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Research Degree Requirements


The Business School Research Unit schedules research training units of study, a mix of qualitative and quantitative units. Enrolment in these units should be discussed with supervisors. Course outlines are available from the Research Unit.

  • BUSS7901 Research Design – core unit
  • BUSS7902 Introduction to Quantitative Methods
  • BUSS7903 Qualitative Research Methods
  • BUSS7904 Special Topics in Quantitative Methods
  • BUSS7906 Current Topics in Research Seminar
  • BUSS7907 Applied Quantitative Methods

All PhD candidates must complete a minimum of three and a maximum of six units of study which includes the core unit Research Design. The other units will be decided on the basis of the candidate’s previous academic record and the area of research they intend to pursue. All candidates must complete at least one qualitative methods and one quantitative methods unit of study. All MPhil candidates must complete three units including the core, Research Design

Candidates may enrol in units of study at other institutions with approval from the Business School. For external courses an outline must be provided to the Research Unit prior to the granting of approval. After completion of the unit a certified copy of the transcript and/or letter of completion must be forwarded to the Research Unit. The form is available from the Research Unit.

The Business School endeavours to offer as many units as possible throughout the year however we cannot guarantee all units will be offered. Only candidates enrolled in a research degree within the University of Sydney Business School will be eligible to enrol in these units.

Research Thesis Proposal Defence

All PhD candidates must formally defend their research thesis proposal. The goal is to ensure that the proposed research is worthwhile, meaningful, viable and feasible, and can be completed within the timeframe given the resource constraints of the program. The thesis proposal defence is coordinated by the Discipline and should be completed within the first 10 to 14 months from the commencement of candidature.

The Business School will only require Master of Philosophy candidates to formally defend their research thesis proposal they request an upgrade to the PhD.

Upgrade from MPhil to PhD

Upgrading to the PhD program from the MPhil is not automatic. A request to upgrade will be based on successful completion of:

  • The probationary period
  • Three units of study, including the core unit BUSS7901 Research Design
  • Thesis Proposal Defence
  • Annual Progress Reviews. Progress must be considered satisfactory.

Candidates require approval from their supervisor, Postgraduate Research Coordinator and the Director of Doctoral Studies. Please note there is no guarantee that an application to upgrade will be successful.

The time spent in the MPhil degree will be credited toward the PhD.

Candidature in the MPhil is governed by the policies and regulations in place at the date of initial enrolment. If, at a later date, a candidate chooses to upgrade to a PhD, the policies and regulations in place at the date of enrolment in the PhD will govern the remainder of the candidature.

An upgrade from the MPhil to the PhD will not be considered if the candidate has reached their earliest completion date (ie 1.5 years into the MPhil candidature, full-time equivalent).