Changes in Circumstances


Often during doctoral study a candidate may need to change their enrolment circumstances. In this section we offer information that covers suspensions of enrolment and change in enrolment status. It is possible to change your qualification, extend your submission date or completely withdraw from doctoral study. Information is also available regarding termination of enrolment.

Formal approval is required for most changes relating to the enrolment of doctoral and MPhil candidates. Please visit the links to the left for more details.

Minor changes

Minor changes to the research direction or to the title of the research should be identified in the six-monthly progress report. They do not require specific approval from the Postgraduate Research Committee.

Major changes

When a candidate registers for a research degree he/she is based within a Faculty/School, and a research proposal is developed with the designated supervisor(s). If major changes to the proposed research are to be made, the Postgraduate Research Committee will require assurance that the candidate is suitably qualified for the proposed change, that necessary resources are available, and that supervision is appropriate.

Candidates who are requesting major changes should seek advice from the School of Graduate Research and if necessary the Scholarships Office, if the change has implications for their scholarship, or from the Research & Enterprise Office or their sponsoring agency such as MFAT, ODA or research contract, as appropriate.

The following are regarded as major changes and should be signalled in an Application for Change of Conditions.

The Application for Change of Conditions form is to be completed by the candidate, supervisor(s) in the case of change of supervisor(s), the Chief Supervisor, Chair of Department/Head of School and Associate Dean (Postgraduate). The form must then be forwarded to the School of Graduate Research for approval from the Postgraduate Research Committee.

It is important to note that requests for retrospective suspensions are not likely to be approved.

Failure to file a Change of Conditions form appropriately or on time could lead to it not being approved, or loss of resources, or the charging of incorrect fees.

Provision of resources and supervision

If, at any time, for reasons beyond its control, difficulties arise over the availability of resources or supervision, the University will make all reasonable efforts (within budget and staffing constraints) to provide alternative satisfactory arrangements so as not to disadvantage any affected candidate. However, due to the specialist nature of research and supervision at this level, the University cannot ensure that, under such circumstances, a candidate's conditions of enrolment will not be subject to change.