Masters by Research Candidates Off-Campus Research Procedures


Masters by research candidates at the University who intend to be engaged in off-campus research for a period exceeding two months during their masters degree, and their academic unit


To specify the requirements that must be met by a masters by research candidate in order for a period of off-campus research exceeding two months to be approved


It is expected that candidates and supervisors meet in person at least once a month for the duration of a masters thesis enrolment. Registration for the duration of the thesis without regular in-person access to supervision and/or University resources is an unusual circumstance requiring careful management. It is recognised that some students may also need to conduct research off-campus for a period, for example to undertake field work, use laboratory facilities or access special library collections  



  1. Any period of research activity where a candidate will be without in-person access to University resources and/or supervision for more than two months requires approval by the Board of Graduate Studies 

  2. Authority for such approvals is delegated to the Associate Dean (Postgraduate) of the relevant faculty 

  3. In each case, supporting information must be supplied to the relevant Associate Dean (Postgraduate) 

  4. This must include a statement from the supervisor describing why they feel confident that the candidate can successfully accomplish the  research without regular in-person access to the supervisor and/or University resources; details of items 6-8 below (signed by student and supervisor) must also be provided 


        5.  The main supervisor must be a University of Auckland staff member

        6.  There must be an agreed, regular schedule of email, video-conferencing and where possible in-             person supervisory contact between the candidate and the Auckland supervisor; video-conferencing must take place at             least once a month if not supplemented by in-person supervision 


        7. The candidate must have access to required resources during the period of absence 

        8.  Where possible, the candidate must be located/working in an environment conducive to their area of research, such as

             a research-oriented or tertiary educational institution

    Note: depending on the duration of off-campus research and level of in-person access to the University and supervision,

    it may be appropriate for the candidate to have a co-supervisor or an adviser at the host site


The following definitions apply to this document:

Academic unit may refer to a faculty, school, department or institute

In-person access refers to in-person rather than virtual or electronic access

Main supervisor is the lead supervisor who takes overall responsibility for the supervision of a candidate and for assistance in the provision of research resources

Masters by research candidates refers to students enrolled in a masters degree which includes a thesis component

Off-campus research refers to research activity undertaken by masters by research candidates which results in them being without in-person access to University resources and/or their University supervisor for a period exceeding two months during their masters degree

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part-time basis 

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries 

Key relevant documents

Not applicable 

Document management and control

Owner: Dean of Graduate Studies

Content manager: School of Graduate Studies

Approved by: Board of Graduate Studies

Date approved: April 2016

Review date: April 2019