Candidacy Milestones

Candidacy Milestones

Your enrolment and progress will be formally monitored at different stages known as milestones. The defined milestones are: Milestone 1 (candidacy), Milestone 2 (mid candidacy) and Milestone 3 (thesis and graduation).

You need to formally apply to the Graduate Research School to enrol and later have your progress reviewed for each milestone. There are application forms which you will need to complete and submit to your supervisor along with the required supporting documentation to commence the progress review process.


Milestone 1 (candidacy)

In this initial stage students submit online the HDR application along with the Summary of Research Intentions. Later a formal written research proposal is submitted and if approved by the Research Committee, candidacy is confirmed.


Application submission

To commence your enrolment into a HDR course you must submit an online application after a preliminary discussion with the Research Director. The application requires the submission of a summary of research intentions which includes the title, aim and methodology of the proposed thesis. If you are applying for entry to the Doctor of Ministry the application will require you to provide details of your experience in ministry.


Provisional entry

Once your application is accepted, you will be provisionally enrolled and will have to work with the guidance of your principal and associate supervisors to prepare your research/thesis proposal.


Research proposal submission

The proposal must be submitted to the Research Director two weeks prior to the Research Committee meeting. The Research Committee will consider your research proposal.


Confirmation of candidacy

The Registrar will advice you if the Research Committee has accepted your research proposal and confirmed your candidacy. Confirmation of candidacy means full entry, as opposed to provisional entry, is granted to the candidate into the research degree.


Milestone 2 (mid candidacy)

Milestone 2 provides you with the opportunity to reflect on the progress made in your research project and finalise a strategy for the timely completion and dissemination of research findings.


Seminar presentations

All research candidates are expected to present a short paper related to their thesis work at intervals, and to take turns in presenting prepared responses to other students’ papers, apart from participating in the general discussion following paper presentations.

Biannual progress reports

Twice a year you will need to submit a progress report.

Progress Report Form
Research training seminars

In the second and third year of your candidacy you are required to participate in research training seminars.


Thesis Writer’s Seminar

As your research progresses and you begin to write your thesis, the Research Director will advise you when you need to participate in the thesis writer’s seminar.


Milestone 3 (thesis and graduation)

Milestone 3 is all about pre submission and submission of thesis. Completion of this stage will see you graduate successfully.

Notice of intention to submit a thesis

Three months before you expect to submit your thesis you need to lodge an intention to submit.

Intention to Submit Form

Certification of the thesis

Before you submit your thesis, you and your Supervisor need to fill in this certification form.

Certification Form
Submission of thesis

Make sure that your thesis is presented in the manner required by the regulations before you submit it to the Research Committee.


Readers’ reports

The Research Committee will engage External Readers to examine and write reports on your thesis. They may suggest changes or further work.


Research Committee decision to require revisions or not

The External Readers’ reports will be discussed by the Research Committee, which will then decide whether or not you need to do any further work on the thesis.


Research Committee decision to award the degree

The Research Committee decides that you have satisfied the requirements of the degree and recommends to the Academic Board that the Sydney College of Divinity award the degree.



You are invited to attend a graduation ceremony to receive your award.