Getting started

Making a smooth and settled transition to your higher degree by research program will help you to feel comfortable and best able to succeed.

Accepting your offer, getting ready for your first day, enrolment, induction and understanding the policies and procedures that apply to you are all important steps in getting started at the University of Newcastle.

If your PhD or Research Masters application is successful you will be sent a letter of offer. If you have also applied for a scholarship, you will be notified of the outcome at the same time.

International students accept their offer by returning the Admission Offer Acceptance Form, along with any documents listed in the Conditions of Offer.

Domestic students are directed to accept their Offer online. Simply login to myHub with the details that were previously emailed to you. If your offer is conditional you will have to provide specified documents before you can enrol. Once you have accepted your offer and all conditional requirements have been met, you will be able to self-enrol with myHub using your new student login details.

For help accepting your offer please contact Graduate Research.

All commencing higher degree by research candidates can do certain things to prepare for their studies. Following these five steps will give you the best chance of making a smooth transition to your new life at the University of Newcastle so you are feeling as comfortable as possible from day one.

  • Let us know when you’re arriving! Email: to confirm your commencement date. If you let us know early enough we can ensure everything is ready for you from the start, including your laptop (see below) and access to support services.
  • Book a place at a Graduate Research Meet and Greet session. These take place every Wednesday on Callaghan campus and are an important induction experience for all commencing candidates. If you have given us at least five weeks’ notice of when you plan to start, you will also be able to collect your free laptop at the session. Book online via Eventbrite.
  • Schedule a first face-to-face meeting with your supervisory team. Once you have booked your place at a Meet and Greet session, why not arrange your first meeting with your supervisors for later in the same day.
  • Make an appointment with a Student Peer Advisor and learn from someone who has been in the same situation as you. For instance, the ‘Adapting to a new academic culture as a doctoral student’ topic is perfect for new starters so book your appointment online before you commence.
  • Get informed on your rights and responsibilities as a HDR candidate by familiarising yourself with the key Policies and Procedures.

International students

Candidates moving to Australia have additional things to do to prepare for life in the country. You will receive information on what to do before departing as part of your onboarding pack. The important things to arrange include:

  • Student visa: You must arrange a valid Student visa for the duration of your studies. The Australian Government Department of Home Affairs provides comprehensive information about the Student visa (subclass 500) and the process to apply for a visa. All visa applications are lodged and assessed by the Department. To apply for your visa you will need to have received your Confirmation of Enrolment document, also known as an eCOE. We will send you this after you have accepted your offer to study with us and paid any deposit fees.The base student visa application charge set by the Department of Home Affairs is $560.
  • Overseas Student Health Cover: It is a condition of your Student Visa to have OSHC for the duration of your Visa. If you are awarded a scholarship, your Offer of Admission will have included details on the coverage that can be arranged for you. The University's preferred provider is Allianz Global Assistance. If you have indicated that you would like the University to arrange your OSHC on your behalf, this will be arranged for one week prior to your commencement date. The Department of Home Affairs website contains information on OSHC requirements.
  • Travel: Along with booking your flights, you should plan how you will travel from the airport to Newcastle. The Global: Arrival and customs page has up-to-date information on your options.
  • Accommodation: You may need to arrange temporary accommodation for your first weeks in Newcastle so that you can visit longer term accommodation after you have arrived. The Global: Accommodation webpage lists some of your options.
  • School registration: If you have School-age children (5-18) you will need to register them with the NSW Department for Education. Note that there may be fees applicable for children of temporary residents.  
  • Finances: bring between AUD$1,500.00 - $2,000.00 with you for accommodation, transport, food and other essential costs on your arrival. Note that if you are on a HDR scholarship, it may take up to four weeks from your commencement to receive your first payment. You may also choose to apply for a bank account online before you arrive. For more information on opening a bank account and on cost of living in Australia, see the Global: Finances page.
  • Budgeting: The Government (RTP) living allowance stipend base rate is $28,597 – it is recommended that you should budget on this as a minimum amount for living expenses. Beyond that, the table on the HDR Costs page provides indicative amounts required for a student and are presented as a guide only. Note that the Department of Home Affairs states that a student requires $21,041 per year in order to receive a student visa. This will increase significantly if you have dependants.

International candidates are also advised to refer to the Beginning a Life in Australia guide, produced by the Australian Government Department of Social Services, which contains helpful information on topics such as employment, Australian law, housing and transport. You will also find The Life in Australia booklet useful. This guide is produced by the Australian Government Department of Home Affrairs and sets out an overview of Australian history, way of life and values.

