Our research degrees
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.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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 years (full time)|
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.
The standard appropriate basis of admission is The University of Queensland bachelor's degree with honours class IIA or better. The University accepts the following as equivalent to the standard basis of admission, subject to the Dean, UQ Graduate School's approval of the qualification as equivalent to a UQ bachelor's degree with honours class IIA or better:
Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
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 years (full time)|
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.
The standard appropriate basis of admission is The University of Queensland bachelor's degree with honours class IIB or better. The University accepts the following as equivalent to the standard basis of admission, subject to the Dean, UQ Graduate School's approval of the qualification as equivalent to a UQ bachelor's degree with honours class IIB or better:
The standard required for the basis of admission in a particular School or discipline within a School may vary from these standards. The School/Institute will advise of any local variations.
Pathways to a research degree
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.
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.
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 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)
Postgraduate coursework degrees
If you are interested in undertaking a postgraduate degree instead of a research degree, please visit the Postgraduate coursework website.