Preparing for candidature

Once you have obtained a place in a research degree, you must obtain candidature approval to become an 'official candidate' in your course. This occurs when you receive final approval for your research proposal. Until then you are in the pre-candidature phase and your enrolment is provisional.

Pre-candidature commences when you first enrol in the research component of your degree, and continues up to the point your application for candidature receives final approval by your College. You undertake initial research towards your thesis project and prepare for candidature during this phase.

Preparing for candidature in research degrees with coursework components (Professional Doctorate)

In order to progress into the research component of your degree, you need to have successfully completed all of your coursework, with an average greater than 70%.

Once you have done so, you can submit your Application for Admission to Professional Doctorate – Research Phase.

If your application is approved, your College will advise you that the pre-candidature phase has commenced. If the standard required to proceed to the research component of the degree is not achieved, you may apply to have completed units credited towards a Masters by Coursework in a relevant field. We will provide counselling and advice about your options.

When your pre-candidature has commenced, prepare to apply for full candidature.

Candidature presentations

2017 dates for College of Arts & Education

Presentation date GRC closing date
10 February 25 January
10 March 23 February
7 April 23 March
12 May 27 April
9 June 18 May
14 July 29 June
11 August 27 July
8 September 31 August
13 October 28 September
10 November 26 October
1 December 16 November

2017 dates for College of Business

Presentation date GRC closing date
9 February 12 January
23 February 26 January
30 March 2 March
27 April 30 March
25 May 27 April
29 June 1 June
27 July 29 June
31 August 3 August
28 September 31 August
26 October 28 September
30 November 2 November
14 December 16 November

2017 dates for College of Engineering & Science

Presentation date GRC closing date
23 February 9 February
30 March 16 March
27 April 13 April
25 May 11 May
29 June 15 June
27 July 13 July
31 August 17 August
28 September 14 September
26 October 12 October
30 November 16 November

2017 dates for College of Health & Biomedicine

Presentation date GRC closing date
28 February 14 February
28 March 14 March
26 April 12 April
30 May 16 May
27 June 13 June
25 July 11 July
29 August 15 August
26 September 12 September
31 October 17 October
28 November 14 November

2017 dates for College of Sport & Exercise Science

Presentation date GRC closing date
24 February 9 February
24 March 9 March
28 April 13 April
26 May 11 May
23 June 8 June
28 July 13 July
25 August 10 August
22 September 7 September
27 October 12 October
24 November 9 November
15 December 30 November

Applying for candidature

Unless you have been admitted with advanced candidature you must apply for candidature in accordance with the timelines set out in the candidature application guidelines.

Step 1

Obtain the PDF icon Candidate Confirmation Guidelines and commence preparation for your candidature as soon as practicable. Complete the Application for Confirmation of Candidature.

Step 2

Work with your supervisor to prepare for candidature in accordance with the University guidelines. Your application for candidature should contain a detailed research proposal that includes:

  • thesis title
  • abstract
  • project aims
  • statement of significance and contribution to knowledge
  • literature review
  • methodology and conceptual framework
  • ethics approval
  • occupational health & safety risks
  • conclusion
  • budget
  • timeline
  • reference list.

Step 3

Your College will use the following criteria to assess the suitability of your project in relation to the degree in which your are applying to become a candidate:

  • academic merit, feasibility and viability of your project
  • capacity of the College to ensure adequate supervision, resources and infrastructure are available to support the proposed project
  • your capacity to successfully undertake the project within the time frame stipulated for the degree, taking into account the enrolment time fraction proposed
  • other relevant criteria determined by your College.

Step 4

The relevant College committee may:

  • reject your proposal
  • endorse it outright
  • endorse it subject to you making changes.

Step 5

The relevant College committee will grant candidature or declare the application unsuccessful. If you fail to achieve candidature you will have one opportunity to resubmit.

Extension of pre-candidature

Your pre-candidature may be extended for a defined period up to a maximum of 12 months (effective full-time) from the commencement of your pre-candidature phase. To obtain an extension you must have experienced unanticipated difficulties during the pre-candidature period as a result of one or more of the following:

  • disruption to supervision
  • change in focus and direction of the proposed project
  • revision required in the review process leading up to presentation for candidature
  • difficulties in scheduling of candidature confirmation deliberations and/or in convening a suitable confirmation panel
  • documented personal illness or other serious personal difficulties
  • other unforeseen disruptions beyond your control that have directly impacted on your capacity to prepare for candidature.

Complete an Application for Extension form.

If you need to extend your pre-candidature, please contact your College within 6 months (effective full-time) of the commencement of your pre-candidature.

Advanced candidature

If you have commenced candidature at another university and want to transfer to VU with advanced candidature you must:

  • have been admitted for candidature at another university for the project proposed in your application to VU
  • satisfy VU degree entry requirements
  • be enrolled for a minimum of six months before submitting your thesis for examination
  • not be within 12 months of the maximum duration of the degree (exceptions may be granted).

You must include the following documents with your application for Advanced Candidature:

  • your candidature proposal
  • statement setting out the reasons for the request to transfer
  • statement of progress from your previous supervisor (not necessary if you are transferring to VU with your supervisor)
  • letter of confirmation of candidature from previous institution
  • other supporting documentation.

You must also contact the Graduate Research Centre to determine if a place is available.

Failure to achieve candidature

If your application for candidature is unsuccessful you will have one opportunity to resubmit. If candidature is not confirmed in the second attempt you will be advised that your progress is unsatisfactory and will be counselled about the options available.

Contact us

If you require further information please contact the Graduate Research Centre or the College relevant to your area of study.