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Change your course

Change course for research students

Before you apply

If you would like to change your research degree, you should discuss your options with your supervisor. 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 type of transfer that is required for you and the implications that this will have on your scholarship.

Make sure you check the relevant deadline to apply, as this does vary depending on whether you transfer or submit an internal course application.


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.

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. You can also contact the Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre for further information.

When to apply

You need to select the research period when you want your course change to take effect. Refer to the application deadlines for each research period below.

Session Start End Last day to apply to change course Last day to enrol in new course

Research Period 1

1 January 2023

28 February 2023

17 January 2023

21 January 2023

Research Period 2

1 March 2023

30 June 2023

17 March 2023

21 March 2023

Research Period 3

1 July 2023

30 September 2023

17 July 2023

21 July 2023

Research Period 4

1 October 2023

31 December 2023

17 October 2023

21 October 2023

If you have any questions, contact the Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre.

How to apply

Domestic students

As a domestic student, you can change your course by applying for an allowable course transfer.

You can apply for an allowable transfer in Sydney Student (go to ‘My studies’, ‘Course details’, then ‘Request course transfer’).

You will need to select the course you would like to transfer to, provide a reason for your request and upload any supporting documents.

International students

As an international student, you can change your course through an internal course application.

Log in to Sydney Student, go to ‘My studies’, ’Course details’ then ‘Internal course application’, and select the name of the new course you want to apply.

Access you application

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 Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre will contact you. To ensure your application is processed within the deadlines for respective research periods, please check your emails after submission of this request to track its progress.

If your request is approved, you will be invited to enrol in the new course through Sydney Student. You will receive this invitation by email from the Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre.

Student Centre



1800 SYD UNI (1800 793 864)
or +61 2 8627 1444 (outside Australia)

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Last updated: 13 March 2023

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