Research degrees in allied health

An ongoing history of achievement

The University of Sydney’s Faculty of Health Sciences has a tradition of participating in public debates to help shape national and international, health and social policy agendas.

You will work alongside internationally recognised thought leaders and collaborations with industry bodies, not-for-profit organisations, and community networks, will ensure the future of our academic tradition.

Expand knowledge, improve treatment

Studying for a PhD is a unique opportunity to push the frontiers of knowledge, develop and prove your ability, and expand your career prospects.

The following research degrees are available through the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Who can apply?

Eligible candidates are encouraged to apply in plenty of time, and even before completion of their current qualifying degree. In these circumstances, referee reports are essential as part of the application for admission.

To apply for a HDR, you need to demonstrate sufficient prior research experience and capability. In most cases, to be eligible to apply for a HDR you will have:

  • a Bachelor’s degree with first or upper second class Honours or
  • a Master’s degree performed at a high academic standard, and which includes substantial component of original research, or
  • an equivalent qualification that demonstrates research experience, excellence and capability.

These criteria constitute the minimum requirements for eligibility and do not guarantee admission. That remains at the discretion of the Associate Dean (HDR) for a given Faculty.

Please note: for PhD applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements stated above, the Faculty may recommend you to enrol in a Master’s by research degree (if you meet the admission requirements), with the possibility of an upgrade to the PhD after completion of at least 1 year full time equivalent study and demonstrated satisfactory progress in the Master’s degree.

How to apply

These are the steps you need to take to be considered for admission to candidature for a higher degree by research in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Please read the steps carefully before submitting your online application.

Find a research supervisor and lodge an Expression of Interest.

Ensure that you have a clear idea of what topic area you want to research during your candidature. Search for a supervisor under your preferred research area through the Research Supervisor Connect.

The system will allow you to submit an enquiry and provide contact details for potential supervisors to discuss your research.

A research proposal is a required document as part of application for admission to a postgraduate research degree at the University of Sydney. It is necessary to prepare a proposal that clearly summaries your proposed research project. You should prepare this document and it should be reviewed your supervisor(s) before submission with your application for admission. If you are admitted this initial research proposal will be used as a basis for preparation of your final research program in your first year of candidature.

Below are guidelines to help you prepare your initial research proposal for admission. Requirements of Faculties may vary so please contact your supervisor(s) or the relevant Postgraduate Research Coordinator for more information.

  • Min-Max length: up to 2000 words
  • Project Title: Working title for the project
  • Supervisor name(s): Names of supervisor(s)
  • Proposed mode of research: Describe your mode of research? (e.g. creative work, laboratory/field research, clinical investigations, archive/library study)
  • Aims and objectives: What are the overall aims of the work? What objectives are necessary to meet the aims?
  • Synopsis: Briefly describe the key aspects of what you will be investigating
  • Background: Brief review of literature in the area of interest. Describe what research lays the groundwork for your topic.
  • Expected research contribution: Why is the topic/creative work important? Describe how the research may be novel and its impact on the discipline.
  • The proposed methodology: Approach or methodology to be used in the research, the materials/equipment you intend to use, your space/laboratory/studio requirements.
  • Work plan: An initial plan for completion with annual milestones.
  • Resources: Provide details of major resources required for you to carry out your research project. What significant resources are required for the success of your proposed project (e.g. travel, equipment)?
  • References: A short bibliography of the cited literature.
  • Work plan: An initial plan for completion with annual milestones.

You may carry out your candidature on a full-time or part-time basis. In general if you plan to devote a minimum of 35-40 hours a week to candidature, this would be considered fulltime. Part-time candidature requires a commitment of at least 10-20 hours a week, and provides a longer period of time in which to complete your degree, but it is worth noting that it also has an impact on your ability to obtain concessions and many scholarships.


You may either pursue your research:

  • On-campus (for candidates residing within the Sydney metropolitan area including Wollongong and Newcastle and international students); or
  • Off-campus (within and outside Australia) in an approved institution/professional environment with adequate facilities, subject to the approval of the Faculty. You may not be in regular physical attendance at the University, but there must be a mutually agreed arrangement for supervision. Please discuss this carefully with your potential supervisor.

If you wish to pursue your candidature off campus, you are required to provide a written off-campus plan that includes the following:

  • Timetable of research for 1st year.
  • Statement of how often and when you are going to meet with your supervisors.
  • When you plan to be on campus.

Please note if you wish to pursue your candidature off-campus (within or outside Australia), you must complete an equivalent of at least two semesters of candidature for PhD, and one semester for a master’s by research within the University prior to submitting your thesis for examination. This period may be taken at any time during the candidature either continuously or in non-consecutive periods.

Once you have secured a supervisor and finalised your research proposal, you’re ready to submit your application. All applications for higher degrees by research are to be lodged online through Sydney Courses.

Please refer to the below inks for details of the documents you are required to upload in support of your application and details about the English language proficiency requirements. The links also give the closing dates for applications, potential commencement dates and additional course information.

Doctor of Philosophy (Health Sciences)

Master of Applied Science - Research

Prospective research student enquiries

If you are interested in undertaking a research degree at the Faculty of Health Sciences but are confused about the application process or, you are not sure if the Faculty covers the area of research you are interested in and you don’t know how to go about identifying an appropriate supervisor, please email the HDR Support Manager

Find a Supervisor

Our Supervisor Connect system (below) allows you to find a supervisor within the Faculty of Health Sciences. Simply enter key words to find research opportunities where you can click on the ‘Contact an adviser online’ button to submit your inquiry.

Search a selection of current research opportunities on offer to new PhD candidates.

Our research program is extensive, so if you don't locate a match to your specific opportunity preference, submit an enquiry for a opportunity within your area of research interest and explain what you're looking for. A consultant will guide you in the right direction.

Hint: Enter a keyword, such as condition, topic area, institution or supervisor name