesis submitted at the end of the supervised period of research must satisfy the examiners that it makes an original (ie. but not substantial) contribution to the candidates field of study.

Entry Requirements:

MBBS, or recognized equivalent, of at least two years' standing with at least two years' experience as a medical officer in a hospital affiliated to the University, or some other appropriate university for the purposes of teaching.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Overview, Objectives and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit:

Graduate Attributes:

Research Masters degrees at the University of Melbourne seek to develop graduates who have a capacity for defining and managing a research project characterised by originality and independence. Their training equips them for more sustained and original work at the doctoral level or for applied research positions in a wide variety of contexts.

The University expects its research masters graduates to have the following qualities and skills:

  • an ability to initiate research projects and to formulate viable research questions;
  • a demonstrated capacity to design, conduct and report independent and original research on a closely-defined project;
  • an ability to manage time to maximise the quality of research;
  • an understanding of the major contours of international research in the research area;
  • a capacity for critical evaluation of relevant scholarly literature;
  • well-developed and flexible problem-solving abilities appropriate to the discipline;
  • the ability to analyse research data within a changing disciplinary environment;
  • the capacity to communicate effectively the results of research and scholarship by oral and written communication;
  • an understanding of and facility with scholarly conventions in the discipline area;
  • a profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of research and scholarship;
  • a capacity to cooperate with other researchers;
  • an ability to manage information effectively, including the application of computer systems and software where appropriate to the student's field of study.
Links to further information:

The Master of Surgery by research can be undertaken in any of the following departments of the Melbourne Medical School:

Refer to the University's Masters by Research Generic Guidelines for general information about masters by research course requirements at the University of Melbourne.

Refer to the Melbourne School of Graduate Research for information about thesis examination and submission.

For information about the application process, refer to the Melbourne Medical School.

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