Candidature changes for research students

All Requests for candidature variation need to be submitted through your Sydney Student Portal

Students requesting a SUSPENSION MUST upload a PDF document outlining timeline, reasons for suspension and plan for return to study.

All requests to vary candidature must be received before the census date of the relevant research period for those changes to take effect. If a request is received after the relevant census date, changes will take effect (if approved) in the following research period.

In regards to thesis submission any currently enrolled HDR student keeps the same completion date (ie. 31st March or 31st August), unless they change their candidature through suspension/extension, in which case their new completion date must align to the new HDR research periods.

Thesis submission for newly enrolled students will now correspond with the ‘Completion date’ of the research period.

HDR Research Periods

Research Period 1 (January 1st – February 28th)
Offers made in this period have a recommended start date of – January 2nd
Enrolment from December 1st – January 31st
Completion date – January 6th of appropriate year
Census Date - January 31st

Research Period 2 (March 1st – Jun 30th)
Offers made in this period have a recommended start date of – March 1st
Enrolment from (February 1st – March 31st)
Completion date – February 28th of appropriate year
Census Date March 31st

Research Period 3 (July 1st – September 30th)
Offers made in this period have a recommended start date of – July 1st
Enrolment from April 1st – August 31st
Completion date – June 30th of appropriate year
Census Date September 19th

Research Period 4 (October 1st – December 31st)
Offers made in this period have a recommended start date of – October 1st
Enrolment from September 1st – October 31st
Completion date – September 30th of appropriate year
Census Date October 31st

Below is a list of all possible candidature changes:

Transferring your candidature to another degree

In some cases it is possible to transfer from one degree to another and obtain credit for work already completed. For example, a Masters by research student may ask to upgrade to a Doctor of Philosophy and obtain credit for the research previously completed.

Please note that it is also possible to transfer from a higher degree to a lower degree. All students wishing to transfer to another degree within the Faculties of Dentistry, Pharmacy, Sydney Medical School, or Sydney Nursing School should do so through their Sydney Student Portal

Suspending your candidature

If you have to interrupt your candidature at any time after you have enrolled and commenced you must apply to suspend your candidature. If approved, it is Sydney Medical School procedure to grant two HDR research periods of suspension at a time, irrespective of the duration you've applied for. You are not permitted to apply for a suspension once you have reached the latest date for completion of your degree. Requests for suspension must be made in advance and not retrospectively and reasons for the suspension must be given. Research scholarship holders must notify the Research Office of any periods of absence.

Students requesting a SUSPENSION MUST upload a PDF document outlining timeline, reasons for suspension and plan for return to study.

All students wishing to suspend their candidature should do so through their Sydney Student Portal

Please note that if you do not notify the Postgraduate Student Administration Unit of your wish to suspend and simply fail to re-enrol, your candidature will be regarded as having lapsed, and you will be required to apply for re-instatement to candidature if you wish to continue your studies.

Withdrawing from your course

If your circumstances are such that you are unable to anticipate when you will be able to resume your candidature you should seek to withdraw from your candidature. Should you be able to resume at a later date you would have to re-apply for admission. Some credit might then be given for work that you had completed prior to your withdrawal, but you would, in effect, be commencing a new candidature. All students wishing to withdraw should do so through their Sydney Student Portal

Changing from full-time to part-time

All research students wishing to convert from full-time to part-time should do so through their Sydney Student Portal. In addition to submitting the candidature variation form, students must also provide a detailed proposal explaining how the research will be carried out, its relationship to their employment and arrangements for attendance at a University affiliated site. The University is not willing to act solely as an examining body. Any research must be under the direction and supervision of the University. There are certain restrictions that may apply to students on scholarships. Scholarship holders who wish to convert to part-time candidature should check with the Research Office first to make sure the conditions of the scholarship will allow for part-time study. International students are normally required to undertake full-time candidature under the terms of their entry visa.

Changing from part-time to full-time

All research students wishing to convert from part-time to full-time should do so through their Sydney Student Portal

Changing supervisory arrangements

If you wish to change your Research Supervisor or Auxiliary Supervisor or appoint an additional supervisor, please request this through your Sydney Student Portal. Please note that your current Research Supervisor and PGC will need to approve these changes. We will also check that the supervisor/s your proposing to change to are also officially registered with the Graduate Studies Office, and are able to act as supervisor/s.

Working on your research away from the University of Sydney

Time away is permitted for research candidatures. There is provision to spend time in another university or institution during your candidature and also to complete your candidature away from the University of Sydney. There may, for example, be circumstances where it would be desirable to work at another institution within Australia or overseas where there would be access to some particular research or library facilities or expertise. All students wishing to spend time away or complete their thesis away should do so through their Sydney Student Portal, indicating the length of time that they will be absent from the University of Sydney, the institution at which they will be based while absent and details of the arrangements made for their continued supervision.

Please note that a PhD candidate pursuing candidature outside Australia must also complete the full time equivalent of four HDR research periods of candidature within the University before submission of the thesis. This need not be immediately prior to submission or a continuous basis. Similarly, Masters students must complete a minimum of two HDR research periods within the University.

Extending your candidature

Should it appear during your last year of candidature that you will not be able to complete the requirements by the latest date, you should apply for an extension of your candidature. If approved, extensions are granted for two HDR research periods at a time for domestic students irrespective of the duration you applied for. International students extension requests can be approved on a one HDR research period basis. Candidates granted an extension are expected to complete their degree by the end of the extension period. Candidates are not permitted to apply for a suspension during the extension period. All students needing an extension should do so through their Sydney Student Portal, indicating why they do not expect to meet the deadline and referring to any difficulties that might have been experienced during the candidature. Evidence of difficulties is expected to be noted in annual progress reports. The application for an extension should also contain a realistic estimate of the time required to finish, all of which should be uploaded in one or more documents when you submit your extension request. You cannot assume that an extension will be granted. An aspect of the research training being undertaken is to complete a project within a deadline. Requests for extension must be made in advance and not retrospectively.