HDR Conferral Procedure


To provide procedural detail to enable the University to bestow a HDR Award of the University to a HDR candidate after successful completion of a course that has not yet been conferred.


This procedure applies to any person admitted to a HDR course who has passed the requirements of their course but the award has not been conferred. Candidates who have met the requirements of the HDR Award must have complied with other all conditions, including the payment of outstanding debts to be eligible to have the award conferred.



1.1 An Award Memo is sent to the GRS from the Dean of College confirming that the candidate has met the requirements of the HDR Award.

1.2 The Dean, Graduate Research will check that the corrections to the thesis have been made by perusing the summary table of corrections and if satisfied write to the candidate informing them that a recommendation that they be awarded the degree will be submitted.

1.3 Course and thesis subject moved to Passed in the Student Management System.

1.4 Masters by Research Candidates only:

1.4.1 JCU Graduations will allocate Masters by Research candidate to a ceremony based on course/study plan, location and College. JCU Graduations will provide instructions to candidate.

1.5 PhD Candidates only:

1.5.1 Candidate is placed on the list for the next Academic Board. This must occur prior to having the Award conferred by University Council. The Graduate Research School will provide this information to JCU Graduations 2 weeks prior to the meeting date.

1.5.2 JCU Graduations will allocate PhD candidate to a ceremony, based on course/study plan, location and College and will provide instructions to candidate.

1.6 Masters by Research and PhD Candidates will be placed on the list to have their Award conferred by the University Council (meeting schedule is available on the JCU Governance webpage).

1.7 Graduates are entitled to use the official Award Title once the Award has been conferred by the University Council.

1.8 A Medal shall be awarded to a HDR candidate whose research doctoral thesis was examined in that calendar year and has been judged by the Board of Higher Degrees by Research Committee to be passed ‘cum laude’ on the basis of the independent recommendations of two external examiners and their written justification of this recommendation.

1.9 Recipients of the Medal for Excellence for a Doctoral Research Thesis shall have the option of:

(a) being presented with the Medal at their graduation ceremony; or

(b) having the Medal sent directly to them.

1.10 A posthumous Award will be conferred in accordance with the Posthumous Award Procedure.

1.11 The Graduation Ceremony will be conducted in accordance with the Graduation Ceremony Procedure.

1.12 Official certification documentation will be issued in accordance with the Coursework Award Finalisation, Conferral and Issuance Procedure.

1.13 A graduate may elect to receive a testamur and Australian Higher Education Graduate Statement (AHEGS) in one or more of the following ways;

(a) Access to Digitised Copy; and

(b) Original testamur made available immediately; or

(c) Original testamur made available at a Graduation Ceremony.

1.14 Award titles are the representation of the qualification type, level, field of study/discipline and program of the qualification consistent with the Australian Qualifications Framework and requirements of the AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy. Refer to Awards Titling Guide.

1.15 The University Secretary/Marshall or Ceremonies Coordinator may prevent a graduate from being able to participate in a Graduation Ceremony if reasonable grounds of a risk or threat have been identified.

1.16 Certification Documentation will be reissued in exceptional circumstances in accordance with the Coursework Award Finalisation, Conferral and Issuance Procedure.

1.17 The conferral of an Award is considered public information. The University may publish or provide confirmation in relation to a graduate’s name, Award/s conferred and their conferral date/s in accordance with the HDR candidate’s acceptance of their student contract.

1.18 The University Council may withdraw or revoke an Award that has been conferred, in accordance with the Coursework Award Finalisation, Conferral and Issuance Procedure.

1.19 Certification Documentation must be returned if the Award has been revoked by University Council or otherwise is required to be surrendered in accordance with the Coursework Award Finalisation, Conferral and Issuance Procedure.

Related policy instruments

Coursework Award Finalisation, Conferral and Issuance Procedure

Coursework Award Finalisation, Conferral and Issuance Procedure

Awards Titling Procedure

Posthumous Award Procedure

University Seal Procedure

Academic Dress Policy

Recognition of Academic Excellence Procedure

Award Finalisation and Graduation Policy

University Award Requirements



Related documents and legislation

AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy


NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Procedure Sponsor

Dean, Graduate Research

Approval Authority

DVC Research

Date for next Major Review (in accordance with the Policy Handbook)

April 2021

Revision History

Approval date - the date the approval authority approved the establishment, minor or major amendment or disestablishment

Implementation Date - the date the policy was published in the Policy Library and is the date the policy takes effect


Approval date

Implementation date






Procedure established

Supervisor, Academic Services GRS




Process improvement

Supervisor, Academic Services GRS


Graduand, Graduation, Graduate, Confer, Conferral, Award, Ceremony, In Absentia, medal, posthumous