Postgraduate research

In postgraduate research courses, students undertake a supervised research project leading to the production of a thesis.

Research degrees


Higher research degrees

Research degrees

Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney offers two research degrees for both medical and non-medical graduates. Follow the steps below for further information on the research degrees offered, and how to apply.

1. Identify your eligibility for a research degree through the admissions requirements for a research degree:

as well as the Master of Surgery (by research) for medical graduates only.

The research master's and doctoral degrees have two purposes. One is to prepare a substantial piece of work which represents a significant contribution in a particular field of study; the other is to train candidates in general research methodology and equip them with transferable research skills.

2. After identifying your admission eligibility, look at our list of potential supervisors
Potential Supervisors

3. Lodge an expression of interest using the following form:
Prospective Research Student Enquiries

4. Your expression of interest will be assessed for eligibility and you will be advised whether you meet the eligibility to proceed to a full application or whether you do not meet entry requirements.

5. If you have received agreement to lodge a full application, fill out and submit the online application form:


Some local and overseas applicants may be eligible to enter the Medical School’s PhD cotutelle program. Candidature is undertaken jointly at Sydney and an overseas university with which the University of Sydney has an approved cotutelle agreement. PhD cotutelle candidature and the examination of the thesis are conducted according to arrangements established during the application process. For further information refer to the Cotutelle Scheme Policy.

Higher doctoral degrees

The Doctor of Medical Science (DMedSc) is a higher doctorate. The DMedSc is awarded by published works which, in the opinion of examiners and the Sydney Medical School, have been generally recognised by scholars in the particular field of expertise as a distinguished contribution to knowledge.

The DMedSc, unlike the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), is not a research training degree. It may be described as an award that one would receive when their career is well established, rather than at the beginning, for an outstanding contribution to knowledge through a substantial body of research. Published work submitted for examination may be regarded as a distinguished contribution to knowledge if:

  • it represents a significant advance in knowledge in its chosen field or
  • it has given rise to or is a major part of a significant debate in scholarly books and journals among recognised scholars in its chosen field or
  • it has directly given rise to significant changes in the direction of research or of practice of a newer generation of recognised scholars in its chosen field.