Skip to Content

Cotutelle versus Joint PhD model

 Head to Head

Cotutelle Joint PhD
Joint enrolment at MQ and an overseas university Joint enrolment at MQ and an overseas university
Priority institutional partners – but open to all universities subject to approval Institutional partners require Academic Senate Approval
Institutional memorandum of understanding (MOU) not compulsory Institutional MOU/agreement required
Separate progress assessments One university is designated as the lead
Single thesis submitted to both universities Single thesis submitted to the lead university
Separate examination Joint examination
Two testamurs One joint testamur
Two graduation ceremonies One graduation ceremony

Cotutelle model

The student is enrolled at both universities and fees are payable at the home university. Macquarie University always charges fees for the full duration of candidature but fee scholarships are awarded to eligible applicants. The dates of initial enrolment may be different at the two universities. The entrance requirements for each university are fully respected.

Both universities will appoint at least one of its staff as the supervisor and these supervisors jointly guide the student's research program. The supervisors are encouraged to maintain contact with each other.

For each such student there will be an agreement, signed by suitable authorities at each university, specifying inter alia the study program, supervision, funding and examination processes. This must be completed before the student enrols in the partner university.

The student spends at least one third of their time at each university which may be in one or more periods of time, subject to funding and the needs of the research program.

Each university makes its own decisions about the admission, award of scholarship and progress approval of the student, including any coursework. There is no removal of any authority from either party.

At the conclusion of the research, a single thesis is prepared that is submitted for independent examination by both universities. Each university's examination process is fully complied with including an oral viva voce examination. Each university makes its own decision about the award of the degree, including a grade or mark if that is the practice.

If successful the student is able then to graduate and attend a graduation ceremony at both universities. The degree titles may be different according to the local regulations. The testamurs (degree certificates) carry a comment line to the effect that the degree is awarded under a cotutelle agreement.

Cotutelle Sample Testamur

Joint degree model

For any joint degree there will be an umbrella framework agreement that establishes the program. This will be signed by suitable authorities in both universities. The Senate of Macquarie University needs to consent to each such agreement.

The student is enrolled at both universities and fees are payable at both universities but some overseas universities only charge fees for the period of residence. Macquarie University always charges fees for the full duration of candidature but fee scholarships are awarded to eligible applicants.

There is a joint decision to admit the student to the joint degree program. The dates of initial enrolment may be different at the two universities but the duration of joint enrolment will be agreed. The entrance requirements for each university are fully respected

Both universities will appoint at least one of its staff as the supervisor and these supervisors jointly guide the student's research program. The supervisors are encouraged to maintain contact with each other.

For each such student there will be an agreement, signed by suitable authorities at each university, specifying inter alia the study program, supervision, funding and examination processes. This must be completed before the student enrols in the joint program. It is understood that the student may be transferred from an initial single enrolment at one university into the joint program.

The student spends at least one third of their time at each university which may be in one or more periods of time, subject to funding and the needs of the research program.

Each university makes its own decisions about the admission and award of scholarship. Progress assessment of the student, including any coursework is jointly agreed. The joint decisions are made within the specifications of the student agreement AND the umbrella framework agreement.

At the conclusion of the research, a single thesis is prepared that is submitted for a single examination process agreed by both universities. This may be either one of the university's own process or a merged process containing elements of both.

If successful the student is able then to graduate and attend a graduation ceremony at only one university. The degree title is as specified in the agreements. The testamur (degree certificate) carries the crests of both universities and is signed by authorities in both universities.

Joint PhD Sample Testamur

Key differences between cotutelle and joint PhD

  • Joint Phd has one testamur (certificate) jointly awarded
  • Cotutelle PhD has two testamurs, annotated to reflect cotutelle enrolment
  • Joint PhD requires umbrella framework agreement as well as student agreement
  • Joint PhD has fees payable depending on residence in some cases
  • Joint PhD has single examination process (designed together), cotutelle is examined twice
  • Joint PhD student has single graduation ceremony, cotutelle has two available

Content cannot be accessed