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Applications & Admissions

What research degrees are available at University of Canberra?

University of Canberra offers Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Professional Doctorate and Masters by Research degrees in a range of disciplines and areas of research focus, supported by our research institutes and faculties.

Explore our Research Institutes:

See what research our Faculties are engaged in:

With whom can I discuss course options for Higher Degrees by Research?

If you require course advice or information, you should contact the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Convenor in the Faculty or Research Institute that aligns with your research, as they have the requisite vocational knowledge to assist you with your queries.

Contact a Faculty or Research Institute Representative.

How do I find a supervisor for my research project?

The Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Convenor of the relevant Faculty or Research Institute will be able to assist you to identify an appropriate supervisory team for your research project.

Contact a Faculty or Research Institute Representative

What qualification do I need before applying for a Higher Degree by Research?

The most common qualifications for entry into a research degree are an Australian Bachelor’s degree with Honours, or a research Master’s degree. Other acceptable qualifications include a postgraduate qualification of at least one year of full-time equivalent study with a significant research component, or relevant research experience.

Read more about research degrees and entry requirements.

Can I apply for a research degree if I haven’t yet finished my current degree?

Yes you can. However, it is advised to apply only if you are in the last year of study. You will not be eligible for scholarship consideration if you apply any time before this.

You may only commence a Higher Degree by Research once you have successfully completed your current degree.

What is the English language requirement I need to apply for a Higher Degree by Research?For English language proficiency requirements of Higher Degrees by Research please refer to the English language requirements and English language pathway options.
What should I include in my research proposal?

Your research proposal at point of application should be no more than two pages in length and should set out the research question or hypothesis that you will examine the research methodologies or approaches that you will apply to the question and the anticipated resources required for the research project to be viable.

What supporting information should I include with my application?

Your academic CV helps the Faculty or Research Institute you are applying to in determining your readiness to commence a PhD by Research. You must include an academic CV with your application for admission.

An academic CV should include information under the following:

  • Personal details - Include your full name and contact details. Educational qualifications and professional affiliations
  • Include the full title of the qualification, the institution attended, and the year awarded.
  • Employment history - In chronological order, starting with your current position and specifying dates of employment; include the title of each position, name of employer, main duties or accountabilities, and achievements that are relevant to your proposed field of research.
  • Research publications - Include articles published or accepted for publication (with the three most significant marked with an asterisk). Please specify the publication details, your contribution as an author to multi-authored publications, plus the standing of the journal or conference.

Academic referees

  • Include the name and contact details; address, telephone, fax and email details of two academic referees. If possible, please include a senior person closely associated with your current or most recent study or research.

Research outputs

  • If you are at an early stage of your career as a researcher and do not yet have any research publications and/or research grants, please include the heading and write "none to date"
Do I need to include a copy of my birth certificate with my Higher Degree by Research application?

Yes, we must see proof of citizenship for all applications.

For domestic applications this is used to determine eligibility for Research Training Program funding to cover domestic tuition fees.

Who is authorised to certify/validate my documents for application?
  • An officer of the official records department of the institution that originally issued the documents;
  • An official of an Australian overseas diplomatic mission or Australian education centre
  • Justice of the Peace with registration number
  • Solicitor, a practising accountant or a bank manager
  • A police officer in charge of a police station of the rank of sergeant or above
  • A postal manager
  • A principal of an Australian secondary college, high school or primary school; or
  • An International officer through which an applicant is applying.

I have received an offer for a Higher Degree by Research, how do I accept?

Domestic applicants will need to complete and sign Acceptance Advice Form, and submit this to the HDR Support team.

International applicants will need to pay the amount owing as stated on their offer letter and sign and return their Acceptance Advice Form and Payment Form to HDR Support. Once we have confirmed your payment we will then issue you a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) letter that you will need to apply for your student visa.

I have accepted, now what do I do?

Domestic students must complete the Unit Registration Form that was sent with your offer letter and return it to the HDR Support team. We will process it and then email you and your supervisors to advise them. We will then advise you to obtain you student id card and computer password from the Student Centre.

International students - once you receive your visa you need to contact Graduate Research to advise of your arrival date in Canberra. If you cannot arrive in Australia on the date specified on your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) letter, please inform our office. Once you have arrived in Australia, you are then asked to attend our office so we can assist you with your enrolment requirements. Failure to advise our office (either via email or in person) of your arrival or a late arrival will lead to a cancellation of your student visa.

Can I defer an offer for a Higher Degree by Research?

All HDR students are able to defer an offer to a Higher Degree by Research. The maximum deferral date is six months from the start date on the initial offer letter issued.

To defer your offer from the start date up until six months, you will need to contact Graduate Research and state your deferral date. You will then receive a new ‘Deferred Offer Letter’.

If you wish to defer for longer than six months you will need to reapply and list the new start date on the application form.

I have applied for a Higher Degree by Research and I want to change my course preference, what should I do?

You will need to contact Graduate Research with the details of your course change (original course and new course). You will need to submit a new Research Degree Admission Application form and research proposal to reflect the new area of research that you wish to undertake.

To access the application form see Apply for Admission

Can I transfer my Higher Degree by Research from another university to UC?Yes, you will need to submit a full application and supply information relating to your current candidature. This is especially important for domestic candidates as we need to calculate your remaining Research Training Program (RTP) entitlement to cover domestic tuition fees.
How can I extend my CoE and student visa?If you are an international student who needs to extend your student visa (or wishes to apply for a student visa and currently holds an alternate Australian visa - e.g. diplomatic or temporary etc.) to complete your study in Australia, you will need to apply for a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) extension.

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