How to Apply - Research Programs @ Sydney Law School
There are two steps involved in making an application to a research program:
Prior to making a formal application, you are required to provide information on the following form about your area of intended research, academic qualifications, professional or other qualifications, details about your original research activities and publications, and any other information relevant to the application.
- Expression of Interest form ( .doc)
Expressions of Interest are generally due:
|Domestic applicants||at least 3 months prior to formal application closing date|
|International applications||at least 6 months prior to formal application closing date|
Late Expressions of Interest may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The Associate Dean (Research) will consider the Expression of Interest on the basis of your eligibility to enter the postgraduate research program as well as research supervision capacity within the relevant research area. If the Expression of Interest is accepted, you will be referred to the relevant academic staff member to discuss the suitability/viability of the research proposal for a thesis, the availability of supervision, and to determine whether to proceed to make a formal application (Stage 2).
The Expression of Interest should be submitted at least 3 months for domestic applicants and at least 6 months for international applicants prior to the formal application closing date. This will allow the minimum time to assess the Expression of Interest and to make a formal application. Late Expressions of Interest may not be considered in time to make a formal application.
A formal application should only be submitted after your Expression of Interest has been accepted.
Application form and information
Once you have been advised to proceed with a formal application, you should complete the relevant application form below:
Online application forms
If you require assistance with making an online application, please contact the Direct Applications Team, Student Centre. For postgraduate law research course enquiries, please contact the Postgraduate Team, Sydney Law School
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
- Doctor of Juridical Studies (SJD)
- Master of Laws (LLM - Research)
- Master of Criminology (MCrim - Research)
- Course transfer application form
All supporting documents submitted to the University of Sydney must either be original documents or certified copies of original documents. Please refer to Certification of documents guideline for all domestic applications
The completed application form must be submitted together with the following supporting documentation.
- Research proposal (see proposal outline)
- Proof of Australian / New Zealand citizenship or Australian permanent resident status i.e. certified Australian birth/citizenship certificate or photo page of valid passport (and permanent resident visa if applicable). Copies must certified by a Justice of the Peace with a registration number.
- Evidence of name change (if applicable) e.g. original or certified marriage certificate.
- Certified transcripts of all academic qualifications attempted. The transcript must be certified by a Justice of the Peace with a registration number and contain the name of qualification, award conferral date, name of awarding institution, class of honours, course duration, overall course average or grade point average attained. For overseas qualifications, please provide academic transcripts including explanation of grades and the level of passing grade at the awarding institution. Applicants whose transcripts are not in English should provide original transcripts together with original translations of the transcripts.
- Explanation for any ‘fail’ grade(s).
- Evidence of English language proficiency
- At least one referee report from an academic and/or relevant professional outlining your academic performance, research potentials and demonstrated ability to undertake a research degree.
- List of original publication and research details (research undertaken in English only). The details should include the publication/research project:
- submission date
- type (e.g. book, journal, conference paper)
- word length
- whether you are the sole author, main author (main contributor of publication) or co-author
- Statement indicating your relevant professional experience at a responsible level or direct research since graduation (please list position title, duration of position held and responsibilities undertaken).
- Statement detailing your availability for study. If your proposed candidature will be part-time, you should attach a statement to indicate that you will be substantially free to pursue your candidature. Your statement should show that you will have sufficient time available to complete the course within the maximum period. It should also show that you will plan and carry out the intended research; and for the purposes of this research, that you will be under the supervision and control of the University. If you are employed, your statement should include a declaration from your employer confirming that you will be permitted the time required to effectively pursue your studies.
- Statement indicating how you will be able to sufficiently fund your proposed field work or overseas study/research (if applicable). Explain why this work is essential for completion of your degree.
- Thesis completion timetable including attendance and completion of the compulsory units Legal Research 1, 2 and 3. Masters research candidates are required to complete Legal Research 1 only. The timetable should also take into consideration of any proposed field trips, time away to conduct research/interviews etc as well as the application timeline for seeking ethics approval.
- SJD applicants –indicate the coursework units you are planning to undertake in conjunction with the thesis and the units Legal Research 1, 2 and 3
Prospective research students should include a detailed research proposal (approximately 10 pages). This should provide the following information:
- Proposed research title
- Aims of the research
- Background to the research, including a survey of the relevant literature and law (including case law, where appropriate) and a clear statement of the area to be researched
- Rationale for the research and a statement of why it is significant
- Working hypotheses or research questions
- Research methodology including theoretical and empirical considerations for the research
- Consideration of ethical requirements and obligations of the research, including all research projects and teaching practicals involving human participants as subjects require ethical approval. For information, please visit Research Support
- The Writing a Thesis Proposal guidelines are a good starting point for preparing to write your research proposal.
Transfer of research candidature
In addition to formal documentation required for application (as above), applicants who have already commenced a research degree and are seeking to transfer to another research degree, are required to provide the following additional information:
- Reasons for applying to transfer
- Statement (no more than 1,000 words) indicating the progress of your thesis to date. This should include an outline of the thesis plus a brief summary of each chapter, including information about what stage draft the material has reached.
- Supervisor’s report detailing the rate and standard of your thesis progress made to date.
- Non-University of Sydney applicants: provision of an official enrolment notice issued by the home institution confirming the number of full-time equivalent semesters of enrolment consumed under the DEEWR Research Training Scheme.
For further information, please refer to
Application must be received by:
|Semester 2, 2013||19 April 2013*|
|Semester 1, 2014||27 September 2013*|
* International applicants who wish to be considered for a scholarship must submit their formal application for admission to the International Student Office by 31 July of the previous year for Semester 1 (March) commencement and 15 December of the previous year for Semester 2 (July) commencement. Scholarships are extremely competitive. Only applicants with an Honours 1 or equivalent degree and who have satisfied the Faculty’s English language requirements at the time of receiving an offer of admission are eligible to apply for a scholarship.
The formal admission application will be assessed by academic members in the relevant Research Cluster Group and the Postgraduate Research Committee. Applications will be assessed on the basis of a range of criteria, including the academic credentials, research/publication and relevant professional experience of the applicant, the strength of the research proposal, and research supervision capacity in the relevant legal area.
Please note that entry into the postgraduate research program is highly competitive. Due to the volume of applications and limited supervisory capacity in certain fields, applicants must comply with the prescribed closing date in order to have their application assessed by the Postgraduate Research Committee.
Late applications may be considered on a case-by-case basis.