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Business, Government and Law Research Courses

The Faculty of Business, Government & Law makes a major contribution to research at University of Canberra; we have over 100 higher degrees by Research candidates working in the Faculty across 4 Schools.

  • Government & Policy
  • Information Systems & Accounting
  • Law & Justice
  • Management 

Each of these disciplines has academics who can supervise you.

The Faculty offers two kinds of doctoral programs, one is a traditional PhD doctoral program:

The second kind of Doctoral Program is the Professional Doctorate. This suits candidates with a strong professional background interested in combining some coursework studies of their field and of research methods with a thesis that is 25-30% smaller than the PhD. The Faculty of Business, Government & Law offers 4 Professional Doctorates:

The Faculty of Business, Government & Law also offers 4 research masters degrees:

What is the difference between a PhD and a Professional Doctorate (eg DBA, DPA, SJD)?


A PhD takes 3 years and has traditionally been the highest research degree and the only degree that entitles you to call yourself Dr. To do a PhD you need to have shown you can do primary research. In the field you wish to study you usually need to have:

  • a 1st class or 2A honours degree with a thesis component of 10,000 to 20,000 words; or
  • a Masters (research) degree; or
  • a Masters (coursework) degree with a distinction average and a significant component of research training units and a research project with dissertation. Usually one third of the units should be for the research project and research training units.

Research experience with publications in international refereed journals can mean you will be granted equivalence to one of the above and so can apply for a PhD.

The Professional Doctorate

The Professional Doctorate takes 3 years and is now offered by some Australian Universities as equivalent to the PhD. Graduates can call themselves Dr and this degree is highly regarded; it perhaps ranks a little below the PhD in pure research Universities, but it often ranks more highly in workplaces. This is because the research done in a Professional Doctorate is usually more applied research with an emphasis on practical outcomes. It was designed for professionals without a research background but with considerable work experience wanting to undertake a research degree at doctoral level. The Professional Doctorate in Australia is modelled on the US PhD program and combines coursework and substantial research. Usually the route into a Professional Doctorate is a Masters by coursework in the field of study. In the Professional Doctorate you will spend the 1st year in a taught program learning research methods and in-depth coursework in your field of study. The dissertation will be done over 2 years and is about two thirds of the length of the PhD.

Continue to how to apply (BGL Research Degree)