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Enrolment and changes to candidature

How do I enrol in units for my research course?

Research students are not able to self-enrol into units for their course. You will need to fill out a Unit Registration Form and submit it to the HDR Support team (

Candidates will be enrolled for the following year on completion of your Annual Progress Report (APR) each year in September.

Candidates who commence in Semester 2 are not required to complete an APR in their first semester, so will need to submit another unit registration form towards the end of the year for enrolment in the following year.

What happens if I don't enrol in units in my research course?

If you do not enrol in your research course (through failure to complete an APR in the previous year or submit a unit registration form if required) you will be discontinued from your course.

What coursework do I need to complete when undertaking a Higher Degree by Research?

Students enrolled in the ‘standard entry’ PhD are required to complete 12 credit points of coursework during the first year of candidature, which may include research methods and design units,the Doctoral Research Skills Portfolio unit  or other disciplinary relevant units.

This coursework element is designed to provide a practical, solid grounding for our new students as to the requirements of completing a PhD and ensure that they have all the requisite skills to undertake their proposed research.

The inclusion of coursework formalises activities that are already common practices in some areas of the University, and will not extend the duration of the degree.

Can I study part-time?

Domestic students may enrol part time, but there are some conditions for international students.

International students who hold a student visa are not eligible for part time enrolment. Only international students who are studying off shore, or who hold an alternative visa, may be eligible to enrol part time.

How much of my time do I need to commit towards studying a Higher Degree by Research?

Full time students are expected to study for at least the equivalent of a standard five-day working week for 48 weeks of the year.

A part time student is expected to study for 50 percent of that quota.

Can I conduct my research in my home country?

You will need to contact the Faculty/Research Institute in which you intend to study before submitting an application. The Faculty/Research Institute will need to determine if they have the required resources to supervise you while overseas, and that you have the required resources to be able to conduct your research off-campus.

Students who are offshore must attend campus for at least 6 months (not necessarily continuously) throughout their candidature.

Can I change my supervisory panel?

The appointment of supervisors to a supervisory panel is a process that occurs and is approved at Faculty or Research Institute level.

If you are changing your Supervisory Panel you will need to complete the Change of Supervisory Panel form (to be approved by the Dean of the Faculty or Director of the Research Institute) and submit it to the HDR Support team (

Read more about Changing your Supervisory Panel

As a research student, can I take leave from my studies?

Leave from candidature is the approved suspension of studies in the form of an intermission; sick leave; parental leave or compelling or compassionate leave.

For more information on the different leave types and how to apply see Leave from Candidature

As a research student, what do I need to do when returning from study leave?

On return from intermission you will need to contact the IT Service Desk via or (02) 6201 5500 and request a new password to gain access to MyUC.

You will also be required to enrol by completing a Unit Registration Form

On return from sick leave, parental leave and leave for compassionate or compelling circumstances you will need to inform the HDR Support team to resume your day count (

I am considering discontinuing my research, who should I speak with?

A candidate who is considering withdrawing from their research program is encouraged to consult their supervisor/s before making the final decision.

For more information and to access the Notification of Discontinuation form, see Discontinuation

As a research student, how can I resolve a grievance?

Students in higher degree by research courses may encounter difficulties of various kinds during study towards the degree. Most concerns will be addressed through ongoing discussions with their primary supervisor and members of the supervisory panel.

If the issue is still not resolved after informal pathways, a student may make formal representation.

Read more about Grievances

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