The Confirmation of Candidature process has 4 components:

Written Component

Accepted format

Accompanying the written work will be the completed School form.

Confirmation document

The Confirmation document will outline the area under study, including a full citation of the directly relevant literature. It will establish the research objective and pose the formal hypotheses if these are relevant.  The proposal will also concisely and clearly describe the proposed research methodology and scheme of analysis, and briefly describe work already completed.  The School has more detailed Confirmation Guidelines (see link below) on how to complete this document. The document covers both PhD and MPhil students.  Before starting to write your Confirmation document, we strongly recommend that you speak to your Advisory Team about the expectations for the Literature Review component.

Confirmation document guidelines

Word limit

25 pages (maximum), excluding appendices and references.

Quality expectations

The quality expected of the material submitted should be of a standard that would be sent for peer-review.


Candidates are expected to achieve the Confirmation milestone 6 months FTE after commencement. They will need to submit their document to the School's PGAO at least 4 weeks before the date on which they intend to give their oral presentation.

Assessment process

The Confirmation document is assessed by a Review Committee composed of: at least one Reader, the Chairperson (PGC or nominee) and the Principal Advisor. The Review Committee will provide written comments by 2 weeks following submission of the document. Candidate to respond to Reader's comments in writing, to the satisfaction of the Reader/s, before oral presentation can take place.


Oral Component

Accepted format

Formal oral presentation to Confirmation Review Committee, which can include PowerPoint slides.


20-30 minutes with maximum of 30 minutes followed by question time of around 10 minutes.

Quality expectations

The candidate is assessed on: organisation of material, addressing of aims and hypothesis, understanding, ability to answer questions, presentation of a plan for research work, speaking manner.


The oral presentation takes place before the interview, and a minimum of 4 weeks after submission of the written document.

Assessment process

Questions/answers following seminar.



Candidate plus the following minimum persons:

  • Principal Advisor
  • at least one Reader
  • Chairperson

Expected duration

Approximately 20 minutes

Quality expectations

The candidate will be expected to respond knowledgeably and to provide clear and concise answers to questions posed by the Committee.


The interview/dialogue will take place immediately after the oral presentation.

Assessment process

The candidate and the Review Team will address any outstanding concerns identified. These concerns will be verbally explained to the candidate at the end of the interview and reported in writing by the Review Committee Chair to the PGC who will send the written comments to the candidate within 2 weeks of the interview. There will be an opportunity for the candidate to speak to the review committee members without the Advisor/s present and/or for the Advisor/s to speak to the committee without the student present.

Written Feedback


Formal written letter from School PGC to candidate.


Within 2 weeks of the interview.