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Graduate Research Continuation Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy establishes the fundamental principles for continuation of candidature for Higher Degree Research (Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Philosophy, and Master of Research) candidates at Macquarie University.


(2) Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates are expected to achieve key milestones and maintain satisfactory progress at the level expected for the period of enrolment. This Policy and the Graduate Research Continuation Procedure specify the requirements for monitoring candidate progress and continuation of candidature.


(3) This Policy applies to all HDR candidates as well as to University staff engaged in the provision and support of HDR supervision.

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Section 2 - Policy

Graduate Research Continuation Requirements

(4) Supervisors and candidates should discuss the plan for the candidate’s research and academic development and document the planned research and candidature milestones to achieve satisfactory progress appropriate for that year level.

(5) Candidates are expected to progress their candidature at a satisfactory level to continue in the degree.

(6) Progress can be measured as the quality, originality and amount of research completed, by evidence of appropriate levels of independent thinking and problem solving, as well as the ability of the candidate to communicate research findings at the level expected for the period of enrolment.

(7) The academic and research progress of each candidate is regularly reviewed through the milestones of Confirmation of Candidature (CoC), Annual Progress Reviews (APR; PhD and MPhil only), as well as progress reporting requirements stated by the Department.

(8) Additional reviews may be requested by a supervisory panel with the Departmental HDR or MRes Director / Advisor if a candidate needs support and is not making progress at a satisfactory level.

(9) All candidates will receive feedback from their CoC, APRs and any other additional reviews as outlined in clause (7). The University will provide appropriate communication and support following any decision on unsatisfactory progress.

(10) Unsatisfactory progress may result in a recommendation of a program downgrade (PhD candidates only) or termination of candidature. Termination of candidature means that the candidate is removed from the degree and may not re-enrol in the research degree.

(11) The University will report any international students who downgrade, withdraw or are terminated under Section 19 of the ESOS Act and will notify them of any potential impacts under the ESOS National Code. Candidates are responsible for following the advice and required actions in their notification.

Principles for Reviews

(12) The University will provide clear, equitable, consistent and timely:

  1. procedures for identifying, notifying, monitoring and supporting students who are not meeting graduate research continuation requirements;
  2. systems for monitoring the research progress of all candidates;
  3. communication and counselling following any change or pending reviews of research progress; and
  4. support services to assist students to meet satisfactory research progress.


(13) Candidates may appeal decisions relating to the discontinuation of their PhD, MPhil or MRes candidature in accordance with the Academic Appeals Policy. Appeals on this basis are limited to procedural grounds only. Students have twenty (20) working days to submit an appeal following notification of the decision.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(14) Refer to the Graduate Research Continuation Procedure.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(15) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(16) Nil.