Policy Academic Governance HDR Pre-Completion Evaluation Procedure

HDR Pre-Completion Evaluation Procedure

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This procedure has been established to outline the steps required to undertake the Pre-Completion Evaluation Milestone.

This procedure addresses HESF Standard 4.2: Research Training.


This procedure applies to candidates for Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) offered by the University, and associated staff involved in the procedure.


Terms mentioned in this document and not defined here are defined in the Policy Glossary in the Learning and Teaching domain of the University Policy Library, and in the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Requirements.


1. To ensure sufficient time for necessary revisions and final editing work to be completed, the Pre-Completion Evaluation should be completed at the following times depending on the candidate type:

1.1 Doctoral candidate - least three months (full time equivalent) before the planned submission date

1.2 Masters candidate - no later than 1.5 EFTSL (1 year and 6 months full time equivalent) from enrolment

2. Successful completion of the Pre-Completion milestone requires the HDR candidate has successfully completed all relevant Professional Development requirements. The Graduate Research School (GRS) may be contacted to confirm that all requirements have been met.

3. The HDR candidate, through their Primary Advisor, should ask the College Academic Services Officer to organise the Pre-Completion Evaluation including the seminar and the post-seminar meeting of the Candidature Committee (note: Independent Academic is not required for MPhil candidates)

4. At least fourteen (14) days prior to the seminar the HDR candidate must provide each member of the Candidature Committee with the following:

4.1 Written work – a sufficient draft of the thesis that enables the Candidature Committee to provide feedback to the candidate that will assist timely submission of an examinable thesis.

4.2 Public presentation – a public seminar on the synthesised research findings. The seminar should be presented using the Pre-Completion Evaluation Template.

4.3 When the major output of the degree is a creative work, the following additional requirements apply:

4.3.1 an advanced draft of the complete exegesis apart from the post-examination reflections must be available for detailed consideration by the Candidature Committee;

4.3.2 the creative work should be available to the Candidature Committee to determine whether it is ready for immediate external examination;

4.3.3 if the Advisors do not consider that the creative work is ready for external examination the Pre-Completion Evaluation can be considered as a staging event and the HDR candidate required to provide new or additional work for external examination.

4.3.4 any plans for the publication of unpublished components of the research including the proposed authorship arrangements and the protocol for publication if the HDR candidate does not initiate manuscript preparation within a mutually agreed time period.

5. The seminar must be delivered in person or via live-feed and viewed by all members of the Candidature Committee. Other persons should be encouraged to attend unless such an arrangement is precluded by a confidentiality agreement. The presentation should be no longer than 40 minutes excluding questions and should provide a synthesis of the research findings.

6. If the candidate is unable to deliver the seminar in person or via live-feed, they may provide a video of their seminar presentation in an appropriate format to the College Academic Services Officer responsible for organising the seminar. This video will be viewed by their Candidature Committee and the candidate will be questioned at a pre-arranged time by teleconference.

7. The Candidature Committee must meet after the seminar to complete PCE-FORM-01 and provide feedback to the candidate.

8. The entire Candidature Committee must unanimously recommend whether or not the HDR candidate’s research is of a standard and extent appropriate for a thesis in the degree in which the HDR candidate is enrolled or an alternative qualification and is likely to be at a standard suitable for submission within approximately three months (full-time equivalent).

9. Once finalised, PCE-FORM-01 is to be returned by the final signatory to the College Academic Services Officer who will forward to the Graduate Research School with supporting documentation.

10. The Dean, Graduate Research will approve the final recommendation of the Pre-Completion Evaluation Milestone.

11. The Graduate Research School will communicate the Dean, Graduate Research’s approved course of action to the HDR candidate and their Candidature Committee.

12. HDR candidates who receive the recommendation that the work is not of a standard or extent appropriate for submission of a thesis, or exceed the time frame for completion of this milestone, will be subject to the HDR Progress Support Procedure which should be used to determine whether they are placed on Progress Support or Under Review.

13. A candidate who wishes to request a review of the recommendation of their Pre-Completion Evaluation, may do so as per the Student Review and Appeal Policy and Procedures.

Related policy instruments

HDR Requirements

HDR Progress Support Procedure

HDR Discontinuation of Candidature Procedure

Student Review and Appeal Policy and Procedures


Pre-completion – Seminar Guidelines

Pre-completion - Evaluation Template




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

Approval Details

Policy DomainAcademic Governance

Policy Sub-domain

Research Education

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date





Procedure established.

Manager, Graduate Research School


Pre-completion, evaluation, HDR, higher degree by research, candidate, candidature

Contact person

Dean, Graduate Research