University of Sydney Handbooks - 2011 Archive

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Doctor of Philosophy

Degree code
Duration (minimum)
FB000 000704A 3 years full-time
6 years part-time

Candidature is for a minimum of three years full-time or six years part-time, and for a maximum of four years full-time or eight years part-time. The award course resolutions for the Doctor of Philosophy are available at

Entry requirements
  • an undergraduate degree with frst or second class (division one) honours in the proposed field of study from a recognised university or its equivalent.


  • a master's degree with at least an 80 per cent average and a 25 per cent research component in the proposed field of study from a recognised university or its equivalent.
  • other factors taken into consideration when assessing a research application are the quality of the research proposal and the availability of a supervisor within the faculty.

Please Note: For specific information regarding the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies please go to:

Research proposal

Applicants must submit a research proposal as part of their application. This should be a written proposal (1500 words) detailing the proposed area of research, the techniques to be used, data sources and bibliography. Intending applicants who are unsure about their research proposal may contact the appropriate postgraduate research coordinator for a preliminary evaluation.

Structure of PhD Program

All PhD candidates must complete six units of coursework which includes the core unit of study, Research Design. The other five units will be decided on the basis of the student€™s previous academic record and the area of research they intend to pursue. All students must complete at least one qualitative methods and one quantitative methods unit of study. The coursework units are:

  • ECOF7901 Research Design (core unit)
  • ECOF7902 Quantitative Research Methods
  • ECOF7903 Qualitative Research Methods
  • ECOF7904 Advanced Analysis for Research
  • ECOF7905 Advanced Research Methods
  • ECOF7906 Current Topics in Research Seminar
  • ECOF7907 Applied Quantitative Analysis

Credit for up to three units may be granted. Students do not need to apply for credit this will be assessed automatically as part of the application process.

All students must formally defend their research thesis proposal. The goal is to ensure that the proposed research is worthwhile, meaningful, viable and feasible, and can be completed within the time-frame given the resource constraints of the program. This will take place in the probation period.

Probationary period

The University's Academic Board has agreed that a probationary period of 12 months for a PhD should be seen as usual practice. Continuation of candidature is conditional upon satisfactory progress being maintained throughout each year. Formal processes to monitor progress on an annual basis are in place.