Doctoral degrees at St Augustine College are obtained through research only. The candidate, in conversation with the Theology Department
, submits a pre-proposal for the project. Once this is accepted by the Faculty Higher Degrees Committee (FHDC), a supervisor is appointed to direct the student to prepare a full proposal; this should not take more than six months. Once the proposal has the FHDC's approval, the candidate embarks on the proper research and writing of her or his dissertation. The minimum registration for a doctoral degree is two years, during which the candidate undertakes the project under the direction of the supervisor or, in some cases, two co-supervisors (this may be suggested by FHDC especially in the case of multi- or interdisciplinary research projects, which are encouraged at St Augustine College).
Our doctoral candidates are encouraged to consult not only with their supervisor(s), which happens on the regular basis, but also with other lecturers at the College, the Head of Department and the Academic
Dean. If necessary, contact with the scholars from other institutions, both national and overseas, can be facilitated. Apart from St Augustine's library, our doctoral candidates have access to a number of electronic resources subscribed to by the College. We also facilitate their access to the libraries at other universities if their research requires. Every year Doctoral Seminars are held at the College to enable all the candidates to present their work in progress and receive feedback on their findings and their methods of research from the Faculty members.
There is no strictly defined word limit for a doctoral dissertation, but most of the research papers submitted by our candidates in Theology range between 300-500 pages. Once finalised, the dissertation is sent out for a blind review to two external examiners, one of whom is an international scholar. The supervisor(s) also write(s) a detailed report on the research paper in question. Then all the reports are evaluated by the FHDC and, depending on the reviewers' comments and any required corrections, the degree may be granted to the candidate.
The final step in the process is the publication of the successful doctoral dissertation. Even though the decision whether to do that or not belongs to the author herself or himself, as an institution we encourage our doctoral graduates to publish their work and thus make it available to a wider audience.