Master of Applied Science
The Master of Applied Science course (applied ecology Specialisation) provides the opportunity for students:
- to learn to conceive, plan and carry to completion a substantial piece of original research, under the supervision of a professional in the field. In so doing, the candidate will be expected to extend their chosen field of study by contributing to knowledge in that field or by reworking existing knowledge to provide new insights;
- to make a substantial contribution to the development and application of knowledge to the solution of a particular problem in an appropriate field of science; and
- to gain exposure to an active research environment, to become familiar with contemporary knowledge and thinking in a chosen field, to interact with research staff and to participate in discussion on current controversial issues in science.
Although basic research interests are not discouraged, the emphasis of the research programs is on applied research, and candidates are also expected to acquire the skills and attitudes considered desirable when they become practitioners in a professional area or become involved in the application of policies in the workplace. In particular, candidates are encouraged to:
- appreciate the relevance of their work in the broader context of society and the workplace;
- present their findings in a format that can readily be understood and applied by an informed professional on the periphery of the candidate's immediate area of interest;
- develop skills for marshalling support for projects; and
- develop skills for interacting with other researchers and professionals and so be able to contribute constructively to a research or professional team.
The Divisional requirements are slightly more restrictive than the general University requirements, as follows:
- An honours degree or successful completion of a masters qualifying year in science or a high standard undergraduate degree in Science or Applied Science from a recognised tertiary institution; OR
- A graduate Diploma in Applied Science or Science of an appropriate standard from a recognized tertiary institution; OR
- A degree or approved equivalent award in an appropriate field of study and academic or professional experience at a standard sufficient to demonstrate a high probability of success in the course.
Where an applicant does not hold the necessary formal qualifications but holds a senior professional appointment or has had a substantial period of suitable work experience and whose career may have included substantial short-course training in an appropriate field, the applicant may, on a case-by-case basis, be granted special entry.
Offer of Place
Candidates that meet the admission requirements are selected for entry on the basis of merit. Places are restricted. To be considered for entry, applicants should ensure that they have discussed potential projects with a member of academic staff, and to obtain commitment from that member of staff to supervise the project. Applications without the support of a supervisor will not be successful.
The Master of Applied Science course is of 2 years duration full time and 4 years duration part-time. A mid-year intake is allowed, to enable projects with substantial field work to include the maximal amount of summer time. Maximum duration is 2 years full-time and 4 years part-time.
The Master of Applied Science degree offered to students in Applied Ecology is a postgraduate research degree under the criteria set by DEST.
Masters students are expected to engage in the following formal activites, as part of the set curriculum:
- Undertake a critical review of the literature on their research topic, with particular attention paid to current issues and conflicts of theory, practice and opinion;
- Prepare a detailed research proposal. A proforma is available from the Director's office. Resources will not be freed for the project until this proposal is approved;
- Undertake a research project and prepare a thesis. The thesis should not normally exceed 200 pages of text (excluding figures, tables and appendices. See the Guidelines to Thesis Format;
- Present two open seminars, one on their proposed research, one on the results of their research;
- Actively participate in the weekly journal sessions currently run by the Institute for Applied Ecology, including formally taking the lead in at least three of these sessions;
- Attend the weekly research seminars held in the School of Resource and Environmental Science;
- Undertake coursework as directed by their supervisor(s) on topics where there is a perceived deficiency or a special need. Such coursework may, for example, consist of discrete modules from existing statistical or computing units or the unit Research Planning.
Students are required to meet with their supervisor(s) in the first week of their program to discuss and finalise a work program, including all of the above elements.
The thesis is the sole assessable item in the course, though satisfactory progress in meeting the other elements of the curriculum is a mandatory requirement of the course.
Theses will be examined externally by two examiners who are independent of the project and the candidate. A grade of pass or fail will be issued, subject to the examiners' reports and any recommendation from them that the candidate be given the opportunity to amend the thesis.
The closing date for applications is October 31. Mid-year intake is by special application which must be made in June.
First round of offers is usually made in mid-December with a closing date for acceptance in early January. Second round offers are made in mid-January with a closing date for acceptance of early February.
Information on how to apply and application forms may be obtained from the Research Students Office. Enrolment closes in late February for first semester intakes and July for second semester intakes.
Full time students with no coursework component should enrol in:
- Applied Science Masters Thesis Type 1MF (48 cp, Unit #2000)
Part-time students with no coursework component should enrol in:
- Applied Science Masters Thesis Type 1M (48 cp, Unit #2619)
Full time students with one semester of coursework should enrol in:
- Applied Science Masters Thesis Type 2MF (36 cp, Unit #2001)
in addition to the units making up 12cp of coursework.
Part-time students with one semester of coursework should enrol in:
- Applied Science Masters Thesis Type 2M (36 cp, Unit #2620)
in addition to the units making up 12cp of coursework.
All other combinations of coursework and research should be dealt with by specific course variation, with the proviso that coursework should not exceed 12 cp in total. This proviso is to ensure that Masters degrees by research have a 66 percent thesis component.