University of Sydney Handbooks - 2012 Archive

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Postgraduate research

Faculty Postgraduate Research Candidature Regulations

PhD and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Candidates are required to complete their first year as full-time students, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances may include major personal hardship; major health reasons; maternity leave; circumstances that demonstrably support a candidate's research and require the candidate to participate in an activity somewhere else.

Final year candidates are expected to exhibit in the end-of-year exhibition unless they can show good cause to the Director of the SCA Graduate School.

Candidates are required to submit an application for special consideration whenever they need an extension of the examination date.

Candidates are expected to provide supporting documentation and make a good case for a change to their enrolment.

Changes to enrolment and extensions of examination will be considered, and approved if appropriate, by the Director of the SCA Graduate School.

Candidates wishing to transfer from MFA to PhD are required to submit a revised application appropriate to the PhD degree at the end of the first year of the MFA. Applications must be submitted by the published closing date and will be considered with the whole pool of applicants.


Every research candidate will have a supervisor who supervises both creative work and written research and an associate supervisor for additional advice and interim supervision when the supervisor is on leave. The supervisor takes primary responsibility for the conduct and progress of the candidature. The associate supervisor:

  • meets with the candidate and supervisor at least once per semester to discuss the project
  • meets with the candidate at the request of the candidate if time permits, and
  • acts as interim supervisor when the supervisor is on leave.

The nature and amount of supervision will be discussed with the candidate.

Annual Review

Research candidates are required to complete an annual progress report and attend a progress review each year. The maximum composition of a review panel will normally be two members of academic staff. First-year PhD candidates are also required to make a presentation on their work-in-progress at the review.

Providing progress in the degree is considered satisfactory, a candidate will be permitted to proceed. If the candidate's work is considered unsatisfactory, the panel may recommend that the candidate be set a specific program of work to be submitted for assessment not later than 1 March of the following year. If this work is not satisfactory, enrolment may be terminated.

Postgraduate Exhibition

Postgraduate research students in the final semester of their degree are expected to participate in the annual postgraduate exhibition, which may be separate to their examination exhibition.