Changes to your circumstances

We understand that your professional and personal circumstances may change as you progress with your research. If your personal circumstances impact your research, you may need to change how you conduct your research.

Below is a list of things you may need to do or take into consideration to stay on the right path.

Below is a brief summary of the general provisions of an Master of Research (MRes) Yr 2, Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Candidates. It is not applicable to BPhil/MRes Year 1 coursework. Your actual provision will depend on your specific candidature arrangements.

Refer to the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Variations to Candidature Policy and your Scholarship Conditions of Award for detailed information.

Note these provisions are subject to approval and must be requested via the relevant form.

 

Candidature Provision

EWS Extended

Scholarship Extended

Scholarship Paid

Form Required

Annual Leave

20 working days per year accrued fortnightly

No

No

Yes

Apply using the Scholarship Leave Request Form (only required for scholarship recipients who are taking their annual leave outside of the January-December holiday period).

Sick Leave

20 working days per year accrued fortnightly

Yes

Yes
(only for periods between 11-20 days)

Yes

1–10 days: no form required
11–20 days: Notify the Office of Higher Degree Research Training and Partnerships (OHDRTP) via email with the supporting medical certificate. Scholarships holders should also include the Scholarship Leave Request Form.

Parental Leave

Up to 60 working days
(over the course of the candidature)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Apply using the Leave of Absence Form (see relevant section below).

Leave of Absence

MRes Yr2: Max. 6 months over the course of the program on a Full-Time basis (pro-rata for Part-Time)
PhD/MPhil: Max. 12 months over the course of the program on a Full-Time basis (pro-rata for Part-Time)

Yes

Yes
(only for up to 60 working days of the candidature provision
and for medically substantiated periods of illness over the course of the scholarship tenure)

Yes
(only for up to 60 working days of the candidature provision
and for medically substantiated periods of illness over the course of the scholarship tenure)

Apply using the Leave of Absence Form (see relevant section below).

Extensions

MRes Yr2: Max. 3 months per request and no more than 6 months over the course of the program on a Full-Time basis (pro-rata for Part-Time)
PhD/MPhil: Max. 6 months per request and no more than 12 months over the course of the program on a Full-Time basis (pro-rata for Part Time)

Yes

NO
(except PhD/MPhil requests approved via the COVID Extension Scholarship Scheme)

NO
(except PhD/MPhil requests approved via the COVID Extension Scholarship Scheme)

Apply using the Extension eForm (see relevant section below) or COVID Extension Scholarship pdf form.

Bachelor of Philosophy (BPhil)/ Master of Research (MRes) Year 1 candidates who would like to modify their unit enrolment are required to complete and submit a Change of Units and Advanced Topics form [PDF 135KB].

Candidates should note the following:

Adding and changing units/advanced topic

  • You must submit your request within two (2) weeks of the start of the relevant session. No changes will be accepted after this date.
  • If the change in unit falls into a higher Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) contribution band, you will have to pay the difference in fees on the same day as enrolment into the new unit (unless you have chosen to defer your payment to HECS-HELP). If the new unit is in a lower HECS contribution band, you may seek a refund (or it will be adjusted for your deferred payment). Alternatively, the credit balance may be used to cover fees for the next session.

Withdrawing from a unit/advanced topic

  • To withdraw without penalty, your request must be submitted any time prior to Census Date.
  • Candidates who withdraw from a unit after the unit Census Date are liable for the relevant unit fees and the unit from which they have withdrawn is recorded with a W (Withdrawn) grade.
  • Candidates who withdraw from a unit after the Last Day to Withdraw Without Academic Penalty incur both liability for the unit fees and an academic penalty where the unit from which they have withdrawn is recorded with an F (Fail) grade.
  • You can only obtain a change of grade and remission of fees by special permission under exceptional circumstances. For further information, visit the Withdrawing from units page.

If your residency details have changed, you must show proof of your new residency to Macquarie University by the next relevant census date for the change to take effect. For any students making upfront payments to the University, you should try to show proof of this change earlier to have the correct fees printed on your Statement of Charges by the relevant payment due date.

Candidates can request a change of residency in accordance with the instructions on the Notification of Change of Residency Status form [PDF 111KB].

If you obtain Australian citizenship, send a copy of your notarized citizenship certificate to hdrcurrent@mq.edu.au.

If the direction and topic of your research have changed and you have a new thesis title, you must submit a Change of Thesis Title eForm through eStudent.

If you are a citizen of a sanctioned nation, your supervisor must complete an Autonomous Sanction Questionnaire (ASQ) to undertake a risk assessment to ensure your research does not breach any of Australia's international sanctions. Your supervisor will upload this to your eForm after you have submitted it.

Note: Iranian candidates holding Australian student visas (subclass 500) must obtain approval from the Department of Home Affairs if they are planning on changing their thesis or research topic. This is in accordance with visa conditions 8203 and 8204.

