Confirmation and Progress Reviews
Confirmation and progress reviews are emailed to all students (at their official student email address) at least 3 months prior to their due date. These need to be submitted after they have been completed and signed by your supervisors and advisory panel and by the PhD Director (on behalf of the Head of Department). Students need to ensure that they attach all of the required documentation, including their summary of progress and timeline to completion.
If you are unable to submit your review before the due date because you have not been able to meet with your supervisors and advisory panel, you may be able to extend your review due date by up to 2 weeks. To do this, your supervisor will need to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to request an extension and state the reason that the form cannot be submitted.
Note: this will not extend your candidature or thesis submission date. Failure to submit your confirmation or progress review may result in an 'Absent without Leave' status being added to your transcript or termination of your enrolment.
Extensions to probationary candidature (confirmation)
Extensions to probationary candidature of up to 6 months can be approved by the Faculty.
Note: extending your probationary candidature will not extend your thesis submission date.
If you require an extension, please email us at email@example.com for more information. It is expected that all students completing coursework as a part of their PhD will extend their probationary candidature.
Extensions to candidature (final submission)
If you have completed 3 years of candidature and are not ready to submit your thesis, you must submit your Progress Review form with a request to extend your candidature. Extensions are not granted automatically, even if you have previously extended your probationary candidature. Students enrolled in the PhD are eligible for two extensions of up to 6 months to candidature.
To extend your candidature, your supervisors, advisory panel and the PhD Director (on behalf of the Head of Department) need to recommend extension to candidature on the Progress Review form.
If your candidature was confirmed on or before 31 December 2017, you are eligible to apply for a third 6 month extension to candidature and also lapsed candidature, also known as ‘lapse’, if you are unable to submit your thesis by the expected work submission date. A period of ‘lapse’ allows you more time to submit your thesis.
More information can be found on the Finishing on Time section of the Graduate Research Hub.
Students who do not submit their Progress Review requesting an extension to their candidature before their expected submission date will become liable for fees. These are calculated per day for each day that the thesis is not submitted.
Prerequisites for submission
- Before you submit your thesis, it's important that you discuss your submission with your supervisors. Please note that you must submit your thesis prior to your maximum submission date (your expected thesis submission date). You can check your expected thesis submission date through my.unimelb.
- You must present your research findings at a completion seminar prior to submission and meet the eligibility requirements to submit.
- You are encouraged to use iThenticate to check for any potential instances of problematic matching text and/or weak referencing practice before submitting your thesis for examination. The iThenticate similarity report will compare your thesis against a database of published research literature which you can discuss with your supervisor/s.
For details see the Graduate Research Training Policy.
You must present your research findings at a public completion seminar in the six months prior to submission. It's an important milestone of your candidature. During the seminar you should present the objectives, methods, findings and significance of your research.
This is your opportunity to receive constructive feedback from an expert audience prior to submission and it provides you with further experience in developing your arguments effectively. It confirms that you understand your research, and illustrates that you have the necessary skills in oral presentations and other research attributes expected of graduate researchers at the University.
Detailed information on completion seminar requirements is available in the Graduate Research Training Policy.
How to submit your thesis
Your thesis should be submitted electronically via the University's Thesis Examination System.
- Prior to submission, or prior to your performance or exhibition of a creative component of your thesis, register your intention to submit by logging into the Thesis Examination System (TES). About 2 months prior to your submission is the ideal time for this. Please note that you must submit your thesis prior to your maximum submission date, which is listed in my.unimelb as your expected submission date. Registering your intention to submit begins the process of the selection of examiners. You will need to provide a brief (80-word) overview of your research question, methods and results which will be sent to potential examiners.
- Once you have confirmation from your supervisors that the final version of your thesis is ready for submission, log into TES. You will be asked to:
- Confirm that the thesis is your work
- Confirm that you have presented a completion seminar
- If your thesis contains publications, upload completed Declaration of thesis with publication and Co-author authorisation forms
- Provide appropriate Field of Research codes for your research. The Field of Research is recorded on your enrolment record and will display as discipline/s on the AHEGS that is issued by the University once you graduate. An AHEGS is issued in addition to the testamur and academic transcript.
- Select the type of public access to your final thesis in the University's digital repository, Minerva Access
- Certify that your thesis conforms with relevant policies and procedures, including Graduate Research Training Policy, Preparation of Graduate Research Theses Rules and Management of Research Data and Records Policy
- Upload your thesis as a single file (please ensure there are no commas and hashtags in the file name)
After you have submitted your thesis, notifications will be sent to your principal supervisor and Chair of Examiners to confirm that the thesis is ready for examination. Once your thesis is sent to your principal supervisor for endorsement an updated thesis will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances.
- Read the FAQs on using the Thesis Examination System
- If you are not currently enrolled but have approval for late submission (or are lapsed) you may find you are not able to access University systems such as the Thesis Examination System. To request reinstatement of your IT access to submit via TES, please email the Examinations Office.
