Life cycle of a research degree student

Your candidature consists of milestones that mark your progress towards successful completion of your research degree.

The diagrams below show key milestones for a typical full-time candidature*, and include links to further information where relevant. There is a key to acronyms below the diagrams.

PhD milestones**PHD Milestones

 **Professional doctorate degrees contain 18 units of coursework – this is negotiated with your RDC, and will affect timelines

Master of research milestones

Masters of Research Milestones

Key to acronyms

HDR: Higher Degree by Research

RTP: Research Training Program (the Australian government funding scheme for domestic research degree tuition fees)

*These timelines are indicative and based on full-time enrolment. The timelines will be doubled for part-time enrolment (excluding Reviews of Progress, which must be undertaken by all students every 6 months). Exegesis-based assessment follows the same timelines as thesis-based assessment.

Possible changes to candidature

During your research degree there may be changes or variations that affect your expected completion date. It is very important to ensure you complete the relevant form to ensure everything is recorded correctly.

Change of Program forms must be lodged by the applicable Census Date. Late forms will not take effect until the following Research Period.

Changes that do not affect candidacy expiry date:

  • Change of supervisor
  • Change of mode (internal or external)
  • Change of program (excluding upgrades and downgrades)
  • Extension of scholarship
  • Application to go overtime (alerts stakeholders that you have met your milestones but DOES NOT extend your candidacy expiry date) – overtime fees will be charged

Changes that will affect candidacy expiry date:

  • Change of load (full-time or part-time)
  • Leave of absence
  • Change of Program (only if an upgrade or downgrade)
  • Review of Progress (failure to submit a Review of Progress may result in administrative withdrawal)