Year 1

Health and Safety

UNSW aims to provide a physically safe, healthy and secure learning and working environment for all students, staff, contractors and visitors. To achieve this goal requires everyone to ensure their actions do not adversely affect the health or safety of others.

You should be inducted into the area by your supervisor, this will include emergency arrangements, local risk assessments and safe work procedures relevant to you, how to report a hazard, training you need (see below) and anything else important to you. Students are responsible for adhering to UNSW H&S policies and protocols, following instructions on safe work procedures, reporting hazards and incidents and ensuring they do not endanger others.

All research students are required to undertake some H&S related training. Your supervisor is responsible for your safety whilst you are working at UNSW and your ultimate guide to what courses you will need to enrol in. This is determined by the type of research you will be engaged in and the risks posed by it. Please refer to the Health & Safety webpages for further information and for some general guidance as to what H&S training POWCS recommends research students undertake.

Research Guidelines and Policies

All research candidates should be acquainted with the UNSW Research Code of Conduct.

The Graduate Research School website also lists the relevant research policies, procedures and resources regarding the conduct of research at UNSW that all candidates should be familiar with.

Progress Reviews

The first progress review will normally take place 6 to 9 months after census date. The next reviews occur every 12 months, unless the review panel recommends additional reviews. Part-time students are also reviewed every 12 months.

For Masters by Research students, the first review cover key issues such as intellectual property, H&S, ethics, resources, infrastructure, supervision, key research objectives and milestones, progress of the research, and other issues as the Panel considers relevant to the research area.

For PhD students, the first review is also the confirmation review. In addition to the key issues listed above, the candidate is required to provide a written research proposal, evidence of a literature review and make an oral presentation to the Panel members. The research proposal and literature review should be submitted as attachments, together with the online review form. The Panel will assess whether progress has been at the level expected for confirmation of the PhD candidature.

Please refer to the Progress Reviews section for more detailed information. You should also familiarise yourself with the information on the Graduate Research School website and the Progress Review and Confirmation of Research Candidatures Procedure.

Variation of Candidature

Any variations to candidature - such as changing between full-time and part-time, taking semester leave, extending enrolment beyond the maximum time allowed, and withdrawing from the program - require the relevant approval. Please read the information on the Graduate Research School website and follow the instructions. Any changes to candidature must be received by the Graduate Research School no later than the semester’s census date.


Students might get the opportunity to present at local and international conferences. Eligible students could apply for the Postgraduate Research Student Support (PRSS) Scheme for funding to assist in presenting their research at international conferences outside of Australia.

In addition, the School offers travel grants to help defray the cost of conference attendance for some research students enrolled in the School. Please refer to the Travel Grant section for further information and guidelines.

Writing your Thesis

At this stage, candidates should start working on their literature review, abstract, introduction and methodology of their thesis.

Students should check out the Learning Centre for support on literature review, thesis writing and other academic skills.