Graduate Studies Committee

Terms of reference
Composition and membership
Meeting dates and deadlines
Agendas, papers and minutes

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 the University Executive 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 University Executive 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.

The Committee's full terms of reference can be downloaded as a PDF.

Composition and membership



the Chair of the Committee

Professor Kirsten McKenzie

the Chair of the Academic Board

Associate Professor Tony Masters

the Chair of the Higher Degree by Research Examinations Sub-Committee

Associate Professor Kathleen Nelson

the Chair of the Higher Degree by Research Scholarships Sub-Committee

Associate Professor Shae McCrystal

the Director, Graduate Research (or nominee)

Associate Professor Ross Coleman

the Deputy Registrar, or nominee

Anne Fernandez (nominee) 

the President of the Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association, or nominee 

Nicole Seebacher (nominee)

The Academic Board shall appoint one member from each faculty and at least one undergraduate student member and one postgraduate student member nominated by members of the Board.



Agriculture and Environment

Associate Professor Michael Kertesz

Architecture, Design and Planning

Associate Professor Lee Stickells

Arts and Social Sciences

Associate Professor Gaby Ramia


Dr Matthew Beck


Dr Munira Xaymardan

Education and Social Work

Associate Professor Aek Phakiti

Engineering and Information Technologies

Associate Professor Marjorie Valix

Health Sciences

Associate Professor Lynette MacKenzie


Professor David Hamer


Associate Professor Patrick Kelly

Nursing and Midwifery

Dr Janice Gullick


Professor Jo-Anne Brien


Dr Tim Newsome

Sydney College of the Arts

Justin Trendall

Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Associate Professor Kathleen Nelson

Veterinary Science

Associate Professor Roslyn Bathgate

Student representatives

Dean Lovett (PG Coursework)

Tong Li (PG Research)

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

Associate Professor Michael Kertesz

Co-opted Members



Professor Rachel Codd

Faculty of Medicine

Associate Professor Susan Park

Faculty of Arts and Social Science

Meeting dates and deadlines

2017 Meetings:

Items due by:

Agenda sent out on:

Meeting Date:

Tuesday 24 January

Tuesday 31 January

Tuesday 7 February

Tuesday 21 February

Tuesday 28 February

Tuesday 7 March

Tuesday 28 March

Tuesday 4 April

Tuesday 11 April

Tuesday 9 May

Tuesday 16 May

Tuesday 23 May

Tuesday 20 June

Tuesday 27 June

Tuesday 4 July

Tuesday 18 July

Tuesday 25 July

Tuesday 1 August

Tuesday 5 September

Tuesday 12 September

Tuesday 19 September

Tuesday 24 October

Tuesday 31 October

Tuesday 7 November

Agendas, papers and minutes

Committee agenda, papers and minutes for the current and previous year are available below. Inquiries and requests for historical information can be directed to the Committee Officer.

2017 Agendas, papers and minutes

Meeting date

Agenda and Papers


7 February

 Agenda and Papers


7 March

 Agenda and Papers


11 April

 Agenda and Papers


23 May

 Agenda and Papers


4 July

Agenda and Papers


1 August

Agenda and Papers


19 September

Agenda and Papers


7 November

Agenda and Papers


2016 Agendas, papers and minutes

Meeting date

Agenda and Papers


10 February

Meeting Cancelled


16 March

Agenda and Papers


27 April

Agenda and Papers


15 June

 Agenda and Papers 


27 July

 Agenda and Papers 


31 August

 Agenda and Papers


19 October

 Agenda and Papers


16 November (by Circulation)

Agenda and Papers



Form Link

Committee report / proposal template


Recommendation for admission to candidature and appointment of examiners for higher degree candidates


Recommendation for award of a higher degree



Committee Officer
Dr Matthew Charet
T +61 2 9114 1356