Guidelines for enrolling in a Master’s by thesis

Find out how to apply to join the Faculty’s Master’s programme, including what you need to do before enrolling online.

Before you apply for a Master’s by thesis, it’s a good idea discuss your plans with academic staff in the school or programme you are interested in. This will help you choose a suitable topic to research and start to construct an expression of interest. You’ll need to submit your expression of interest along with your online application.

Talking with academic staff will also help you work out whether your chosen topic is manageable within a year. The first person you should contact is the postgraduate coordinator for the school.

Academic staff may ask to see relevant documentation, such as a transcript from another tertiary institution. These documents will be sighted and returned to you, so that you can submit them with your online application.

A school may have invited you to apply to enrol in a Master's degree. This is not a preapproval or any guarantee that you will be accepted, but it is a positive sign that your background is suitable for Master’s study. Even if you have not been explicitly invited, you are welcome to apply to study towards a Master's degree.

Using the Online Enrolment System

You can apply online for the Master’s by thesis programme via the University’s Online Enrolment System. The system will require certain information and documentation that you will need to prepare in advance. These are outlined below.

Full time or part time

You will be asked whether you intend to study full time or part time. Most students study their thesis full time unless circumstances prevent them doing so. You should consider your personal commitments, such as work and family responsibilities, your physical or psychological health or that of a family member, as well as your academic goals.

You are deemed to be full time when you are able to devote on average a minimum of 30 hours per week to your thesis, excluding public holidays. If you can commit a minimum of 30 hours per week and do not have relevant grounds for part-time enrolment, you should select full time. If you select part time, you will be asked to detail why you wish to study part time.

Intended start date

You can start your thesis at any time that is acceptable to your supervisor.

Some schools have a number of fixed approval rounds for Master's enrolments. If this is the case, you will need to choose an intended start date that comes after the next approval round, but can negotiate any time after that. For most schools, you can negotiate starting your thesis at any time.

If you change your intended start date after your initial application, please contact your student adviser so it can be updated in the system.

Prospective supervisor

You will be asked to name your prospective supervisor. A supervisor is a member of staff who provides academic and administrative guidance to you before and during your Master’s study.

If there is an academic you would like to work with, you can contact them to see if they can supervise you. Otherwise your school or programme will direct you to a prospective supervisor.

If your intended programme of study requires more than one supervisor, you should list the primary supervisor.

Provisional title

In the process of developing your research topic, you will need to develop a title for your thesis. This title needs to be included in your application. You are not bound by this title and can change it at any time prior to submitting your thesis for examination. Just make sure you advise your student adviser so they can update it in the system.

Research topic

You will need to upload a document describing the research topic you would like to pursue. This is known as an Expression of Interest.

This document should contain a clear outline of the topic (or question) you wish to investigate and why. It should give some sense of the method you intend to use for the investigation. The document may also include details of how the area of research fits in with relevant literature and research. The normal expectation is that an Expression of Interest will be between 500 and 1,000 words in length.

Your potential supervisor or the postgraduate coordinator in your school will give you guidance and more detailed expectations of what’s needed for the subject you are applying for. In addition to the recommended word length, the school may require a preliminary bibliography, chapter titles or outlines, and an initial timeframe for completing of the project.

Within your first month of enrolment you are expected to convert your Expression of Interest into a full proposal. You will need to complete the Confirmation of Master's thesis research proposal form (see the Faculty Guidelines for Master's Students).

If you discover you are unable to or no longer wish to continue with a Master's during this initial period of enrolment, you have four weeks to withdraw from your programme for a full refund of tuition fees.

Proposed arrangements for research

In addition to describing your research topic, you will need to upload a document that outlines the arrangements required for your thesis. This might include details of how the research is to be undertaken, what ethical considerations are required, whether ethical approval is required, and whether there are any unusual supervisory arrangements.

Scholarships or research grants

If you have been awarded a scholarship or research grant for your Master’s study or are awaiting notification on funding, you will be asked to note this. As this is a required field, you will need to enter "n/a" if you haven't been awarded a scholarship or research grant.

What happens next?

After you’ve submitted your enrolment, academics within the Faculty will review your Expression of Interest and other documents. They will contact you if they need any additional information or if anything is missing. They may require a different start date or supervisor, which they will note.

If your enrolment is accepted, you will be sent a link to your Offer of Study. You need to accept your Offer of Study to confirm your enrolment.

If your application is not accepted, your student adviser or the relevant academics will work with you on alternative pathways.