New UNSW HDR Academic Calendar

Although higher degree research (HDR) candidates work all year round, the UNSW two semester block calendar hasn’t allowed much flexibility to manage candidatures. To improve flexibility for HDR candidates, UNSW is introducing a new HDR Academic Calendar in 2019 that better reflects the ongoing nature of a research candidature. The new Calendar will also make the management of candidature easier by introducing online self-enrolment by mid-2019.

 

HDR 2019 Term Dates                                                                                                      HDR 2020 Term Dates     

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2019 HDR Calendar

Term

Earliest Date to Commence 

Start Date

Census Date

End Date

Term 1

21 January 2019

18 February 2019

17 March 2019

2 June 2019

Term 2

6 May 2019

3 June 2019

30 June 2019

15 September 2019

Term 3

19 August 2019

16 September 2019

13 October 2019

15 December 2019

Summer

18 November 2019

16 December 2019

19 January 2020

16 February 2020

Note: If you are planning to submit your thesis in 2019, you can view your thesis submission date in GRIS.

 

2020 HDR Calendar

Term

Earliest Date to Commence

Start Date

Census Date

End Date

Term 1

20 January 2020

17 February 2020

15 March 2020

31 May 2020

Term 2

4 May 2020

1 June 2020

28 June 2020

13 September 2020

Term 3

17 August 2020

14 September 2020

11 October 2020

13 December 2020

Summer

16 November 2020

14 December 2020

TBA

TBA

Note: If you are planning to submit your thesis in 2020, you can view your thesis submission date in GRIS.

 

What will change

  • Four terms (Term 1, Term 2, Term 3, Summer Term) of approximately three months each

  • Up to four start dates for newly enrolled candidates

  • Four opportunities to make changes to your candidature (program leave, change of study load, overtime enrolment etc)

  • Take smaller periods of leave 

  • Four opportunities to submit your thesis

  • Tuition fees and Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) split across four payment periods, so it’s easier to make payments

 

What won’t change

  • Total length of HDR programs (4 years for PhD, 2 years for Masters)

  • Total fee costs for one year of study

  • Total duration of Tuition Fee Scholarships

  • Duration of existing scholarship stipends (scholarships that cover living expenses)

  • Procedures for managing your candidature

 

Some Important Terms

1. EFTSL (Equivalent Full-Time Study Load) 

EFTSL is a measure of study load. One EFTSL is equivalent to one year of full-time study. If a candidate is enrolled on a part-time basis, they will enrol in 0.5 EFTSL per year (half of the full-time study load). 

Under the new HDR Academic Calendar, full-time candidates will enrol in 0.25 EFTSL per term, while part-time candidates will enrol in 0.125 EFTSL per term.

 

2. Maximum Time in HDR Programs

All HDR programs have a maximum period of time for completion of the degree. For PhD programs, this period of time is four EFTSL (equivalent to four years of full-time study) while for Master’s programs (Master of Research and Master of Philosophy), this period of time is two EFTSL (equivalent to two years of full-time study).  

 

3. Start Date

The start date is the first day of the term (e.g. the start date for Term 1 2019 is 18 February 2019), and is the official start of a candidate’s time in their HDR program. New candidates are expected to enrol by this date. 

 

4. 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

 

5. Thesis Submission Date

Your thesis submission date is the final date by which you should submit your thesis for examination. It is based on your maximum time to complete, your start date, study load, and candidature history, and is calculated assuming continuing enrolment at your current study load (full time/part time). It is the end date of the final term of enrolment in your HDR program. You can view your thesis submission date in GRIS.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

When do I need to start my degree?

All new candidates should enrol in their degree by the term start date. The start date is the first day of the term e.g. the start date for Term 1 2019 is 18 February 2019.

 

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Can I start my degree earlier than the term start date?

Yes! New candidates may enrol up to one month before the term start date.

 

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What if I can’t start by the term start date?

If you are unable to commence by the term start date, you may enrol by the term census date. Your candidature ‘clock’ starts ticking from the term start date. If you enrol after the term start date, you have effectively lost time towards completion of your degree. The later you start, the greater this disadvantage. As required coursework begins at the start of the term, you must consider deferral to the next term if you are unable to commence on-time, as this may affect your ability to complete any coursework.

