Doctor of Philosophy (Health Sciences)
Health and sports sciences
The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the University of Sydney's premier research award, and may be undertaken in all faculties and divisions of the University, or as a research project across disciplines.
The PhD comprises independent research and writing on an approved topic toward a thesis for examination, and requires a minimum period of full-time candidature of six semesters. Thesis investigation, preparation and writing are supervised by academic staff members with current active interest and expertise in the subject area of a candidate's research.
The University of Sydney is one of Australia's leading research academies and offers outstanding on-campus resources for research candidates in all disciplines, in addition to well-established collaborative relationships with government, industry and international organisations.
PhD graduates have the opportunity to pursue diverse career paths, and it may surprise potential candidates that only 10% of people with research degrees in health sciences go on to work in academia.
Please note if you wish to pursue your candidature off-campus (within or outside of Australia), you must complete an equivalent of at least two semesters of candidature for PhD, and one semester for a master's by research within the University prior to submitting your thesis for examination. This period may be taken at any time during the candidature either continuously or in non-consecutive periods.
Further course information and outcomes
Further information about research courses:
How to apply
To be eligible for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine), you must have completed the equivalent of one of the following in a subject area related to your proposed research area:
• bachelor’s degree with first class or upper second class honours or,
• master’s degree by research or,
• master’s degree by coursework with a substantial independent research component such as a thesis, dissertation or research project with a minimum overall credit average
Applicants who do not meet these admission requirements may be issued an offer of a place to the Master of Applied Science (Research).
Transfer from University of Sydney Master of Applied Science (Research
Outstanding candidates who successfully complete up to one year full-time or equivalent part-time of the University of Sydney Master of Applied Science (Research) may apply for transfer into the Doctor of Philosophy (Health Sciences) and be granted credit for work already completed:
• with approval from the Supervisor and School
• meeting all Higher Degree by Research progression requirements
• providing evidence that their research is of a sufficient scope and depth to sustain a doctoral thesis.
See progression and completion requirements.
Applying for admission
1. Find a supervisor within the University whose academic background aligns with your research. You may visit Research Supervisor Connect to start.
2. Contact a research supervisor either through Research Supervisor Connect or email and provide:
• your academic/educational background and research experience with examples such as an academic transcript
• your CV/resume
• the area of interest for your PhD
• why you believe your research topics align with this supervisor
3. In conjunction with your supervisor, develop a preliminary research proposal of at least 500 words that outlines the subject area, objectives and significance of your research following the guidelines provided.
4. International applicants need to obtain two academic referee reports, each one written by a referee who is familiar with your previous academic achievements.
5. If you wish to pursue your candidature off-campus, you are required to provide a written off-campus plan that includes the following:
• Timetable of research for 1st year.
• Statement of how often and when you are going to meet with your supervisors.
• When you plan to be on campus.
6. If you intend to study part-time towards a PhD, you will also need to supply:
• evidence that shows you will have sufficient time available to plan and carry out the research under the supervision of the University, and complete the course within the maximum period allowed for a part-time PhD enrolment
• a declaration from your employer (if relevant) confirming that you will be permitted to take the time required to effectively pursue your studies.
7. Your research proposal should be submitted along with your CV, academic referee reports, academic transcripts and other supporting documents.
8. Applications are made via the University’s online application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply Now’ button on the right hand side of this page.
Please note - Except for IPRS and UsydIS scholarships for international students, you must complete a separate scholarship application
These criteria constitute the minimum requirements for eligibility and do not guarantee admission. That remains at the discretion of the relevant supervisors and departments, and access to supervision remains highly competitive. The University must certify that there are sufficient supervisory and other resources and facilities available to enable your candidature to be completed successfully.
Additional application requirements
You will be required to upload all of the following documents when you submit your application:
• certified academic transcripts for all your previous tertiary study, if they were not completed at The University of Sydney
• CV, providing a summary of your work experience and other relevant activities
• cover letter outlining your reasons for applying
• evidence that your supervisor supports your application. This can be PDF copies of emails and correspondence between you and your supervisor
• research proposal
• statement of capacity to undertake part-time candidature (if applicable –domestic applicants)
• off-campus plan (if applicable)
• proof of your Australian residency status (a certified copy of the main page your Australian passport, or a certified copy of the main page(s) of your own passport with evidence of your visa)
• English language qualifications (if your prior study was completed at an institution where English is not the medium of instruction).
Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee
This 2016, tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student represents the fee that is payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2015 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.
Additional incidental fees
For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.
Potential for inaccuracy
Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information in this prospectus, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.
The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents
Please note that if you are classified by the University as a Research Training Scheme student in accordance with the Other Grants Guidelines (Research) 2010, you will be exempt from the payment of any SCA or tuition fees for courses undertaken as part of a Research Masters degree and Research Doctoral degree. More information about your eligibility for this Scheme is available here.
International tuition fees for postgraduate students
This 2016, tuition fee for international postgraduate students represents the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2016, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.
Additional incidental fees and health insurance
For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. The University's Future Students' webpage has further information about these additional incidental fees for postgraduate coursework students and postgraduate research students.
In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.
Potential for inaccuracy
Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.