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Master of Arts (Research)

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  • World class research

    We are one of the world’s top research universities and a member of Australia’s prestigious Group of Eight network and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities.

  • 1st in employability

    Our graduates are ranked 1st in Australia and 4th in the world for employability.

Overview

In the Master of Arts (Research) degree you will complete a substantial independent research project with one-on-one supervision from leading academics in your field.

Pursue your passion for research in a range of subject areas offered by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences—consistently ranked among the top 20 faculties in the world for arts and humanities research. Develop advanced skills including critical thinking, data interpretation and analysis, project management, as well as communication and problem solving.

The MA (Research) can be undertaken through the option of research and a thesis only, or a combination of a thesis and coursework, such as:

  • A thesis of 30,000 to 35,000 words; or
  • One postgraduate unit of study (six credit points) and a thesis of 28,000 to 30,000 words; or
  • Two postgraduate units of study (12 credit points) and a thesis of 26,000 to 28,000 words.

If you choose to continue with research, the MA (Research) offers an internationally recognised pathway to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). If you don’t, your invaluable research experience will give you a competitive edge and enhanced employment opportunities, both in Australia and overseas.

Specialisations

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status

The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your fee

Your funding & scholarships

How to apply

Research areas

Master of Arts (Research) candidates may undertake research in one of the faculty's six schools or the United States Study Centre. The six schools are the Schools of Economics; Languages and Cultures; Literature, Art and Media; Philosophical and Historical Inquiry;  Social and Political Sciences; and the Sydney School of Education and Social Work.

Applying for admission

Prospective students with an Honours degree awarded in the second class or a Master's degree without a thesis component should consult the Postgraduate Research Coordinator of the relevant department before making an application.

  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.
  4. Obtain two academic referee reports, each one written by a referee who is familiar with your previous academic achievements.

Completion requirement

In order to complete the requirements for the Master of Arts (Research), a candidate shall complete an approved course of advanced study and research as follows:

  • a thesis of 30,000-35,000 words investigating an appropriate topic approved by their supervisor, the relevant postgraduate coordinator and the Faculty; or
  • one postgraduate unit of study as prescribed by the Faculty comprising a total of 6 credit points; and a thesis of 28,000-30,000 words investigating an appropriate topic approved by their supervisor, the relevant postgraduate coordinator and the Faculty; or
  • two postgraduate units of study as prescribed by the Faculty comprising 12 credit points; and a thesis of 26,000-28,000 words investigating an appropriate topic approved by their supervisory, the relevant postgraduate coordinator and the Faculty.

Thesis submission requirements and examination procedure as set out in the Academic Board resolutions for this course and the Higher Degree (HDR) Rule 2011.

Admission requirement

To be eligible for admission to the Master of Arts (Research) you must have completed the equivalent of a bachelor's degree in a subject area related to your proposed research area.

These constitute the minimum requirements for eligibility and do not guarantee admission. This remains at the discretion of the relevant supervisors and departments. The University must certify that there are sufficient supervisory and other resources and facilities available to enable your candidature to be completed successfully.

Graduate opportunities

Your superior ability and invaluable research experience will give you a competitive edge and enhanced employment opportunities, both in Australia and overseas.

Future study options

If you choose to continue with research, the MA (Research) offers an internationally recognised pathway to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Domestic students

Indicative Postgraduate Student Contribution Amount


The student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the amount payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol. For further information about how to calculate your specific total student contribution, please refer to the University's Tuition Fees website.

Annual review and fee increases


Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Indicative Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee


The tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student is an indication only of the 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 increase


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, course-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from https://sydney.edu.au/students/materials-and-equipment.html.

Visa/MasterCard surcharge


Please note that a surcharge of 1.53% 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 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 costs and health insurance


For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the tuition fees. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, course-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from https://sydney.edu.au/students/materials-and-equipment.html. 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.

Visa/MasterCard surcharge


Please note that a surcharge of 1.53% 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.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.