Progress Reviews

A requirement of continued enrolment in research degrees (Masters and PhD) at UNSW is that all full-time and part-time candidates participate in a formal review of their progress in each year of their candidature. Annual Research Progress Reviews (RPRs) are designed to help you to complete your degree on time by providing you with quality feedback on your research, and identifying and remedying any problems that may be hindering the progress of your work. For further information about these reviews, please view UNSW's Progress Review and Confirmation of Research Candidatures Procedure (PDF). For information about how the School of the Arts and Media (SAM) approaches these RPRs, please read the information provided below on this website page.

RPR for Confirming Students

Confirmation Progress Reviews in the School of the Arts and Media

1. Confirmation Review Schedule

A Confirmation Review is required for all PhD candidates prior to the end of their first year of candidature (full-time equivalent/FTE). For PhD candidates, the Confirmation Review should be scheduled approximately 9 months (FTE) from the census date of the semester in which they commenced.  It must occur at least 3 months prior to the next census date (either March 31 or August 31) which marks the completion of the first FTE year of enrolment. For any candidate enrolled part time, the first review would typically be a regular progress review and the second would be a Confirmation Review.  Confirmation is not required for Masters candidates unless they wish to apply for admission to the PhD (for details see Admission to Higher Degree Research Programs Procedure (PDF) and Arts & Social Sciences Requirements for Transfer between Masters by Research to PhD).

For School of the Arts and Media (SAM) candidates commencing in semester 1, Confirmation Reviews are usually held in late October and early November. For candidates commencing in semester 2, Confirmation Reviews are usually held in early June. Review materials should be submitted approximately 3-4 weeks in advance of the review meeting date. SAM's HDR Support Administrator will inform each candidate of the due date for these materials and the date for the review meeting.  If you are due to have a Confirmation Review in June this year, you must submit your materials by 10 May to the Graduate Research Information System (GRIS). If you are due to have a Confirmation Review in October this year, you must submit your materials by 10 October to GRIS.

2. What You Need to Submit for Your Review

a) A completed online Progress Review form in GRIS.  Once you have completed this form, attached the documents mentioned at b), c) and d) below, and pressed the submit button, your supervisor can complete the supervisor section.

b) A completed SAM RPR form.  This form requires that you provide: a current Thesis abstract; a current Thesis chapter outline OR Creative Project Description and Dissertation chapter outline; a schedule for completion. This form must be submitted to the Attachments section in your online Progress Review form in GRIS.

c) Students undertaking the Humanities Doctorate (program code 1271) must submit a 7,000-word Research Proposal. Students undertaking the Creative Practice Doctorate (program code 1273) must submit a 5,000-word Research Proposal and EITHER a 2,000-word report on the Creative Project, OR, for Creative Writing Theses, a 3,000-word sample of writing from the Creative Project, OR, for Music Composition, a 15-minute sample of compositions.  The Research Proposal, and, where relevant, the report or sample of writing, must also be submitted to the Attachments section in your online Progress Review form in GRIS. Please see the Framework for Research Proposal, which provides guidelines for writing your proposal: SAM Guidelines for Research Proposal.

d) Prior to the Confirmation Review meeting (discussed below) you must have completed the UNSW Research Integrity module and have provided evidence of completion in the Attachments section in your online Progress Review form in GRIS. 

On-time submission of review materials: In the UNSW Progress Review and Confirmation of Research Candidatures Procedure, section 2.1, it is made clear that "[research] candidates are responsible for ensuring their progress review documentation is completed on time and according to instructions provided on the online form and by the School". Please note, as indicated in section 9.3 of the Procedure document, if a candidate "does not provide documentation by the due date so that there is sufficient time to review the material, their review may be deemed unsatisfactory or they may be considered to have failed to undergo a progress review". For further information, please see the Procedure document (PDF).

Special Consideration in case of extenuating circumstances: If students wish to apply for Special Consideration with regard to the deadline for submission of materials and/or the review interview, they must send their application to the SAM Postgraduate Research Coordinator (m.mumford@unsw.edu.au) in advance of the deadline or review date. Their email application should explain the nature of the extenuating circumstances and provide relevant documentation such as medical certificates.

