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Types of research degrees

We offer 3 types of research degrees.  Read through the list to see which best suits your skills, interest and timeframe. 

Once you decide which degree is for you, follow our simple application process.

A PhD is the ultimate in pure research.  Make a significant contribution to knowledge in your field.  Work closely under the academic supervision of world-class experts to conduct independent and specialised research.

How long will it take?

The PhD course is a maximum 4 years full-time equivalent enrolment.  Students have a target date for thesis submission of 3 years.

Course structure

At the University of Canberra, we make sure you have the necessary skills to undertake a PhD.  First you complete a 6 month coursework introduction to help you translate your research proposal into action.

By the time you have finished your first semester, you will have already qualified with a Graduate Certificate in Research Methods and Design.

The rest of the PhD is research only. See our coursework component overview for more.

Entry requirements

For standard entry, you will need to show:

  • evidence of advanced knowledge in an area relevant to the PhD topic
  • a minimum of four years study at Australian degree level in a relevant area
  • capability to undertake complex thinking and problem solving
  • evidence of significant aptitude for research.

You may be eligible for accelerated entry straight to the thesis component if you have one of the following:

  • A bachelor degree with 1st or upper 2nd class honours awarded by an Australian university or other recognised higher education institution, and evidence of research training and aptitude for research.
  • An award or have completed work that has 1st or upper 2nd class honour equivalence in accordance the HDR Admissions Policy, and evidence of significant research ability and professional performance.

For more detail, see our Admissions Policy.

A Professional Doctorate combines your life skills and experience with the most cutting edge theory to enhance your career prospects and make a lasting impact on your field.  

More focused on practice than a straight PhD, Professional Doctorates:

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

Entry requirements

Applicants need to have either a masters degree or a bachelor degree with 1st or upper 2nd class honours or equivalent.

For more detail, see our Admissions Policy.

Less demanding than a full PhD or Professional Doctorate, a Master by Research is still a smart option to enrich your understanding of a field and enhance your career opportunities.  

Master by Research degrees are:

  • offered by most faculties
  • have the same principles of a PhD program, but the length of the thesis submitted will be less than for a PhD
  • can be completed as a stand-alone program or be used as a pathway to a PhD program.

Entry requirements

Applicants are required to have one of the following:

  • a bachelor degree with 1st or upper 2nd class honours
  • a 3 year bachelor degree with above average performance
  • a 4 year bachelor degree in the appropriate field of study
  • a bachelor degree with H2B or H3 in the appropriate field of study.

For more detail, see our Admissions Policy.