Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine)

Medicine

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at Sydney Medical School will allow you to pursue research from one of a number of areas in which the faculty has expertise. You will complete the degree in three to four years during which time you will undertake research culminating in the submission of an 80,000 word thesis.

Further course information and outcomes

Further information about research courses:

For more information, visit the handbook.

How to apply

Admission requirements

Eligible candidates are encouraged to apply in plenty of time, and even before completion of their current qualifying degree. In these circumstances, referee reports are essential as part of the application for admission.

To apply for a PhD, you need to demonstrate sufficient prior research experience and capability. In most cases, to be eligible to apply for a PhD you will have:


  • a Bachelors degree with first or upper second class Honours or


  • a Masters degree performed at a high academic standard, and which includes substantial component of original research, or


  • an equivalent qualification that demonstrates research experience, excellence and capability.


These criteria constitute the minimum requirements for eligibility and do not guarantee admission. That remains at the discretion of the Associate Dean (HDR) for a given Faculty.

Applicants who do not meet these admission requirements may be issued an offer of a place to the Master of Philosophy (Medicine)

Transfer from University of Sydney Master of Philosophy (Medicine)

Outstanding candidates who successfully complete up to one year full-time or equivalent part-time of the University of Sydney Master of Philosophy (Medicine) may apply for transfer into the Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine) 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 Master of Philosophy (Medicine) progression and completion requirements

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.

Applying for admission


  1. Find a supervisor within the Faculty whose academic background aligns with your research. To start you can:


    You will need to provide the following in contacting a supervisor:
    • 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


  2. In conjunction with your supervisor, develop a preliminary research proposal (see below 'Preparing your research proposal').


  3. 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.


    • Your research proposal should be submitted along with your CV, academic transcripts and other supporting documents.


    • 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

In order for your application to be assessed, you will be required to upload all of the following documents:

• 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

• two academic references (international and domestic applicants)

• research proposal (see below 'Preparing your research proposal')

• statement of capacity to undertake part-time candidature (if applicable –domestic applicants)

• evidence that your supervisor supports your application. This can be PDF copies of emails between you and your supervisor

• 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).


Preparing your research proposal

A research proposal is a required document as part of application for admission to a postgraduate research degree at the University of Sydney. It is necessary to prepare a proposal that clearly summaries your proposed research project. You should prepare this document and it should be reviewed your supervisor(s) before submission with your application for admission. If you are admitted this initial research proposal will be used as a basis for preparation of your final research program in your first year of candidature.

Below are guidelines to help you prepare your initial research proposal for admission. Requirements of Faculties may vary so please contact your supervisor(s) or the relevant Postgraduate Research Coordinator for more information.

Min-Max length: up to 2000 words
Project Title: Working title for the project
Supervisor name(s): Names of supervisor(s)
Proposed mode of research: Describe your mode of research? (e.g. creative work, laboratory/field research, clinical investigations, archive/library study)
Aims and objectives What are the overall aims of the work? What objectives are necessary to meet the aims?
Synopsis: Briefly describe the key aspects of what you will be investigating
Background: Brief review of literature in the area of interest. Describe what research lays the groundwork for your topic.
Expected research contribution: Why is the topic/creative work important? Describe how the research may be novel and its impact on the discipline.
The proposed methodology: Approach or methodology to be used in the research, the materials/equipment you intend to use, your space/laboratory/studio requirements.
Work plan: An initial plan for completion with annual milestones.
Resources: Provide details of major resources required for you to carry out your research project. What significant resources are required for the success of your proposed project (e.g. travel, equipment)?
References: A short bibliography of the cited literature.
Work plan: An initial plan for completion with annual milestones.

Important Fee Information

Domestic students

Indicative Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee

The tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student is an indication only of the 2017 fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Domestic Higher Degree by Research Student fee information

Commencing 1 January 2017, the Research Training Program (RTP) has been introduced by the Australian Government to support postgraduate research scholarships. The RTP enables the University to award eligible domestic and international Higher Degree by Research students (RTP Students) with a RTP Fees Offset, which is a type of RTP Scholarship. This RTP Scholarship is to assist with tuition fees that would otherwise be payable by students. The University’s allocation of funding under the RTP is governed by the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and the Commonwealth Scholarship Guidelines (Research) 2017 (as may be amended or replaced from time to time) and relevant Conditions of Grant prescribed by the Government (Relevant Laws).


A student’s continued eligibility is subject to Relevant Laws and University rules, policies and procedures (as may be amended or replaced from time to time). A RTP Fees Offset entitles a student (depending on their course) to a period of tuition fee support for either up to a maximum of four years full-time equivalent study for a Doctorate by Research, or up to a maximum of two years of full-time equivalent study for a Master’s by Research from the course of study commencement date. Different periods of support apply for a part-time student as set out in University policy and procedures. Please note that, when a student has exhausted the maximum period of support under this RTP Scholarship, or they do not comply with a requirement of the RTP Scholarship as set out in University policy and procedures, the University must terminate the Scholarship. If the student wishes to continue their candidature in the same degree (and they are approved to do so), they will be transferred to a domestic fee paying place and may be liable for tuition fees at a rate determined by the University at the time.


Please note that a student’s award of, and continued entitlement to, the RTP Scholarship is subject to change consistent with Relevant Laws and University rules, policies and procedures (as may be amended and replaced from time to time). The University determines the allocation of this Government support and the processes by which this support is managed.


Please consult the Australian Government’s website at: https://www.education.gov.au/research-training-program
for information on RTP Scholarships and eligibility requirements.

Additional incidental costs

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from your faculty.

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

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 so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

International students

Indicative International Tuition Fees for Postgraduate Students

The tuition fee for international postgraduate students is an indication only of the 2017 fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and will 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 costs additional to the tuition fees. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from your faculty.

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.

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

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 so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.