Stages of Candidature

This section contains guidelines for HDR students and details procedures and associated information for the various stages of candidature.

Stage 1: Provisional Candidature
Stage 2: Candidacy Approval
Stage 3: Mid-Term Report
Stage 4: Final Thesis Preparation
Stage 5: Pre-submission Viva
Stage 6: Final Thesis Submission
Stage 7: Examination Process
Stage 8: Approved Final Thesis


Other Information

During the candidacy, some changes or plans may be occurred. These changes may take place between Stages 1 and  8.

Changing the Thesis Title or Thesis Committee Composition

HDR students can formally change the title of the thesis or composition of the Thesis Committee during your candidacy. One of the reasons mentioned below will cause this change.

Changing of Thesis Title

HDR students are unable to continue to research works because of delay or unavailable of the research equipment(s).

After a discussion between the supervisory team and HDR students, the research title needs to be changed because They have found that this study has been completed by other researchers.

During the candidacy presentation, the panel has suggested that the research title needs to be changed or modified.

Thesis Committee Composition

One of the supervisory team members left the university.

Adding of one or more supervisor(s) to the supervisory team.

Changes of compositions between these supervisory team members or thesis committee.

HDR Students need to submit the Variation to Candidacy Details form to change the thesis title or/ and thesis committee composition.

If a non Curtin staff will be added to join the supervisory team and yet to register as an Associate Supervisor, another form, the Registration of a University Associate for the Purposes of Supervision of Higher Degree by Research Students form needs to be submitted to the Graduate School for approval.

Change of Enrolment

HDR students may use Enrolment / Change of Enrolment form to change or amend their enrolment.

Enrolment/ Amend the enrolment
Change of Study Mode (Full-Time/ Part-Time)

Before HDR students plan to submit this form, it is important to discuss with the Thesis Committee.

Conversion Between Higher Degree by Research Programmes

HDR students may apply for a conversion of candidacy if they have gained candidacy for one higher degree by research course and wish to change to another. HDR students must satisfy the Thesis Committee that the selected project will lead to research work of a calibre that will qualify for the award of a higher degree by research. The formalities of candidacy require that HDR students consult their Thesis Committee, especially the Chairperson of Thesis Committee and supervisory team in order to complete and submit an Application for Candidacy / Conversion of Candidacy form together with the updated research proposal.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil) to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

If the HDR students have obtained candidacy, and wish to change from a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), HDR students must submit a new application for candidacy to the Curtin Malaysia Graduate School (CMGS). The recorded commencement date for the new program shall be that of the original degree.

The Chairperson of Thesis Committee and supervisory team will be required to certify that the proposed programme of study is expected to produce an original contribution to the discipline that is of a standard internationally recognised for a research PhD by providing a letter of support.

Before the application of conversion is approved, HDR students are required to conduct a new candidacy presentation (seminar presentation). The candidacy presentation is chaired by the Chairperson of the Thesis Committee. The presentation is evaluated by the Chairperson of the Thesis Committee, Dean of the enroling Faculty, Associate Dean of R&D of the enroling Faculty and members of the supervisory team. The evaluators make recommendation to the Graduate Malaysia Graduate School (GMGS) Committee on whether candidacy is approved or rejected.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) to a Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

If HDR students have obtained candidacy, and wish to change from a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) to a Master of Philosophy (MPhil), HDR students must submit a new application for candidacy to  the Curtin Malaysia Graduate School (CMGS). The recorded commencement date for the new program shall be that of the original degree.

Termination of Enrolment

Provided that HDR students meeting the responsibilities as a Higher Degree by Research student, including making satisfactory progress in the research. However, if the performance is unsatisfactory or do not comply with the Rules, the enrolment may be terminated as detailed in the Guidelines for the Process of Termination of Enrolment of Higher Degree by Research Students.

Extension of Time to Complete

The time-based enrolment commences from the date of initial enrolment into the thesis unit. If the submission date of the stages of candidature (Candidacy Approval, Mid-Term Report, Pre-Submission Viva, Final Thesis Submission and Approved Final Thesis Submission) extends beyond the limits prescribed (having taken any leave of absence into consideration), the status will be classified as Overtime and placed on ‘Conditional‘ status.

HDR students need to submit the application form if they wish to apply for the extension.

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