Doctor of Philosophy

Course information for - 2023 entry

Offered at 6 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.

6.5 overall score (including individual scores of 6.0 for all tests)
Fees (first year)*
Start dates
January 2023, July 2023, January 2024, July 2024, January 2025, July 2025


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

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


Course costs

  • Unit fee: $3412.5
  • Average first year fee: $27300
  • Estimate total cost: $81900

International candidates who are not awarded a scholarship that includes a tuition fee waiver pay full international tuition fees.

The Tuition fees quoted above are for commencing students in the current year who undertake a normal full-time load. The Unit Fee is based on a 10cp unit. Fees are reviewed annually.

Tuition fees for continuing students may increase by up to 3 percent each year for the minimum duration of the course as provided on your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCOE). Students who continue to study beyond the minimum duration will have the relevant annual commencing rate applied to their fees for subsequent study periods.


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

International applicants

Direct application

Apply now

Contact (International enquiries).

International students please note that applications are lodged through the International Office.


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