Skip to main content

Change your course

  1. Change your course
  2. Change streams
  3. Higher degree by research students

Higher degree by research students

Before you apply

If you would like to change your research degree, you should discuss your options with your supervisor and your Postgraduate Coordinator. They can provide advice about the options available and any requirements to transfer. You should also contact the Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre (HDRAC) for further information and advice, including the implications that this will have on your scholarship.

If you are completing a master’s degree by research and would like to transfer to a doctorate, you will need to:

  • have met key milestones in your current progress plan
  • demonstrate that your research scope meets the requirements of a doctorate
  • demonstrate your ability to complete the requirements of a doctorate in the additional period of candidature that would be added to your degree.

Be aware that not all master's by research allow tranfer to a doctorate. If you have any questions about whether a transfer is permitted, please check with the HDRAC.

If you are completing a doctorate and would like to transfer to a masters by research, you should discuss this with your supervisor as this will have direct implications on your required thesis submission date and your scholarship payments. You can also contact the HDRAC for further information.

You need to consider how transferring your course may affect your student visa. There are some visa conditions which may limit the options you have to change your course. When you apply we will provide information about any implications on your current visa. If you don’t meet your visa conditions, we may reject your course transfer application.

See the Department of Home affairs website for more information about checking visa details and conditions.

Application deadlines

Application for course transfers for Higher Degree Research Students are open all year round but you need to be mindful of the census date and enrolment deadline for each relevant research period.

You need to submit your application before the enrolment deadline for the research period in which you want to transfer. You should apply as early as possible to ensure your application can be processed.

If you submit your application after the relevant census date, your transfer will not take effect until the following research period. 

If you have any questions, contact the HDRAC.

How to apply

You can review the options available to you and apply for a course transfer in Sydney Student. Go to ‘My studies’, ‘Course details’, ‘Change your course’ and follow the prompts to find the course you want to transfer to.

If you’re an international student, you will need to upload a VEVO check when you apply. The check needs to be completed on the same date you submit your application.

What happens next

Your application will be assessed and a decision made by the appropriate delegates within your Faculty or School. If further documents or information are required the HDRAC will contact you. To ensure your application is processed within the deadlines for respective research periods, please check your student email account after you apply to track the progress.

If your application is approved, you will be invited to enrol in the new course through Sydney Student. You will receive this invitation by email from the HDRAC.

Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre


Find your discipline contact

Opening hours:
9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Last updated: 24 November 2023

Website feedback

Tell us if you’ve spotted a typo or something else wrong with this page.

Thank you

Your feedback has been sent.

Sorry there was a problem sending your feedback. Please try again

You should only use this form to send feedback about the content on this webpage – we will not respond to other enquiries made through this form. If you have an enquiry or need help with something else such as your enrolment, course etc you can contact the Student Centre.