Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Research School

Offered in all Faculties

The minimum length of candidature is 3 years and the maximum length is 4 years.

  • Full-time enrolment in a PhD program is on the basis of 35-40 hours per week, 48 weeks per year (candidates can take up to 4 weeks holiday)
  • Part-time enrolment in a PhD program is on the basis of 15-20 hours per week, 48 weeks per year (candidates can take up to 4 weeks holiday)

The minimum requirement for admission to a PhD degree is:

  • a four-year Bachelor's degree with first or upper second class honours from an Australian University, or
  • a completed Masters by Research degree, or
  • equivalent academic qualification(s) approved by the appropriate Faculty Higher Degree Committee.

In exceptional circumstances, the Faculty may consider for admission applicants who do not have qualifications equivalent to a four-year honours degree, if sufficient evidence is provided of research experience that clearly demonstrates exceptional research skills and the ability to undertake the proposed research program.

In addition to these academic requirements, the Head of School must certify to the Faculty that there is an appropriate supervisor available for the proposed research program and that the necessary facilities and resources required to successfully complete the research are available.

A PhD degree requires completion of a piece of research that demonstrates a significant and original contribution to knowledge in the field of study. Candidates acquire advanced specialist research training and produce a thesis that summarises the research and provides evidence for independent thought and critical analysis, effective communication and expert knowledge of the discipline in the international context.

For a PhD considerably more original work is required than for a Masters by Research. In some Faculties advanced coursework is also prescribed. The nature and level of supervision evolves over the duration of the candidature. The work is closely supervised in the early stages. In the later stages, however, the candidate increases scope to exercise initiatives and is expected to make a significant and original contribution to the research. In the latter part of the program the candidate has acquired sufficient skills to allow independent work and this is reflected in guidance rather than direction by the supervisor.


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