Doctor of Philosophy

Course information for - 2024 entry

Offered at 6 locations


Three years full-time, with the possibility of a six to 12 month extension, or

Six years part-time, with the possibility of a 12 to 24 month extension.

Start dates

February 2024, July 2024


The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is awarded for high-level research and, as such, it is expected that candidates will make a contribution to knowledge in their chosen field. A PhD may be undertaken by three different means:

  1. Traditional PhD: A PhD candidate’s work is assessed on the basis of a c. 100,000 word thesis.
  2. PhD by Publication: A PhD candidate’s work is assessed on the basis of the submission of a thesis (c. 50,000 words) containing a number of papers written up as journal articles.
  3. PhD by Creative Project: A PhD candidate’s work is assessed on the basis of a thesis and a project, including but not limited to: a durable record of performance, exhibition of visual arts, writing, design, film, multimedia, CD, DVD, software program or other creative works.

Further detailed information regarding requirements for the submission of a PhD may be located in the Guidelines on the Preparation and Presentation of a Research or Professional Doctoral Thesis for Examination.

PhD (in Contemporary Humanism)

ACU, in partnership with Lumsa Università, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC), Institut Catholique de Paris (ICP), Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP) and Lyon Catholic University (UCLy), seeks to appoint one outstanding candidate to the PhD (in Contemporary Humanism). The program aims to develop knowledge and critical skills in reading and interpreting the historical, cultural, literary, philosophical and educational tradition in its making, and in its effects on the present, from the point of view of the category of “humanism”.

Learn more

Course details

Course structure

Graduate statement


As an ACU graduate you have personal insight founded on an understanding of who you are as a professional, a citizen and a scholar. You embrace change and growth through critical self-awareness and learning autonomy. You are empowered to seek truth and meaning, drawing on the principles of justice, equity, and the dignity of all human beings.


As an ACU graduate you value human dignity and diversity. This appreciation is founded on deep reflection, and empathy. You have experience of Indigenous Knowings and perspectives and can engage respectfully when working alongside Australia's First Peoples. You can connect with people and cultures and work with community in ways that recognise the dignity of the human person and all cultures


As an ACU graduate you utilise imagination and innovation to solve problems. You critically analyse information from a range of sources to creatively solve practical problems and use critical thinking to make decisions and advance the common good. You appreciate the role of innovation and creative thinking in developing a better future for each person and community.


As an ACU graduate you recognise your responsibility to work for social justice and a sustainable world founded on a commitment to human dignity and the common good. You lead change through respectful collaboration and effective communication of ideas to diverse peoples, groups and communities in local and global contexts. You are empowered to positively impact your profession and the community.

AQF framework

Doctorate by research - AQF Level 10

Entry requirements

English language requirements

If applicants have an overseas qualification/s from an institution where English is not the standard language of instruction, they will need to meet ACU’s English proficiency requirements, e.g Academic IELTS 6.5 (including individual scores of 6.0 for all tests). Refer to Appendix C of the Higher Degree Research Regulations.

Inherent requirement

The eligibility criteria for admission into the Doctor of Philosophy are stipulated in the Higher Degree Research Regulations, Eligibility For Admission To A Research Higher Degree.

The progress requirements of the Doctor of Philosophy are stipulated in the Higher Degree Research Regulations, Pursuance of Candidature.


Course costs

Commencing domestic candidates enrolling in a master-by-research or doctoral degree at ACU will be offered a Research Training Program Fee Offset Scholarship under the Australian Government's Research Training Program. Further information about Research Training Program Scholarships can be found in the Research Training Program Scholarship Policy.

All costs are calculated using current rates and are based on a full-time study load of 40 credit points (normally 4 units) per semester.

A student’s annual fee may vary in accordance with:

  • the number of units studied per semester;
  • the choice of major or specialisation; and
  • elective units.

The University reviews fees annually.


ACU offers a number of scholarships to domestic and international research candidates. Information about these scholarships, including the application process is available here.

How to apply

Domestic applicants

Direct application

Apply now

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