Macao Polytechnic University
Academic Regulations Governing Doctoral Degree Programmes
This set of regulations applies to the doctoral degree programmes offered by the Macao Polytechnic University (hereafter referred to as ‘the University’) and their students.
(Rules and Regulations)
- Students shall observe all rules and regulations prescribed by the University.
- Academic units may set programme-specific rules in line with the framework laid out in these regulations, but the standards prescribed by those rules shall not be lower than the standards required in these regulations.
An applicant shall be considered for admission to a doctoral degree programme of the University if s/hea) holds:
(i) a Master’s degree or the equivalent, or
(ii) a Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent, with ‘excellent’ academic performance from an accredited higher education institution;
b) fulfils other admission criteria prescribed by the programme of study concerned; and
c) satisfies the examiner(s) in an interview (if required).
- The admission criteria stated in Clause 1 Item b) shall be specified by the academic unit concerned in the programme specifications.
- Should an interview stated in Clause 1 Item c) be required, the academic unit concerned shall inform the applicant of the interview arrangements. Any failure to attend the interview shall lead to disqualification.
- Applicants are encouraged to communicate with the academic unit concerned in terms of their research and supervision before submitting the formal applications. The academic unit should respond to any enquiries made by the applicants before their submission of the formal applications.
- An applicant who has been offered admission on a conditional basis is required to fulfil the requirements delineated in the conditional offer letter within the prescribed period in order to gain full admission.
- An applicant who has been offered admission shall pay the fees and register by the prescribed deadlines to confirm his/her student status at the University. Any failure to meet the deadline shall lead to disqualification.
- The admission schedule, including key dates for application and release of admission offer, shall be announced annually on the official website of the University.
- Students reading for a doctoral degree at the University shall be regarded as ‘full-time programme students’.
- An applicant who has been offered admission may register on the first day of each month to confirm his/her student status. The period of study shall be counted from the date of registration to the date on which the notification stated in Article 12 Clause 6 is released. Any period less than a month shall be counted as a month.
- A student shall register in the name that appears in his/her identification documents.
- Students are required to pay fees following the rules and regulations prescribed by the University in relation to fee standards and payment.
- A student who has outstanding fees, whether in part or in full, for three weeks shall be considered to have withdrawn from studies.
- All fees once paid shall not be refunded unless otherwise specified.
(Period of Study)
- A doctoral degree programme of the University is a full-time research-intensive programme of study in which students are required to conduct research in their chosen fields of study, write about it in the form of a thesis, and pass the public thesis defence in order to be eligible for the award.
- The normal period of study of a doctoral degree programme is 36 calendar months (i.e. 3 years) and the maximum period of study is 72 calendar months (i.e. 6 years). Any periods of leave of absence and suspension of study shall be counted towards the period of study.
- A student who fails to gain eligibility for graduation within the maximum period of study shall be automatically discontinued from his/her study. In special cases, on the recommendation of the academic unit concerned, the Senate may grant a student an extension beyond the maximum period of study.
- Supervisors are appointed to students upon registration. They are responsible for guiding and advising students in terms of study, research and thesis writing during their period of study.
- The appointment of supervisors and relevant management affairs shall be handled by the academic unit concerned, which should have mechanisms in place to manage the supervision load of its faculty members and to resolve issues where more students than the balanced number wish to have the same supervisor.
- Academic units may set coursework requirements to strengthen students’ research capability in relevant fields of study.
- Should there be any coursework requirements, students are required to complete and pass the taught modules (if any) prescribed in the study plan of their registered programme of study following rules and regulations governing relevant coursework.
- There is neither exemption nor resit examinations for any taught modules.
- Students may retake their failed module(s) upon approval of the academic unit concerned. A student who fails the module(s) at the second attempt shall be discontinued from his/her study.
- A student who wishes to apply for checking of procedural irregularity or technical error of the assessment results of taught modules shall submit an application on a prescribed form within three working days after the release of the results. Late applications and applications against academic judgement shall not be accepted .
- The application stated in Clause 5 shall be considered by the academic unit concerned. The outcome of the checking shall be announced on the Student Information Web within three weeks after submission of the application. This outcome shall be regarded as final. No applications for further checking shall be accepted.
- If the programme of study has coursework requirements as stated in Clause 1, students are required to enrol in taught modules within a specified period following the established procedures governing module enrolment.
- A student who wishes to retake a failed module shall submit an application following relevant established procedures and settle the administrative fee(s) once the application is approved.
The following grading system is adopted in the doctoral degree programmes offered by the University:
Letter Grade Mark Ranges Grade Point Grade Definition A
93 – 100
88 – 92
Excellent B+ 83 – 87 3.3 Very Good B
78 – 82
73 – 77
68 – 72
63 – 67
58 – 62
53 – 57
50 – 52
Pass F 0 – 49 0 Fail
The following letter grades are adopted to signify module enrolment statuses or module results not being counted towards GPA:
Letter Grade Definition Remark X Exemption Assigned to a module that has been exempted. I Incomplete Assigned to a module in progress. P Pass Given to a module where the results are not counted towards GPA. NP Fail W Withdrawal Assigned to a module which has not been completed due to withdrawal of study.
