Beginning a research degree
If you are interested in pursuing a research higher degree but want to find out a bit more about the basics first, below are some frequently asked questions and answers that will assist you.
Despite the terminology, PhDs and MPhils do not necessarily focus on philosophy, with research routinely undertaken in areas as diverse as molecular biology, law, engineering, health and rehabilitation, human movements, midwifery, education, as well as many other fields.
Apart from enhanced employment prospects, students also benefit from having meaningfully advanced the research and knowledge in their chosen field, and have proof they are capable of completing a complex project at a world-class standard.
Other acceptable qualifications include a postgraduate qualification with at least one year of full-time equivalent study with a significant research component, or relevant research experience.
All RHD students (both domestic and international) are entitled to sick and/or parental leave on approval by the Graduate School, as well as up to 20 working days of recreational leave per year.
Full time students are expected to study for at least the equivalent of a standard five-day working week for 48 weeks of the year. A part time student is expected to study for 50 percent of that quota.
Students wishing to study remotely must be able to demonstrate that they can maintain satisfactory contact with their advisory team, that they have access to all necessary facilities needed for their research, and that they are making satisfactory progress.
UQ does understand that some students wish to broaden their knowledge outside of their RHD studies and enhance their vocational prospects. The final decision on whether these extra commitments can be added to a candidate’s workload is made by their RHD advisor, having considered whether the project is on-track and of a suitable standard.
As a general rule, this type of request would not be considered in the first year of candidature.
RHD candidates who enrolled from 1 January 2012 onwards are eligible to take part in the UQ Career Advantage PhD program which provides additional training and activities which enhance an RHD candidates career.
Once you have discussed your proposed research, if you have any questions about applying for admission to study an RHD at The University of Queensland, please contact the Graduate School at email@example.com.
To apply, please follow the how to apply process.
Domestic students can start their RHD any day of the year.
Research Quarter 1: starts 1 January
Research Quarter 2: starts 1 April
Research Quarter 3: starts 1 July
Research Quarter 4: starts 1 October
Unfortunately UQ cannot advise as to the likelihood of a student being awarded a scholarship prior to their application.
Read more about scholarships.
For commencement in 2013:
Minimum Overall Score
Minimum Additional Scores
IELTS (International English Language Testing Service)
6.0* in every sub-band (academic module)
TOEFL (Paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language)
5.0 in TWE (written), and 54 in reading & listening
TOEFL (Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language)
21 in written, 20 in reading, listening & speaking
Test results are valid for two years from the date of the test, and must be valid upon commencement at UQ. Institutional test results are unacceptable for entry.
Students wishing to improve their English language skills can undertake intensive English language and communication training prior to commencing their RHD program at UQ’s Institute of Continuing & TESOL Education (ICTE-UQ). For more information, see English language studies.
What is a certified document?
Why do I need to submit certified documents?
When you submit documents to the University of Queensland, they become the property of UQ and will not be returned. Therefore, you should never submit an original document, please only send certified copies.
How do I get a document certified?
- The authorised person sights and photocopies the original to ensure both are identical (in some cases you may need to take a photocopy to the representative);
- The authorised person will then write on, or stamp, the copy a confirmation such as ‘This is a true and correct copy of the original document I have sighted’ or ‘Certified true copy’;
- On each page under the confirmation, the authorised person will also write their name, signature, qualification, date of signing and business stamp;
- The authorised person will need to include their contact details such as their office-hours phone number and email address.
- If the document is more than one page, all pages must be separately certified.
- The certification must be on the actual copy, not on another page attached to the copy.
- Certified copies must include original signatures and stamps. Faxed, scanned or emailed copies are not acceptable.
- If any of the documents are in a language other than English, they must be accompanied by an English translation prepared by an accredited translator.
Who is authorised to certify a document?
- Justice of the Peace (who must also provide their registration number);
- Solicitor / lawyer / barrister;
- Police officer ranked Sergeant or above, or in charge of a station;
- Staff member of an Australian Embassy or Consulate;
- Student Services Office of any Australian university; or
- Officer within the official records department of the institution that originally issued the documents.
- UQ’s authorised representatives (international applicants only).
Submitting documents through an authorised UQ representative
How should I submit a certified document to UQ?
Documents from the Peoples Republic of China
- Notarised documents by an official Public Notary:
Your documents will be copied and bound in white folders, and will contain a raised watermark. Please note, all academic documents will need to be notarised, both English and Chinese versions, the academic award document will also need to note that the degree has been ‘awarded according to the rules and regulations of the People’s Republic of China’.
- Original copies of your documents received direct from the institution:
You can request that your university sends a copy of your academic transcript and award documents directly to UQ. These will need to be in official university envelopes, and will need to arrive at UQ sealed and stamped.
- Submitted through an authorised UQ representative:
You are able to take your original academic documents, or a copy that is in a sealed and stamped official envelope (as above), to one of UQ’s authorised representatives. Your documents will be assessed, copied, stamped and then forwarded to UQ on your behalf. The authorised agent will be required to declare that they have sighted and copied an original document, copies of notarised documents are not permitted.
- China Academic Degrees & Graduate Education Development Centre (CDGDC) verification:
For all students who completed their degree from a non project 211 university, and also from Fuzhou University and Xiamen University, are required to submit their qualifications to CDGDC for verification. CDGDC will issue a verification certificate directly to UQ, we cannot accept the verification certificate unless it is issued directly to UQ from CDGDC.
- Your School/Institute reviews your application and recommends it to the UQ Graduate School.
- The UQ Graduate School makes a decision about admitting you as a research student.
As a guide, your application is likely to take approximately 8 weeks to process after you have submitted it to your enrolling School / Institute.
Your academic CV helps your School and the Dean of the Graduate School determine your readiness to commence a PhD or MPhil at UQ. You must include an academic CV with your application for admission.
An academic CV should include information under the following headings:
- Personal details
Include your full name and contact details.
- Educational qualifications and professional affiliations
Include the full title of the qualification, the institution attended, and the year awarded.
- Employment history
In chronological order, starting with your current position and specifying dates of employment; include the title of each position, name of employer, main duties or accountabilities, and achievements that are relevant to your proposed field of research.
- Research publications
Include articles published or accepted for publication (with the three most significant marked with an asterisk). Please specify the publication details, your contribution as an author to multi-authored publications, plus the standing of the journal or conference.
- Description of most significant publications
Include a short description (maximum 200 words each) for each of the three asterisked publications, explaining their significance in the field and why they have made an important contribution.
- Research grants
Include only those awarded.
- Academic referees
Please include the name and contact details (address, telephone, fax and email) of tworeferees. If possible, please include a senior person (preferably your supervisor or the head of your organisational unit) closely associated with your current work.
If you are at an early stage of your career as a researcher and do not yet have any research publications and/or research grants, please include the heading and write "none to date".