Graduate Research Students on Exchange to Melbourne

The University has approximately 190 exchange partners in 40 countries around the world. These allow for students to come and go on exchange at mainly undergraduate level but a large number also include the capacity for graduate exchange for both coursework and research.

This page is about students coming to do research at the University of Melbourne from an exchange partner institution participating in an exchange program through their home institution; if this applies to your student please read on. If it does not apply to your student, go to the web page for Graduate Research Study Abroad Students instead.


What's on this page



Students wanting to apply to do research here in a non-award capacity can come as an exchange student but the following requirements apply and are non-negotiable:

  • the minimum period is three months up to a maximum of twelve months;
  • the student must have the written support in the form of a letter, signed and on University of Melbourne letterhead, OR an email from the official email account of an academic staff member of the University of Melbourne confirming that he/she has agreed to act as a temporary supervisor of the research while the student is here; and
  • the student's home institution will support their application to come as an exchange student.

If these requirements can be met the student can apply to come here as an exchange research student.

Visits Less Than Three Months

Students wanting to visit the University for less than three months to undertake research as part of their course may be able to apply for a visitor visa. Please advise the student to contact the nearest Australian high commission or embassy to confirm that the visitor visa is appropriate for their visit.



Students should contact individual academics and make arrangements that suit the Melbourne research group and the student’s planned time away from their home institution.  Arrangements within individual faculties/schools vary but the pre-application process is the responsibility of the student and supervisor here at Melbourne.

Once the supervisor has provided written confirmation to the student that he or she is willing to act as temporary supervisor for the agreed period of research at Melbourne, the student will need to complete an online application.



Students applying should be sent this link to this page: Research Students on Exchange

All graduate students wanting to come here for a period of research through the exchange program apply on-line for the course, exchange postgraduate, EX-PG.  The application asks for:

  • The name of your home institution and an institutional approval form
  • The duration of your stay
  • A transcript
  • A study plan
  • A copy of the details page of your passport
  • How you meet the English language requirements (see below)
  • A statement of purpose (research summary in your case)
  • Any discipline-specific requested additional information (upload the email/letter from the academic who has agreed to be her/his temporary supervisor here)

A nomination form is sent to Melbourne Global Mobility (MGM) by the student's home institution confirming that he/she has submitted an application and that they support application.  Once we have confirmed that the student will be coming for research, we will change the course from EX-PG to exchange research (EX-RES).

English Language Requirements

All students entering the University must meet the University's English language requirements. Most do so by having studied at an institution that teaches and assesses entirely in English or, if not the institution, then they are or have completed a course taught and assessed entirely in English. Those who cannot meet the requirement that way, must complete an approved test of the English language and achieve at least the specified scores. Note that study abroad and exchange students need only meet the minimum general scores.

English Waiver
Alternatively, where the supervisor is satisfied, and has evidence, that the student has sufficient English skills to meet the needs of her/his research project particularly in relation to any resulting safety needs in laboratories, for example, then an application can be made to the Dean of the faculty, or delegate, to waive the English requirement.

Subject Enrolment

All exchange students must be enrolled in at least 37.5 points for a semester.  If research students have permission to enrol additionally in taught subjects while here, this can make up the total but otherwise their thesis subject must be a minimum of 37.5 points.

The faculty's research office must send the name and code of the thesis subject into which they plan to enrol the student for the period of the exchange to MGM as soon as possible after the approval to accept the student has been given.  As thesis/research subjects were created in ISIS without allowing for the study mode “Mobility In”, these subjects may need to be adjusted before the first time an exchange student can be enrolled.  MGM will arrange for this to happen. 



If you are unsure of any part of this process you can contact Stuart Hibberd at MGM.

T: +61 3 8344 0342
E: stuarth [at]


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