Conferment and graduation regulations

Read our regulations for conferment and graduation.

1. Any person wishing to have a degree conferred or a diploma presented at the annual graduation ceremonies must make application in the year of the ceremony not later than 1 February for Wellington ceremonies, 1 March for the May ceremonies at Manawatū and Auckland, and 1 September for the November ceremony in Manawatū. Applications should be submitted to the University on time; late applications will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

2. Any person who has completed the qualifications for a degree, diploma or certificate, who does not wish to attend a graduation ceremony in person, may at any time apply to have the degree, diploma or certificate conferred 'in Council' at the next appropriate meeting of Academic Board.

3. The University may initiate the award of a qualification on behalf of a student who has been excluded, or has abandoned their study, or in other reasonable circumstances is unlikely to continue their studies, by issuing a notification to the student of the intent to award a qualification. The notification will be considered delivered if it is sent to the last known email address or physical contact address/es of the student. Students will then be recommended for an award 'in Council' at the next opportunity.

4. Students may be awarded qualifications which they did not enrol in either where they request to be transferred to be awarded, or where the student is exiting or being exited from their enrolled qualification with a lower qualification. In both instances the student will normally have to meet all the requirements for the qualification for which the award would be made. The available transfer and exit qualifications are limited to those approved for teaching in the year in which the award would be made.

5. The University shall consider the awarding of posthumous undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications to a student who has died prior to their programme of study being completed and/or prior to any final compulsory elements of their qualification being completed.

(a) The potential for an award to be made shall be determined by the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College (or delegate) which hosts the qualification in which the student was enrolled at the time of their death.

(b) The Pro Vice-Chancellor's (or delegate) decision will be guided by the following considerations: 

(i) The underpinning presumption is that the student at the minimum, should be awarded the highest qualification for which they have fully met the qualification's credit requirements regardless of whether they have applied to graduate for the qualification, and regardless of whether they were fully enrolled in the qualification at the time of their death. The student must, however, meet the entry requirements for the qualification being awarded.

(ii) Consideration may be given to a posthumous award being given for a qualification that is incomplete but where at least 75% of the required credits for the qualification have been passed and normally including at least one course passed in the highest level.

(iii) Recognition of prior learning credits completed outside of Massey and already on the student's record will be included in the awarding credits considered as part of this process.

(iv) If the highest qualification possible is an exit qualification (e.g. a diploma) but that award would result in there being residual credits that might result in a second exit qualification (e.g. a certificate), the second qualification should also be awarded subject to clause b) ii.

(v) Courses in which the student was currently enrolled at the time of their death may be reopened if appropriate and necessary and verified marks imputed into the student's record and/or an aegrotat application be made for the deceased student if these actions will enable a higher qualification to be awarded. This will be judged on a case-by-case basis depending on how much of the course/s the student had completed and whether a WD and credit of fees is more appropriate.

6. The University shall consider the awarding of a posthumous doctoral qualification to a student who has died prior to their programme of study being completed and/or prior to any final compulsory elements of the qualification being completed. 

(a) The potential for an award to be made shall be determined based on recommendations for each relevant student by an appointed panel.

(b) The panel shall be established by the Dean Research or nominee. The panel shall consist of a neutral Doctoral Research Committee (DRC) representative (normally this would be the College representative on the DRC), not associated with the student's work (this person shall Chair), the primary supervisor, and another academic from Massey who has significant doctoral examination experience. This panel may also include a suitably qualified academic from another University, if appropriate, to assist the decision making.

(c) In the case of doctoral degrees that have been examined, the panel shall consider if the requirements have been met or substantially met and shall normally make a recommendation to award if a viva/ oral defence has been completed in the following circumstances:

(i) The student passed but the formal final submission had not been made by the student. 

(ii) The student passed but emendations were requested and made, but the formal final submission had not been made by the student.

(iii) The student passed and minor emendations were requested and not yet made, but the examiners' reports were favourable towards the thesis. 

(d) In the case of doctoral degrees that have not yet been examined or were pending re-examination, the panel shall consider if the body of work is sufficiently complete such that an examination or re-examination of the body of work without a viva/ oral defence may be undertaken. Such an approach would normally be taken where:

(i) The student was examined, and revisions were requested and not yet submitted for re-examination.

(ii) The thesis was submitted for examination and was pending a viva/ oral defence

(iii) Where a primary supervisor believes a final or penultimate draft of the thesis was completed but was not yet submitted for examination, and this is available to be sent to examiners. 

(e) Where the panel believes the student's body of work is not sufficiently complete to permit a doctoral examination process, an award of an alternative postgraduate qualification may be recommended.