Doctor of Philosophy

CRICOS code Duration (minimum)
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 Rules governing the degree of Doctor of Philosophy are the University of Sydney (Higher Degree by Research) Rule 2011) and the Postgraduate Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

The most recent versions of these rules are found on the Policy Register

Entry requirements

  • an undergraduate degree with first 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
  • the quality of the research proposal is also taken into consideration when assessing a research applications.

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 a short bibliography.

Prospective applicants should contact the appropriate postgraduate research coordinator to discuss their academic requirements of the proposal.


Prospective candidates should contact the relevant Postgraduate Research Coordinator to ensure that there are supervisors available in their area of interest before to applying.


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.

Structure of PhD program

All PhD candidates must complete a maximum six units of study which includes the core unit of study, Research Design. The other units will be decided on the basis of the candidate's previous academic record and the area of research they intend to pursue. Candidates must complete at least one qualitative methods and one quantitative methods unit of study. The core unit must be completed in the first semester of candidature. The remaining units must be completed within the first two years (full time equivalent) of candidature.

Units listed below can be substituted with discipline specific units with the approval for the supervisor and the postgraduate research coordinator.

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

The units of study are:

  • BUSS7901 Research Design (core unit)
  • BUSS7902 Quantitative Research Methods
  • BUSS7903 Qualitative Research Methods
  • BUSS7904 Advanced Analysis for Research
  • BUSS7905 Advanced Research Methods
  • BUSS7906 Current Topics in Research Seminar
  • BUSS7907 Applied Quantitative Analysis
  • BUSS7908 Research Readings Seminar.

All candidates 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 within the first 18 months of candidature.

Annual progress review

All research candidates must complete an Annual Progress Report at the end of each academic year. This report allows candidates to reflect on the progress made throughout the year and plan for the following year.