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A Plethora of policies : examining creative research higher degrees in Australia

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conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Janene CareyJanene Carey, J Webb, Donna BrienDonna Brien
Our recent research project investigated a range of policies on creative theses and examination guidelines for creative research higher degrees from Australia. Data was collected from twenty-eight Australian universities identified as offering these degrees. Although some institutions continue to subsume creative arts theses under generic criteria, the majority have distinct requirements for the creative and scholarly components and, in some cases, specific examination guidelines. However, the policies and guidelines across the surveyed universities are far from uniform. Significant differences were found in terms of what constitutes a ‘contribution to knowledge’, the description and composition of the exegesis, its relationship to the creative work, and the stated role of the research question in the research degree. Given the variability in policies and guidelines; the continuing lack of certainty in the field regarding the exegesis’s role, function and form; and inconsistency about the meaning and relative importance of key terms such as ‘creative’, ‘original knowledge’ and ‘research’, what frameworks and other information are available to support examiners in their attempt to apply consistent standards? This paper addresses this fundamental epistemological problem with particular reference to the theses in writing, considering if it is possible or preferable to find a standard for a form that is both bifurcated and depends so heavily on practice? We will suggest that there are ways to work towards certainty, equity and professionalism in thesis examination.


Category 2 - Other Public Sector Grants Category


Start Date





University of Technology, Sydney


Australian Association of Writing Programs

Place of Publication

Canberra, ACT

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Conference; Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Education; Intercultural Education Research Institute (IERI); University of Canberra;

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

Australian Association of Writing Programs. Conference