Doctor of Philosophy

PhD candidates are required to make a significant and original contribution to a discipline or profession by submitting one of the following, equivalent to 70,000 – 100,000 words:

  • a written research thesis
  • a written research thesis including associated papers
  • an artefact, such as a creative work or design product, with an accompanying exegesis (critical explanation).

A PhD candidate is expected to:

  • conduct independent research of high originality and quality
  • independently conceive of, design, conduct and complete a research project or program
  • develop a critical knowledge and understanding of the research area and methodological approaches
  • communicate convincingly with clarity and relevance to appropriate audiences.

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Entry requirements

You must have completed at least four years (or equivalent) of tertiary education studies in a relevant discipline at a high level of achievement, and must have been approved for the award of the degree(s) for which you studied.

A high level of achievement is defined as the equivalent of a four year Swinburne Honours degree that includes a significant research component in the fourth year, leading to an Honours degree class 1 (average grade between 80-100) or class 2A (average grade between 70-79) level.

Four years of tertiary studies can be demonstrated by the completion of any of the combinations of qualifications below, at the required standard of achievement:

  • a Bachelor’s degree (three or four years) and a Masters by Research; or
  • a Bachelor’s degree (three or four years) and an Honours year; or
  • a Bachelor’s degree (three or four years) and a Masters by Coursework; or
  • a Bachelor’s degree (four years) in an approved discipline.

You will also need to check the specific entry requirements for your program.

In addition, you must reach the required standards of achievement based on any prior qualifications and research experience.

English language requirements

Candidates must meet one of the following requirements:

  • obtain a minimum IELTS overall band of 6.5 (Academic Module) with no individual band below 6.0 or a TOEFL iBT (Internet-based) minimum score of 79 (with a reading band no less than 18 and writing band no less than 20); or Pearson (PTE) 58 (no communicative skills less than 50) no longer than 24 months before submitting your application
  • successfully complete a total of 24 months (full time equivalent) of formal study where the language of instruction and assessment was English at AQF level 7 or above (or equivalent) at an approved university no longer than 60 months before submitting your application.