Higher Degree by Research Candidature Annual Progress Review


From their first year onwards, all higher degree by research candidates complete an annual progress review (APR) as a condition of their continuing enrolment.

If you are a currently enrolled student you must complete an APR.

You do not need to complete an APR if you:

  • are on suspension
  • are under examination
  • have submitted your notice of thesis submission
How Do I Prepare for the APR?

In your first year, the APR is used to review your probation period as well as help you resolve any issues with your candidature.

To prepare your APR, you will work with your supervisors to identify goals for the coming year. Establishing goals can help you keep your degree on track and help you to submit your thesis on time.

Typical goals for higher degree by research are:

  • Expected completion time of a complete literature review
  • Project proposal complete by end of x months
  • x number of chapters within an established timeframe
  • Expected completion time for your final draft
  • Thesis submitted for examination by end of your final year
What Happens in the Annual Progess Review?

In September, you will be emailed the APR form to your university email address. Once the form has been completed and signed by your supervisor and the department’s Postgraduate Research Coordinator, you can submit the application at the Faculty’s Student Services counter or as an attachment from your university email address to .

Reviews are usually held in October and you will be interviewed by a Review Panel consisting of two or more academic staff members. Your supervisor will not be included on the Review Panel.

The APR Panel will review the future goals of your candidature and your accomplishments. The Panel can suggest action items for you, your supervisor or the department. These can include things like “meet with supervisor fortnightly (student and supervisor)”, “attend time management course at Sydney Learning (student)”, or “change candidature attendance to part-time (student, supervisor,)”.

The APR is used to address potential issues early but to also provide feedback and assistance with your candidature, even if you are on track for completion. As this process can be used to help resolve any issues, you are encouraged to be open and frank when completing the form and in the interview.

As part of this process, you will work with your supervisors to identify your goals for the coming year. This can help you keep your degree on track and help you to submit your thesis on time. You should think realistically about the specifics of your research project while following the rules for completion found in University of Sydney (Higher Degree by Research) Rule 2011 (as amended).