Getting started

Candidature essentials

Time allowed

Research degrees are time-based and not semester based. You are allowed between two and four years equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL) for a doctoral degree and between one and two years EFTSL for a master (by research) degree.

Research Director

By now you would have met and received initial guidance from the Graduate Research School Research Director. The Director will remain your key contact in managing your progress.


Your supervisor who is a research active member of the academic staff of the Sydney College of Divinity carries the primary responsibility for your supervision.

You should establish some guidelines with your supervisor on how frequently you will hold formal meetings, how they will be initiated, and what records will be kept. It is advisable to create a timeline for your research and thesis completion. This plan should ensure you will be able to meet your candidature requirements.

Research Committee

The Research Committee oversights the Higher Degree by Research. Matters requiring the Committee approval/ recommendation must be submitted two weeks in advance.

Research Ethics Committee

The Research Ethics Committee gives ethics clearance to all research involving human subjects. No research involving humans or animals can be conducted by a candidate unless clearance is given.


The milestone provides a guideline to the key requirements within the candidature.

Annual progress

Progress in candidature is subject to the candidate making good progress. Typically, unsatisfactory progress in one research period will attract directions to achieve particular goals in the following period, and unsatisfactory progress for a second research period will lead to a requirement that the candidate show cause why the candidature should not be terminated.

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