Research Higher Degree Programs

UNSW Sydney offers three research higher degree programs: Doctor of Philosophy, Masters by Research, and Master of Philosophy.

Each of these degrees requires candidates to undertake original and critical enquiries that make a significant contribution to existing knowledge of relevance both nationally and internationally. They carry out their research under the supervision of some of Australia’s leading researchers.

Read about our research higher degree programs below

Doctor of Philosophy

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 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 provides evidence for independent thought, critical analysis, and expert knowledge of the discipline in an international context. In some disciplines, creative work may form part of the thesis.

 

Availability

Offered in all Faculties

Duration

3-4 years (full time)

Minimum commitment of 35-40 hours per week

8 years (part time)

Minimum commitment of 15 hours per week

Assessment

A thesis of no more than 100,000 words

Entry requirements

The minimum requirement for admission to a PhD is:

  • an appropriate UNSW Bachelor degree with upper second class Honours; or

  • a completed Masters by Research from UNSW with a substantial research component and demonstrated capacity for timely completion of a high quality research thesis; or

  • an equivalent qualification from a tertiary institution as determined by the Faculty Higher Degree Committee (HDC)

The minimum requirement for UNSW Scholarship with admission to a PhD is:

  • a three year Bachelor's degree with Honours Class I from an Australian institution or equivalent research qualification experience. This qualification must be in a field relevant to the proposed area of research.

 

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Masters by Research

A Masters by Research (MRes) requires completion of an original piece of research that, given the timeframe, is more limited in scope and nature than that required for a PhD.

Candidates are expected to demonstrate independent thought, mastery of appropriate methodology, enhanced disciplinary knowledge, and analytical skills through the production of their thesis. In some disciplines, creative work may form part of the thesis.

 

Availability

Offered in all Faculties except the Australian School of Business

Duration

1.5 - 2 years (full time)
Minimum commitment of 35 to 40 hours per week.

4 years (part time)
Minimum commitment of 15-20 hours per week

Assessment

A thesis of no more than 75,000 words

Entry Requirement

The minimum requirement for admission to a Masters by Research is:

  • an appropriate four year degree of UNSW Bachelor degree with lower second honours or higher; or 

  • an equivalent qualification from a tertiary institution, as determined by the Faculty Higher Degree Committee (HDC).  

The minimum requirement for UNSW Scholarship with admission to a PhD is:

  • a three year Bachelor's degree with Honours Class I from an Australian institution or equivalent research qualification experience. This qualification must be in a field relevant to the proposed area of research.

 

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Master of Philosophy

A Master of Philosophy (MPhil) combines a thesis comprising an original piece of research that is at least 66% of the degree, and compulsory coursework including research training that is relevant to the field of study.

Candidates are expected to produce a thesis that demonstrates independent thought, enhanced disciplinary knowledge, analytical skills, and mastery of appropriate methodology. In some disciplines, creative work may form part of the thesis.

 

Availability

Currently offered by Business, Art and Design, Science, UNSW Canberra, Built Environment, and some Schools in Arts and Social Sciences and Medicine.

Duration

1.5 - 2 years (full time)
Minimum commitment of 35 to 40 hours per week.

4 years (part time)
Minimum commitment of 15-20 hours per week

Assessment

A thesis of no more than 40,000 words

Entry Requirement

The minimum requirement for admission to a Master of Philosophy is:

  • an appropriate UNSW Bachelor degree in a relevant discipline at a level specific by the Faculty Higher Degree Committee (HDC); or 

  • an equivalent qualification from a tertiary institution as determined by the Faculty HDC

The minimum requirement for UNSW Scholarship with admission to a PhD is:

  • a three year Bachelor's degree with Honours Class I from an Australian institution or equivalent research qualification experience. This qualification must be in a field relevant to the proposed area of research.

 

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Determine Your Eligibility

Once you have decided to apply for a Higher Degree Research program, it is critical that you determine whether you are eligible for admission before submitting an application.

To determine your eligibility, you must use the UNSW HDR Self-Assessment Tool.

The Self-Assessment Tool provides you with an indication of your eligibility for admission to the UNSW research higher degree programs, as well as your competitiveness for a scholarship.

If your results indicate that you are eligible for admission and/or competitive for a scholarship, you will need to submit an application to be formally assessed by the University.

 

Using the Self-Assessment Tool

 

To use the Self-Assessment Tool, you need to input details of your academic qualifications, the academic scores listed on your official transcripts, and your research experience. 

Once you have completed the process, you will receive one of the following indicative recommendations:

  • Based on your submitted marks you may be eligible for admission and likely to be competitive for a scholarship

  • Based on your submitted marks you may be eligible for admission but unlikely to be competitive for a scholarship

  • Based on your submitted marks you may not be eligible for admission and will not be competitive for a scholarship

To access the tool, please visit UNSW HDR Self-Assessment Tool. You may also be interested in the UNSW HDR Self-Assessment Tool User Guide

If you have any questions, please email selfassessment.grs@unsw.edu.au.
 

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