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Policy, Procedures and Guidelines

The following policies, procedures and guidelines are relevant to Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates, HDR supervisors and staff of the University involved in the management and support of HDR students.

Higher Degree by Research candidates must also comply with all University of Canberra Rules and Policies that apply to  students and researchers.


Higher Degree by Research Admissions Policy outlines the principles for admission to HDR courses at the University of Canberra.

Higher Degree by Research Scholarship Policy provides a framework for the establishment, award and management of higher degree by research (HDR) scholarships at the University. Each scholarship is governed by its own conditions of award.

Procedures and guidelines

Higher Degree by Research Admissions Procedure outlines the requirements for admission to HDR courses at the University of Canberra,  including requirements for application, minimum qualifications, RPL, English language proficiency requirements, off-shore or off-campus candidature, transfers from other institutions, offers of admission and deferral.

Higher Degree by Research Scholarship Application and Assessment Procedures outlines the procedures for application for University managed scholarships, and information on the assessment process.

Guidelines for managing offshore or off-campus candidature provide guidance for faculties on the assessment of applications for offshore or off-campus (remote) enrolment, considered as part of the application process.

HDR Scholarships Recommendation for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Faculty Quick Guide provides guidance for faculties on the process and evidence required for an application for admission made on the basis of learning acquired through means other than formal study. The Associate Dean Research or Higher Degree by Research must provide their recommendation for RPL to the Dean of Graduate Research via the online form. Requests for RPL needs to be submitted to the Dean, Graduate Research by 31 October 2022.

Guidelines for English Language Equivalency for HDR admission provides guidance for faculties on the requirements for making a case for equivalency for English language, including the types of evidence required in lieu of an English language test. Requests for English Language Equivalency needs to be submitted to the Dean, Graduate Research by 31 October 2022.


The Higher Degree by Research Enrolment and Changes to Candidature Policy sets out the principles for changes to candidature during an HDR course, including enrolment requirements, course duration, offshore enrolment, employment, attendance status and requirements, leave from candidature, supervisory panel changes, course transfers, course extension or withdrawal from the course.

The Higher Degree by Research Progress and Milestones Policy details the progress reporting and milestones requirements of candidates in HDR courses at the University, including intervention arrangements for candidates identified as at risk of non-progress (Progress Support Strategy, Academic Probation).

The Infrastructure Support of Higher Degree by Research Candidates Policy sets out the minimum provisions to be made available to all HDR candidates during their course, and includes physical facilities, financial assistance and participation in the research culture.

The Higher Degree by Research Graduate Attributes Policy details the transferrable skills and attributes the University expects its Higher Degree by Research (HDR) graduates to develop during their course of study.”

Procedures and guidelines

The Higher Degree by Research Progress and Milestones Procedures provide details of the processes and administrative requirements for completion of relevant progress requirements and milestones for HDR candidates.

Related resources

The Overview of HDR Leave Provisions provides information on the different leave types available to HDR candidates during their enrolment in a research degree, including the level of approval required, what impact leave will have on the course end date, and the relevant paperwork to provide to apply for the different leave types (forms and supporting documentation).

The Higher Degree by Research Milestones Overview provides an overview of all milestones required by HDR candidates at the University, including coursework, seminars and progress reports. It includes details such as due date and responsibilities of the candidate and the supervisory team.

The Progress Support Strategy workflow and Academic Probation workflow aim to assist candidates and supervisors understand the process and requirements of these support arrangements detailed in the HDR Progress and Milestones Policy and Procedures.


The University’s Responsible Conduct of Research Policy applies not only to staff, but to students involved in research at the University. It sets out the principles for responsible conduct of research, and is informed by the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Throughout their HDR degree, all research candidates must also be aware of and comply with the University's Intellectual Property Policy, Management of Research Data and Primary Research Materials Policy and the Publication and Authorship of Research Policy.

Related resources

The online Research Integrity modules (login to MyUC portal required) have been designed to help both staff and students understand the responsibilities of a researcher and to provide support in dealing with any challenging situations that you might encounter. Research Integrity training is mandatory for all Higher Degree by Research candidates prior to confirmation of candidature.

An overview of IP and data management as it relates to HDR candidates is available here.


The Higher Degree by Research Supervision Policy outlines the principles for supervision at the University, including registration, conduct, panel composition and supervisory capacity, conflict of interest and dispute resolution.


The Higher Degree by Research Supervision Procedure outlines the requirements for supervisor registration and the role and responsibilities of those involved in HDR supervision at the University.

Related resources

The University supports the Principles for Respectful Supervisory Relationships, developed jointly by Universities Australia, the National Tertiary Education Union, the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations and the Australian Council of Graduate Research. The Principles provide universities with high level guidance on matters such as sexual relationships and sexual assault and harassment, and have been developed to protect the safety and wellbeing of both students and university staff.


The Examination of Higher Degree by Research Theses Policy details the requirements for thesis content and structure,  submission, conduct of examination, nomination of examiners including conflicts of interest, examination outcomes, course completion and award and retention of theses.

Procedures and guidelines

Higher Degree by Research Thesis Submission and Examination Guidelines provides information on forms required for submission and examination, formatting requirements, proof-reading and editing by professional editors, and what the thesis requirements are for the range of HDR degrees (PhD, Professional doctorates, Masters by Research, by creative production, by or including publications).

Higher Degree by Research Examination Outcomes Procedure provides information on recommendations of examiners and how the Faculty or Research Institute determine the next steps, in terms of further revisions or minor edits to the thesis, or approval of the degree.

All research related policies, and other policies relevant to all students of the University, can be found in the University Policy Library.

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