A-Z Policy Listing


Date first approved:

23 May 2016

Date of effect:


Date last amended:
(refer Version Control Table)

Date of Next Review:

May 2018

First Approved by:

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)

Custodian title &
e-mail address:

Manager, Graduate Research School


Dean of Research

Division & Unit:

Graduate Research School

Supporting documents, procedures & forms of this procedure:

Higher Degree Research Supervision and Resources Policy

Fees Policy

Relevant Legislation &

External Documents:

Not applicable




1 Introduction / Background 3

2 Scope / Purpose 3

3 Definitions 3

4 Criteria for approving distance learning HDRs 3

5 Fees and Funding 4

6 Supervision and Resources 4

7 Ethics Clearance 4

8 Roles and Responsibilities 4

9 Version Control Table 5

    1 Introduction / Background

    • 1. These guidelines outline the rules and processes for HDR students enrolling at UOW using distance learning. These distance learning HDR candidates are not required to be physically present at a UOW campus. They will undertake their HDR studies in their preferred location, in Australia or Overseas, and maintain communications with their supervisors by electronic means. Enrolment is open to both domestic and international candidates for full-time or part-time study.

    2 Scope / Purpose

    • 1. Many HDR candidates have personal responsibilities or financial restrictions which prevent them from moving to a UOW campus. The purpose of the guidelines is to provide HDR students with new and flexible options for pursuing their studies. For example, international candidates can undertake part-time HDR studies in their home countries whilst working, an option not previously available. It also provides HPS and potential supervisors with guidelines regarding the appropriate circumstances for enrolling distance learning HDR students.

    3 Definitions


Definition (with examples if required)



Graduate Research School


Higher Degree Research


Head of Postgraduate Studies


Research Training Scheme

    4 Criteria for approving distance learning HDRs

    • 1. HDR distance learning is available via the Wollongong Campus only and is not suitable for research projects requiring physical access to facilities, such as laboratories, located at a UOW campus. Projects involving field studies or data collection may be possible via distance learning HDR study, depending on the specific circumstances of the project. In all cases the supervisor and HPS will decide on the suitability of the project for distance learning study.
    • 2. Only HDR degrees without coursework requirements are eligible for distance learning. Hence only applications for PhD and the MPhil (with advanced standing for the coursework component) will be considered.
    • 3. Both full-time and part-time study options are available for international distance learning HDR candidates, as they are not residing in Australia and therefore are not required to meeting Australian visa conditions.
    • 4. Existing on-campus students can apply to transfer to distance learning mode, on approval from their supervisor, HPS and the GRS. On approval they must give up access to any desk or laboratory space they occupy at a UOW campus.

    5 Fees and funding

    • 1. Domestic distance learning HDR students, comprising Australian citizens, permanent residents and New Zealand citizens will be offered an RTS place and therefore are not required to pay tuition fees (unless overtime, see 5.16 in the Fees Policy). International distance learning HDR candidates pay the appropriate tuition fee. All HDR completions attract Federal government research block grant funding.

    6 Supervision and Resources

    • 1. The HDR Supervision and Resources Policy will apply to distance learning HDR candidates except for Section 13 (a), (b), (d), (f), (g), (h) of the Policy, which relates to Minimum Infrastructure and Resources. The sections of the HDR Supervision and Resources Policy relate to physical resources delivered at a UOW Campus, to which distance learning HDR students are not entitled.
    • 2. Distance learning HDR students are eligible for research infrastructure support that can be delivered remotely. This includes email access (section 13 (c)), access to library services (section 13(e)), online research training offered by the GRS and support from the HDR Peer to Peer Mentors. They are also entitled to receive support from counselling services that can delivered remotely. Distance learning HDR students are encouraged to undertake the online research training modules offered by the GRS.
    • 3. Distance learning HDR students and their supervisors will maintain regular contact by electronic means such as phone, email, Skype and video conferencing. Candidate visits to Wollongong Campus are welcomed but not compulsory.
    • 4. It is recommended that all distance learning HDRs attend their Research Proposal Review (RPR) in person, at the Wollongong campus. However video conferencing may be an acceptable alternative to physical attendance at the RPR.

    7 Ethics Clearance

    • 1. As for on-campus HDR students, distance learning HDR students, based in Australia or Overseas, undertaking research involving animals or humans, must obtain ethics approval from the appropriate UOW Ethics committee.

    8 Roles and Responsibilities

    • 1. Specific roles and responsibilities are as detailed in the Guidelines.

    9 Version Control Table

Version Control

Date Effective

Approved By




Professor Judy Raper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)

First version. Replaces the superseded Guidelines for Off-shore Higher Degree Research (HDR) Applications

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