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 doctoral programs, with a simple step-by-step application process.
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:
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:
If you’re based overseas and will require an international student visa, you should visit our step-by-step guide for international research applications.
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.
Choose your preferred research course from the list below and read the individual course descriptions:
Get the best of both worlds by studying your doctorate in collaboration with an overseas university through a Cotutelle enrolment.
As a doctoral candidate jointly enrolled at ACU and at least one other institution, you'll broaden your research experience, improve your future research career and help strengthen ties between universities.
Learn more by reading our policy on joint (Cotutelle) doctoral enrolment.
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:
To learn more about how we will assess your application, visit the ACU Handbook
You may need to demonstrate your English language proficiency if:
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.
You can check your eligibility for your chosen research course by viewing its individual entry requirements.
These requirements are also listed in the ACU Handbook. To read more, visit the Higher Degree Research Regulations handbook page
Doctor of Education
You must have the following to be eligible for admission to a Doctor of Education program:
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
You must have one of the following to be eligible for admission to a PhD:
Master of Education (Research)
You must have the following to be eligible for admission to a Master of Education (Research):
Master of Philosophy
You must have one of the following to be eligible for admission to a Master of Philosophy:
Master of Theology (Research)
You must have either of the following to be eligible for admission to a Master of Philosophy:
A core part of the research experience is conducting your research under the supervision of a fully accredited principal supervisor.
You should find a suitable supervisor for your project before you submit your application.
We don’t want you to miss out. Stay on top of your application by taking note of the application deadline for your course.
To begin building your application, download and complete our HDR candidature application form.
This form contains application information for:
If you are an international applicant, you will need to complete the international online application form available on our international research page.
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:
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.
You must also provide two referee reports with your application.
To do this, download our referee report template and complete Section 1.
Once you’ve done that, forward the form to your referees for them to complete the remainder of the form and send to the graduate research office by email.
Please note: It’s your responsibility to ensure that your referees return the reports to the graduate research office email address. We won’t consider your application until two referee reports have been received.
When you have completed everything in your application (and rechecked everything to be sure), you can submit it via post or email to the following addresses:
Australian Catholic University
PO Box 968
North Sydney NSW 2059
After you’ve submitted your application, it’s time for us to assess it. Bear with us – there’s a lot to process. You’ll receive confirmation of your application and we’ll let you know the outcome as soon as we can, normally within 8 weeks.
Congratulations on receiving your research offer. You can now respond to your offer by accepting, deferring or declining.
You’ve accepted your offer. Now what? 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.
Hit the research ground running by learning about our four research terms and find your official start date.
You can reach out to us at Candidature Services if you have any questions about the research application process.
Learn about our research institutes and centres, and our focus on education, health, theology and philosophy, social justice and the common good.Visit institutes
Learn about the Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship, including your fees offset, how to apply, and termination and review procedures.See scholarship
Discover what support is available for your research, including guidance on how to get funding and manage a project.View support
Unsure what some of these words mean? We’ve put together a glossary to explain our technical terms in plain English.View glossary