If you are experiencing difficulties during your candidature that may affect your ability to progress, you may want to follow these steps.
- Talk to your supervisor
- Make a student advice appointment with your local graduate research administrator
- Consider making changes to your candidature (eg take leave or change to part time)
- Review University managed online resources:
- Review external online resources
- The Thesis Whisperer
- Beyond Blue (learn more about depression and anxiety)
- Access University support services
- Academic writing and communication skills
- Life, health and wellbeing support
- Student Equity and Disability Support (for graduate researchers experiencing ongoing health issues or have a registered disability.
Variations to Candidature
Students enrolling in coursework as a part of their Graduate Research degree must discuss their subject selection with the PhD Director for their Department. Subject changes cannot be processed after the second week of the relevant semester and should be organised as early as possible.
Students apply to add or drop subjects using 'Track and submit candidature variation applications' in the Manage My Enrolment (RHD Candidatures) section of the Student Portal.
Change of supervisor or department
Students apply to change supervisor using 'Track and submit candidature variation applications' in the Manage My Enrolment (RHD Candidatures) section of the Student Portal. It is important to discuss proposed supervisor changes with your principal supervisor, the PhD Director for the Department and your proposed supervisor. If there is a problem and you do not feel comfortable with this, please contact the Research Unit.
Applications to change department require a hard copy 'Application for Change of Department' form. Students considering a change of Department must discuss this with their supervisors, PhD Director and the Research Unit.
Change of study rate
Students wishing to change between full-time and part-time study may do so after discussion with their supervisors. Supervisors are required to approve the change and must be satisfied that you have adequate time to continue your research and make good progress.
Scholarship holders will need to consider the terms of their scholarship before applying to change their study rate as many scholarships are not available to part-time students. International students will also need to consider the requirements of their visa before submitting an application.
Applications for change of study rate can be submitted using 'Track and submit candidature variation applications' in the Manage My Enrolment (RHD Candidatures) section of the Student Portal.
Leave of Absence
Leave may be granted for a number of reasons, including illness, family responsibilities and job opportunities. The minimum period approved is usually 2 weeks, with a maximum period of 12 months being approved at any one time.
This is a separate form of leave and covers maternity leave, partner leave and adoption leave for up to 12 months. This type of leave does not change your entitlement to any other type of leave.
Leave and Coursework
Students who are currently enrolled in the coursework component of their Graduate Research degree should note that leave of absence will result in coursework subjects being withdrawn. If this occurs after the subject census date (usually end of March and end of August) the subject may appear on your transcript as 'withdrawn' or 'failed' depending on the date of leave.
Applying for Leave
Applications for leave of absence are submitted using 'Track and submit candidature variation applications' in the Manage My Enrolment (RHD Candidatures) section of the Student Portal.
Returning from Leave
Students must submit a return from leave of absence within 5 days of their actual return and within 28 days of the end of their approved leave. Failure to do so does not extend a leave of absence and may result in an 'Absent without Leave' status being added to University transcripts or termination of enrolment.
Notification of return from leave is submitted using 'Track and submit candidature variation applications' in the Manage My Enrolment (RHD Candidatures) section of the Student Portal.
Students should note that their student visa may be affected by leave of absence. Students may be permitted to remain in Australia where their leave application is based on compassionate or compelling circumstances, such as illness or maternity leave; however other reasons for leave may result in COE and visa cancellation. The University is required to notify the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) of any leave of absence.
All Graduate Research students are entitled to 4 weeks of recreation leave each year. This is organised with supervisors and the department and does not require an application via the Student Portal.
Applying for Study Away
Students planning to study or research away from the University must submit an application to Study Away. Study Away is not normally approved for periods longer than 12 months, and students away for more than 3 months are required to obtain an external supervisor in the location where they will be travelling. Students on Study Away are required to maintain regular contact with their supervisors and must submit any Progress Reports that are due while they are away.
Students can apply to Study Away using 'Track and submit candidature variation applications' in the Manage My Enrolment (RHD Candidatures) section of the Student Portal.
The application must include a Guideline Form for Off Campus Travel and Work Policy, a detailed itinerary and full contact details. A risk assessment form, ethics approval and permission from the Academic Registrar may also be required.
It is very strongly recommended that students visit the Study Away website before submitting an application.
Returning from Study Away
Students must submit a return from study away within 5 days of their return. Failure to do so does not extend a study away and may result in an 'Absent without Leave' status being added to University transcripts or termination of enrolment.
Notification of return from study away is submitted using 'Track and submit candidature variation applications' in the Manage My Enrolment (RHD Candidatures) section of the Student Portal.
Withdrawing or transferring
Students who are unable to complete their Graduate Research program may submit an application to withdraw via the Student Portal. It is strongly recommended that you discuss this with your supervisor and the Research Unit before submitting the application, as students can in some cases transfer from the PhD into a Masters program to take out a qualification.
Applications to withdraw can be submitted using 'Track and submit candidature variation applications' in the Manage My Enrolment (RHD Candidatures) section of the Student Portal.