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Change your mode of attendance

Your mode of attendance refers to whether you're enrolled full time or part time. You may be able to change, depending on your circumstances.

As a research student you can enrol in part-time or full-time candidature.

The year is divided into 4 research periods, each with an apportioned measure of enrolment value that is referred to as equivalent full time study load (EFTSL). Read our Research dates page to find out the EFTSL value for each research period.

Part-time students enrol in 50% of the EFTSL of full-time students.

You’re able to change your mode of attendance from full time to part time or vice versa at any stage in your enrolment, subject to:

  • visa requirements if you’re on a student visa
  • stipend conditions if you’re receiving a scholarship
  • our deadlines to apply.

If you’re receiving government payments, you'll need to tell the Australian Government about any changes to your study.

It is important for you to make any necessary changes to your candidature as early as possible.

Coursework students

If you're a coursework student wanting to change, you should read our Change your study load page.

Deadlines to apply

The deadlines to apply are listed in the table below. A request received by the deadline for a research period will be effective from the start of that research period. A request received after the deadline for a research period will be effective from the start date of the next research period.

Deadline to apply to change your mode of attendance Date
Research Period 1 (S1CRR1) 17 January 2021
Research Period 2 (S1CRR2) - student visa holders 17 March 2021
Research Period 2 (S1CRR2) 24 March 2021
Research Period 3 (S2CRR3) - student visa holders 16 August 2021
Research Period 3 (S2CRR3) 23 August 2021
Research Period 4 (S2CRR4) - student visa holders 18 October 2021
Research Period 4 (S2CRR4) 25 October 2021

International students

If you’re an international student on a student visa, you’ll only be able to change your mode of attendance to part time in certain circumstances. You’ll need to contact the Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre to find out if you’re eligible.

If you’re an international student, you can also speak with an international compliance officer.

Domestic students

If you’re thinking of changing your mode of attendance to part time you should be aware of the following:

  • for scholarship recipients - check the terms and conditions of your stipend on your offer letter. In some cases, stipends may be terminated when a student changes to part time. If you are unsure, email before you apply to change your mode of attendance
  • reducing your enrolment load can affect your eligibility for government assistance such as Youth Allowance, Austudy, Abstudy and travel concessions
  • your supervisor and faculty or school will need to approve your change
  • there are time limits for completing your course requirements. Generally, you’ll need to complete your course requirements within 10 years, however for some courses you may have a shorter time period. This information is outlined in the University of Sydney (Higher Degree by Research) Rule 2011 (pdf, 568KB).

How to apply

To submit a request to change your mode of attendance you must apply by the deadline through RECS. Go to ‘HDR Research Project’, ‘Candidature Maintenance’, then ‘start a new request’. Select ‘mode of attendance’ and complete the required form.

Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre

  • HDRAC is closed for in-person enquiries

    Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building, Darlington Campus


Find your discipline contact

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

Last updated: 14 September 2021

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