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Doctor of Philosophy (Arts and Soc Sci)

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Overview

Candidates for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) research and write a thesis of 80,000 words on an approved topic under the supervision of a member of the academic staff.

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Sydney is consistently ranked as one of the world's most outstanding academies for research in the humanities and social sciences. The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is offered in disciplines ranging across art and art history, archaeology and classics, diverse languages and their cultures, Economics, English language and literature, ancient, medieval and modern history, philosophy, the global political economy and international governance, sociology and cultural studies, and media and communications.

The Faculty's Schools and related centres and institutes provide abundant PhD research opportunities with academic staff members who are experts and leaders in their fields of research.

Subject areas

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your fee

Your funding & scholarships

How to apply

Research areas

PhD candidates in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences may undertake research in over 40 subject areas located in the faculty's six schools. These are the Schools of Economics; Education and Social Work; Languages and Cultures; Literature, Art and Media; Philosophical and Historical Inquiry; and Social and Political Sciences.

Research may also be undertaken in association with prominent humanities and social sciences research centres or groups.

What you'll study

Units of Study

Applying for admission

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR 2020 APPLICANTS

ALL APPLICANTS SEEKING TO COMMENCE IN 2020 OR LATER SHOULD APPLY FOR PhD (Arts and Social Sciences) here

New course name: Applications for 2020 commencement are welcomed from students wishing to pursue a PhD in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Due to the realignment of the Faculty and to better represent our multidisciplinary research across our diverse range of discipline areas (e.g. Arts, Social Sciences, Education, Social Work, Visual Arts) we are changing our administrative processes so that Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) candidates commencing from 2020 will be enrolled through a single PhD pathway.  From 2020 the doctoral programs of Doctor of Philosophy (Arts and Soc Sci), Doctor of Philosophy (Education), Doctor of Philosophy (Social Work) and Doctor of Philosophy (Visual Arts) will delivered under one new central name and course code, Doctor of Philosophy (Arts and Social Sciences).

Those wishing to commence in 2019 (where available), should proceed via the ‘apply’ link at the top of this page. 

Tuition Fees: From 2020, tuition fees for students enrolled in doctoral study in Arts and Social Sciences will be raised in line with the fees for doctoral studies in Education and Social Work. As a guide, the international fees for 2019 in PhD (Education) and PhD (Social Work) are $40,000 per year (please note this is indicative only for 2019 and is subject to annual increase). Tuition fees for domestic students undertaking a PhD at the University of Sydney are usually funded by the Australian Government through an RTP Tuition Fee Offset. Full 2020 fee information will be available at sydney.edu.au/courses when finalised.   

  1. Find a supervisor within the University whose academic background aligns with your research. You may visit Research Supervisor Connect to start.
  2. Contact a postgraduate research coordinator and provide: your academic/educational background and research experience with examples such as an academic transcript your CV/resume the area of interest for your PhD why you believe your research topics align with this supervisor
  3. In conjunction with your supervisor, develop a research proposal, 2-4 pages in length (at least 1000 words) that outlines the subject area, objectives and significance of your research.
  4. Obtain two academic referee reports , each one written by a referee who is familiar with your previous academic achievements.
  5. If you intend to study part-time towards a PhD (international student visa holders must enroll full-time), you will also need to supply: evidence that shows you will have sufficient time available to plan and carry out the research under the supervision of the University, and complete the course within the maximum period allowed for a part-time PhD enrolment, and a declaration from your employer (if relevant) confirming that you will be permitted to take the time required to effectively pursue your studies.
  6. Submit your application along with your research proposal, CV, academic referee reports, academic transcripts, supporting evidence (where required) and other supporting documents such as identification and evidence of residency status. Applications are made via the University's online application portal.
  7. When you are ready to apply, select the `Apply Now' button on the right hand side of this page

Please note: Except for IPRS and USydIS scholarships for international students, you must complete a separate scholarship application

Completion requirement

PhD candidates are required to complete a probationary year and produce an extended thesis proposal (10,000 to 12,000 words) at the end of their first year of full-time (or the part-time equivalent) candidature.