A student’s performance is measured by the weighted grade point average, which is calculated as follows, where n is the number of modules taken:
- Students are required to submit progress reports on their studies every six calendar months. Supervisors shall assess the reported progress and submit the assessed reports to the academic unit concerned for consideration.
- A student whose academic progress is considered unsatisfactory twice by the academic unit to which s/he belongs shall be discontinued from his/her study.
- The assessed progress reports endorsed by the academic unit to which s/he belongs shall be submitted to the Senate for review.
In order to progress to confirmed candidature, a student is required to:
a) successfully complete the required proportion of coursework prescribed by the programme of study (if any);
b) submit a detailed research proposal; and
c) pass the confirmatory examination
within 12 to 24 calendar months counted from the date of registration.
The confirmatory examination panel is composed of:a) Panel chair, to be served by Programme Coordinator concerned (or an extra examinee appointed following the criteria stated in Item b) should the Programme Coordinator be the supervisor);
b) An examiner, to be appointed among faculty members in the related field of study within the University; and
c) the supervisor(s).
- The appointment of the examiner stated in Item b) of the previous clause is the responsibility of the academic unit concerned and shall be announced to relevant students in writing by the academic unit concerned 10 days prior to date of examination.
- The examination panel shall determine the outcome of the confirmatory examination, which is delivered in the form of pass or fail, by ballot.
- The confirmatory examination and related examination panel meeting shall be minuted, with all panel members’ votes and reasons recorded.
- The outcome of the confirmatory examination shall become effective after endorsement of the Senate. Students who have passed the confirmatory examination shall progress to confirmed candidature once the outcome becomes effective.
- A student who has failed the confirmatory examination may apply for re-examination. If s/he fails at the second attempt, s/he shall be discontinued from his/her study.
- A student who is unable to progress to confirmed candidature within the period stated in Clause 1 shall be discontinued from his/her study. In special cases, on the recommendation of the academic unit concerned, the Senate may grant a student an extension beyond the stated period.
- The form and procedures of the confirmatory examination shall be specified by the academic unit concerned.
(Thesis Defence Examination)
The thesis examination panel is composed of:a) Chair, to be served by the Rector;
b) Three examiners, to be served by academics with doctoral qualifications or authoritative expertise in relevant field of study, among which one must be external to the University; and
- The Rector may delegate the Vice-Rector or an academic with the rank of Professor or above to serve as the chair of the thesis examination panel. The delegated academic should have successfully supervised at least three doctoral students up to graduation.
- The appointment of the thesis examination panel shall be nominated by the academic unit concerned with the endorsement of the Senate and appointed by the Rector.
- A student shall submit his/her thesis and thesis defence application following relevant established procedures to the academic unit concerned for approval.
- The appointment of thesis examination panel and relevant announcement, written notification and other related matters shall be conducted by the academic unit concerned.
- Within 60 days after its composition is announced, the thesis examination panel shall notify the candidate in writing of acceptance of his/her thesis or of suggestions for revision with reason(s) provided.
- A candidate who receives suggestions to revise his/her thesis from the thesis examination panel may submit either a revised thesis or a statement declaring renunciation of revision within 120 days. Late submission shall be regarded as renunciation of revision.
The thesis defence examination shall be conducted within 60 days following the date of:a) notification of acceptance of the thesis; or
b) submission of the revised thesis or the statement on renunciation of revision.
- The academic unit concerned shall notify the candidate of the date of his/her thesis defence examination at least 7 days in advance.
- Thesis defence examination shall not be conducted with absence of the chair and more than half of the other members of the thesis examination panel.
- All members of the thesis examination panel may take part in the thesis defence during which the candidate shall be given equal amount of time as the panel members to defend the thesis.
- When the thesis defence is completed, the thesis examination panel shall meet and determine the final resolution by open ballot with supporting reasons. No abstention is permitted.
- The final resolution of the thesis examination panel shall be determined by majority vote. In cases of equality of votes, the vote of the panel chair shall be decisive.
The final resolution shall be delivered in pass or fail but shall not rule out any of the following forms:a) Pass subject to minor modifications: The candidate must submit the final thesis to the academic unit concerned within 90 days after the thesis defence examination for review either by the supervisor or by all panel members according to the resolution of the panel; or
b) Pass subject to major revisions: The candidate must take the thesis defence examination again within one year following the first attempt.
- The candidate who fails the thesis defence examination shall be discontinued from his/her study.
- The decision of the thesis examination panel shall be final and there shall be no appeal.
- The defence process and the thesis examination panel meeting shall be minuted, with all panel members’ votes and reasons recorded.
Upon the opinions of the Senate, the Rector may suspend the counting of time for thesis submission and thesis defence examination without prejudice to other circumstances as stipulated in these Regulations should the candidate:a) become a mother; or
b) suffer from severe illness or injury, infectious or contagious disease, or illness that requires long-term rehabilitation as confirmed by a registered hospital or public services in healthcare that would adversely affect his/her study; or
c) carry out public duties of a nature and on a level of importance that such suspension is recommended; or
d) teach or conduct research outside of Macao for official business with appropriate permission.
