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 your study mode to part-time or full-time, 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 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 or location may impact your continuing eligibility for your scholarship. Please contact the Graduate Research Academy for advice 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 the Graduate Research Academy. Topic titles must be a maximum of 10 words excluding words such as "and", "to", "of", "the" etc. 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 Integrity).

Extension of Candidature

Please use this form to extend your candidature time. An application for an extension of candidature will only be approved if a detailed timetable for completion of the program is provided and a strong case is made that research has been delayed due to circumstances which are beyond the student's control and are related to the conduct of the research. Time spent on a placements or personal reasons such as illness or family reasons are not grounds for a candidature extension.

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.

Extension of Scholarship

Please complete this form to extend your scholarship. 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 are related to the conduct of the research. Time spent on a placements or personal reasons such as illness or family reasons are not grounds for a scholarship extension. Masters scholarships cannot be extended.

Requests for extension of scholarship should be made by applying online and must be supported by your principal supervisor and Head of Academic Unit or Institute Director. If you have any further questions about this process please contact the Graduate Research Academy for advice.

Intermission of Candidature

Students are expected to work on their research programs without interruption. However, circumstances such as an extended period of illness or difficult personal problems may occur which disrupt study. In this situation it may be sensible to consider intermitting candidature until the problems are solved. 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. Please note that to apply for parental leave you will also need to submit an intermission of candidature online form.

Your scholarship payments may be suspended depending on the reason for intermission and scholarship Terms and Conditions, please contact the Graduate Research Academy for advice. If intermission is approved scholarship holders must email the Graduate Research Academy three weeks in advance of resuming study to avoid delays in payment of the scholarship.

On campus International students: You must have an interview with an International Student Adviser (ISA) to discuss the effect of intermission on your student visa before you start the online form.

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. All encumbrances must be lifted before the transfer between degrees can be approved.

Change of Supervisor

A student's supervisory panel may change throughout candidature. Examples for a change being required include: a supervisor leaving the University, another staff member has greater expertise in the research area or supervisory arrangements prove unsatisfactory.

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 which is usually the new or current principal supervisor. The Graduate Research Academy or student cannot initiate this form.

Students are advised to apply for changes to candidature in advance of the change. With requests for intermission, these should be made at least 2 weeks in advance of the period of absence.

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