Postgraduate research courses

Doctor of Philosophy

Candidates for the degree of PhD must be graduates, usually in Science or Medicine, and are accepted on the basis of their undergraduate record, which normally includes demonstrated research ability in their Honours year, if Science graduates. The student conducts research under the supervision of a member of the Academic Staff of the Discipline and thus becomes a member of the research team of that staff member's laboratory. Enrolment for the degree must be undertaken in either the Faculty of Science or the Sydney Medical School. The work is conducted principally in the supervisor's Laboratory, although collaboration with, and work in, other Laboratories, according to the dictates of the project, is not uncommon. It usually takes 3 years to obtain sufficient data to prepare a thesis embodying the results of the candidate's original research. Examination of the thesis by independent examiners, including senior scientists external to the University, constitutes the method of assessment. Financial support is available upon competitive assessment of applications made in October each year. For Australian resident Science graduates the support includes Commonwealth scholarships (such as Australian Postgraduate Research Awards), National Health and Medical Research Council Postgraduate Scholarships, and various Sydney Medical School scholarships. For Australian Medical graduates support includes National Health and Medical Research Council Medical Research Scholarships and certain Sydney Medical School scholarships. The Discipline also provides some partial financial support to postgraduate students enrolled in the Discipline who are the authors of papers presented at national or international conferences. In special circumstances, postgraduate students who are experiencing major financial difficulties that are affecting their studies may make a written application to the Head of Discipline for a Grant-in-Aid. Such a Grant-in-Aid will only be made in very exceptional circumstances, and will be limited to a maximum amount of $5,000.

Students who have been accepted into the Graduate Medical or Dentistry Programs have an option of combining these programs with a PhD.

Students from overseas should consult the information published by the Australian Government Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DETYA), especially their admission information. Generally prospective students must apply for an Overseas Postgraduate Research Awards, and generally must do so from their coutries of origin (see the International Office or the DETYA contacts page for details). Other sources of support from the Discipline or University are sometimes available. It is possible in some cases for a candidate to enrol for the degree part-time whilst employed as a Research Assistant in the Discipline. Part-time candidates are permitted to complete the degree in 4 years, which is the current University average time taken for full-time candidates.

Master of Science

Graduates in Science or Medicine may enrol in a shorter research course of 1-2 years full-time or 2-4 years part-time. Enrolment for the degree of MSc is undertaken only within the Faculty of Science. The candidate is expected to complete an appropriate research project. MSc graduates who have demonstrated good research ability may subsequently be permitted to enrol for the degree of PhD. MSc candidates may apply to the Faculty concerned to transfer their candidature to a PhD. If permission is granted, credit is usually given for time spent and work done.

Doctor of Medicine

Medical graduates of any university may undertake research in this Discipline for the degree of MD. Examination is by thesis.

Master of Medicine

Medical graduates of any recognised university from Australia or overseas may enrol for the degree of MMed in this Discipline. Candidature lasts 1-3 years.

Combined Programs

Students who have been accepted into the Graduate Medical or Dentistry Programs have an option of combining these programs with a PhD.