Research Degree Requirements


All PhD candidates must complete six units of coursework which includes the core unit, Research Design. The other 5 units will be decided on the basis of the student's previous academic record and the area of research they intend to pursue. All students must complete at least one qualitative methods and one quantitative methods unit of study. All Master of Philosophy candidates must complete the core unit, Research Design although some candidates may be required to undertake specific coursework units as part of their candidature.

Credit for up to three units may be granted. Students do not need to apply for credit this will be assessed automatically as part of the application process. Credit cannot be granted once a student has enrolled.

Candidates may take units of study at other institutions with approval from the Business School. For external courses an outline of the course must be provided to the Business School 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 Business School Research Unit.

The Business School endeavours to offer as many of these units as possible each semester however we cannot guarantee all units will be offered. Only students 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 commenced the fourth semester of enrolment (full-time equivalent) in the MPhil.