Changes to candidature

Changes to candidature includes changes to your load, mode or location, research topic, duration or applying for intermission. The following changes can be sought by completing an online form.

Change of Candidature

If you wish to change to part-time candidature, you should apply online stating the reasons for the requested change. You must obtain the support of your principal supervisor and Head of Academic Unit or Institute Director. Similarly, if you are studying part-time and wish to revert to full-time study you must apply online.

At the beginning of candidature, the University will determine whether your studies must be pursued within the University or at a Partner Institution, or may be carried out at another location. If you wish to change the place of candidature, you must apply online with the support of your principal supervisor and Head of Academic Unit or Institute Director. The details of the supervision arrangements and facilities available for your program must be described.

Scholarship holders please note: change to study mode, load or location may impact your continuing eligibility for your scholarship. Please contact the Scholarships Office to discuss this further before completing an online form.

Change of Research Topic

If you wish to change your research topic after candidature has commenced, you must first discuss the matter with your principal supervisor and Head of Academic Unit or Institute Director. Details should be provided of the relationship between work on the original topic and the new topic, and particularly how the change will influence the submission date of your thesis. Depending upon the extent of the change, approval may be required. Minor changes to the wording of the project title do not require approval and can be made by emailing an HDR Adviser. A major change to the project, however, will require approval and should be made by applying online. Approval must be acquired before work commences on the new field of study.

Iranian national students applying for a change in thesis focus/topic or a course transfer require approval from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). Students must complete Form 1221 for assessment and evidence of approval from DIBP must be provided with the change application before the change can be approved by the Executive Dean or Pro Vice Chancellor (Research Development and Training).

Extension of Candidature or Scholarship

An application for an extension of time will only be approved if a strong case is made and a detailed timetable for the completion of the program is provided. Note that extensions to doctoral scholarships where applicable (please refer to your individual scholarship terms and conditions) are limited to a maximum of six months (full-time), and can only be allowed where the research has been delayed due to circumstances which are beyond the student's control and related to the conduct of the research. Time spent on a placement is not grounds for a candidature or scholarship extension. Personal reasons such as illness or family reasons are not grounds for a scholarship extension. Masters scholarships cannot be extended.

Requests for changes to the period of candidature should be made by applying online and must be supported by your principal supervisor and Head of Academic Unit or Institute Director.

International students please note: an extension of candidature will have tuition fee implications. Please contact the HDR Candidature Manager to discuss your options before completing an online form.

Intermission of Candidature

Students are expected to pursue their research programs without interruption. However, circumstances sometimes occur which disrupt work for the degree, and it may be sensible to consider intermitting candidature until the problems are solved. An extended period of illness or some difficult personal problem might be best handled in this way. Intermission will not generally be granted for more than twelve months in total over the whole candidature unless there are exceptional circumstances. Intermission cannot be taken retrospectively. 

If you wish to apply for intermission of your candidature, you should first discuss the circumstances with your supervisor, Head of Academic Unit or Institute Director, or the HDR Candidature Manager before applying online. The application should be supported by the principal supervisor and the Head of Academic Unit or Institute Director. All work on the research must stop during the intermission of candidature.

Scholarship holders must contact the Scholarships Office two weeks in advance of resuming study to avoid delays in payment of the scholarship.

Transfer between research degrees

It is possible to transfer from a masters to a doctoral program under certain conditions. Masters students who have the necessary formal qualifications to undertake a doctoral program may transfer at any time if the project is suitable and the request is supported by the supervisor and Head of Academic Unit or Institute Director. You must apply online.

It may also be possible to transfer from a masters to a doctoral program without the prescribed formal entry qualifications after the first full year of candidature.

You must have demonstrated the ability to undertake research at doctoral level and a substantial written report will be required. The Head of Academic Unit or Institute Director must be able to certify that you have achieved an academic standard equivalent to at least that of a bachelors degree with second class honours (upper division). The project must be suitable for a doctoral program, and the transfer must be supported by your principal supervisor and the Head of Academic Unit or Institute Director.

Following approval of the transfer, the doctoral candidature is considered to date from the commencement of the masters candidature. Transfer between doctoral programs and from a doctoral to a masters program is also possible.

Change of Supervisor

A student's principal supervisor can change if this proves necessary. This will happen if the supervisor leaves the University, but it could also be appropriate if another staff member has greater expertise or experience in the research area. A less common reason, but no less important, is when the supervisory arrangements prove unsatisfactory, perhaps resulting from a clash of personalities.

You should approach the HDR Candidature Manager for an informal discussion if a change in supervisory arrangements seems necessary for any reason. Such discussions, which will always be held in confidence if requested, are generally the best way to decide how to proceed.

Please note: a change of supervisor form can only be initiated by a school staff member and usually the new or current principal supervisor. Neither Deakin Research nor a student can initiate this form.

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