Any changes to your thesis title/topic should be discussed with and supported by your current supervisor before submitting the eForm.

If you are a Cotutelle/Joint Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Co-Funded candidate, ensure you notify your partner institution about the change in your thesis title/topic.

After submission of the eForm, your request will go to your supervisor and the relevant HDR Offices. You will receive an email notification confirming that the change of title has been completed and recorded in our Student Management System.

A supervisory panel can go through a variety of changes: you may be changing Principal supervisor as your research is evolving, or adding an associate or adjunct supervisor for additional expertise. All changes to your supervisory panel must be recorded centrally, so you must submit a Change of Supervisor eForm through eStudent.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil) / Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Candidates are required to have a minimum of two supervisors appointed to their supervisory panel: the Principal Supervisor and Associate Supervisor. If at the time of enrolment there is only one principal supervisor, a second supervisor should be nominated within the first six months.

Master of Research (MRes)

Candidates are required to have a minimum of two supervisors appointed to their supervisory panel: the MRes Supervisor and Associate MRes Supervisor.


Any changes to your supervisory panel should be discussed with and supported by your current supervisor before submitting the eForm.

Note that HDR supervisors must meet the minimum standards for appointment to respective roles. Find more information on the HDR Supervision Policy.

After submission of the eForm, your request will go to your supervisor, departmental approver and the relevant HDR Offices. You will receive an email notification confirming that the change of supervision has been completed and recorded in our Student Management System.

"Offsite" refers to locations outside of the Macquarie University campus situated at North Ryde. Macquarie University campus also includes the locations of Macquarie's controlled entities.

The University requires confirmation from candidates and Principal Supervisors that all requirements such as ethics approval, medical insurance and travel approval including insurance have been met by candidates conducting offsite research. Candidates remain enrolled during the approved offsite research (OSR) period and cannot take Leave of Absence concurrently.

Candidates who wish to complete a period of research offsite have to complete and submit a Notification of Approved Offsite Research (OSR) [PDF 333KB] form.

Candidates on scholarship may be restricted to the total duration of offsite research they are permitted to take and should check their conditions of award.

For further information about conduction offsite research, see the Higher Degree Research Offsite Research (Continuing) policy and the Guidelines on the OSR form [PDF 333KB].

Candidates are enrolled full time unless otherwise approved (via relevant clause and process), as defined in the HDR Rules.

Candidates may apply to change from Full-time (FT) to Part-time (PT) at any point in candidature, but must do so before the relevant census date for the enrolment period and be supported by the Faculty. Conversion between FT and PT is considered a permanent conversion until the candidate re-applies to revert the enrolment mode.

To request a change of attendance, complete the following: Change of Program form [PDF 231KB].

International candidates wishing to change to part-time enrolment may only do so subject to visa conditions.

Scholarship holders are only permitted to continue to be paid a part-time award under exceptional circumstances. Refer to the conditions of your award and attach your written case for part-time candidature (with supporting documents where necessary).

Candidates can apply to transfer (upgrade) between Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) after a minimum of one year and a maximum of one and a half years (or part-time equivalent) following enrolment in the MPhil.

To request a transfer, candidates should complete and submit the Transfer Application form [PDF 108KB].

The closing date for receipt of transfer applications for the first enrolment period is 7 February and for the second enrolment period is 7 August. Transfer applications received after these dates will, if successful, take effect from the next enrolment period.

For further information, see the Higher Degree Research Transfer policy.

Leave is a period of non-enrolment in which your supervision, access to University facilities and scholarship payments, if applicable, are suspended.

Applications are reserved for exceptional circumstances beyond a candidate's control and must be supported by your Principal Supervisor, Head of Department and Faculty Associate Dean (HDR). Such reasons include illness, maternity, or family responsibilities. You must provide support documentation to support the leave application, such as a medical certificate.

Candidates wishing to apply for a period of leave are required to complete the following:

International candidates must notify the Office of Higher Degree Research Training and Partnerships of any planned leave as soon as possible. The University is required by the Australian Government to inform the Department of Education and Training of any changes to enrolment within 14 days.

Scholarship holders should check their Conditions of Award before applying for any Leave of Absence (LOA) and/or Suspension of Award (SOA).

Returning from leave

You will be automatically re-enrolled into your program when your leave ends, subject to any outstanding fees.

If your scholarship was suspended during your leave period, you will need to submit a new Living Allowance Claim (LAC) form to our office prior to your return and within 14 calendar days of your recommencement. Failure to do so may result in payment of your stipend starting on the date we received the form (even though this may be later than your official program recommencement date). In addition, provide us with your recommencement start date complete with your supervisor’s signature. Upon receipt of this form, the HDR Management Team (Scholarships) will confirm the date in which you can expect your first scholarship payment.

