What is confirmation?

Confirmation is a milestone early in candidature. This involves preparing a written document and presenting it to a panel of experts in your field who assess your capability to complete the degree within the specified candidature time limit. You will be questioned on the content of your presentation and have an opportunity to gain valuable feedback.

All research degree students at Deakin are admitted on a provisional basis and must satisfactorily complete the candidature confirmation process at an early stage of candidature. The purpose of the confirmation process is to improve the student's chances of successfully completing their degree by:

  • assessing the likelihood of a quality thesis being completed within the candidature time limit
  • identifying any difficulties early and remedying them

Additional benefits of confirmation for the student are that it:

  • provides reassurance that their research direction is sound
  • encourages writing early in candidature so that there's less of a 'mountain to climb' at the end
  • provides a chance to develop their presentation skills

The confirmation process is not meant to be intimidating for students - the whole purpose is to improve the student's chances of success. A major reason why some research degree students do not finish their degree is that they never actually start (i.e. they get to the end of their candidature time with an incomplete literature review and no clear research question). Confirmation requires students to focus on a clear definition of their research question at a very early stage, and to plan the rest of the project (including the writing of thesis) on that basis.

Time limits for confirmation

The time limits by which confirmation must be completed are as follows.

Masters degree6 months12 months
Doctoral degree12 months18 months

Preparing for confirmation

Students should check with their faculty for any faculty-specific guidelines or requirements. The HDR contacts are a very useful source of information.

The confirmation process for students can be found in Confirmation of candidature standards in The Guide. Please note that research integrity training must be completed before confirmation.

Students wishing to transfer from a Masters degree to a PhD can combine the process with the confirmation process. Information on transferring between research degrees can be found in the Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) Academic Progress Procedure.

Doctor of Psychology students

The Doctor of Psychology program has a specific confirmation process - further information is available from the School of Psychology. The confirmation process described elsewhere on this page relates only to PhD and Masters candidates.

Research integrity training

All students must complete Research integrity training before confirmation.

You can attend a Research integrity training in person by booking via our Events Registration system. (These workshops will be listed as they become available). Alternatively, you can complete the training online at any time.

To gain access to the online training you will need to log into CloudDeakin, click on self-register and select the 'Office of Research integrity'. The site will then appear within the My Sites area of your CloudDeakin homepage. Within the Office of Research integrity, you will need to find Research integrity home and complete the Research Integrity Quiz.

If you have any trouble registering for the site or any other queries regarding the training, please contact the Office of Research integrity.

Possible outcomes of confirmation process

The flow diagram below shows the possible outcomes from the confirmation process for a PhD student. Students who are not successful first time are given a second chance.

In the case of a Masters student, the flow diagram below is applicable with the removal of the option of transferring to a Masters degree.

A flow diagram showing the possible outcomes from the confirmation process.

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