Research Higher Degree (RHD) programs at UQ include the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and the Master of Philosophy (MPhil).  RHD students produce new knowledge and expertise that is innovative, relevant, and progressive. 

Based on the written application an assessment will be made of the level of understanding, motivation, time commitment and financial support of the applicant for the proposed program of study.

A PhD is one of the highest degrees that can be awarded. It is an advanced academic qualification seen as a requirement for the majority of academic and research positions in a wide range of fields and industries. The aim of the PhD is to foster the development of independent research skills. These skills include the capacity to formulate a significant problem, to develop mastery of appropriate conceptual and methodological skills, and to relate the research topic to a broader framework of knowledge in a relevant disciplinary area.

Duration: 3-4 years (full time)
Assessment:
Students are required to produce a thesis of no more than 80,000 words, with the research representing a significant new contribution to the discipline.
Minimum Qualifications:

Subject to approval of the Dean, UQ Graduate School, the University accepts qualifications equivalent to a UQ bachelor's degree with honours class IIA or better, which is the standard basis of admission.

This must include a relevant research component as described in the 'Relevant Research Experience' section of this site.

Minimum Level of Academic Achievement:

To meet the Graduate School admissions requirements for a PhD you would need to provide evidence of one of the following, which:

  • A bachelor’s degree with honours class IIA or better from approved universities, which should include a relevant research component.
  • A research master’s degree
  • A coursework master’s degree and an overall GPA (grade point average) equivalent to 5.5 on the 7-point UQ scale, which should include a relevant research component.
  • A postgraduate degree of at least one year full-time equivalent with an overall GPA (grade point average) equivalent to 5.0 on the 7-point UQ scale, together with demonstrated research experience equivalent to honours IIA will be considered for PhD entry on a case by case basis.
  • A bachelor’s degree plus at least two years of documented relevant research experience, including research publications.
English language proficiency requirements apply.
Relevance of Degree: The completed degree must be in an area that is relevant to the intended PhD, including sufficient specialisation such that the applicant will have already developed an understanding and appreciation of a body of knowledge relevant to the intended PhD.
Currency of Applicant's knowledge The applicant’s degree and/or professional experience must demonstrate that the applicant’s knowledge of the discipline in which they plan to undertake their PhD is current. It is therefore expected that an applicant will have completed their tertiary studies and/or any relevant professional experience in the ten years immediately prior to their intended entry to the PhD.
Program 
Rules:
 
how to apply

 Some enrolling units may have additional specific requirements for admission.

An MPhil is an internationally recognised postgraduate research degree that involves undertaking a significant research project. The MPhil program provides students with an opportunity to develop and enhance analytical and research skills through independent investigation in a specific field. Many MPhil students choose to continue with their research in order to obtain a PhD. Likewise, some PhD students elect to finish early with an MPhil. 

Duration: 1.5-2 years (full time)
Assessment: Students are required to produce a thesis of no more than 40,000 words that demonstrates their capacity for critical analysis and application of specialist knowledge.
Minimum Qualifications:

Subject to approval of the Dean, UQ Graduate School, the University accepts qualifications equivalent to a UQ bachelor's degree with honours class IIB or better, which is the standard basis of admission.

This must include relevant experience as described in the 'relevant experience' section of this site.

Minimum Level of Academic Achievement:

To meet the Graduate School admissions requirements for a MPhil an applicant would need to provide evidence of one of the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree with honours class IIB or better, which must include relevant experience.
  • A postgraduate degree of at least one year full-time equivalent and an overall GPA (grade point average) equivalent to 5.0 on the 7-point UQ scale, which must include relevant experience.
  • A bachelor’s degree plus at least two years of documented relevant experience.
  • Evidence of other qualifications and/or experience to satisfy the Dean that the applicant is suitably qualified for admission
English language proficiency requirements apply.
Relevance of Degree: The completed degree must be in an area that is relevant to the intended MPhil, including sufficient specialisation such that the applicant will have already developed an understanding and appreciation of a body of knowledge relevant to the intended MPhil.
Currency of Applicant's knowledge The applicant’s degree and/or professional experience must demonstrate that the applicant’s knowledge of the discipline in which they plan to undertake their MPhil is current. It is therefore expected that an applicant will have completed their tertiary studies and/or any relevant professional experience in the ten years immediately prior to their intended entry to the MPhil.
Program 
Rules:
 
how to apply

Some enrolling units may have additional specific requirements for admission.

Prior research experience is required for admission to a research degree at UQ. This experience can be obtained through educational qualifications such as an honours or masters degree, or professional experience and training.

Honours

An honours project provides students with appropriate experience in research and is the ideal pathway to an RHD. Students planning to go on to a research degree usually choose to complete a bachelor program with honours. To qualify for honours, students must achieve high results in their bachelor degree. Honours can be completed either ‘on course’ or as part of an ‘honours year’. In most cases, an ‘honours year’ is available for qualified students who completed a three-year bachelor degree program and ‘on course’ honours is usually incorporated in four or five year programs.

Postgraduate Coursework

If you have not completed honours and are looking for postgraduate study options to allow you to undertake an RHD, you can:

  • Enrol in a Masters degree which contains a research component of at least 25%. To satisfy the 25% research component you will need to ensure that at least one quarter of your courses have a strong research focus, for example, a research project or research methods course.
  • Complete a Graduate Certificate in Research Methods in the Faculty of Business Economics & Law. This option is only available for the fields of Business and Social Science with the course list offering a variety of subjects accordingly.

Relevant Experience

Relevant experience may provide an alternative pathway to undertaking a research higher degree. For example, experience as a research assistant and research outputs including research publications are strong evidence of relevant research experience. Professional work experience is also highly regarded in an application to undertake a research higher degree. Leading large projects, presenting at conferences, publication of research outcomes and implementing organisational change, may contribute to satisfying the admission requirements. You may also have a strong passion for research in a particular field where you can already demonstrate expertise.

Transferring from a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The MPhil can provide an alternative pathway to the PhD. For example, if you have professional experience that directly relates to your proposed research project, this may satisfy entry requirements for the MPhil. If you are able to demonstrate strong academic progress in the MPhil, you may be able to transfer to the PhD.

If you are interested in undertaking a postgraduate degree instead of a research degree, please visit the Postgraduate coursework website.

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