Information for Students

As an enrolled Research Student at COFA, it is important to be aware of the University policies relating to Research, including areas such as Reviews, ethics, examinations, travel.

Information on Grants, Policies, Upgrade to Phd, Annual Reviews and Variation to Canditure is below.

Progress Reviews

It is a condition of continual enrolment in the higher research degree that your performance is assessed by an annual progress review. The annual progress review process is designed to be a positive and productive process so take advantage of this opportunity, not only to review the progress of your project, but also to project manage and plan your thesis and ensure that you make the most of your time at UNSW.

Annual progress reviews

Annual progress reviews provide an opportunity for you, your supervisor/s and your School to:

  • take stock of how your project has gone over the past year / 6 months
  • review all aspects of your candidature
  • develop a plan of action for the next year

Purpose of the review

More specifically, the purpose of the review process is to examine all aspects of your project, including:

  • infrastructure and resources available to you
    Do you have everything you need? / Is everything working as it should? / Do you need any new resources?
  • your supervisor’s role
    Are you happy with how often you are meeting and the level of communication?
  • your goals and milestones until the next review
    This should include both academic and professional development, eg I plan to complete X draft chapters, I will attend skills development courses to improve my presentation skills etc.
  • the progress of the project
    I have started writing, completed my literature review, completed X draft chapters etc.
  • your activities over the past year / 6 months
    In terms of previously set goals and milestones
  • any problems : personal / technical / academic
    Identified by either yourself or your supervisor/s

Further information on Annual Reviews is available at the Graduate Research School


The University has a number of policies pertaining to research activities, ethics, commercialisation etc. It’s important that all candidates are aware of any policy that may pertain to them. This is absolutely essential for any candidate conducting interviews or working with a living research subject. You may be personally liable for any future legal proceedings as a result of an activity undertaken without clearance from the Ethics Committee.

Further information on University Policy and Procedure is available at the
Graduate Research School

Extension of Candidature

COFA students seeking an extension of their candidature must apply using the online Variation of Candidature Form. In addition to the requirements outlined on the form COFA students are also required to submit a time-line for completion with milestones set out on specific dates. Please see the Graduate Research School Variation of Candidature page for further details.

Information for Upgrade to PhD

COFA students seeking an upgrade to PhD must refer to the procedure outlined in the Information for Upgrade to PhD document. This document includes inforamtion on required documentation, assessment criteria etc.

COFA Student Grant Scheme

Application Closing Dates: 5pm Friday 11 April / 5pm Friday 29th August 2014

COFA Student Travel Grants are awarded on a competitive basis to support travel to a conference or other event (such as an exhibition, symposium or workshop) directly relating to the applicant’s postgraduate research and at which the applicant is presenting work. The grants are intended to support the presentation of research ( of a paper/talk reporting the progress/outcomes of postgraduate study). The scheme is not intended to facilitate primary research or fieldwork.

All applicants should read the Information about COFA Student Travel Grants Form before completing the application form.

For more information contact:

Joanna Elliot
COFA Student Centre
Phone: +61 2 8936 0608

COFA Studio Based PhD Information

Please see the COFA Studio Based Phd Information document for a guide to possible functions of studio practice in visual arts, media arts and design research for COFA’s PhD candidates, supervisors, administrators and examiners.