Find us on Facebook Find us on LinkedIn Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to our YouTube channel Instagram

Higher degree research: Shaping our future

The Business School offers cutting edge higher degree research training. Candidates are prepared for their research through a rich program of coursework augmented by high quality workshops, professional development opportunities, a variety of seminars and visits from leading international academics.

The Business School offers two research degrees, either full or part time, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and the Master of Philosophy (MPhil).

A range of exciting opportunities are available to candidates. Casual teaching positions along with formal teaching Postgraduate Fellowships are available to apply for. There are also generous scholarship opportunities on offer.

Higher Degree Research prepares you to work in a wide range of fields including but not limited to: academia, government, consulting and management.

Entry to the program is not automatic and is at the discretion of the director of Doctoral Studies.

Degree structure

Doctor of Philosophy

Candidates are required to make a clear and significant original contribution to knowledge with the submission of a 80,000 – 100,000 word thesis. Duration of the PhD is 3 to 4 years full time equivalent. Candidates must successfully complete 12 months probation and all coursework requirements in order to continue in the program.

Master of Philosophy

Candidates are required to make a clear and significant original contribution to knowledge with the submission of a 30,000 – 50,000 word thesis. Duration of the MPhil is 18 months to 2 years full time equivalent. Candidates must successfully complete a 12 month probation period and all coursework requirements.


All Business School HDR candidates must complete formal coursework as part of their degree requirements. The purpose of the coursework is to provide students with the research skills and methodological training required to undertake an original thesis. The Business School Research Unit runs various units exclusively for HDR candidates, with small classes, expert tuition, and a rich learning environment. All PhD and MPhil candidates must complete a minimum of 3 units of study. This study must include BUSS7901 Research Design (which must be taken in the first research period), BUSS7902 Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods (which must be taken within 10 months of enrolment) and either BUSS7904 Advanced Quantitative Methods or BUSS7906 Advanced Qualitative Methods (which must be taken within 24 months of enrolment).  In addition to these units, students are encouraged to take any additional units deemed important for their research training. Other units or courses within the School, the university or other external institutions can be considered. There is no upper limit on these additional units but all formal coursework must be completed within 24 months of enrolment. Candidates are required to maintain a distinction average in their coursework.

Thesis proposal defence

All candidates must formally defend their thesis proposal within 10 to 14 months of commencement (full time equivalent). The goal is to ensure that the proposed research is worthwhile, meaningful, viable, feasible, and can be completed within the degree timeframe.

Upgrade from MPhil to PhD

Candidates in the MPhil program may wish to upgrade to PhD rather than completing an MPhil. If successful this is a course transfer, the time spent in the MPhil degree will be credited toward the PhD.

Upgrading to the PhD program from the MPhil is not automatic. A request to upgrade will be made as part of the Thesis Proposal Defence process and will be approved based on the successful completion of:

  • The probationary period
  • Coursework units BUSS7901 and BUSS7902 (with a distinction average)
  • Thesis Proposal Defence
  • Annual Progress Review (progress must be considered satisfactory).

Upgrade approval is agreed on by a candidate’s supervisor, Postgraduate Research Coordinator and the Director of Doctoral Studies. Please note there is no guarantee that an application to upgrade will be successful.

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 initial 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.

Research periods

The research degree year is split into four Research Periods rather than two semesters to give candidates great flexibility once enrolled in the program. The Business School admits candidates in research period two and three.

Research period

Duration of research period


1 January to 28 February


1 March to 30 June


1 July to 30 September


1 October to 31 December

Tuition fees

Please note that international students are required to pay tuition fees. For domestic student fees are covered under the Federal Government's Research Training Scheme.

Research programs by discipline