You cannot enrol after the census date has passed. If you are unable to enrol by the census date, you can request deferral to the following term. Scholarship holders need to check their award conditions to determine whether the scholarship can be deferred, or whether you need to reapply.

 

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What if I have coursework to complete during my first term of study?

If you have been advised that you are required to complete coursework during your first term, you should arrive and enrol by the start of classes for that term. For more information, please contact your Faculty or School.

 

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What is the difference between a start date and a census date?

The start date is the first day of the term e.g. the start date for Term 1 2019 is 18 February 2019. Your candidature ‘clock’ starts ticking from the term start date.

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

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

  • Taking program leave

  • Withdrawal from a course without financial or academic penalty

  • Change of Residency status

 

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Will the new HDR Academic Calendar affect my scholarship?

No. The duration of all HDR scholarship stipends is calculated on a daily basis, so will not be affected by the new Calendar. 

If you are receiving a scholarship that covers your tuition fees, you will still be funded for the same total duration. 

 

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I’m on leave during Semester 2 2018. How do I continue my candidature in 2019?

If you wish to return to your candidature in Term 1 2019, please contact your GRS Candidature Management Officer for assistance with your re-enrolment. 

If you wish to take further leave, please submit a variation to candidature requesting further leave before the start of Term 1 2019 (18/02/2019). 

 

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Will the new HDR Academic Calendar have any impact on when my Research Progress Reviews are scheduled?

Research Progress Reviews will still be scheduled by your School. The date of your review will depend on both your start date and the availability of panel members. 

 

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How will the HDR Calendar change affect my thesis submission date?

If you are due to complete in Semester 2 2018, you will still have until 31 March 2019 to submit your thesis. 

Under the new HDR Academic Calendar, the thesis submission date will be the End Date of term. Your personalised thesis submission date will be visible in GRIS from mid-September 2018. 

 

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How do I view my thesis submission date?

You can view your thesis submission date in the Graduate Research Information System (GRIS) once you have enrolled in your program.

If you make changes to your candidature that will affect your thesis submission change (e.g. change of full time/part time study load), your thesis submission date will be updated after the census date for the term when you made these changes. 

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What happens if I can’t submit by the thesis submission date?

If you can’t submit your thesis by your thesis submission date, you may be able to submit by the term census date without academic or financial penalty. 

If you are unable to submit your thesis by the census date, you will need to re-enrol in your program for the following term. This enrolment means that tuition fees will be applied to your account. 

 

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Will I have less time to submit my thesis?

No. The new HDR Academic Calendar introduces a more even distribution of thesis submission dates, as well as more opportunities to submit your thesis. You will still have the maximum time to complete your research degree (4 x EFTSL for PhD programs or 2 x EFTSL for Masters programs). Your personalised thesis submission date will be visible in GRIS from mid-September 2018.

 

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What will my enrolment look like in 2019?

As we transition to the new HDR Academic Calendar, we’ll have four enrolment periods beginning in Term 1 2019, and ending in Summer Term the following year. The new HDR Academic Calendar will still cover a 12 month cycle. 

 

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What if I’m overtime? Will I still be automatically enrolled?

If you have not submitted your thesis by the thesis submission date, and you don’t already have approval for overtime enrolment, you will need to apply for Overtime Enrolment as soon as possible through GRIS.

If you are not enrolled by the census date your candidature will be considered lapsed, which could lead to you being asked to Show Cause why your candidature should not be terminated.

 

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How many terms of overtime enrolment can be approved?

The Faculty Higher Degree Committee can recommend up to two consecutive terms of overtime enrolment – regardless of full time or part time status. 

 

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Will the new Calendar affect the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF)?

Your total SSAF per year will now be paid in four instalments (per term) rather than two instalments (per semester).

 

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Will the new Calendar affect my tuition fees?

Your total tuition fees per year will now be paid in four instalments (per term) rather than two instalments (per semester). 

 

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What if I have further questions?

If you have additional questions, please contact your Graduate Research School Candidature Management Officer.

 

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