Course enrolment information

Step 2: Ready to commence? Find information on finalising your PhD and MA commencement as a Faculty of Arts graduate researcher.

Before you commence in your research

Have you accepted your offer online? Have you completed your administrative enrolment online?

If you are unsure, check your offer for instructions or visit the Get Started web page. If you have conditions associated with your offer, you will need to have met them before commencing your enrolment.

If you are an International student, you will need to commence your student visa application as soon as you receive your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) to ensure that you are ready to study at Melbourne by the first day of Semester 1.

You must complete the administrative enrolment steps and submit a Graduate Research Enrolment Request form five working days before your enrolment lapse date (please refer to the date stipulated in your offer letter):

  • The last step of the administrative enrolment is to accept the Terms and Conditions of your enrolment. You will not able to self-enrol in the thesis subject and coursework subjects online; and
  • You are not required to make an appointment with the Arts Graduate Research Team to finalise your enrolment. You should discuss and keep your supervisors informed of your plan for commencement and subsequently submit the Graduate Research Enrolment Request form.

Prior to submitting the Graduate Research Enrolment Request form, please ensure you are familiar with course and candidature requirements.

PhD Coursework component

PhD graduate researchers are required to complete the PhD Coursework component prior to Confirmation. If you are unsure about the subjects you should be enrolled into, please discuss the options with your principal supervisor. You are responsible for ensuring selected subjects are compliant with the approved course structure.

How to enrol

To finalise your enrolment, you must:

  1. Complete the administrative enrolment online;
  2. Submit the Graduate Research Enrolment Request Form below prior to your commencement and no later than 1 February to allow sufficient time for review and processing. On the form, you must:
  • Agree to the Terms and Conditions of course enrolment;
  • Confirm your course commencement date in (No later than the Semester 1 commencement date);
  • If you are enrolling as an MA graduate researcher, confirm if conversion to PhD is applicable;
  • If you are an International student, you must have been granted the relevant student visa and attach a copy of your visa to the form; and
  • Confirm your PhD Coursework subject selection.

2022 Graduate Research Enrolment Request Form

What’s next?

Handbooks (PhD and MA)

View the relevant University Handbook below for course requirements:

Doctor of Philosophy – Arts (DR-PHILART)

Master of Arts (Thesis only) (MR-ARTSTHS)

Master of Arts (Advanced Seminar & Shorter Thesis) (MR-ARTSAST)

Handbook entries are updated November of each year for the following year.


View the commonly used terms or phrases that you may come across throughout your candidature.

Graduate Research Glossary

Coursework FAQs

Do I have to take the Workshop and Elective subjects or can I pick my own subjects outside of these?

It is a Doctor of Philosophy – Arts (PhD) course requirement that you complete the PhD Coursework Component, consisting of the Workshop (Intensive Research Workshop and a relevant Researching stream) and Elective (2 x 6.25 credit points) components.

  • The Intensive Research Workshop is usually held over two full Fridays within the first month of Semester 1.
  • With the consent of the Deputy Associate Dean, you may be permitted to substitute one or two of the Electives (not by credit points) with a subject/s considered necessary for your research and at an equivalent level.

You will need to do the following in order to be considered for the substitution:

  • Obtain written support from your supervisor and approval from the relevant subject coordinator; and
  • Attach the evidence of written support and approval, and a brief explanation of the reasoning behind the request in your Graduate Research Enrolment Request Form.

If approved for substitution, you will be enrolled and informed accordingly.

I am a part-time PhD graduate researcher, what coursework should I do first?

It is recommended that you complete the Workshop component in the first year of your part-time candidature and then enrol in the Electives in your second year, as the former enables cohort relationship building and assists you in planning for your thesis proposal and project in the lead up to Confirmation which will be held in your second year of your part-time candidature.

Is there an attendance requirement?

The Workshop component has an attendance requirement as an un-assessed hurdle. To complete the component, you are expected to have attended a minimum of at least 75% of the Workshop. To gain the most value out of the Workshop, it is expected that you will endeavour and want to attend all classes.

