Doctor of Philosophy

Course information for - 2022 entry

Offered at 0 locations

Study mode

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.



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.

Course details

Course structure

To complete the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), a student must complete 240 credit points (cp).

View course rules

AQF framework

Doctorate by research - AQF Level 10

Entry requirements

Eligibility criteria

A candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy must comply with the Higher Degree Research Regulations.

An applicant for admission to candidature for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy must have completed one of the following:

a. an appropriate undergraduate degree with Honours at a minimum level of Second Class Division A (Distinction average) or equivalent; or

b. a master’s degree with appropriate research training in a relevant field; or

c. an equivalent qualification and/or demonstrated research experience, with evidence of capacity to undertake independent research work (eg an authored publication).

Meeting the eligibility requirements for admission is not in itself a guarantee of admission. The candidate’s potential to undertake research, the quality and feasibility of the research proposal, the availability of appropriate supervision and the referee’s reports will all be taken into consideration. Please refer to Regulation 5.2.

Disclaimer: The course entry requirements above are for 2022 Admission.

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 Higher Degree Research Regulations

Inherent requirement

The progress requirements of the PhD are stipulated in the Higher Degree Research Regulations . Pursuance of Candidature



ACU offers a number of scholarships to local and international research candidates. Information about these scholarships, including the application process is available from the Research Scholarships.

How to apply

Domestic applicants


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