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Current research master's students

28 March 2024

Are you a current research Master's student, or considering a research Master's degree at UC? See what your academic journey will look like - learn about the lifecycle of a master's thesis, how to make changes to your thesis enrolment, and how to submit a master's thesis for examination. 

The Research Master's Student Lifecycle
Research Master's Student Lifecycle

The milestone due dates depicted in the diagram above are those for the majority of full-time students. Most part-time students will have their Supervisory Agreement and Research Proposal due at 4 months, Progress Reports due at 10 months and then every 6 months after that, with Submission at 19 months. The following degrees follow a different reporting timeline, and students in these programmes should check with their Supervisor or Graduate Research Coordinator for this: ME with the course codes ENCM690, ENCI690, ENEQ690, MEFE, MET, MHIT, MMathSci, and MProdDesign.


Milestones are an important part of your research Master’s journey. They provide an opportunity to reflect upon your progress, plan and discuss your goals with your supervisory team, identify researcher development or support needs, and ensure you are connected with support systems in your Department/School, Faculty, and the University.


It is your responsibility to complete these required milestones. We suggest you review the Regulations relevant to your degree, and the Research Student Supervision Policy, to ensure that you fully understand the milestones. It is important to make a time to discuss your progress in relation to each milestone with your supervisory team, and consider your learning needs and goals. This process is important for you, your supervisory team, and the University, to monitor your progress. Enrolment, registration, and milestone approvals are managed by your Faculty.

If you have any questions about the processes, or require clarification, please contact your Faculty Student Advisors or Graduate Research Coordinators.


  • Enrolment: Your Senior Supervisor is confirmed, and you commence your studies.

  • Appointment of Supervisors, Supervisory Agreement, and Research Proposal: Your full supervisory team is confirmed. Expectations related to your supervisory relationship are established and agreed. It is important that you talk with your supervisory team about all aspects of the Agreement. This will reduce the possibility of issues arising as your studies progress. The outline of your thesis is determined and resourcing confirmed. Your Senior Supervisor may also need to arrange for an External Supervisor Agreement to be completed if you have any supervisors who are not UC staff. 

  • Progress Reports: These provide an opportunity for research students to: (a) review and track their progress against their overall project plan; (b) reflect upon research and development in past months and structure plans for the next part of the research journey; and (c) raise any issues or concerns regarding progress. The Progress Report is also a key means by which supervisors and the University monitor and evaluate your progress.

  • Thesis Submission: You’ve done it! Complete the steps as outlined below and submit a pdf of your thesis to Te Kura Tāura


Requesting a change to your thesis enrolment

Sometimes your progress does not go as planned or exciting opportunities arise that you wish to pursue. In these instances there are a variety of options for you to consider in conjunction with your supervisory team. Please ensure that you communicate early, and openly, with your supervisory team. They will do their best to assist and connect you with appropriate supports across UC. Below are forms related to various options available to you. Each form contains a detailed description of the process, and what might be required to request various options. Discuss your application with your supervisory team, your Department/School Graduate Research Coordinator, or Faculty Student Advisor.


Submission and Examination

Find out more here: Submitting your masters thesis | University of Canterbury. It is important that you ensure that you are enrolled and that your fees are up-to-date. International students should contact the Enrolments Team to discuss your visa situation, as you will no longer be enrolled following submission of a thesis. 

Please direct any queries regarding examinations to Te Kura Tāura, who administer the examination of master's theses. Please be aware that if a student's examination was started using older versions of forms, the older versions will need to be used throughout the examination process and the below links will not be suitable; please contact Te Kura Tāura staff if you need copies of legacy forms. 

  • Thesis Submission and Use Form: This form needs to accompany your thesis submission when sent to the Graduate School inbox (
  • Appointment of Examiners: Your supervisor will complete this form to nominate your thesis examiners.
  • Embargo and Secure Thesis Examination Request: Before submitting your thesis, discuss with your supervisors and the UC Library to determine if you may need to request an embargo or additional security requirements for your thesis examination.
  • Master's Examiner Recommendation and Report: Each of your thesis examiners will be asked to complete a copy of this form. The report will be released to you along with your final grade, however the individual examiner recommendations are not released. 


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