For further information about leave entitlements, refer to:

Candidates are expected to plan their research so they can meet their Expected Work Submission (EWS) date at the same time as other obligations they might have, both inside and outside the University. If you are unsure of your current EWS and consumed EFTSL, check your record in eStudent:

  • Navigate to the My Enrolment tab in eStudent
  • Click on 'Check Unit Enrolment'
  • When your course displays, click on the 'Enrolment Periods' link. See screenshot below.
  • You will see your EWS, Enrolment Period Summary and current supervisors.

Candidates can apply for extensions only in exceptional circumstances, where serious and unavoidable circumstances arise after enrolment that have affected their ability to commit fully to their studies. To request an extension to your EWS:

  • Log in to eStudent
  • Complete a 'Request to Extend EWS Date' form.

Exceptional circumstances include illness, misadventure and carer responsibilities. Note that approval of extension is not automatic. You will also be required to provide supporting documentation such as an updated Completion Plan, confirmation from a funding or cotutelle partner that the extension is approved and/or medical documentation (if applicable to your request).

There are no options to extend scholarships beyond the maximum period outlined in your offer letter.

Ensure that you read section 5.4. of the HDR Variations to Candidature Policy, which outlines the period of time an extension can be granted for. Different programs have different entitlements.

Any requests for extension must be discussed with and supported by your supervisor before submitting the eForm.

After submission of the eForm, your request will go to your supervisor, departmental approver and the relevant HDR Offices. You will receive an email notification confirming that your extension request has been completed and recorded in our Student Management System.

Application lodging deadline

You must lodge an application at least four (4) weeks before your current Expected Work Submission (EWS) date.

Extension for international candidates

If you are an International candidate and your extension is approved, the Office of Higher Degree Research Training and Partnerships (OHDRTP) will issue you with an updated CoE to cover the extension period. You may be required to purchase additional OSHC and apply for a visa extension; however, this will depend on the period of the extension.

Additional fees for extensions

  • Master of Research: If your extension request results in a new Expected Work Submission date that falls within a third enrolment period, you will be subject to additional tuition fees that are calculated on a pro-rata basis. For detailed calculation of tuition fees, visit the University's fees page.
  • MPhil/PhD: Any extension will result in tuition fees being charged pro-rata for the additional period you are enrolled, until thesis submission.

If you do not pay your tuition fees by the payment due date, late payment penalties may also apply.

Thesis not submitted / extension not approved

  • Master of Research: If your thesis is submitted late, you will be penalised one percentage point from your final MRes thesis grade per calendar day until your thesis is submitted. Submission will be taken as the date your thesis is submitted electronically via the portal.
  • MPhil/PhD: If you do not submit your thesis by your Expected Work Submission date, your enrolment will cease. On cessation of enrolment, you will immediately lose access to the library, information and communication technology (ICT) resources, faculty research facilities and supervisory support. Refer to section 5.6. of the HDR Variations to Candidature Policy.

Readmission

If you are re-admitted after withdrawal or discontinuance, a period of enrolment sufficient for satisfactory completion of the thesis and submission will be determined by the Faculty Associate Dean, HDR. Re-admitted international candidates will pay the required fee for the additional period of candidature.

Withdrawal from candidature is a complete discontinuation of studies.

Before withdrawing you should first consult your principal supervisor, the faculty HDR manager and the department.

Failure to submit this form will result in enrolment continuing, thereby potentially incurring financial and/or academic penalty.

  • Master of Research Y2, MPhil or PhD: If you still wish to proceed with withdrawal, you must complete the Request to Withdraw form via eStudent. Failure to do so will result in your candidature continuing, thereby impacting tuition fees and any future enrolment tenure.

International candidates must notify the Office of Higher Degree Research Training and Partnerships (OHDRTP) of their withdrawal as soon as possible. The University is required by the Australian Government to inform the Department of Home Affairs of any changes to enrolment within seven (7) days.

A candidate may apply to be re-admitted for submission of their thesis within two years of withdrawal. Re-enrolling candidates may be charged tuition fees. Refer to section 5.8 of the HDR Variations to Candidature Policy.

The Office of Higher Degree Research Training and Partnerships (OHDRTP) is required to report your change in candidature to the Department of Home Affairs. Before submitting a change request, you should review the terms and conditions for your visa and ensure that you comply with them.

For specific information about the impact of a change to candidature, refer to the relevant section above.

Visit COVID-19 FAQs page for more information.

If you have any questions about any change to candidature, contact the Office of Higher Degree Research Training and Partnerships.

Contact us

  • Office of HDR Training and Partnerships
  • Macquarie University
  • Level 2, 16 Wally's Walk NSW 2109
  • T: +61 (2) 9850 4741