Doctor of Medical Science

Course J15TC (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Year and Campus: 2014 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 066157M
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Research Higher Degree
Duration & Credit Points: Duration and Credit Points not applicable for this course.




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 Doctor of Medical Science (DMedSc) is a graduate research doctorate offered by the Melbourne Medical School to medical graduates of the University of Melbourne and other recognised universities.

Selection into the DMedSc by compilation of published papers is at the discretion of the Head of Department. Normally a candidate is expected to have an association with the department such as a staff appointment or similar.

At the time of application, the Head of Department will appoint an advisor who will normally be expected to have an MD, DMedSc or PhD and who will normally be a senior member of staff or an honorary member of staff with significant research and supervisory experience. The role of the Adviser is to guide the candidate in preparing the compilation of published papers for examination.

Applicants seeking to submit a compilation of published papers are not set a prescribed limit as to the number of papers that may be submitted. It is the role of the Adviser, appointed by the Head of Department at the time of application, to guide the applicant in choosing an appropriate number of papers including decisions as to the number of papers in which the applicant was first author. The School expects that the Adviser will seek guidance from the Head of Department as required.
Work carried out in collaboration with others, and the nature and proportion of the contribution of others, must be clearly indicated in the preface and in general terms the portions of the work that the candidate claims as original.
Where multi-author published material is included in the thesis, the candidate must prepare a statement explaining the contributions of all involved. The statement must be signed by all authors and be included with the submission form.
The School of Medicine expects the applicant to be aware of any obligations or contractual agreements with a third party that may attach to any work submitted as part of a compilation of published papers.

Applicants are expected to have a significant research and publication track record prior to application. Publications would normally be based on research undertaken in the ten years prior to submission of the compilation. Applicants under this stream may include the actual publications such as reprints or journal articles in their published form as part of the body of the compilation. The submission would normally include a general introduction, a literature survey, a general discussion and a summary. The primary aim in preparing the submission is to enable the examiners to judge fairly and accurately the compiled published papers in relation to the standard examination questions (refer Examinations below).

Transfers between course codes J15TC and J15AA are not permitted.

Applicants are enrolled on the date of submission of the compilation papers for examination As the thesis is placed under examination status from that date, there is normally no specified time commitment for enrolment.

Doctor of Medicine (research doctorate):

Rules and regulations relating to the Doctor of Medical Science govern the teaching out of the Doctor of Medicine (research doctorate) degree. The last intake for the Doctor of Medicine (reserach doctorate) was 2009. Students may apply to transfer to the Doctor of Medical Science at any time prior to submission of their thesis for examination. Transfer to the DMedSc is not available at any time after submission of the thesis for examination.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate advanced learning in research skills and mastery of appropriate techniques.
  • 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.
  • 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:

Candidates undertake individual research resulting in the production of published papers and these papers form the basis of the thesis submitted for examination. Normally the number, type, focus and length of paper is discussed with the Advisor and agreed prior to commencement of work towards the compilation. The advisor is appointed by the Head of Department.

The DMedSc may normally be undertaken in any department of the Melbourne Medical School and in some academic units such as the Centre for Youth, Mental Health and the Department of Medical Biology (WEHI). Please note that entry is subject to the availability of a suitable supervisor and research project.

The DMedSc by compilation is not available for enrolment through these departments: Florey Department of Neuroscience and Mental Health, The Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology, Department of Medical Bionics.

Entry Requirements:

Applicants will be assessed using the criteria described below. The measures include an assessment of a candidate's knowledge of the discipline and evidence of their ability to complete a rigorous research project. Applicants are required to meet the minimum standards described for each of the four measures.

1. Minimum qualifications

Applicants are required to have completed a medical degree at H2A standard or above from an Australian university, or a medical qualification considered by the Faculty to be equivalent. The completion must be at least two years’ standing.

2. Minimum level of academic achievement

Applicants should have achieved an overall H2A (75-79%) grade or above in the relevant medical qualification.

3. Currency of applicant's knowledge of the discipline

The applicant's degree/s and/or professional experience must demonstrate that their knowledge of the discipline in which they plan to undertake their DMedSc is current. It is therefore expected that an applicant will have completed their medical studies and/or any relevant professional medical and/or research experience in the 10 years immediately prior to their intended entry to the DMedSc.

4. Assessment of level of commitment

Based on interview or other communication, an assessment should be made of the level of understanding, motivation and time commitment of the student for the proposed program of study. For example, a full-time student would be expected to devote at least 40 hours a week and a part-time student about half of this.

In exceptional circumstances, the Faculty may consider for admission a person who does not meet the minimum standards set out below, if it is satisfied that the person's experience in health or medical research and/or general medicine and the results of that experience indicate the person is likely to have the ability to pursue the course successfully. In such cases, or where other minimum standards as specified below are not all met, the proposed department of enrolment may present an evidence-based case for admissioni to the course to the Associate Dean (Research Training), noting that final approval of such cases is determined by the University's Research Higher Degrees Committee (RHDC).

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:

Doctoral degrees at the University of Melbourne seek to develop graduates who demonstrate academic leadership, increasing independence, creativity and innovation in their research work. In addition, professional doctoral studies provide advanced training designed to enhance professional knowledge in a specialist area, and encourage the acquisition of a wide range of advanced and transferable skills.

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

  • an advanced ability to initiate research and to formulate viable research questions.
  • a demonstrated capacity to design, conduct and report sustained and original research.
  • the capacity to contextualise research within an international corpus of specialist knowledge.
  • an advanced ability to evaluate and synthesize research-based and scholarly literature.
  • an advanced understanding of key disciplinary and multi-disciplinary norms and perspectives relevant to the field.
  • highly developed problem-solving abilities and flexibility of approach.
  • the ability to analyse critically within and across a changing disciplinary environment.
  • the capacity to disseminate the results of research and scholarship by oral and written communication to a variety of audiences.
  • a capacity to cooperate with and respect the contributions of fellow researchers and scholars.
  • a profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of research and scholarship.
  • an advanced facility in the management of information, including the application of computer systems and software where appropriate to the student's field of study.
  • an understanding of the relevance and value of their research to national and international communities of scholars and collaborators.
  • an awareness where appropriate of issues related to intellectual property management and the commercialisation of innovation.
  • an ability to formulate applications to relevant agencies, such as funding bodies and ethics committees.
Generic Skills:


Links to further information:

Refer to the Melbourne Medical School for further information about eligibility and for help in finding a project.

For information about the application process, refer to the MDHS Student Centre.

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

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