3. Review Presentation

In addition to the written submissions mentioned above, you will be required to make a 10-minute oral presentation that outlines your research proposal followed by a 5-minute Q & A. Your presentation should give a concise summary of the proposed Thesis, its argument and your key research questions. If you are doing a Creative Practice Doctorate it should clarify the scope of your Creative Project and of your Dissertation, and the relationship between these 2 components of your Thesis. You should also provide an outline of your methodology, and indicate how the Thesis promises to make an original contribution to knowledge in your field. The usual format for the presentation is a talk accompanied by relevant audio-visual materials such as a slideshow.

Your presentation will take place on a scheduled Confirmation symposium day and be made in front of staff (including staff attending your review meeting) and students. If you are not able to attend that symposium, your presentation will immediately precede, and be held in the same venue as, your Confirmation review meeting. Staff and students are welcome to attend the presentation, but unless they are part of the Panel or your supervisors, they must leave before the review meeting.

4. Review Meeting

The review meeting will take approximately 45 minutes. It will involve yourself, the Panel (which consists of the Chair and your Reader), and at least one of your supervisors.

a) During the first section of the meeting the Chair (often the School Postgraduate Research Coordinator/PGC) will ask you to comment on your progress during your candidature thus far. This is where you can discuss your main research project activities and initiatives, and indicate whether there have been any problems or obstacles.

b) In the next section, the Reader will provide you with feedback on your review materials.  The Reader will also provide a report that will be uploaded to the Attachments section in GRIS, usually prior to the review.  A hard copy of this report will be provided during the review. Your supervisor(s) will then provide commentary on your progress and review materials. The Chair may provide some comments on these aspects too, as well as discussing resource support you may require or addressing research or career development questions.

c) You will then have an opportunity to address the Panel in confidence about supervision without your supervisors being present. The School is committed to monitoring the supervisory process, so if you have any concerns or issues, please take this opportunity to voice them. Alternatively, if you have any issues you would like to raise prior to the meeting, please contact the SAM Postgraduate Research Coordinator, Dr Meg Mumford (m.mumford@unsw.edu.au; tel. 02 9385 4865).

d) In the final section of the review meeting you will be asked briefly to leave the meeting space.  The Panel will then discuss supervision with your supervisors, make a decision on the nature of your progress (Satisfactory, Marginal or Unsatisfactory), and discuss milestones for the next progress review.  You will then be invited back into the meeting space and your review outcome, milestones and supervision arrangements will be presented, and, if necessary, further discussed. If your progress is deemed Satisfactory, your next review meeting will usually be held within 12 months. If your review outcome is Marginal or Unsatisfactory, an Additional Review will be recommended for the purposes of reassessment within 3 months full-time equivalent. Whatever the review outcome, the Panel, in discussion with your supervisor(s), will set clear milestones to be met by the next review. 

5. Record of Review

Following the review, your completed progress review form will be published online in GRIS. You will be notified of the outcome of your review by email and should review the Panel's written feedback on your form.  

For further information about progress review procedure, see Progress Review and Confirmation of Research Candidatures Procedure (PDF).

RPR for Continuing Students

Annual Progress Reviews in the School of the Arts and Media

1. Progress Review schedule

For continuing students, and part-time students in the first year of their candidature, the annual progress review will occur within the year prior to the relevant census date (either March 31 or August 31). For any candidate enrolled part time, the first review would typically be a regular progress review and the second would be a Confirmation Review.

Review materials should be submitted approximately 3-4 weeks in advance of the review meeting date. SAM's HDR Support Administrator will inform each candidate of the due date for these materials and the date for the review meeting. For reviews held in June 2018, you must submit your materials by 10 May to the Graduate Research Information System (GRIS). For reviews held in October/November 2018, you must submit your materials by 10 October to GRIS.

2. What you need to submit for your review

a) A completed online Progress Review form in GRIS. Once you have completed this form, attached the documents mentioned at b) and c) below, and pressed the submit button, your supervisor can complete the supervisor section.

b) A completed SAM RPR form. This form requires that you provide: a current Thesis abstract; a current Thesis chapter outline OR Creative Project Description and Dissertation chapter outline; a schedule for completion. This form must be submitted to the Attachments section in your online Progress Review form in GRIS.

c) If you are a continuing students, you must submit the written work and/or audio-visual materials specified in the milestones in your previous review. This material must be submitted to the Attachments section in your online Progress Review form in GRIS. If you are a part-time student in the first year of your candidature, you must submit aspects of the Research Proposal outlined in the section above on Confirmation Reviews. The aspects will be specified by the Postgraduate Research Convenor after discussion with your main supervisor.

