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RMIT University

  • 45% international / 55% domestic

PhD (Civil Engineering)

  • Doctorate (PhD)

Focus on an industry-based research project and develop solutions to existing and emerging civil and infrastructure engineering issues.

Key details

Degree Type
Doctorate (PhD)
4 - 8 years full-time
Course Code
DR218, 079817F
Study Mode
In person
International Fees
$36,480 per year / $145,920 total

About this course

Apply your advanced engineering skills to an industry focused research project and develop solutions to existing and emerging civil and infrastructure engineering problems.

The School of Engineering conducts research in a broad spectrum of topics with the overall vision of delivering sustainability, longevity and efficiency of infrastructure essential for the 21st century.

Our research strengths are in the fields of:

  • asset management and decision making for optimised management of infrastructure
  • challenges in supporting infrastructure in reactive and unsaturated soils
  • design of new material and structural forms and optimisation
  • innovative and sustainable materials
  • predicting remaining life of structures including bridges, buildings, tunnels and underground utilities considering changes in climate
  • strengthening of structures using innovative techniques
  • sustainable construction

You can select from existing applied research projects that are well supported by industry. These projects will deliver fundamental research leading to innovative new products, processes and knowledge.

You will be closely supervised while you work on a project within one of the following research areas:

  • computational mechanics
  • construction engineering
  • construction management
  • construction materials
  • geotechnical engineering
  • high-strength and high-performance concrete
  • infrastructure maintenance and management
  • structural engineering
  • structural optimisation
  • transport engineering
  • water systems engineering and water resources

This PhD may be undertaken in a project, thesis with publication or thesis mode. Prospective candidates should discuss these modes of submission with their potential supervisor/s.

The primary research activities are conducted within these related research centres:

  • Centre for Innovative Structures and Materials (CISM)
  • Resilient Infrastructure Group

The School of Engineering has received recognition for world class research well supported by competitive grants and industry funding. In the 2015 QS world rankings civil and structural engineering at RMIT was ranked among the top 51-100 in the world based on academic reputation, research citations and employer satisfaction. RMIT has received world-wide recognition for fundamental research in:

  • structural optimisation
  • time dependent structural reliability
  • infrastructure resilience
  • behaviour of unsaturated soils

The School of Engineering has world-class laboratory facilities for heavy structures, geotechnical engineering, construction materials and product development and accelerated testing for material and structural degradation in simulated environments.

Entry requirements

The minimum requirements for admission to a PhD program are:

  • a bachelor degree requiring at least four years of full-time study in a relevant discipline awarded with honours. The degree should include a research component comprised of a thesis, other research projects or research methodology courses that constitute at least 25% of a full-time academic year (or part-time equivalent). The applicant must have achieved at least a distinction average in the final year; or
  • a master degree that includes a research component comprised of at least 25% of a full-time academic year (or part-time equivalent) with an overall distinction average or a master degree without a research component with at least a high distinction average; or
  • evidence of appropriate academic qualifications and/or experience that satisfies the Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Training and Development or nominee that the applicant has developed knowledge of the field of study or cognate field and the potential for research sufficient to undertake the proposed program.

At RMIT a grade of distinction represents academic achievement of 70% or higher and a high distinction is 80% or higher.

If you are a current master by research candidate, you are able to apply for a transfer to a doctor of philosophy program through the process prescribed in the RMIT Higher Degree by Research policy and processes.

Study locations


Melbourne City

Career pathways

You will be able to pursue an academic career in a university or be employed in senior leadership and management positions in government, scientific and industrial research laboratories.