Management of Candidature
Candidates are required to re-enrol in Semester 1 and Semester 2 every year unless they take approved leave of absence or withdraw from candidature. They are also required to re-enrol on return from leave of absence. It is an individual responsibility to check 'myHub' each semester to ensure that enrolment and personal details are correct and to pay any student fees or charges. Please refer to the RHD Student Self Service web site for more information.
The University of Newcastle requires Research Higher Degree candidates who commenced candidature from 2006 onwards to undertake a confirmation process within twelve months of commencement of candidature on a full-time basis (or part-time equivalent). Further details are available at the Confirmation Year web page.
Policy on Upgrade from Masters to Doctor of Philosophy
Applications for upgrade from a Masters program to a Doctor of Philosophy program may be considered by your Assistant Dean Research Training after two semesters of full-time enrolment or four semesters of part-time enrolment provided the prescribed criteria are met. A candidate must have sucessfully completed the confirmation year requirement to be eligible to upgrade.
The following criteria have been adopted to measure your progress:
- Your performance in defining a research protocol, critically reviewing work done to date in relation to that protocol and definition of the research question to be answered, for which a research plan should be available.
- Your academic performance within your program of study as determined by academic progress reports and/or reports from your Supervisor and Head of School, indicating your diligence and interaction with your supervisor.
- Your production of assessable evidence of quality research. Different interpretations of "assessable evidence" can apply across disciplines and can vary from publications, conference papers, presentation at School seminars, significant progress with literature review, thesis draft or data collection and analysis, performance or exhibition.
It is your responsibility to apply for an upgrade from a Masters to a PhD program. This application should detail the way in which you have satisfied the Faculty's requirements. Your supervisor and your Head of School are required to confirm that such requirements have been met and that there are sufficient resources available to successfully support a doctoral candidature, including continued scholarship support where appropriate. Scholars must ensure that applications to upgrade are approved prior to the termination of the Masters scholarship.
Extension of Candidature
The standard length of candidature for a Masters degree is two years full-time or part-time equivalent; for a Doctor of Philosophy degree the standard length is four years full-time or part-time equivalent. Should your candidature continue beyond this duration, you may request an extension of candidature if your research has been interrupted by illness or by academic problems. Formal approval must be obtained from your Assistant Dean Research Training.
A Variation to Candidature form should be completed by you, your supervisor and your relevant Head of School. You must provide a completion plan, stating the anticipated submission date and giving details of tasks to be completed and a timeline in which to complete them. This should be supported by your supervisor. Extensions for more than two semesters are unlikely to be approved.
NB Candidates commencing Masters degrees prior to 1998 were governed by different rules to those detailed above. To ensure that no candidate is disadvantaged, pre-1998 rules regarding maximum duration of candidature will apply, where appropriate, to Masters candidatures commenced prior to 1998. Programs in this category and their maximum full-time candidature are listed below:
- Maximum 4 years full-time Master of : Education
- Maximum 5 years full-time Masters of : Architecture, Arts, Building, Engineering, Fine Art, Laws, Medical Science, Nursing, Science, Surveying
- Maximum 6 years full-time Masters of : Psychology (Clinical)
Leave of Absence
You may request leave of absence from candidature for one or two semesters after completion of one full-time or two part-time years. Leave will not normally be granted for more than twelve months during the period of candidature as the University is unable to guarantee that the resources will be available to support an extended candidature.
A Variation to Candidature form should be completed by you and supported by the supervisor and your Head of School. Formal approval must be obtained from your Assistant Dean Research Training.
Application should be made prior to the commencement of the semester for which leave is sought.
Scholarship holders will have their scholarship suspended when leave of absence is approved.
If you wish to withdraw from your research program, a letter posted to the Office of Graduate Studies, or an email sent to email@example.com is all that is required. There are no forms that need to be completed. The withdrawal will be effective from the date that the letter or email was sent, and if you are in receipt of a scholarship, that will cease on the same date. If you withdraw prior to the census date of a semester (31 March - semester 1, or 31 August - semester 2), your enrolment for that semester will be dropped and will not be included in the calculation of time spent enrolled in a research higher degree.
If you withdraw from a program and wish to start again at a later date, you will need to re-apply completely i.e submitting an application, research proposal etc. You will not be guaranteed an offer of admission if you have studied at The University of Newcastle before.
Domestic students - If you do wish to re-commence study at a research higher degree (RHD) level (whether it be at this university or another in Australia) within three years of withdrawing, your research training scheme (RTS) entitlement will be reduced by the amount of time that you have previously spent doing a RHD. If you commence a RHD program after three years of withdrawing, your RTS will automatically be reset to four years for full time PhD and two years for a full time Masters.
We encourage you to discuss your withdrawal with your supervisors, and please contact the Office of Graduate Studies if you require any assistance or advice.