Deadlines and extensions

What if I am running behind?

Talk to your supervisors early. If you have good reason (personal tragedy, extended illness, or issues with the research outside of your control) you may be able to apply for an extension. If you are just behind because you have not met your targets, you also need to advise of this early so your supervisors can assist you to recover.

There are various avenues available when, due to exceptional circumstances, you need to extend the deadline for completion of your postgraduate work. Please consult with your course coordinator or your research supervisor to discuss the appropriate procedure for your circumstances. For your courses, the regular course extension rules apply.


There are times when you may be unable to meet the normal deadlines to complete your programme of study.  Personal circumstances (illness, injury or bereavement) or research issues (delay in obtaining ethics approval, delay in recruiting participants) can be grounds for allowing an extension.

An extension of the time you need to complete your qualification may be appropriate when study is prevented for a period of time due to unforeseen circumstances, such as illness or injury, bereavement, family responsibilities, work commitments, and so forth. This extension adjusts the time-frame for completion of your programme of study, so that you are not penalised for circumstances that are outside of your control. Applications prior to the extension period are preferred, but retrospective applications will also be considered.

Extension periods have been standardised to one month, one semester or one year. Documentation is required in support of all applications over one month.

Extensions can be for:

  • Course – if you need an extension to meet the requirements of a course.  This is usually short term and will not affect the timeframe for the completion of the qualification.
  • Programme – if you are not studying for a semester, you may need to apply for an extension to allow the corresponding time to be added to your qualification completion date.  This is usually used in order to preserve your eligibility for Honours or Distinction.
  • Combined course and programme – usually required if you are undertaking a thesis. Students are required to be enrolled in their thesis up to the time of submission, an extension is therefore granted to the specific thesis course and a corresponding extension granted to the programme. You will usually be required to re-enrol for the additional period of study and to pay the fees appropriate to your re-enrolment.

Applying for an extension

To apply for an extension you need to login to your student homepage and select the Research tab. For extensions longer than one month, you will need to supply supporting evidence (for example, medical certificate, death certificate, confirmation of ethics delay).

Your application will be assessed and you will be advised of the outcome together with revised completion timeframes.

Carry forward of postgraduate registration

If you apply for an extension on the grounds of exceptional circumstances, and your application is approved, you may be granted Carry Forward of Postgraduate Registration.  An administration fee will apply.  This usually applies to a thesis enrolment and means that no further tuition fees are due for the period which registration is carried forward. 

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 5:00pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey