What is a census date?

The census date for each term is set by UNSW in accordance with Commonwealth legislation. It is the deadline for:

  • Change of study load (full time / part time)

  • Taking program leave

  • Withdrawal from a course without financial or academic penalty

  • Change of Residency status


Am I a Domestic or International candidate?
  • Domestic candidates are: Australian Permanent Residents or Citizens, or New Zealand Citizens

  • International candidates are: New Zealand Permanent Residents, or Citizens or Permanent Residents of all other countries

I am in the process of applying for Permanent Residency, should I apply as a Domestic or International candidate?

Please complete the admission and scholarship application using your current residential status. This can be updated when your residency status changes.

International scholarship applicants who receive their Australian Permanent Residency before the census date of the term they are applying for, will be considered for the equivalent domestic scholarship. 

I am an International applicant but I don’t have my English test result yet. Will my application still be processed?

All applicants to the University must provide evidence of English ability that meets the UNSW English language requirements.

You must submit your satisfactory proof of English before your application can be assessed.

If you are applying for a UNSW Scholarship, this must be prior to the scholarship application deadline (for those applying for a Waiver, the Waiver must be fully approved by the deadline)

I am an international applicant and I have a strong command of the English language, but no IELTS result. How can I prove my English ability?

There are a number of ways to meet the English language proficiency requirements for admission to a research higher degree at UNSW. These include completion of an approved English test and gaining scores that meet the UNSW English language requirements, and completing a recognised qualification at an institution where the language that courses are taught in is English. For a detailed list of approved ways to meet these requirements, visit UNSW English language requirements.

How do I apply for a scholarship?

You can apply for a UNSW scholarship when you complete your application for admission. 

For more on UNSW Scholarship information, visit Scholarships. For information on how to submit an application, visit How to Apply

UNSW Sydney Postgraduate Research Scholarships are assessed in 3 Rounds throughout the year. These rounds will be open to both International and Domestic applicants.

Please check this page for the application dates, and to ensure you are selecting the correct round and the respective application term. Late applications will not be accepted.

Domestic candidates will automatically be considered for the RTP Fee Offset. If you are not applying for a stipend scholarship, during the online application you must indicate that you are not applying for a scholarship. 


How do I submit my documents?

You need to submit scanned copies of your supporting documents with your application for admission, so it’s a good idea to prepare these documents before completing the online application form. All documents must be in English or include a certified English translation.

It is possible to submit supporting documents after you’ve submitted your online application form, however some documents are compulsory for your application to be processed. For further information, see the Document Submission Guidelines at this page.

Documents will be verified at a later date. You must be prepared to present your original documents to UNSW for inspection prior to enrolment if requested, so you will need to bring your original documents with you. Additionally, UNSW may verify your documents with your home institution. If your documents can't be verified, you may be required to bring them to the Graduate Research School for verification.


What are my chances of getting a scholarship?

Scholarships are extremely competitive, particularly for Internationals.  All applicants must meet minimum eligibility and academic requirements as outlined in the Higher Degree Research Scholarships Procedure. Of these potential applicants only an estimated 10% of Internationals are competitive for a main scholarship.  Therefore if you require a scholarship, it is imperative that you secure a supervisor stipend for TFS consideration.


How will my referees be contacted?

You will be required to provide the contact details of two referees in your online application. Schools and supervisors may contact your referees to gauge an impression of your abilities. If this assessment is required, they will contact your referees directly. 

All Engineering applicants must provide these referee details to their proposed supervisor before applying. 


How do I track the status of my application and check all documents are received?

After you have submitted your application, within one week you will be emailed an application receipt letter containing your UNSW student ID and outstanding documentation.

From this point you can provide your outstanding documentation and/or track your application by logging in to your UNSW Apply Online account. If you have not received your application receipt letter after one week, please contact the Admissions and Scholarships team at the Graduate Research School domestic.grs@unsw.edu.au or international.grs@unsw.edu.au or for Canberra applicants the Admin Research Student Unit: rsu@adfa.edu.au. If you applied through a UNSW agent, please provide all the outstanding documentation to your agent.


What is a conditional offer?

This means that you are offered admission to a higher degree research program on the condition that you meet the requirements listed in your offer letter. Once you submit this evidence, and it is deemed to meet the requirements, you will receive an unconditional offer along with instructions on how to accept. 

If you do not meet the required conditions, you will not be able to accept or enrol in the program. Once the acceptance deadline passes, your offer of admission will no longer be valid. If you still wish to enrol in a UNSW higher degree research program, you will need to re-apply during a future application round.


Why did I get an offer but no notification of scholarship success?

Scholarship selection is a competitive process. All scholarship applications are considered at the same time, as each applicant is considered against all other applicants. 

If you have received an offer of admission to the course but you have not been notified of the outcome of your scholarship application, this is because the scholarship selection process is still taking place. 

All scholarship outcomes are sent from the release date outlined on this page. This process takes several weeks as all applicants must be contacted.


I have applied for a scholarship - why does my admission letter state I am 'Full Fee-Paying'?

All International candidates are admitted to their research higher degree as Full-Fee Paying students.

If you have been granted a tuition fee scholarship or sponsorship, your tuition fees will be paid by your scholarship or sponsor for the duration of the award.


When will I receive the outcome of my application?

If you have not applied for a UNSW scholarship, the admission assessment will take around 8 weeks from when you submitted all required documentation.

Applicants who applied for a UNSW scholarship will receive both admission and scholarship outcome after the release date outlined in Key Dates. Results cannot be released prior to the release date as scholarships are competitive (applicants are ranked against all other applicants).

Please note that outcomes may be delayed if your academic results or required documentation has not been received, you have applied for special consideration (eg Transferring in, English Waiver).


Can I defer my offer?

If you receive an offer to enrol in a Higher Degree Research (HDR) program at UNSW but you cannot start straight away, you can defer or delay starting your degree. HDR admission offers can be requested to defer for up to one year after the initial offer term. UNSW HDR Scholarship offers may be able to be deferred on a case by case basis (check your scholarship letter for details), however cannot be deferred to a new University year (e.g. from Term 3, 2022 to Summer 2023).

Deferrals are approved only where conditions are met, including continuing to meet UNSW entry requirements, and availability of supervision and resources. Applicants must check their English is still valid before deferring.

See 'Responding to an Offer' on this page for instructions on deferral.


I submitted my Commencement of Study Form to activate my scholarship payments, but when I log onto MyUNSW it asks me to pay the tuition fee. What should I do?

Commencement Forms may take some time to process. Once your form has been processed, you will receive a confirmation email. If tuition fees are still outstanding after you have received this confirmation, you can discuss payment with us by responding to this email.