Skip to main content

Postgraduate research

Join our globally renowned community of scholars

Whether you’re an aspiring academic, seeking a competitive edge in your career or want to explore your passion, a PhD or master's by research is the ideal choice.

Where will postgraduate study in Law lead you?

Our students in law share their stories about the opportunities that postgraduate study has opened up for them.

Consistently ranked among the best research universities in the world, we’re home to many leading researchers and attract generous funding in support of our research projects.

Embarking on a PhD or master’s by research is an opportunity to join a community of recognised leaders in scholarship and make a significant contribution to your area of study.

As a researcher at Sydney, you’ll work alongside some of the world’s brightest and most accomplished academics. You’ll have access to high-calibre facilities and all the support you need, from day one through to the end of your studies. From communication and project management skills to career development opportunities, we’ll give you what you need to thrive while enjoying the freedom offered by a research degree.

Our postgraduate research degrees include:

  • Master of Philosophy (Subject)
  • Master of Subject (Research)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Subject)
  • Doctor of Arts
  • Doctor of Science

View all of our postgraduate research courses.

Postgraduate research qualifications

Master's degree by research

  • The second-highest qualification on the Australian Qualifications Framework.
  • Gateway to study at a PhD level
  • One to two years full-time or two to four years part time (part time is available to domestic students only)
  • Awarded on the basis of a supervised thesis, which makes a substantial contribution to  knowledge of the subject concerned.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

  • Our premier research award and the highest qualification on the Australian Qualifications Framework.
  • Comprises independent research and writing on an approved topic toward a thesis for examination.
  • May be undertaken in all faculties and divisions, or across disciplines.
  • Three years full time or six years of part-time study (part time is available to domestic students only).

Doctor of Arts

  • A professional doctorate allowing candidates to pursue rigorous scholarship alongside advancing their practice in fields such as media and communications, journalism, creative writing, anthropology, linguistics, performance, policy or management.
  • Three to four years full time or six to eight years of part-time study (part time is available to domestic students only).

Getting started

Admission is highly competitive. In most cases, you will need to have completed a significant research project at tertiary level. Find out more about the entry requirements for postgraduate research and how to apply.

To show that your planned research is appropriate and that you are capable of performing it, you’ll need to prepare a research proposal with an academically relevant question you intend to investigate and answer through your dissertation.

Your proposal should also outline how you plan to conduct your research and analysis.

You’ll need a supervisor – a staff member whose academic interests align with yours, and who has agreed to mentor you for the duration of your course.

Choosing a supervisor

Finding the right supervisor is just as critical as selecting a research topic. Consider these questions.

  • Professional reputation: What have they published? Have they won any awards or grants? Are they considered a thought leader in their field?
  • Personal reputation: Talk to previous students or tutors within the faculty who have worked with them.
  • Compatibility and rapport: Being able to talk openly with your supervisor is key. Do they share your interest in the topic? Do you feel they will respect your research methods and challenge you to do your very best?
  • Networking: Find out what kinds of opportunities they offer to students, such as the chance to travel to conferences or co-author papers.
  • Support: Make sure they can see you regularly to discuss your research project and help you identify roadblocks and issues.

Applying for a scholarship

We're one of the most generous providers of scholarships in Sydney. Find out what's on offer and how to apply. 

Contact us

1800 SYD UNI (1800 793 864)
or +61 2 8627 1444

Student Centre, Level 3
Jane Foss Russell Building, Darlington Campus

Opening hours:
9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday