Postgraduate Research

Information for Domestic Applicants

Domestic applicants, including Australian citizens, permanent residents, New Zealand citizens, and holders of a permanent humanitarian visa, should contact the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences office for information about the application and admission procedure.

Online applications are now available for all Postgraduate Research degrees in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences by searching for your course on the University’s ‘Find a course’ website, then click on the ‘Apply now’ icon to proceed with your application.

Application checklist

Your application must include:

  • a complete online application form
  • an original copy of the official transcript of your academic record. Graduates of the University of Sydney need not attach an academic transcript of their local enrolment
  • a research proposal of approximately 1000 words (applicants should consult the postgraduate coordinator in the appropriate department to confirm any department-specific requirements for proposals)
  • all other requested documents
  • proof of Australian citizenship or permanent residency status, i.e. birth certificate or passport (local applicants only)
  • references from at least two academics who are familiar with your studies and are qualified to comment on your previous academic achievements and your capacity to undertake a research degree.

Applications must have all required documentation before it can be accepted by the University of Sydney.

Request for original documents by the University

The University of Sydney accepts scanned documents submitted online in support of applications for admission to courses of study. All supporting documents must be true and complete records. You should be prepared to provide original documents or original certified copies of supporting documents upon request at any time. Detailed checking of supporting documents is an inherent element of our admissions process and may involve contacting the original issuing authority or relevant tertiary admissions centre, or other organisation (whether education or otherwise), or individual, whether in Australia or overseas, to verify documents. A failure to provide documents on request, or the discovery of either fraudulent documents or a misrepresentation of true circumstances in association with your application, may lead to the rejection of your application for admission, the withdrawal of your offer, or the cancellation of your enrolment.

Documents submitted in a language other than English must be accompanied by a complete English translation. The University accepts translations to English made by an accredited translator with a government body, the Registrar of the issuing institution or, for international applicants, registered University of Sydney education Agents who have been designated as translators. Applicants from the Peoples' Republic of China may have their academic transcripts referred to the Ministry of Education's China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Centre (CDGDC) for authentication.

Research Proposal

All research applicants must submit a research proposal with their application form. Advice and assistance on proposals is available from The University of Sydney's Learning Centre which also produced the guide to Writing a Thesis Proposal. You should also talk to the department's postgraduate research student coordinator, as some departments have specific requirements.

Your Offer

Offers for admission will be sent to successful applicants. If you receive an offer, you must advise the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences office in writing of your intention to accept the place by the date specified in your letter.

It is not possible to defer acceptance or commencement to a later semester or year. If you are unable to commence in the semester indicated in the letter of offer, you must reapply for admission for a different semester/year on the official University application form.

Online Enrolment

If you are a commencing student who has received an offer for a postgraduate research degree you can now enrol online.

To find out more, visit

Information for International Applicants

If you are an international applicant, you must apply through the International Office. Further information on applications and English language requirements and support services for international students is available on the University's Future Students website.