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. All reviews are conducted online through the Confirmation of Candidature system (CoC).
Time limits for confirmation
The time limits by which confirmation must be completed are as follows.
|Masters degree students||Full-time||Part-time|
|Faculty of Arts and Education (including Institute of Koorie Education)||6 months||9 months|
|Faculty of Business and Law||6 months||12 months|
|Faculty of Health (Master of Philosophy (Medicine) is 8 months - full time)||6 months||12 months|
|Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment||6 months||12 months|
|Institute for Frontier Materials / Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation||6 months||12 months|
|Doctoral degree students||Full-time||Part-time|
|Faculty of Arts and Education (including Institute of Koorie Education)||9 months||15 months|
|Faculty of Business and Law||12 months||18 months|
|Faculty of Health (Doctor of Psychology is 12 months - full time)||9 months||18 months|
|Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment||12 months||18 months|
|Institute for Frontier Materials / Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation||12 months||18 months|
Preparing for confirmation
The confirmation process for students can be found in Section 5 of the Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) Academic Progress Procedure. Please note that research integrity training and Deakin Research Induction 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 also be found in the Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) Academic Progress Procedure.
Training relating to confirmation is available. You can do this in two ways:
- Workshop - register for Confirmation 1 and 2 via HDR Training
- Online - you should complete the Confirmation, Presentation Skills and Time Management modules available through the PhD Xtra Research Student Training CloudDeakin site
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 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.
Deakin Research Induction training
All students must complete Deakin Research Induction training before confirmation.
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.