On-time submission of review materials: In the UNSW Progress Review and Confirmation of Research Candidatures Procedure, section 2.1, it is made clear that "[research] candidates are responsible for ensuring their progress review documentation is completed on time and according to instructions provided on the online form and by the School". Please note, as indicated in section 9.3 of the Procedure document, if a candidate "does not provide documentation by the due date so that there is sufficient time to review the material, their review may be deemed unsatisfactory or they may be considered to have failed to undergo a progress review". For further information, please see the Procedure document (PDF).

Special Consideration in case of extenuating circumstances: If students wish to apply for Special Consideration with regard to the deadline for submission of materials and/or the review interview, they must send their application to the SAM Postgraduate Research Coordinator (m.mumford@unsw.edu.au) in advance of the deadline or review date. Their email application should explain the nature of the extenuating circumstances and provide relevant documentation such as medical certificates.

3. Oral Presentation and Review Meeting

The review meeting will take approximately 55 minutes which includes c. 10 minutes for the oral presentation. It will involve yourself, the Panel (which consists of the Chair and your Reader), and at least one of your supervisors.

a) In addition to the written submissions mentioned above, you will be required to make a 5-minute oral presentation on a specific issue, original contribution or finding raised in your submitted review materials.  The presentation can take the form of simply a talk, or it can involve demonstration via audio-visual materials. Your presentation will be followed by a brief (2-3min) Q & A. It will be held at the beginning of your progress review meeting and in the same venue. The presentation must be attended by the staff involved in your review meeting. Other staff and students are welcome to attend the presentation, but they must leave before the review meeting.

b) During the first section of the meeting the Chair (usually the School Postgraduate Research Convenor/PGC) will ask you to comment on your progress during your candidature thus far. This is where you can discuss your main research project activities and initiatives, and indicate whether there have been any problems or obstacles.

c) In the next section, the Reader will provide you with feedback on your review materials. The Reader will also provide a report that will be uploaded to the Attachments section in GRIS, usually prior to the review. A hard copy of this report will be provided during the review. Your supervisor(s) will then provide commentary on your progress and review materials. The Chair may provide some comments on these aspects too, as well as discussing resource support you may require or addressing  research or career development questions.

d) You will then have an opportunity to address the Panel in confidence about supervision without your supervisors being present. The School is committed to monitoring the supervisory process, so if you have any concerns or issues, please take this opportunity to voice them. Alternatively, if you have any issues you would like to raise prior to the meeting, please contact the Postgraduate Research Convenor, Dr Meg Mumford (m.mumford@unsw.edu.au; tel. 02 9385 4865).

e) In the final section of the review meeting you will be asked briefly to leave the meeting space. The Panel will then discuss supervision with your supervisors, make a decision on the nature of your progress (Satisfactory, Marginal or Unsatisfactory), and discuss milestones for the next progress review. You will then be invited back into the meeting space and your review outcome, milestones and supervision arrangements will be presented, and, if necessary, further discussed. If your progress is deemed Satisfactory, your next review meeting will usually be held within 12 months. If your review outcome is Marginal or Unsatisfactory, an Additional Review will be recommended for the purposes of reassessment within 3 months full-time equivalent. Whatever the review outcome, the Panel, in discussion with your supervisor(s), will set clear milestones to be met by the next review.

4. Record of Review

Following the review, your completed progress review form will be published online in GRIS. You will be notified of the outcome of your review by email and should review the Panel's written feedback on your form.

For further information about progress review procedure, see Progress Review and Confirmation of Research Candidatures Procedure (PDF).

RPR for Masters Students

Annual Progress Reviews in the School of the Arts and Media

1. Progress Review Schedule

Confirmation is not required for Masters candidates unless they wish to apply for admission to the PhD (for details see Admission to Higher Degree Research Programs Procedure (PDF) and Arts & Social Sciences Requirements for Transfer between Masters by Research to PhD).  For Masters students the annual progress review will occur within the year prior to the relevant census date (either March 31 or August 31).

For School of the Arts and Media (SAM) candidates commencing in semester 1, progress reviews are usually held in late October and early November. For candidates commencing in semester 2, Confirmation Reviews are usually held in early June. Review materials should be submitted approximately 3-4 weeks in advance of the review meeting date. SAM's HDR Support Administrator will inform each candidate of the due date for these materials and the date for the review meeting.

For reviews held in June 2018, you must submit your materials by 10 May to the Graduate Research Information System (GRIS). For reviews held in October/November 2018, you must submit your materials by 10 October to GRIS.

