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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 provides information on application and admission requirements, and English language proficiency requirements for the range of HDR courses available at the University.

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

Offshore candidature guidelines provide guidance on the assessment of applications for offshore enrolment, considered as part of the application process.


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.

Procedures and guidelines

The Generic Skills and Attributes of Higher Degree by Research Candidates statement details the generic skills and attributes HDR candidates are expected to attain and develop throughout candidature.  

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.


The Higher Degree by Research Supervision Policy outlines the requirements for supervisor registration, the establishment and management of supervisory panels and the responsibilities of those engaged in the supervision of HDR candidates.

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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