Progressing student

Progressing student

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.

As a progressing student you are in mid candidacy. This stage provides you with the opportunity to delve into your research topic, and grow your skills in research as you connect with other researchers and learn from your supervisors, peers and research subjects. It is also a time to reflect on the progress made in your research project and finalise a strategy for the timely completion and dissemination of research findings.

You will be required to participate in seminars, workshops and training days.

Biannual progress reports will have to be submitted so that your progress can be monitored.

You will have to enrol again at the beginning of the research period to continue your candidature.

At the Sydney College of Divinity we have a vibrant research culture which is expressed in institutional research and in research training in Biblical studies, theology, humanities in the Christian tradition, and in Christian life and ministry. As part of our commitment to build on our strong research ethos we have established the SCD Press and the Centre for Gospels and Acts Research. We organize annual conferences and lectures that present opportunities for our students to engage in an environment of research excellence.


Connect with other HDR students and established researchers

Your research will involve a great deal of autonomy as you investigate independently and develop new knowledge in your field. However, Research seminars, Sydney College of Divinity public lectures, CGAR annual conference, and other events provide opportunities for candidates to connect with established and developing researchers along the way. Students are encouraged to display initiative and self motivation as part of their study and attend the events to connect with researchers from within their discipline and related field of work.


Publish with SCD Press

One of the roles of your supervisor is to encourage and support you to publish your work. We encourage candidates to think about publishing with the SCD Press. Publishing opens new possibilities for collaboration and sharing of knowledge. Consider the opportunity to publish with us as you develop your research project and join a host of well respected researchers who have published with us.


Membership with the GCAR

Research students enrolled in a Higher Degree by Research in the field of the Gospels or Acts can get a subsidised yearly membership with the Sydney College of Divinity Centre for Gospels and Acts Research.

All doctoral students are required to re-enrol annually in order to continue your candidature. If you fail to re-enrol, your candidature will be regarded as having lapsed and this may result in your candidature being discontinued.


Steps to re-enrol:

  • Check your degree requirements and seek advice from the Registrar or Research Director, if needed
  • Fill in the Re-enrolment Form and submit it to the Sydney College of Divinity Registrar at [email protected] The form must be submitted three weeks prior to the start of the research period.

Research Seminars are held approximately eight times a year and are conducted by the Graduate Research School Research Director or other Sydney College of Divinity research staff.


The Research Seminars take place in Sydney in the evening and Sydney-based students are expected to attend regularly in person. The minimum attendance for candidates is four out of eight seminars. However, candidates are strongly encouraged to attend as many seminars as possible so that they might benefit from and contribute to their academic community of research peers. Candidates are also expected to notify in advance their absence from any seminar. Students living beyond Sydney are asked to attend in person at least once a year and otherwise to attend the seminars by electronic means which will be explained.


All research students are expected to present a short paper related to their thesis work at prescribed intervals, and to take turns in presenting prepared responses to other students’ papers, apart from participating in the general discussion following paper presentations. The modelling of formal presentation and response is intended as training in research conference participation. As well as contributing to the development of each person’s research capacity and skills, moreover, these seminars allow students who may be carrying out their work alone to experience membership of a community of scholars and make friends with other people in a similar position.


Click here for Research Seminar dates

Candidates in their first year of enrolment must attend a Thesis Writers’ Workshop in addition to the Research Seminars, provided that they have not previously attended such a seminar with the Sydney College of Divinity (SCD) as part of a previous award. Regardless of such previous attendance, they may be required to attend those parts of the Workshop considered relevant to their current research.


Research workshops are compulsory for all new thesis writers, including DMin candidates moving to the thesis stage of their candidature. Held annually, they are offered in intensive mode, early in first semester and may also be offered early in the second semester. New thesis writers may be at slightly different stages of preparation for the research but all will find the matters covered wholly or largely relevant to their situation. Presented by various lecturers, they are designed to introduce candidates to practical matters affecting the production of a thesis such as:


  • defining a thesis topic and planning chapters
  • research methodologies
  • bibliographical aids
  • using the library to best effect in research
  • writing a formal thesis proposal
  • ethical considerations and ethics clearance procedures
  • examiners’ expectations
  • guidelines for writing and documenting
  • writing an abstract
  • participating in the SCD research seminars and in conferences.