Postgraduate Students

General introduction for Postgraduate Students - Prepared by students for students and included a step-by-step guide to enrolment and beyond

Specific Information For

We are a research-focused School covering all areas of Biology and are one of the leading biological research schools in Australasia.

Our postgraduate degrees help prepare you for a career in biology across a wide range of areas. You will find our courses exciting, challenging, and at the cutting edge. We have a large cohort of new staff, including three Rutherford Discovery Fellows, who bring new ideas and enthusiasm to the school.

Our staff are actively engaged in research, ensuring your projects are relevant and employ the latest methods. We have emerging and established strengths across a wide range of areas including Genetics, Evolution, Ecology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Bioinformatics, Plant Science and Cell Biology.

The School of Biological Sciences has the best field station facilities in the country, a brand new state-of-the-art research building that opened in late 2010, and our postgraduate courses are taught by leading national and visiting international researchers. Several of our staff have received Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards.



General Important Dates

  • March 1- Autumn progress reports due
  • October 1- Spring progress reports due
  • October- Annual Biology Conference. All MSc students must present once, and all PhD students must present twice.  
  • Yearly- MAF trainings (required for users of PC2 laboratories and corridors)
  • Once during your degree: School Seminar. MSc and PhD students are strongly encouraged to give a 20 or 40 min school seminar once during their degree, usually near the end. Please contact the seminar coordinator for available slots (Anthony Poole for 2013). 


Postgraduate Advisors

Dr Marie Hale - 4th Year Course Advisor
Room Biology 537, Phone 364 2739


Dr Tammy Steeves - Chair Postgraduate Studies Committee
Room Biology 533, Phone 364 2987 ext 7074

Research StudentPostgraduate Studies Committee 2016

Tammy Steeves (Chair), Jim Briskie (Deputy Chair), Paul Gardner, Paula Jameson and Hazel Chapman. The group will cover the diversity of disciplines in the School and will oversee processing of research proposals for MSc and PhD students; progress reporting; Annual Biology Conference (ABC) and Masters seminar events.

Biological Sciences Student Postgraduate Committee 2016

Please feel free to contact them to raise any postgraduate student issues, concerns or suggestions. You are more than welcome to drop by their rooms, or get in touch by email.

Mentor Programme
The mentor programme will pair you up with a current biology post-graduate student who can be your guide to the department, post-grad life and just a friendly face. If you are interested, please contact the secretary of the SPGC (below) who will link you with a mentor.


  • Melissa Broussard (Committee Chair), PG committee rep, Research committee rep..
  • Nixie Boddy, Staff committee rep.
  • Phoebe Argyle, Teaching and Learning committee rep.
  • TBA, Health and Safety/ PPP committee rep.
  • Brandon Goeller, PG committee rep.
  • Arvind Varsani, Staff rep.

SPGC committee secretary email

Additional Sources of Information

List of Current Postgrad Students

School Activities

Lunchtime Seminars

The school runs a weekly seminar series in seminar room 275 (Research Building next to the tea room) on Thursdays at noon. Seminars are an important part of your university education.



You can use school photocopiers. Black & white copies are 5c per page and colour is 20c per A4 page.

Computer Facilities

There is a postgraduate computing suite within the School which you may use these at any time. If you are using it after hours, carry your student ID card in case security approach you.
The Studio: Biology 434 (4 computers, graphics software, printing facilities)

This room can be opened with your corridor key.
Note that security requires the door of this suite to be kept locked whenever the room is unattended.

For problems with computing facilities, contact John Davis (ext 93114).
After hours, contact the IT helpdesk website (extn 6060).

See also: IT and Graphics Support in Biology


All students will receive $20 worth of copying, which is automatically loaded onto Canterbury Card at the beginning of the year. You can add funds to your account by making cash payments at the Copy Centre on Level 2 of the Central Library. Nicki Judson at the Biology office can help if you are having trouble with your credit.


Any incoming student mail is placed in the pigeon holes in the Resource room.
External and internal (university) mail can be placed in the post box on the ground floor between the Biology and Von Haast buildings.
Official University mail (external and internal) does not require a stamp. You may post private mail in the external mail box providing it has the correct value postage stamps attached.

University Stationery

Approval is required for posting of letters or parcels on official university business. Contact Lyn de Groot the School Administrator for University letterhead and envelopes. The registry mail room requires your supervisor to give permission, and his/her name must be written on the envelope.

Please note that the school does not provide any general stationery items (pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, etc.

Tea/Lunch Room

All postgrad biology students are welcome to stop by for tea and coffee at the 2nd floor kitchen in the Research Building (Putaiao Koiora). There are microwaves for heating your food, and we operate an honesty box for biscuits – please pay if you take. If there is a seminar or class on, please keep noise to a minimum as the seminar room (Room 275) is not sound-proof.

Scholarships & Undergraduate Demonstrating

Study Tools

Entry Standards and Honours

  • Qualifying Standards - Academic standards required to enter or continue within the different postgraduate qualifications.
  • Class of Honours - How letter grades and GPA translate into Honours classes

General Postgrad Information and Resources

National and International Job Websites