MD in a Nutshell


Registration period

  • An MD degree is a research degree carried out over 6 trimesters (2 years) full time or 12 trimesters (4 years) part time. Students who do not complete the requirements for the MD degree within these timelines must apply for permission to continue.

Supervision & Support

  1. The Clinical Research Degree Committee will assign each MD student:

    • A Principal Supervisor, who has primary responsibility for your academic supervision. There may also be a Co-Supervisor, if appropriate, who supports the Principal Supervisor 
    • A Research Studies Panel (RSP) which provides advice, monitors your progress and supports the student-supervisor relationship. The RSP should be assigned to you within the first trimester of your registration and meet at least twice in the first year and at least once a year thereafter. 

Programme Requirements

Every MD student must:

  1. Carry out doctoral level research which is written up in a thesis which contain materials of a standard and form appropriate for peer-reviewed publication. 
  2. Complete Research Integrity training while registered to the programme. There is an online course that you can take which will meet this requirement. Alternatively, students can take a 5 credit module that also meets the requirement. 
  3. Document your educational, training and personal and professional development needs, in collaboration with your Research Studies Panel which, along with the proposed programme of research, will inform the development of your Research and Professional Development Plan (RPDP).

Option: MD students, as required or recommended by the Principal Supervisor, may take taught modules relevant to their area of research or professional development, to a maximum 20 credits over the course of the programme of study 

Transfer to PhD

MD students may apply to transfer to a PhD programme.

  • To do so, you need to have been on the MD programme for a minimum of 1 year full time or 2 years part time.
  • To transfer you need to undertake a formal interview with a Transfer Assessment Panel, made up of faculty members who are experts in your discipline.
    • The panel will base their judgement on an interview where you will make an oral presentation of you progress to date and your research plan for the future.
    • The panel will also review a written submission from you evidencing your progress, a review of your RPDP and a written statement of progress from your Principal Supervisor. 

If you are successful, you will normally transfer to Stage 1 of the PhD programme

Final Examination

The final examination is based on a description of your research in a thesis describing the context, nature, methodology and outcomes of the research. An MD thesis must contain material of a publishable/peer reviewed standard.

  • MD theses can only be submitted if fees are paid in full, student registration is current and you are compliant with the programme requirements, see 1-3 above. 
  • All MD theses are submitted to the University for examination as a pdf file via the eThesis Exam System. This system is accessed via your SISWeb account. Emails are sent to you at every decision point, allowing tracking of the progress of the thesis through the examination process
  • MD theses are normally examined without a viva voce examination.  

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