Candidature variations

There are a number of variations to that candidature require approval by the candidate's supervisor, and in some cases require further approval. View the types of variations.

The following variations to candidature require approval by the candidate's supervisor, and in some cases require further approval (eg Head of School). Candidates should apply on the appropriate form in advance of the effective date of the change. Retrospective applications can only be approved if the application meets the below policy and procedure.

Policy and procedures

All applications for a variation to candidature are governed by The University of Melbourne's Graduate Research Training Policy (MPF1321).

How to submit a candidature variation form

  1. Log into your Student Portal
  2. Go to the 'Student admin' tab
  3. Click on the link 'Go to my enrolment'
  4. Click on the link 'Apply for / view my candidature changes (including leave)' under 'Managing my current enrolment (Graduate Research students)'
  5. Click on the link to the type of variation you are requesting
  6. Complete all the required fields and submit the application

The Graduate Research Hub lists direct links to submit the relevant candidature variation form.

Leave of absence

To request a Leave of Absence, candidates need to fill out the Leave of Absence form. Requests should be no shorter than 14 days and no longer than 12 months. Additional leave may be granted in compassionate circumstances. International students should view the information on the International Students Leave of Absence web page before submitting a Leave of Absence form. Candidates receiving a scholarship will need to contact the Melbourne Scholarships Office and view the Graduate Research scholarships terms and conditions to discuss the different leave types from a scholarship.

Please note: Candidates enrolled in coursework subjects cannot take leave from their thesis subject and remain enrolled in their coursework subjects. Candidates who apply for retrospective leave will be required to submit additional documentation and their request may experience delays in processing.

Return from leave/study away

Candidates who go on Leave of Absence or Study Away will need to submit a Return from Leave/Study Away form. This notifies your teaching school and our support services of your return, and is a requirement before any scholarship payments can be re-activated.

Study away

Candidates traveling internationally or nationally for the purpose of conducting research are required to submit a Study Away form. Candidates are eligible to take up to a combined total of 1 year Study Away. More Study Away may be considered in some cases. Candidates traveling to a destination with a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) warning of 'Reconsider your need to travel' or 'Do not travel' will be required to gain Academic Registrar approval. Periods of more than 3 months require the appointment of an external supervisor. Please see the DFAT Countries web page and undertake a search on your country of destination.

Please note periods of Study Away do not affect milestone or candidature dates, and candidates are expected to take these requirements into account whilst planning such research trips.

Information on how to obtain Academic Registrar approval can be found on the Graduate Research Hub Travel, conferences and fieldwork web page. Academic Registrar approval must be included in your Study Away form.

Please note: You are required to have travel insurance for the duration of your travel. The free University travel insurance is automatically provided to all candidates upon approval of your study away application. If you have any queries, check with the University's Insurance Office via Stop 1.

Change of study load

Changes to study load, from full-time to part-time or vice versa, can be requested via the Change of Study Load form. Candidates studying full-time are expected to commit at least 40 hours per week to their study. Part-time candidates have an expected time commitment of at least 20 hours per week.

Scholarship holders and International Students are generally not permitted to be enrolled at a part-time rate unless there are compassionate or compelling circumstances. International students should consult with International Students Reduced study load web page before submitting a Reduced Study Load application form. Candidates with a scholarship should email to discuss the impacts a Change in Study Load may have on their scholarship.

Change of supervisor

To request a change in supervision, including a change to the supervisory percentages of the current advisory committee, candidates can fill out the Change of Supervisor form. This request requires the endorsement from the old and new supervisors and the Head of School or their nominee.

Add and drop subjects

Graduate Research candidates are able to request enrolment into additional coursework subjects. These subjects should be relevant to the candidate's research and not exceed the maximum credit point allowance for Graduate Research students, 100 points for Doctor of Philosophy (Arts) candidates (inclusive of the compulsory PhD coursework subjects), 50 points for MA. Candidates wanting to enrol in additional coursework subjects will need to fill out the Add and Drop Subjects form.

Please note standard enrolment and census dates apply to coursework subjects. Candidates enrolled in coursework subjects should be mindful of all census dates relating to their subjects.

Change of research project details

Any change to a candidate's research project, including changes to their thesis title, updating or recording new Field of Research codes, and requesting a major change in their research topic should be formally recorded via the Change of Research Project Details form. These changes are then endorsed by the candidate's supervisor and if necessary, Head of School.

Course withdrawal

To apply for a course withdrawal candidates will need to submit a Course Withdrawal form. To view the form please visit the Graduate Research Hub Withdraw from my research degree web page.

For further information please contact the relevant Research and Higher Degrees school administrator.