Information for postgraduate students

phd student with robot arm

Why choose postgraduate study?

Graduate study emphasises the exploration of new ideas as well as putting what you have learned into context. It typically requires a much higher degree of initiative and self-reliance than an undergraduate degree.

BSc(Hons) and MSc degrees are often pursued to give graduates better professional qualifications while study at PhD level is essential preparation for careers in research and development. However, postgraduate degrees at all levels are increasingly demanded by the software industry.

Postgraduate qualifications available

If you are unsure what qualification is right for you, consult our postgraduate degree planner.

Travel support

The Computer Science and Software Engineering department encourages students to publish their research in the best possible venues, including high standing conferences. When students are considering making a conference submission, they should discuss the quality of the venue with their supervisor. The quality of the venue is an important consideration in whether funding will be provided – the more expensive the total conference costs, the more important the quality evidence. The department will do what it can to financially support the student’s attendance to present accepted papers. But our budget is heavily constrained, so not all applications will be successful, and not all applications will receive the level of funding requested. Please be aware of the following guiding principles.

  • The paper must appear in the conference proceedings.
  • The department’s financial support is intended to be a grant-in-aid of participation. Students should expect to make some contribution to their expenses, particularly if they chose to eat at restaurants or stay in a nice hotel.
  • The department’s financial support is a privilege, not a right.
  • You are expected to take all reasonable steps to reduce expenses. For example, try to find people with whom you can share a room, look for budget hotels or hostels, or become a student volunteer as this sometimes reduces registration fees to zero. Sometimes cheap options are simply unavailable, but your application is likely to be declined outright if we readily find cheaper options than you are applying for.
  • We are most enthusiastic to support high-quality papers in high-quality conferences, regardless of where they are held. High-quality papers are strongly reviewed full papers (not abstracts), well supported by the reviewers, and published in the proceedings. We will be unenthusiastic to support expensive conferences if they are not clearly of high quality. An application for a cheap regional conference at the same quality level would be more likely to succeed.
  • Normally, we would assume that your supervisor or another Canterbury academic is a co-author. If this is not the case, please attach a document stating why.
  • Students are not eligible for more than $6000 from departmental conference leave funds within any two-year period.
  • Finally, students who receive funding must write a short report on their experiences (a few paragraphs) and email it to and the chair of the postgraduate committee within two weeks of returning from the conference.

Department seminars

All postgraduate students are expected to attend departmental seminars and generally participate in the social life of the department, exchanging and discussing ideas with other students and staff. If you are unable to attend a scheduled seminar it is appropriate to email an apology to your supervisor and to the seminar organiser (Dr Dong Seong Kim). In borderline cases a student's seminar attendance and general contribution to the department may influence their final assessment.

For all enquiries please contact our postgraduate coordinator.