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Master of Philosophy (Science)

Our students share their stories about the opportunities that postgraduate study opened up for them.

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Overview

The Master of Philosophy (Science) opens the door to the world of scientific research. MPhil (Science) students become independent researchers of exceptional quality. They learn to manage extensive projects, use advanced scientific tools and write reports fit for publication. Their skills enable them to go on to prominent careers, not just in research, but also in policy, industry, management, government, business and international development.

As a University of Sydney student, you can choose from eight different science departments to complete your two-year degree, which will culminate in a thesis written about your particular area of expertise.

Your training will take place in the top ranked university in Australia in terms of scientific output (SCImago World Report 2013). Our reputation for scientific excellence attracts the best researchers and significant research funding, creating an outstanding learning environment for the next generation of scientists and global leaders. 

The Master of Philosophy is predominantly a research degree. You will develop advanced skills in research methods as well as in planning, performing and publishing research under the guidance of a supervisor. There is also the opportunity to undertake some coursework units to support your studies.

If you choose to continue with research, the MPhil (Science) will give you excellent preparation to embark on the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). If you don’t, your superior ability and substantial research experience will give you a competitive edge and enhanced employment opportunities, both in Australia and overseas.

The Master of Philosophy is available across the following disciplines:

  • Agriculture (from 2017)
  • Chemistry
  • Geosciences
  • History and Philosophy of Sciences
  • Life and Environmental Sciences
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Veterinary Science (from 2017)

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

How to apply

Research areas

  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Geosciences
  • History and Philosophy of Sciences
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Molecular Bioscience
  • Physics
  • Psychology

What you'll study

The Master of Philosophy is an excellent program if you are considering pursuing a career in scientific research or if you wish to upgrade your qualifications to give you a competitive edge and enhance employment opportunities, both in Australia and overseas, by demonstrating superior ability and substantial research experience.

The Master of Philosophy is a research degree in which you will undertake supervised research leading to the production of a thesis. There is also the opportunity to undertake some coursework units to support your studies. This provides you with substantial preparation for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) if you choose to continue your research.

The Master of Philosophy is available across the following disciplines:

  • Agriculture (from 2017)
  • Chemistry
  • Geosciences
  • History and Philosophy of Sciences
  • Life and Environmental Sciences
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Veterinary Science (from 2017)

Units of Study

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 through Research Supervisor Connect 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 research proposal, 2-4 pages in length (at least 1000 words) that outlines the subject area, objectives and significance of your research. More information 
  4. Obtain two academic referee reports , each one written by a referee who is familiar with your previous academic achievements.
  5. If you intend to study part-time towards a PhD (international student visa holders must enroll full-time), 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.
  6. Submit your application along with your research proposal, CV, academic referee reports, academic transcripts, supporting evidence (where required) and other supporting documents such as identification and evidence of residency status. Applications are made via the University's online application portal.
  7. 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

Completion requirement

A candidate for the Master of Philosophy (Science) is required to:

  • (a) carry out an original investigation on a topic approved by the Head of Department; and
  • (b) write a thesis embodying the results of this investigation, stating in the thesis the sources from which the work of others has been used, and the proportion of the thesis claimed as original work.

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 Philosophy (Science), 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 a minimum overall credit average in the senior level unit(s) of study relevant to the proposed area of research or,
  • master's degree or,
  • University of Sydney Graduate Diploma in Science with a final mark of 80.

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.

Career pathways & prospects
Future study options

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.

Credit card surcharge


Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa, MasterCard or American Express. 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.

Credit card surcharge


Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa, MasterCard or American Express. 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.