Print this page

Research Degrees

Search for Higher Degrees by Research

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a higher degree by research course in which a student, under academic supervision, conducts independent and specialised research, disseminating the results of this research in either a written dissertation, portfolio of published works or creative work with an exegesis.

The maximum duration of the PhD course is 4 years full-time equivalent enrolment. Students have a target date for thesis submission of 3 years (36 months).

Course Structure

The course incorporates an initial six-month 12 credit point coursework component. This coursework element is designed to provide a practical, solid grounding for new students as to the requirements of completing a PhD and ensure that they have all the requisite skills to undertake the realisation of their research proposal. Students will take out a Graduate Certificate in Research Methods and Design (AQF Level 8 qualification) upon completion to a pass level of all coursework units in the 1st semester of the PhD.

Following successful completion of this coursework, a student then progresses into the research only phase of the course. Please see the coursework component overview for both a description of the coursework phase of the PhD as well as level of achievement requirements for progression from the coursework into the thesis component of the course.

Admission requirements

There are two entry pathways into the PhD – standard and accelerated entry.

Students entering the course on accelerated entry are granted advanced standing for the coursework component of the PhD and commence directly into the thesis component.

For standard entry, the Faculty or Research Institute will determine an applicant's eligibility for entry based upon evidence provided which would include:

a. evidence of advanced knowledge in an area relevant to the PhD topic:

b. a minimum of four years study at Australian degree level in a relevant area (e.g. four year bachelor degree or bachelor degree plus coursework masters);

c. evidence of the capability to undertake complex thinking and problem solving: and

d. evidence of significant aptitude for research. 

The Faculty or Research Institute will determine an applicant's eligibility for entry with advanced standing for the 12 credit point coursework component (accelerated entry) based upon evidence provided which would include:

e. a degree of bachelor with first or upper second class honours awarded by an Australian university or other recognised higher education institution and evidence of research training and aptitude for research: or

f. an award or the completion of work that has first or upper second class honours equivalence (as set out in the Admission to Higher Degree by Research Courses Policy) and evidence of significant research ability and professional performance.

Plus all students will:

g. meet the University's minimum English proficiency requirements for entry into higher degree by research courses;

h. satisfy any requirements for admission to the relevant specialisation approved by Academic Board (e.g. some specialisations require higher IELTS scores; and

i. satisfy any additional requirements specified for admission of the particular applicant, consistent with University policy.

Read more about the HDR Admissions Policy

How to Apply


Professional Doctorate Degrees

These courses combine research, coursework and in some cases professional work/industry experience. While they are research-based, professional doctorates focus on the improvement of professional practice. Professional doctorates are available in the areas of business administration, public administration, information sciences and legal science.

For entry into the Professional Doctorate course applicants are required to have a masters degree or bachelor degree with first or upper second class honours; or equivalent.  

Read more about the HDR Admissions Policy

What is the difference between a Professional Doctorate and a Doctor of Philosophy? Please refer to some examples below:

Professional Doctorates in the Faculty of Business, Government and Law: Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) Professional Doctorates in the Faculty of Business, Government and Law: Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)

How to Apply


Master by Research

Most faculties offer master-by-research programs. These courses have the same underlying principles of a PhD program, however the length of the thesis submitted for examination will be less than for a PhD. The masters by research can be completed as a stand-alone program or be used as a pathway to a PhD program.

For entry into the Masters Degree Course applicants are required to have a bachelor degree with first or upper second class honours; or a three year bachelor degree with above average performance; or a four year bachelor degree in the appropriate field of study; or a bachelor degree with H2B or H3 in the appropriate field of study.