Guide to postgraduate study

© Restricted/University of Canterbury

The links below will help you navigate the processes of postgraduate study in Arts, with core course information, guidelines and forms. For a full list of postgraduate study options in Arts, please visit our postgraduate page.

Four steps to Masters thesis enrolment:

1. Identify a potential supervisor

Contact the Programme Coordinator of the programme you wish to enrol in and discuss your proposed topic of research. They will advise you whether there are suitable academic staff available to supervise you. 

2. Apply to enrol 

UC has specific enrolment information for students who are new to UC, advancing UC students, or international students. Please note that this process may include an application form for admission to the University if you are a new or international student. Apply to enrol.

3. Complete and submit a Masters Thesis Enrolment Application Form

This form must be completed in conjunction with your supervisor, Head of School or Programme Coordinator and submitted to the Faculty of Arts for the Dean’s approval. Your application to enrol cannot be approved until this application form is submitted to the Faculty Office. 

This application must be made by all applicants, including those who have submitted an application for admission ad eundem statum to the International Office.

Choose one of the forms below:

4. Accept formal offer and pay your fees

Once your application to enter the programme has been approved, you will receive a letter from the Faculty of Arts detailing your commencement date, final submission date and the submission dates for your Thesis Proposal and first progress report.

To finalise your enrolment you need to also formally enrol, accept your offer and pay your fees.

Your next task will be to prepare a Thesis Proposal which has to be accepted by your Programme/School as well as the Dean. The proposal must be accompanied by the Master’s Thesis Proposal Registration form.

Finalise your enrolment by accepting your formal offer and paying your course fees.

Further information for all students.

After enrolment and admission – what should I do now?

Masters thesis proposal

After enrolment and admission, your next task will be to prepare a Thesis Proposal which has to be accepted by your Programme/School as well as the Dean. Full-time students must submit their proposal within two months of their Thesis enrolment. Part-time students must submit their proposal within four months of their Thesis enrolment.

Information and help for writing your thesis proposal can be found on the Learning Skills website.

The proposal must be accompanied by the Masters Thesis Proposal Registration form.

Following approval of the Thesis Proposal, thesis students and their supervisors are required to submit progress reports every six months (irrespective of whether enrolment is full-time or part-time). See below for more information.

Masters thesis student progress reports

Progress reports must be submitted every six months, the first being due 6 months after the proposal due date. This report should be submitted on the 

The student should write a brief description of their progress over the preceeding 6 months. This report should:

  • outline the work that has been completed and include, as relevant, acknowledgement of any delays that have been experienced,
  • discuss problems that have been overcome,
  • include successes and milestones acheived and
  • give a brief outline of the plan for the next stage of the thesis.

Please ensure that the progress report form is signed by you, your primary supervisor and Head of School/Department or Programme Co-ordinator and submitted to the Postgraduate Student Advisor ( of the Faculty of Arts for the Dean’s approval.


If you will not be completing your thesis within 12 months of your initial enrolment you will be required to reenrol and pay more fees. This applied to both full-time and part-time students. Before your enrolment expires please apply to enrol for the next enrolment period via myUC. If you are near the end of your thesis, you may re-enrol for 3, 6, or 9 months.

Special Circumstances or changes in your situation – Special Applications

Special circumstances or changes in your situation may require you to take an extended break from your studies, make it impossible for you to study full-time or cause you to require further time for the submission of your Thesis or your Thesis Proposal. The Faculty of Arts can help you with the following applications:

Change enrolment status to Part-time/Full-time

(Note, applications can be backdated to an earlier date if special circumstances warrant it. However, you should seek advice as early as possible.)


Extension of time

Extension: Master thesis proposal

Change of supervisors

Should a change of supervisors occur any time after your Thesis Proposal has been accepted by the Dean, a new Supervision Agreement must be signed by you, your new supervisory team, the Head of School/Department or Programme Co-ordinator, and be approved by the Dean. To arrange this, please use the form below and submit it to the Faculty of Arts:

Enrolling to undertake a PhD thesis

PhD enrolment steps are outlined on the Te Kura Tāura | Graduate School site.

Find key information about admission, what you need to meet the entry requirements and the application process for doctoral study

PhD enrolments are managed by Te Kura Tāura | Graduate School located on level 2 of the Student Services Building. Please contact:

Maria Arrillaga

Special Projects Coordinator
Te Kura Tāura | UC Graduate School

Stacy Robertson

PA to the Dean
Te Kura Tāura | UC Graduate School

Find out about studying at UC and about the steps to apply and enrol as a student at UC, or contact the International Relations Office.

Consult UC's Scholarships database for the full list of available scholarships.

For further information on postgraduate studies and the postgraduate qualifications offered by the University of Canterbury, please see the University's Postgraduate Prospectus. You can download an electronic copy, or to order a hardcopy, please call our Contact Centre on 0800 VARSITY (827 748) or email an advisor.

Please refer to the University of Canterbury Calendar for detailed information on the individual degree regulations.

Information is also available on the individual Departmental/School websites.

Extra advice on how to make postgraduate study work for you can be found at UC's postgraduate pages.  

Find an advisor

The College of Arts student advisors are located on the ground floor of Elsie Locke Building. 

PhD students should contact Te Kura Tāura| UC Graduate School. For information or advice on graduate and postgraduate qualifications contact:

Liz Bond

Academic Services Manager
Elsie Locke 108
Internal Phone: 93096

Azeen Tashakkor

Student Advisor
Postgraduate Student Advisor
Elsie Locke 109a
Internal Phone: 94247