Research Programs in the Natural Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

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Minimum Course Duration - Full Time: 3 years

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is a research degree awarded for a thesis considered to be a substantially original contribution to the subject concerned. Some coursework may be required (mainly in the form of seminars) but in no case is it a major component. Applicants should normally hold a Master’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree with first class honours (although you should check with the Faculty concerned about the level of honours required) from the University of Sydney or an equivalent qualification from another university or institution. The degree may be taken on either a full-time or part-time basis. Normally the minimum period of candidature will be determined on the recommendation of the faculty but in any case will be not less than three years; the maximum period of part-time candidature is normally eight years.

Research Masters

Minimum Course Duration - Full Time: 1 year

Graduates of the University of Sydney with first or second class honours and candidates in the final year of an approved honours course in their Bachelors degree or who have an equivalent qualification from another institution or an equivalent standard of knowledge, may apply for admission to candidature for the Masters degree. Once admitted, candidates proceed full-time or part-time, by supervised research and thesis, or in some cases by coursework and essay. Some candidates must satisfy a preliminary examination before being admitted to full candidature. Full-time candidates should expect to spend a minimum of one year to a maximum of two years studying this degree. Part-time candidates have between two and four years to complete the Masters degree.

Please note that entry requirements into Research Masters in other Faculties are different and you should consult with the relevant Graduate Adviser or Associate Dean.

Honours

Please note that while Honours is a research program, it is not a postgraduate degree.

The undertaking and achievement of Honours in the three Faculties is different. Generally, the Honours year consists of the following three components, however there may be variations to this, depending on the Faculty, School or discipline area in which you complete Honours.

  • A supervised but independent Research Program
  • Additional courses in experimental


Honours in the Faculty of Science*
Minimum Course Duration - Full Time: 1 year
Honours in the Faculty of Science is a widely recognised and highly regarded additional year of undergraduate study available to students who have recently completed their coursework undergraduate degree. Honours is a unique opportunity for students to explore their research potential by designing an independent project and producing a thesis of their work. Generally the Honours year consists of the following three components, however there may be variations to this, depending on the School or discipline area in which you complete Honours.

  • A supervised but independent Research Program
  • Additional courses in experimental design/technical training
  • Some coursework study (classes and seminars)

More information about honours.

*Honours not available in some Science areas of study

Graduate Diplomas

Minimum Course Duration - Full Time: 1 year

Graduate Diplomas are also available in other Faculties and their requirements will differ from those of the Faculty of Science. Please consult the relevant Faculties for details.

Graduate Diploma in Science (GradDipSc)^

Minimum Course Duration - Full Time: 1 year

The Graduate Diploma in Science serves as an entry qualification for the Master of Science or PhD. It is a one year research training program that consists of work equivalent to that carried out in the fourth-year honours courses, and it is normally available to candidates who may not be eligible to enrol in those courses. The normal duration is one year full-time or two years part-time.

^GradDipSc not available in some Science areas of study (eg Psychology).


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