Student responsibilities

Learn about your responsibilities as a doctoral student.

You will need to abide by the regulations governing the PhD or professional doctorate and meet all administrative requirements. Familiarise yourself with this website. It covers most of the topics you will need to know about.

Planning and actively pursuing your research

You have an obligation to devote sufficient time to your research, to complete each phase on time, and to avoid activities that interfere with your satisfactory and timely completion of the degree.

There is a maximum timeframe which governs doctoral degrees, if you will not submit within this timeframe you will need to apply for an extension.


It is expected that you conduct your research in an ethical manner. All forms of academic misconduct will be treated very seriously.

You must:

  • discuss research ethics with your supervisors
  • familiarise yourself with the University’s human ethics and animal ethics guidelines and obtain approval from the relevant ethics committee for research involving human or animal subjects
  • ensure that all work you submit is your own and that you acknowledge the ideas and input of others.

Participating in academic life

There will be many occasions on which you can present your work during your candidature, at seminars in your school or at workshops organised by the Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research or Student Learning, as well as conferences outside of the University. You could also consider participating in PGSA events such as the 3 Minute Thesis and Research Roundtables.

Take advantage of these opportunities to present your work as this will help develop the skills you will need for the oral defence of your thesis.

Your thesis

You are solely responsible for the content, style, presentation, production and binding of your thesis, and for promptly making any required amendments after examination.

Remember that your supervisors are there to guide you, not to write the thesis. That is your job. It is fair to ask your supervisor whether your arguments are appropriate or convincing, but don’t ask your supervisor to provide the arguments. The thesis is yours. You are the one who must come up with the major ideas, plan and undertake the experiments, review the literature, critique earlier work, and write everything up.

Giving notice of submission

You must give your Victoria supervisor adequate notice of your intention to submit your thesis in order to allow for the selection of examiners. Check what else you need to do before submitting.


You should take the initiative in approaching your supervisors with any problems you have encountered or difficulties you might be having. You can also raise issues that concern you in your progress reports.

If you feel unable to discuss matters with your supervisor, a number of other paths are open to you.

Victoria Doctoral Scholarship holders

If you hold a Victoria scholarship, you may have other responsibilities as outlined in the scholarship regulations.