Enrolment advice for commencing PhD students

Congratulations on gaining a place at UNSW Computer Science and Engineering. We welcome you to your new program and hope you find your time in UNSW Computing challenging and rewarding, and we look forward to helping you achieve your goals.

Please take the time to read through this information as it contains important advice designed to assist you in successfully enrolling for your first semester of study at UNSW.

The UNSW Computing  Student Office is here to advise you on any matters relating to your study and we are the best first point of contact, so please phone, email or drop in for a chat.

by phone - +61 2 9385 5147/6873
in person - Ground Floor, K17 Building 
email the research team

Current students re-enrolling

For current research students, enrolment advice is available here.

Before arriving at UNSW Computing

myUNSW accept

You will need to formally accept your offer online before you can enrol. Full details on how to accept, decline or defer your offer can be found here.

Notification of arrival

Once you have confirmed your arrival date in Sydney (or your commencement date, if you are already in Sydney) please ensure that your supervisor completes the Staff, Visitor, or RSCH Student Arrival Notification Form. This enables the School to prepare for your arrival.

Course selection

The Faculty of Engineering requires PhD students to complete 1 coursework courses in their first year of enrolment, 2 courses for Masters by Research students. This includes the compulsory course, GSOE9400 "Engineering Postgraduate Research Essentials" which is taken in the student's second semester of candidature.

The other course/s are technical postgraduate courses offered by the School. If you wish to enrol in course/s offered by schools other than UNSW Computing, you will need to seek permission to enrol in the course from the Lecturer In Charge (LIC) of that course. You can search for courses by using the UNSW Handbook or the UNSW Timetable.

You should contact your supervisor and discuss the courses you wish to take. You will then need to complete the "Confirmation of Research & Enrolment Form" (CRE). This form must be presented to the UNSW Computing Student Office when you enrol.

Enrolment process

Research students must enrol in person through the UNSW Computing Student Office. You will need to bring your completed CRE form with you when you enrol.

The University expects that students will be available to enrol before the start of the semester. If you are a holder of an APA/UPA/IPRS/UIPA Scholarship, it is a Condition of the Award that you commence before then.

All students must be enrolled before the census date. If you are unable to arrive before the census date, you should contact the UNSW Computing Research Team for further advice.

Once your enrolment form has been completed and signed by the UNSW Computing Student Office submit the form directly to the GRS. The normal turnaround for forms to be processed is 24 to 48 hours. Check my.unsw to confirm your enrolment has been processed

After enrolment

Collecting your UNSW ID card

After your enrolment has been finalised, you can organise your ID Card. Your UNSW ID Card is used as proof of identification, swipe access to the K17 Building, and for borrowing materials from the UNSW Library.

The process to get your student card is as follows:

1.     Log into my.unsw.edu.au

2.     In the student portal, click on the link “Student ID – Self Service” 

3.     Complete the application (student’s will need to attach a photo of themselves

4.     Once the application is submitted,  approval takes approx. 24 hours

Students will receive an email (sent to their Zmail address) to advise them that their card is ready for collection, they will also receive a code, and information on where to collect the ID card. Students MUST take this code to the UNSW Library collection point – located near the main Library entrance.

Activating your UNSW email account

All UNSW students are provided with a UNSW email account. Research students use the same email service as UNSW Staff. It is important that you activate your UNSW email account as soon as you are enrolled. IT at UNSW provide instructions on activating your UNSW email account.

Accessing UNSW Computing systems

As part of your study with UNSW Computing you will be granted access to our computer systems, allowing you to log into UNSW Computing lab computers and login servers using your zID and zPass. You will also have an email rule set up for you, forwarding mail for <youruserid>@cse.unsw.edu.au directly to your UNSW email account. 

Desk allocation

To confirm your desk arrangements, you should consult the UNSW Computing Facilities Office.

Computer equipment

UNSW Computing research students are provided with a computer to use over the course of their studies. The procedure for getting this computer is explained in the "Computers Provided by UNSW Computing" Policy.

Further information on equipment purchasing is available through the UNSW Computing Finance Office.

Induction for postgraduate researchers

This event is organised by the UNSW Graduate Research School and is compulsory for all commencing postgraduate research students.

Further information


Research students must be re-enrolled each semester. Failure to re-enrol without approved program leave will be regarded as lapsed candidature and such candidates may be discontinued from their program. Refer here for more information on re-enrolment procedures for UNSW Computing research students.

Annual progress reviews

It is a requirement of continued enrolment that research candidates take part in a formal review of their progress in each year of their candidature. Refer here for more information on Annual Progress Reviews for UNSW Computing research students.

Mail collection

If the School receives physical mail that has been addressed to you, it will be placed in the UNSW Computing mailroom (the small room at the entrance to the UNSW Computing Student Office). More specifically, your mail will be placed into the alphabetised pigeonholes based on the first letter of your family name. eg. If your family name is "Smith" then any mail addressed to you will be placed in the pigeonhole labelled "S". All UNSW Computing research students have swipe access to the mailroom.