3.5 External/off-campus enrolment

3.5 External/off-campus enrolment

Refer to the current Monash University (Academic Board) Regulations

Please note: Monash Graduate Education (formerly MIGR) will not  approve backdated variation requests.

3.5.1 Admission

Applicants who propose to enrol as an external student must show that they do not reside within daily commuting distance of the campus at which their proposed main supervisor is based.

Approval for external enrolment is not automatic. The relevant academic unit and faculty must be convinced that the prospective applicant has the personal maturity and research experience to pursue independent, sustained and structured research off-campus. Applicants may be able to demonstrate these abilities through previous study/research completed in a timely manner, publications or relevant work experience. There also must be a plan that shows how any program requirements will be met. Final approval of any case for external enrolment will be made by the Graduate Research Committee.

Students in the following courses may not enrol by external mode: 

  • the PhD (Theatre Performance)
  • the  PhD (Music Performance)
  • the MPsych/PhD
  • any PhD at Monash University Malaysia. 

If a student is in Australia holding a student visa they cannot be enrolled in external mode. If they wish to transfer to this mode the ESOS Reporting Officer needs to be advised. In this event the Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) is cancelled and the student can continue their study from offshore.

SJD students may only transfer to external enrolment at the completion of the coursework component of their degree.

3.5.2 Primary location of research

Where the research is principally being undertaken at another research site (e.g. archives repository, field site, laboratory, commercial or governmental research station, another university, etc.), the Committee must be assured by the relevant academic unit/faculty that the site provides a research environment which offers appropriate resources, facilities and research expertise for the duration of the enrolment.

3.5.3 Attendance of five days per year

External students should satisfy the standard conditions of full-time and part-time enrolment (see Section 3.4) with the exception of the weekly attendance requirements. In addition, there is a requirement to satisfy an annual five-day on-campus attendance requirement each year, or equivalent, over the period of enrolment. A portion of this attendance may be off-campus, provided that the student is able to interact with the main or associate supervisor [s] during this time (for example, where the student and supervisor[s] both attend the same conference). 

When a student transfers from internal to external enrolment during the latter stages of enrolment, the academic unit/faculty may make a case for the five-day residency requirement to be waived. 

These are minimum requirements only; some faculties may set additional attendance guidelines, particularly in regard to satisfying the program requirements of the degree.

3.5.4 Effective means of communication

It is expected that there are appropriate means by which the student may communicate with members of the supervisory team on a daily basis, e.g. by Skype, video conference, email, fax or telephone.

Regular interactive communication between student and supervisors should take place at least every two weeks (full-time students) and every month (part-time students).

3.5.5 Supervision

The primary responsibility for supervision of the student must always rest with the main Monash University-based supervisor. There should be at least one other supervisor. Other members of the supervisory team can be appointed as appropriate. Supervision of external students should be conducted according to the Guidelines for Remote Supervision.

Students should make arrangements for an external supervisor at the research location, where this is appropriate. In the case of external enrolment in a laboratory-based discipline, an on-site supervisor, in addition to the Monash University-based and accredited main and associate supervisor(s) is mandatory. The external supervisor must confirm that adequate resources and facilities are available on site to support the research project. 

An external supervisor should be experienced in guiding research projects and need to be familiar with the Monash University's codes of practice (such as its Code of practice for supervision of doctoral and research master's students) and other requirements pertaining to enrolment. The Graduate Research Committee must approve their appointment. External supervisors can only be appointed as associate supervisors unless accredited by Monash Graduate Education as a main supervisor for exceptional circumstances.

3.5.6 Articulation between standard and external enrolment

Students may be permitted to transfer between standard and external enrolment, as assessed on a case-by-case basis. Before such a transfer is approved, there must be a plan for how any remaining coursework and/or training requirements will be met.

For students who have already completed three full-time equivalent years of on-campus attendance, further periods of residency will normally not be required.

3.5.7 Assessment of progress

All external students must complete the enrolment milestones as set out in Section 3.8 and all program requirements.

3.5.8 Additional requirements where the external student is pursuing research at another institution/research station

3.5.8.1 Joint agreement on the research project

A joint agreement on the research program needs to be negotiated between the University and the external site.

3.5.8.2 Occupational health and safety procedures

Occupational Health and Safety training relevant to the research location must be undertaken by the student.

3.5.8.3 Ownership of intellectual property

These matters are governed by the Monash University (Vice-Chancellor) Regulations. An agreement should be reached before the enrolment begins.

3.5.8.4 Ethics approval from both the University and the host institution

Every effort should be made to rationalise the ethics approval process when there is potential for duplication.

3.5.9 Scholarships

An Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) may be awarded to an applicant proposing to undertake studies as an external student; however the support of the relevant academic unit and faculty will be required.
External students will not be eligible for centrally allocated awards of the Monash Graduate Scholarship (MGS) or the Monash International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (MIPRS).

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