Doctoral Full-time and Part-time Enrolment Policy and Procedures


Doctoral candidates who wish to change their enrolment from full-time to part-time status, or from part-time to full-time status.


To specify the policy and procedures that apply where a doctoral candidate wishes to change their enrolment status from full-time to part-time, or from part-time to full-time.


1. A full-time doctoral student is enrolled in 10 points each month.

2. A part-time doctoral student is enrolled in 5 points each month.

3.  Full-time and part-time enrolled doctoral candidates are expected to take 5 weeks of holiday each year (plus statutory and University holidays).

4. Subject to clause 3, a full-time enrolled doctoral candidate is expected to work on their doctorate for 40 hours a week.

5. Subject to clause 3, a part-time enrolled doctoral candidate is expected to work on their doctorate for 20 hours a week.

6. Doctoral candidates may change their enrolment from full-time to part-time status, or from part-time to full-time status in accordance with this policy and procedures only where explicitly permitted in the relevant doctoral programme regulations.

7. Where exceptional circumstance regulatory provisions govern the availability of full-time or part-time study within the relevant doctoral programme, doctoral candidates must contact the School of Graduate Studies who will facilitate exceptional circumstance consideration in accordance with programme regulations.

8. Except in the DHSc and in the coursework component of the EdD, doctoral candidates will normally be enrolled full-time.

9. Subject to clause 6, a doctoral candidate may apply to change from full-time to part-time status for a period not normally shorter than 3 months, on grounds including but not limited to:

  • whānau/family responsibilities
  • disability/disabilities
  • illness, accident or injury
  • professional development opportunities (for candidates who have been enrolled for no more than 48 months FTE)
  • financial hardship

10. Subject to clause 7, applications to change from full-time to part-time status must be made by the doctoral candidate in accordance with the procedures below and will be determined by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate).

11. A doctoral candidate must request a return to full-time status if the grounds for part-time enrolment no longer apply.

12. Doctoral candidates are responsible for the scholarship implications of any change in their enrolment status.

13. A doctoral candidate on a student visa is required to be enrolled full-time. Proof of approval by Immigration New Zealand for part-time enrolment will be required before any consideration by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) can take place.

14. Candidates must normally apply for part-time status in advance of the proposed period of part-time study. Retrospective changes from full-time status will only be approved where the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) is satisfied that:

a) exceptional circumstances apply


b) the candidate’s work pattern in the relevant period was consistent with the proposed status for the relevant period

and, in the case of changes to status in the previous calendar year,

c) there is compelling evidence that the student was prevented from applying for the change in status in a timely manner due to circumstances wholly beyond their control (e.g. compelling medical evidence).

15. In order to approve an application, the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate) must be satisfied that the requested status is appropriate to the circumstances (personal and academic) and compatible with the availability of supervision.

16. Candidates are responsible for the fees and/or scholarship implications of any change in their enrolment status, and for notifying interested parties (including but not limited to scholarship providers) of any approved change in enrolment status.


17. The doctoral candidate must apply through Wahapū to change their enrolment status; where access to Wahapū has not yet been granted, the candidate must apply via a Doc 6 form*.
18. The doctoral candidate must provide a summary of the grounds for their application, and evidence as appropriate.
19. The doctoral candidate may be asked to provide further information or evidence in support of the application.
20. The doctoral candidate’s supervisor will indicate whether they support the application and may comment on the application.
21. The application may be subject to consideration and/or comment and/or recommendation by the Academic Head and/or Associate Dean/Director (Postgraduate Research) and/or the School of Graduate Studies.
22. The final decision as to full-time or part-time enrolment
status will be made by the Board of Graduate Studies (or delegate).
* In exceptional circumstances, written authorisation from a candidate or their proxy may be accepted. 


The following definitions apply to this document:

Academic Head refers to the head of the academic unit in which the candidate is enrolled or their nominee.

Doctoral candidates, for the purposes of this policy and procedures, refers to people who are currently enrolled, or currently suspended from enrolment, in a doctoral programme at the University.

FTE is an abbreviation for full time equivalent.

Supervisor refers to the (acting) main supervisor or to a joint supervisor. 

Wahapū is the University’s online doctoral candidature management system.

Key relevant documents

Include the following:

Document management and control

Content manager: School of Graduate Studies
 Dean of Graduate Studies
Approved by: 
Board of Graduate Studies, Senate and Council
Date approved:
 October 2021
Review date: 
October 2024