I work full-time and study part-time. I’m unable to take time off during the day to attend these workshop classes. What do I do?

As attendance at the Workshop is a requirement of your candidature, we expect that adequate time needs to be available.

Is there a cost to doing the PhD Coursework?

There is no financial cost to undertaking the coursework.

Will it take more time to complete my PhD?

No. The PhD Coursework Component in the first year of your candidature complements the development of your thesis proposal and project. We expect that completing the PhD Coursework will enhance rather than detract from your progress, particularly as the 10,000 words of written work submitted for assessment in the PhD Coursework can be integrated into your thesis itself.

Can I take additional coursework subjects beyond the amount required?

Yes, subject to discussion with your supervisor and Advisory Committee to ensure that you are not over-loading at the expense of progress on your thesis.

Additional subjects should be at postgraduate level (not including Language subjects), relevant to your research and not exceed the maximum credit point allowance:

  • 100 points for PhD graduate researchers (inclusive of the compulsory PhD coursework subjects); or
  • 50 points for Master by Research (MA) graduate researchers.

If you wish to enrol in coursework subjects beyond the PhD coursework Component, please see Add and Drop Coursework Subjects form.

I’m enrolled in the Master of Arts (Thesis Only) and I am thinking of converting to the PhD. Should I take the PhD Coursework?

Yes, you will need to successfully complete the PhD Coursework Component before your conversion can be considered and approved. Essentially, you will need to follow the PhD milestone and candidature requirements.

I am enrolled in the Master of Arts (Advanced Seminar and Shorter Thesis). Do I still have an option of converting to the PhD?

Yes. The structure of the Master of Arts (Advanced Seminar and Shorter Thesis) involves the same amount of coursework as does the PhD.

If you started with the required entry level for the PhD, completed the Master of Arts (Advanced Seminar and Shorter Thesis) compulsory coursework in your first year and achieved the equivalent minimum required grades for the PhD Coursework Component, then you may be considered for a PhD conversion and be given credit for the equivalent coursework.

Why are the required grades for the Workshop different from those for Electives?

The minimum required grade for the Workshop component is H2A(75%), but Pass (50%) for the Electives. This is because we want to encourage you to explore unfamiliar fields in your Electives, and you should feel free to tackle something new without fear that you would be penalised if your grades were impacted by challenging yourself with a new area.

What happens if I don’t get the required grades in the Workshop and Electives?

Your Advisory Committee will, at Confirmation, be making an assessment of the grades achieved in your PhD Coursework. Written work in the Workshop will have been double-marked by both the Workshop coordinator and your principal supervisor. Not meeting the required minimum expectations is a firm indication that you may not be ready to be confirmed in your PhD candidature. In this case, there would be an option to convert your candidature to an MA degree.

If the problem lies with a poor mark in one Elective, you should discuss with your supervisor taking a third Elective — the requirement with Electives is to have completed two at the required minimum level.

Will the Workshop and Elective subjects appear on my transcript?

Yes, any awarded subjects that you are officially enrolled in will appear on your University transcript.

Can I change my Elective or Workshop if I prefer to take a different one?

You can withdraw your enrolment from an Elective or Workshop, provided you are still able to enrol in an alternative subject. You can re-enrol in another Elective or Workshop as long as this is done before the Census Date, which is generally 31 March for Semester 1 subjects and 31 August for Semester 2 subjects. Please note that all Elective subjects have different Census Dates and should be checked against the relevant entry in the Handbook.

Can I apply for leave of absence while completing the PhD Coursework?

Graduate researchers are not typically eligible to take leave of absence in the first 12 months of their candidature (full-time equivalent), unless there are exceptional circumstances.

It is not possible for a graduate researcher to go on leave of absence and remain enrolled in the PhD Coursework. If you were to go on leave whilst enrolled in the PhD Coursework, you would be automatically withdrawn from any enrolled subjects and this may affect your Confirmation.