Find your voice. Create a work of original research that grows your expertise and makes a valuable contribution to society. We offer both masters by research and PhD doctorates, with a simple step-by-step application process. 

Apply for your research degree in seven steps 

Join our community of researchers contributing to, and building on, a rich intellectual history. To produce ground-breaking research in the human tradition, apply for a research degree using our step-by-step guide on this page. 

Follow these instructions if you want to apply for one of the following degrees:

  • masters by research
  • doctor of philosophy (PhD).

Before you begin, check you’re in the right place

It’s important you know that this guide is for domestic research degree applications only. You’re a domestic student if you’re one of the following: 

  • Australian citizen
  • Australian permanent resident
  • Australian permanent humanitarian visa holder 
  • New Zealand citizen.  

If you’re based overseas and will require a temporary visa, you should visit our step-by-step guide for international research applications.

Go to our international research student application guide

If you’re looking to apply for a postgraduate coursework degree, such as a graduate certificate, graduate diploma or masters by coursework, you should visit our application page for postgraduate students.

Learn how to apply for a postgraduate coursework degree


1. Choose your course

Choose your preferred research course from the list below and read the individual course descriptions:

2. Check your eligibility

To be eligible for admission to one of our research courses, you need to meet the entry requirements.

Please note: Even if you do meet the requirements, admission is not guaranteed. Other parts of your application that we’ll take into consideration include:

  • your potential to undertake research
  • the quality and feasibility of your research proposal
  • the availability of appropriate supervision
  • your referee reports. 

To view the eligibility criteria for higher degree research programs, visit the Higher Degree Research Regulations

English language proficiency

You may need to demonstrate your English language proficiency if:

  • English is not your first language
  • you did not attend university in English and in an approved English-speaking country.

You can prove your English proficiency by providing us with evidence of your previous studies or qualifications, or by achieving a certain score in a relevant English language test. 

View the Higher Degree Research Regulations for English Proficiency requirements for HDR programs 

Entry requirements by degree

You can check your eligibility for your chosen research course by viewing its individual entry requirements available in the Higher Degree Research Regulations.

You must have one of the following to be eligible for admission to a PhD:

  • an appropriate undergraduate degree with honours at a minimum level of Second Class Division A (Distinction average) (or equivalent)
  • a masters degree with appropriate research training in a relevant field
  • an equivalent qualification and/or demonstrated research experience, with evidence of capacity to undertake independent research work (eg, an authored publication).

You must have one of the following to be eligible for admission to a Master of Philosophy:

  • an appropriate undergraduate degree with honours at a minimum level of Second Class Division A (Distinction average)
  • postgraduate research training (eg, coursework completed to distinction level or higher or a masters-by-coursework degree)
  • demonstrated research experience with evidence of capacity to undertake independent research work (eg, an authored publication).

You must have either of the following to be eligible for admission to a Master of Philosophy:

  • an undergraduate degree in theology (or equivalent) with honours at a minimum level of Second Class Division A
  • a Master of Theological Studies with a distinction average or higher in THEL623 Theology Project C and THEL619 Introduction to Theological and Philosophical Research (or equivalent), and
  • a specialisation in one of the theological disciplines, or philosophy as it relates to theology.

3. Accredited supervisors

Before you submit an application for admission, you may wish to identify accredited supervisors who are active in your proposed area of research and, if appropriate, discuss your research proposal with them.

It is not mandatory to contact accredited supervisors prior to applying. If you're successful, the University will allocate suitably qualified supervisors to you (refer Higher Degree Research Regulation 5)

Should you contact an academic and they indicate they are willing to supervise you, this does not guarantee you will be admitted to the program or that they will be one of your supervisors. The availability of suitable supervisors is assessed as part of your application for admission (refer Higher Degree Research Regulation 5). 

Supervisors normally are not required to be at the same campus location.

To discuss possible supervisors, please contact the Faculty Associate Dean (Research) or HDR Coordinator of the Faculty to which you will apply for admission.

4. View closing dates

We are now accepting applications from prospective domestic and international candidates for study commencing in 2022.  

Candidates may commence prior to the census date in either Research Term A or Research Term C.

If you are applying for candidature and a stipend scholarship, refer to the application deadline listed on the research scholarships page

If you are applying for candidature only, you can submit your application at any time, though you are strongly encouraged to submit at least 12 weeks prior to the start of your preferred Research Term .

5. Complete an application for admission

To begin building your application, download and complete our HDR candidature application form.

This form contains application information for:

  • previous employment, qualifications and research experience
  • your research proposal
  • postgraduate research scholarships
  • English language proficiency requirements
  • referee reports.

Download our domestic application for candidature form (Word 108KB)

International applicants

If you are an international applicant, you will need to complete the international online application form available on our international research page.

Go to our international research student application guide

6. Gather your documents

Once you have completed your application form, make sure you have attached certified copies of all the necessary application and identification documents. 

These documents include:

  • certified copies of any higher education study attempted to date, in English
  • a certified copy of your birth certificate, citizenship certificate or passport with any relevant visa pages
  • evidence of English language proficiency if applicable
  • copies of any completed research, such as published articles or book chapters, thesis extracts or research reports, in English).

Certified documents

Any copies of transcripts, birth certificates, citizenship certificates and passports must be certified. A certified copy is a photocopy of an original document that has been “certified” as a true copy. 

Documents can be certified by a Justice of the Peace (JP) or an authorised officer such as a public notary who is not related to you. 

The officer must include his/her professional registration number (if applicable) when certifying your documents.

Organise your confidential referee reports

You must also provide two referee reports with your application. 

To do this, download our referee report template and complete Section 1.

Download our referee report template (Word 94KB)

Once you’ve done that, forward the form to your referees for them to complete the remainder of the form and send to the Candidature Services office by email.

Email the Candidature Services office

Please note: It’s your responsibility to ensure that your referees return the reports to the Candidature Services office email address. We won’t consider your application until two referee reports have been received.

7. Apply

When you have completed everything in your application (and rechecked everything to be sure), please send your application to the Candidature Services team at

What happens next

After you’ve submitted your application, it’s time for us to assess it. Bear with us – there’s a lot to process. It normally takes around two months for an application to be assessed. You’ll receive confirmation of your application and we’ll let you know the outcome as soon as we can. 

While you're waiting, we suggest you get familiar with the different stages of your upcoming candidate journey, from enrolment to graduation. It’s a big journey, but we know you’re ready for it.

Learn more about the candidate journey

Need help? We’re here to assist

You can reach out to the Candidature Services office if you have any questions about the research application process.

Email the Candidature Services office

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