2. What You Need to Submit for Your Review

a) A completed online Progress Review form in GRIS. Once you have completed this form, attached the documents mentioned at b), c) and d) below, and pressed the submit button, your supervisor can complete the supervisor section.

b) A completed SAM RPR form. This form requires that you provide: a current Thesis abstract; a current Thesis chapter outline OR Creative Project Description and Dissertation chapter outline; a schedule for completion. This form must be submitted to the Attachments section in your online Progress Review form in GRIS.

c) The written work and/or audio-visual materials specified in the milestones in your previous review. This material must be submitted to the Attachments section in your online Progress Review form in GRIS.

d) Prior to the Progress Review meeting (discussed below) you must have completed the UNSW Research Integrity module and have provided evidence of completion in the Attachments section in your online Progress Review form in GRIS.

On-time submission of review materials: In the UNSW Progress Review and Confirmation of Research Candidatures Procedure, section 2.1, it is made clear that "[research] candidates are responsible for ensuring their progress review documentation is completed on time and according to instructions provided on the online form and by the School". Please note, as indicated in section 9.3 of the Procedure document, if a candidate "does not provide documentation by the due date so that there is sufficient time to review the material, their review may be deemed unsatisfactory or they may be considered to have failed to undergo a progress review". For further information, please see the Procedure document (PDF).

Special Consideration in case of extenuating circumstances: If students wish to apply for Special Consideration with regard to the deadline for submission of materials and/or the review interview, they must send their application to the SAM Postgraduate Research Coordinator (m.mumford@unsw.edu.au) in advance of the deadline or review date. Their email application should explain the nature of the extenuating circumstances and provide relevant documentation such as medical certificates.

3. Oral Presentation and Review Meeting

The review meeting will take approximately 55 minutes which includes c. 10 minutes for the oral presentation. It will involve yourself, the Panel (which consists of the Chair and your Reader), and at least one of your supervisors.

a) In addition to the written submissions mentioned above, you will be required to make a 5-minute oral presentation on a specific issue, original contribution or finding raised in your submitted review materials. The presentation can take the form of simply a talk, or it can involve demonstration via audio-visual materials. Your presentation will be followed by a brief (2-3min) Q & A. It will be held at the beginning of your progress review meeting and in the same venue. The presentation must be attended by the staff involved in your review meeting. Other staff and students are welcome to attend the presentation, but they must leave before the review meeting.

b) During the first section of the meeting the Chair (usually your School Postgraduate Research Coordinator) will ask you to comment on your progress during your candidature thus far. This is where you can discuss your main research project activities and initiatives, and indicate whether there have been any problems or obstacles.

c) In the next section, the Reader will provide you with feedback on your review materials. The Reader will also provide a report that will be uploaded to the Attachments section in GRIS, usually prior to the review. A hard copy of this report will be provided during the review. Your supervisor(s) will then provide commentary on your progress and review materials. The Chair may provide some comments on these aspects too, as well as discussing resource support you may require or addressing research or career development questions.

d) You will then have an opportunity to address the Panel in confidence about supervision without your supervisors being present. The School is committed to monitoring the supervisory process, so if you have any concerns or issues, please take this opportunity to voice them. Alternatively, if you have any issues you would like to raise prior to the meeting, please contact the Postgraduate Research Convenor, Dr Meg Mumford (m.mumford@unsw.edu.au; tel. 02 9385 4865).

e) In the final section of the review meeting you will be asked briefly to leave the meeting space. The Panel will then discuss supervision with your supervisors, make a decision on the nature of your progress (Satisfactory, Marginal or Unsatisfactory), and discuss milestones for the next progress review. You will then be invited back into the meeting space and your review outcome, milestones and supervision arrangements will be presented, and, if necessary, further discussed. If your progress is deemed Satisfactory, your next review meeting will usually be held within 12 months. If your review outcome is Marginal or Unsatisfactory, an Additional Review will be recommended for the purposes of reassessment within 3 months full-time equivalent. Whatever the review outcome, the Panel, in discussion with your supervisor(s), will set clear milestones to be met by the next review.

4. Record of Review

Following the review, your completed progress review form will be published online in GRIS. You will be notified of the outcome of your review by email and should review the Panel's written feedback on your form.

For further information about progress review procedure, see Progress Review and Confirmation of Research Candidatures Procedure (PDF).

RPR Reader Report

RPR Meeting Order of Business