Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Academic entry requirements

In general, to be eligible for admission to a postgraduate research degree, you need to have undertaken a significant research project or thesis in your previous university level studies. This could be, for example, the equivalent of an Australian honours degree, or a Master’s by research degree, or a Master’s by coursework with a thesis component (dissertation).

Specific entry requirements vary by degree so you should check the entry requirements for your preferred program carefully. Separate English requirements may also apply. Check Find a course for more information.

If you are not appropriately qualified for a higher degree by research, you may wish consider taking a ||postgraduate coursework program (Domestic - International).

For most research programs, you will need to submit a research proposal with your application, so you will need to carefully consider the subject of your research, and find out whether your interests align with any academic members of staff. To find out more about the available research projects and supervisors at the University of Sydney, Research Supervisor Connect matches your research interests to available PhD and master’s research opportunities, or contact us to discuss your research interests.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The Doctor of Philosophy 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 Sydney PhD comprises independent research and writing on an approved topic toward a thesis for examination. 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. Please find your PhD course and check the admissions requirements, or contact the Faculty for more information.

Our minimum admission requirement for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is that you have completed a master’s degree or a bachelor’s degree with first or upper second class honours. Or you may be eligible if you have passed a qualifying examination at a standard equivalent to the bachelor’s degree with first or upper second class honours. For this qualifying examination, we accept completion of a period of relevant full-time study or part-time advanced study and research towards a master’s degree at the University of Sydney. We require the examination to meet a standard which would satisfy the faculty that you are suitably prepared in your chosen field to undertake PhD study. We also need the head of department to confirm to the faculty that:

  • your planned research is appropriate and acceptable
  • you have the necessary training and ability to pursue your preferred course of study and research
  • you can access sufficient support services – supervisors and other resources and facilities – that will assist you to complete your proposed research.

Some departments require all potential PhD candidates to enrol in an appropriate master's program, with transfer to the PhD only after completion of that degree program or after at least one year of satisfactory progress. All PhD candidates are admitted on a probationary basis for the first four research periods.

Masters by research

We offer a range of Masters programs, and entry requirements vary depending on the Faculty and course. In most cases, admission to Masters by research requires a bachelor’s degree with first or second class honours from the University of Sydney or another approved institution, or an equivalent qualification that demonstrates a sufficient level of research experience and capability. Please find your course and check the admissions requirements carefully, or contact the Faculty for more information.

Health and security requirements

Additionally, health and security checks are required for some postgraduate courses involving fieldwork in the New South Wales hospital and education systems. Check Find a course to see if your course has any of these requirements.