The academic year is divided into research quarters for higher degree by research (HDR) students. 

  • Research quarter 1: 1 January - 31 March​
  • Research quarter 2: 1 April - 30 June
  • Research quarter 3: 1 July - 30 September
  • Research quarter 4: 1 October - 31 December

Research quarter commencement dates

Research quarter Start date of quarter Last commencement date for international students Due date for payment of charges Last commencement date for domestic students Census date / final date to cancel without financial penalty End date of quarter
RQ1 * 1 Jan 14 Jan 15 Jan 31 Jan 1 Feb 31 Mar
RQ2 1 Apr 14 Apr 15 Apr 30 Apr 1 May 30 Jun
RQ3 * 1 Jul 14 Jul 15 Jul 31 Jul 1 Aug 30 Sep
RQ4 1 Oct 14 Oct 15 Oct 31 Oct 1 Nov 31 Dec

Scholarship rounds

Commencement in a research quarter is fixed to a specific period and must be finalised by Census Date.

International students are required to have a specified agreed start date for their higher degree by research program, and this must be within the first 14 days of a research quarter. This is due to UQ’s obligations under Australian law.

The agreed start date will be specified in your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE), which is used for Student visa applications and is recorded with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. 

An international student who is unable to commence within the first two weeks of a research quarter, for example due to a delay in the visa application process, can contact the Graduate School to negotiate a new agreed start date prior to Census Date or a delayed commencement and a deferral of offer(s).

Census Date is the date by which all of your enrolment requirements must be finalised for a period of study (e.g. a semester or research quarter).

Note that Census Date is different from the date that your fees are due. All fees must be paid by the due date for payment of charges (see above table), including the SSAF. Payments made after this date will incur a late fee.

If a thesis is submitted after Census Date, you will remain fee liable for that research quarter.

Please note that a thesis cannot be processed as submitted until the thesis, the abstract, and the thesis submission form have all been uploaded to the UQ eSpace, and the thesis meets UQ requirements (this is what’s referred to as a fully-compliant submission).

The Graduate School recommends that students submit their thesis 14 days prior to the Census Date to ensure any submission problems can be rectified and to avoid incurring fees.