Graduate Studies Committee

Terms of Reference


The Graduate Studies Committee assists the Academic Board in ensuring the maintenance of the highest standards and quality in teaching, learning, research training and scholarship at the University of Sydney and, in this context, advises the Academic Board about Resolutions, policy and procedures relating to postgraduate study at the University and acts as the Academic Board's agent in determining postgraduate matters, including the approval of new and amended courses, in accordance with the Resolutions of the Senate: Delegations of Authority: Academic Functions.

Terms of Reference

1. To monitor issues relating to quality in relation to postgraduate award courses and research training, and to make recommendations to the Academic Board as detailed below.
2. To advise the Academic Board on Resolutions, policy and procedures relating to all postgraduate studies in the University, including the assessment and examinations of postgraduate research candidates.
3. To make recommendations to the Academic Board regarding:
3.1 proposals to introduce new postgraduate award courses and amendments to existing postgraduate award courses; and
3.2 requirements to be satisfied by candidates for the award of a degree, diploma or certificate.
4. To act for the Academic Board in:
4.1 admitting candidates, on the advice of the faculty or board of studies concerned, for higher doctorates who are not graduates of the University of Sydney; and
4.2 determining, on the recommendation of the faculty or board of studies concerned, whether or not a Higher Doctorate be awarded.
5. To contribute to the development of the University’s strategic objectives in relation to postgraduate study and research training, and to develop, recommend to the Academic Board, and regularly review Resolutions, policy and procedures supporting those strategic objectives.
6. To receive reports from, and provide advice to, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education), and, where appropriate the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) and the Deputy Vice Chancellor (International) on quality assurance and others matters relating to postgraduate study and research training at the University.
7. To determine matters relating to the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy;
8. To establish effective supervisory policy and procedures for postgraduate research students;
9. To obtain information or reports from any faculty, school or department, the Library or other academic unit on academic matters relating to postgraduate studies.
10. To ensure proper communication channels are established with other committees of the Academic Board and SEG to promote cross-referencing and discussion of matters concerning postgraduate students.
11. To determine the terms and conditions of awards, postgraduate scholarships and prizes established within the University.
12. To act for the Academic Board in:
12.1 recognising institutions, programs and courses for the purposes of admission postgraduate coursework and research;
12.2 approving special admission schemes for postgraduate courses; and
12.3 confirming academic selection criteria for international students set by Deans.
13. To provide regular reports on its activities under its terms of reference to the Academic Board.
14. To consider and report on any matter referred to it by the Academic Board, or its committees, the Senior Executive Group or the Vice Chancellor.


The Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee acts for the Academic Board in varying the requirements for a particular candidate in exceptional circumstances for higher doctorates and the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, in accordance with the Resolutions of the Senate: Delegations of Authority: Academic Functions.


Ex Officio Members
- the Chair of the Committee
- the Chair of the Academic Board, or nominee
- the Chairs of Sub-Committees of the Graduate Studies
Committee, if not already members
- the Director, Graduate Research, or nominee
- the President of the Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association, or nominee

Appointed Members
The Academic Board shall appoint one member from each faculty and one postgraduate coursework and one postgraduate research student member nominated by members of the Board.

Deputy Chair
The Committee may appoint one member, on the nomination of the Chair of the Committee, to act as Deputy Chair.

Co-opted Members
The Committee may co-opt additional members. Co-opted members may be selected from the members of the Academic Board or the wider University community or may express interest directly to the Chair of the Committee, but must have an interest and/or experience in issues considered by the Committee. The term of office of members co-opted by the Committee shall be specified at the time of co option and such members shall have all rights and privileges of other members.

Assessors and Reviewers
The Committee may invite and appoint assessors and reviewers to assist it with its functions, including, as appropriate, persons from outside the University.

Students and staff of the University may attend meetings as observers, and are allowed, with the permission of the Chair of the committee, to address the meeting on issues being considered by the committee.

Frequency of Meetings

The Committee shall meet at least five (5) times a year.

Voting Rights

Voting rights at meetings of the Committee are restricted to ex-officio members, appointed members and co-opted members.


A quorum for a meeting of the Committee shall be seven (7) members.


PhD Award Sub-Committee
Postgraduate Awards Sub-Committee

Committee secretary

Committees Officer, Secretariat


Academic Board, 24 February 2016