Professional Doctorate Programs

At UNSW Sydney, we are committed to transforming world-class research into innovations that improve lives and tackle some of the greatest challenges facing society today. We collaborate with industry, government and community partners to achieve positive outcomes from our research to improve lives in local and global communities.

Through our track record of strong industry partnerships, we have developed a range of PhD programs that provide candidates with the opportunity translate their research for a particular professional context. By combining doctoral research with workplace based projects candidates generate and analyse evidence to address real-world problems, and produce a thesis that reflects original research undertaken through professional practice.

Our industry PhD and professional doctorate programs are outlined below. 





Professional Doctorate in Public Policy and Governance

Arts and Social Sciences

Designed for policy makers seeking leadership roles in public policy development, this program combines doctoral research with postgraduate coursework study in advanced policy work.

Social Work Professional Doctoral

Arts and Social Sciences

This Program provides the opportunity to combine postgraduate coursework study directly related to an area of advanced social work practice with doctoral research that builds social work knowledge, leading to the presentation of a doctoral thesis.


Doctor of Philosophy (Practise-based PhD)

Built Environment

This PhD is aimed at practitioners operating within or across the broad range of disciplines represented in the Faculty, from architecture and design to planning and construction. The program provides an opportunity to apply the knowledge, skills and methodologies developed in the field within a broader framework of critical and rigorous scholarly enquiry. 

Applied PhD in Banking and Finance


A separate Applied Research Stream within the standard PhD program that offers candidates the opportunity to complete a research project in partnership with industry sponsors and in collaboration with the Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre.

Doctor of Juridical Science


The Doctor of Juridical Science provides an opportunity to combine a doctoral thesis with the coursework component of a Master of Laws degree, and allows significant research into an area of interest often developed within the coursework program. The degree prepares candidates for an academic career and for high-level research and policy related work.

Doctor of Public Health


A work-place based, three year professional doctorate for candidates identified by the workplace as future leaders.

Professional Doctorate of Clinical Research in Optometry


An applied research professional degree that is designed specifically for clinicians in optometry or cognate areas.

Doctor of Cyber Security

UNSW Canberra

High level professional practice in the field of cyber security involves the continuous improvement of the associated body of knowledge in order to manage the ever-increasing complexity of information security and assurance. In this program, mastery of the professional body of knowledge is achieved in the coursework component, while the thesis component of the program develops the research skills necessary for an experienced practitioner to be able to make a significant contribution to the continuous improvement of professional practice in the field of cyber security.

Doctor of Public Leadership

UNSW Canberra

The Doctorate in Public Leadership (DPL) degree provides an opportunity to combine a doctoral thesis with the coursework component of the Master of Public Leadership and Policy (8633) or an equivalent programs, such as the Master of Business (8388) and the Master of Public Policy and Governance (8259). The degree consists of one-third coursework (equivalent to one-year full-time study) and two-thirds research (equivalent to two-years full-time study) which may be in an area encountered by the student while undertaking coursework.

Doctor of Systems Engineering

UNSW Canberra

Combining a doctoral thesis with the coursework component of a Master of Systems Engineering, this program prepares candidates for the highest level of professional practice, in which they can contribute significantly to the development of the discipline of Systems Engineering.