Your enrolment takes place in myHub, which is accessed by logging into myUni .

For your first enrolment you will be asked to complete some mandatory tasks, such as updating your contact details and accepting the terms and conditions, before you may proceed. If you have any conditions attached to your enrolment these must also be cleared before you may proceed.

International students will enrol for the first time at their scheduled Meet and Greet session. All subsequent enrolments can be completed individually, either on or off-campus.

Please note that you will be able to enrol up to two weeks before your start date (which is stated in your offer letter). You have until two weeks after your start date to complete the enrolment process.

The step-by-step enrolment process are as described in the Re-enrolment Guide.

You will then be asked to confirm or change your start date. The default start date will be the date that appears on your letter of offer. You can change this date to an actual start date providing that date is within 2 weeks (either side) of the current date. If your start date is further away than this but within the current semester, you will have to return to myHub closer to that date to complete your enrolment.

For help with your enrolment please contact Graduate Research. If your query is of a technical nature please contact IT Services on 02 492 17000. If the process has been completed correctly you will see a green tick in the status box.

Ongoing students must then re-enrol at the start of each academic year. Detailed instructions on how to re-enrol are found in the Re-enrolment Guide.

Commencing your research degree can be a daunting experience. There are policies and procedures that will be unfamiliar to you, regardless of your previous level of study. At the University of Newcastle we know how important it is to support students feel comfortable in their new surroundings from day one.

There are a number of induction activities available to you.

Meet and Greet sessions

After you accept your offer you will be invited to attend a Meet and Greet session in your first week on-campus. This is an opportunity to be presented with critical information on managing your candidature and support available to you. The knowledgeable Graduate Research team will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. It is also a good opportunity to connect with other commencing students.

The session is compulsory for all international students, who will complete their enrolment at the session.

If you have registered for your free laptop this will be provided to you at the session.

Online induction program

Please make sure you complete the following FOUR online induction courses relating to Health & Safety and HDR Candidature within the next six weeks:

  1. Responsible Conduct of Research
  2. Emergency Procedures
  3. Health and Safety Induction
  4. HDR Induction Module

You will need to complete a short multiple choice answer quiz once you have familiarised yourself with information contained within the HDR Induction Module. You can retake the quiz if you do not get the required mark.

If you have any questions or require assistance accessing the induction courses, please contact

School-run orientation sessions

You may also be invited to attend an orientation session run by your School or College. At this session you will be provided with School policy and procedures related to research studies and you will be introduced to the School representatives. It is important for you to attend your local orientation session as practices and expectations can vary between Schools.

If you have any queries about your local induction arrangements, please contact your School's Head of School nominee for HDR matters.

Meeting with your Supervisor(s)

Perhaps your most important induction activity will be your first meeting with your supervisor(s). You will be provided with clear and comprehensive information on the expectations and degree requirements of your degree.

Some of the topics you will discuss may include:

  • Key milestones
  • Time commitment
  • Your research plan
  • Frequency of supervisor meetings
  • What is required to achieve confirmation

You are required to complete a Supervisory Expectations Document in consultation with your supervisors within the first six months of your candidature.

For more information on the supervisor-candidate relationship see the Code of Practice for Higher Degree by Research Candidature.

Self-managed induction

There are a range of other activities you should undertake in your first weeks to smooth your induction to life as a research student. These are presented in no particular order:

Policies and Procedures are essential in governing effective facilities, collaboration and resources to enable high quality research. All candidates must be familiar with the policies related to their degree of study.

At a minimum, you are advised to read the Code of Practice for Higher Degree by Research Candidature carefully. The Code sets out the responsibilities of all HDR candidates. It also sets out the obligations of the university, Faculties and supervisors. You should also be aware of the Rules Governing Higher Degrees by Research.

These key policies, as well as relevant guidelines and HDR forms, are available on the Forms, Guidelines and Policies page.

You will also find the relevant policy, procedure or guideline for a particular topic by searching the HDR FAQs page.

The University has some key dates that all students need to know. As a Higher Degree by Research candidate, there are important dates you need to be aware of to effectively manage your candidature.

HDR Semester Dates:

  • Semester 1: 1 January - 30 June, annually
  • Semester 2: 1 July - 31 December, annually

Census Dates for HDR:

  • Semester 1: 31 March, annually
  • Semester 2: 31 August, annually

Please provide your fully approved applications for candidature variations (i.e. change of load, study mode, Leave of Absence or program transfer) two weeks prior to the relevant census date.

For changes to coursework refer to the applicable semester University census date.

For dates associated with HDR Scholarship Rounds, go to the Scholarships page.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.