- Applications for the suspension stated in Clause 18 shall be considered only when there are supporting official documents issued by relevant public departments, organisations, or registered hospitals.
(Thesis Format and Submission)
A doctoral degree thesis must be written and submitted in accordance with relevant rules and guidelines of the University.
(Graduation and Award)
To be eligible for graduation, a candidate must:a) satisfy all coursework requirements (if any) and pass relevant assessments; and
b) submit a thesis and pass the thesis defence.
- With reference to the opinions of the Senate, the Pedagogic Committee of the academic unit concerned shall scrutinise and confirm the list of candidates eligible for graduation and for the award of a doctoral degree.
- Except for cases where leave of absence is granted in accordance with Clause 3, students are required to be in residence on a full-time basis for the duration of their studies.
A student is considered as having fulfilled the residence requirement stated in the previous clause should s/he, upon confirmation of the academic unit concerned,
a) attend classes and activities (if any) as scheduled; and
b) continuously and effectively receive supervision and carry out learning following the established arrangements of the academic unit concerned.
Students may apply in writing to the academic unit concerned for leave of absence of any of the following types, which will be considered by the academic unit concerned with reference to opinions from relevant supervisor(s):a) General leave: A student may be granted up to 22 working days of general leave every 12 months. This is not an entitlement. Whether approval will be granted depends on a student’s learning progress and performance.
b) Academic leave: A student may be granted academic leave for purposes of study and research outside of Macao. The cumulative period of academic leave shall be no more than 12 months in the entire period of study. Academic leave of a length exceeding the aforementioned period may be granted should it be established in agreements between the University and its partner institution.
c) Non-academic leave: A student may be granted non-academic leave for health reasons or in cases of force majeure. Applications for non-academic leave should contain detailed explanations and relevant supporting documents.
- A student who, as confirmed by the academic unit concerned, has continuously failed to observe the residence requirement for more than 30 days shall be considered to have withdrawn from his/her study.
(Termination of Study)
- A student who wishes to terminate his/her study at the University due to personal reasons shall apply for withdrawal of study following the established procedures. The results of any incomplete modules shall be marked as ‘W’ (withdrawal) on the academic transcript while the results of completed modules shall be recorded as they are.
- A student discontinued from his/her study as in cases stated in Article 6 Clause 3, Article 8 Clause 4, Article 10 Clause 2, Article 11 Clauses 7 and 8, and Article 12 Clause 15, shall be considered to have withdrawn from his/her study. His/her application for admission to the same programme of study in the subsequent calendar year shall not be considered except in exceptional cases with special approval of the Senate.
- Under exceptional circumstances, a student who has withdrawn from his/her study for reasons stated in Article 5 Clause 2 and Article 15 Clause 4 and his/her period of study (including the period between withdrawal of study and resumption of study) has not exceeded the maximum period of study, may apply in writing for resumption of study before the assessment period of the particular semester. Upon approvals by the academic unit concerned and the Senate, after settlement of all outstanding fee(s) (if any) and administrative fee(s) as regulated by the University, s/he may resume his/her study.
- Except for cases stated in Clause 3, a student who has terminated and wishes to continue his/her study at the University is required to apply for admission following rules and regulations governing general admission.
(Certificates and Testimonials)
- A degree certificate shall be issued to a candidate eligible for award of a doctoral degree as stated in Article 14 Clause 2.
- The degree certificate shall be issued once only. No re-issuance shall be permitted.
A student may apply for the following documentations following relevant established procedures:a) Academic transcript: A comprehensive academic record of a student at the University which lists all modules enrolled and relevant assessment results.
b) Testimonial: A document certifying a student’s enrolment status at the University at the time of issuance.
- A student who has any outstanding fees, whether in part or in full, or has otherwise failed to discharge all obligations to the University, shall not be issued the degree certificate and any other documentations.
- Academic integrity is expected of every student of the University in all academic undertakings. Students should avoid committing any act of academic dishonesty, including but not limited to cheating and plagiarism.
- Any act of academic dishonesty shall be handled according to relevant rules and regulations of the University.
Any publication based on work approved for a doctoral degree should:a) state the primary affiliation of the authoring student is ‘Macao Polytechnic University’; and
b) contain a reference to the effect that the work was submitted to the University for the award of the degree.
- The student concerned should normally be shown as the first author on any such publication.
(Change of Personal Information)
- Students are responsible for ensuring that their personal and contact information given to the University is correct and up-to-date.
- A student who wishes to change their personal information should apply on a prescribed form. S/he may change their contact information on the Student Information Web.
- A graduate may update his/her contact information only.
(Questions and Omissions)
Any questions and omissions arising out of the application of these Regulations shall be resolved by the Senate.
This English version is a translation of the original regulations in Chinese. For any discrepancies between the two versions, the Chinese version shall prevail.
Updated on 25 Jul 2022