Course overview

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis makes a distinct contribution to existing knowledge by using an original approach, interpreting findings in a new light, or discovering new information. You will complete a substantial piece of original research under academic supervision, developing authoritative knowledge in your field. Visit the Doctor of Philosophy - Education website

What you will learn

The PhD thesis evidences your authority and command of knowledge in relevant fields in an international context. And it shows that you have a thorough grasp of the appropriate methodological techniques - and an awareness of their limitations.

Course structure

  • Course code: DR-PHILEDU
  • 4 years full-time or 8 years part-time
  • Candidates complete an 80,000 word PhD thesis
  • Candidates must present their research findings at a public completion seminar attended by their Advisory Committee.

Entry requirements

  1. Minimum qualifications
    • Applicants are normally required to have completed at least a four-year honours degree at H2A (75%) standard from an Australian university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered by the RHD Committee to be equivalent.
  2. Minimum level of academic achievement
    • Applicants should have achieved an overall H2A (75-79%) grade in the relevant honours or masters degree to be eligible to apply. However, in recent years successful applications have required an H1 (80-100%) overall grade range.
  3. Relevance of the 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.
  4. Evidence of research ability
    • Applicants are normally required to have completed a research project, component, subject or group of subjects that accounts for at least 25% of their work (i.e. Honours year), or 25% of one year accumulated over the length of a masters course, and which has, or have, been conducted and assessed individually. Research carried out in groups should at least have been graded individually.
  5. Currency of applicant's knowledge of the discipline
    • The applicant's degree/s and/or professional experience must demonstrate that their knowledge of the discipline in which they plan to undertake their research higher degree is current.
  6. Assessment of level of suitability
    • Based on the research proposal, interview or other communication, an assessment should be made of the level of understanding, motivation and time commitment of the student for the proposed program of study. For example, a full-time student would be expected to devote at least 40 hours a week and a part-time student about half of this.

All PhD candidates are required to complete the equivalent of at least 12 months full-time (24 months part-time) advanced study and research in the University unless studying at an outside institution approved by the Research Higher Degrees Committee (RHDC). The RHDC will not approve entirely distance supervision or entirely on-line supervision for research higher degree students. The residency requirement is deemed especially important during the probationary period of candidature. During this time the student is expected to interact on a regular basis with the supervisor, the faculty (including staff and other research students) and the University.

English Language Criteria

International students must also meet English language requirements.

How to apply

You can enquire via University of Melbourne enquiry form 


4 years full time, 8 years part time

Starting dates

February, July

Course codes

CRICOS Code: 056968C