The normal length of a PhD thesis is approximately 80,000 words. Examination is by presentation of the thesis.

Admission requirement

To be eligible for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy (Arts and Social Sciences), you must have completed the equivalent of one of the following in a subject area related to your proposed research area:

  • bachelor's degree with first class or second class honours or, master's degree by research; or
  • master's degree by coursework with an independent research component such as a thesis, dissertation or research project with a minimum overall pass average of 75% or above or demonstrated appropriate experience and alternative qualifications in the field of study.

Applicants who do not meet these admission requirements may be issued an offer of a place to the Master of Philosophy (Arts and Social Sciences).

Transfer from University of Sydney Master of Philosophy (Arts and Social Sciences)

Outstanding candidates who successfully complete up to one year full-time or equivalent part-time of the University of Sydney Master of Philosophy (Arts and Social Sciences) may apply for transfer into the Doctor of Philosophy (Arts and Social Sciences) and be granted credit for work already completed: with approval from the supervisor and school meeting all higher degree by research progression requirements completing 25 000 words of a thesis to the satisfaction of the department; providing evidence that their research is of a sufficient scope and depth to sustain a doctoral thesis. See Master of Philosophy (Arts and Social Sciences) progression and completion requirements.

These constitute the minimum requirements for eligibility and do not guarantee admission. This remains at the discretion of the relevant supervisors and departments. The University must certify that there are sufficient supervisory and other resources and facilities available to enable your candidature to be completed successfully.

Course opportunities

The faculty is home to more than 90 research and teaching centres incuding the the faculty’s newest research centre, the Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre (SSSHARC). Along with our world-renowned schools, these provide abundant PhD research opportunities with academic staff members who are experts and leaders in their fields of research.

Domestic students

Indicative Postgraduate Student Contribution Amount


The student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the amount payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol. For further information about how to calculate your specific total student contribution, please refer to the University's Tuition Fees website.

Annual review and fee increases


Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Indicative Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee


The tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student is an indication only of the fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increase


Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Domestic Higher Degree by Research Student fee information


Commencing 1 January 2017, the Research Training Program (RTP) has been introduced by the Australian Government to support postgraduate research scholarships. The RTP enables the University to award eligible domestic and international Higher Degree by Research students (RTP Students) with a RTP Fees Offset, which is a type of RTP Scholarship. This RTP Scholarship is to assist with tuition fees that would otherwise be payable by students. The University's allocation of funding under the RTP is governed by the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and the Commonwealth Scholarship Guidelines (Research) 2017 (as may be amended or replaced from time to time) and relevant Conditions of Grant prescribed by the Government (Relevant Laws).
A student's continued eligibility is subject to Relevant Laws and University rules, policies and procedures (as may be amended or replaced from time to time). A RTP Fees Offset entitles a student (depending on their course) to a period of tuition fee support for either up to a maximum of four years full-time equivalent study for a Doctorate by Research, or up to a maximum of two years of full-time equivalent study for a Master's by Research from the course of study commencement date. Different periods of support apply for a part-time student as set out in University policy and procedures. Please note that, when a student has exhausted the maximum period of support under this RTP Scholarship, or they do not comply with a requirement of the RTP Scholarship as set out in University policy and procedures, the University must terminate the Scholarship. If the student wishes to continue their candidature in the same degree (and they are approved to do so), they will be transferred to a domestic fee paying place and may be liable for tuition fees at a rate determined by the University at the time.
Please note that a student's award of, and continued entitlement to, the RTP Scholarship is subject to change consistent with Relevant Laws and University rules, policies and procedures (as may be amended and replaced from time to time). The University determines the allocation of this Government support and the processes by which this support is managed.
Please consult the Australian Government's website at: https://www.education.gov.au/research-training-program for information on RTP Scholarships and eligibility requirements.

Additional incidental costs


For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, course-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from https://sydney.edu.au/students/materials-and-equipment.html.

Visa/MasterCard/American Express/JCB surcharge


Please note that a surcharge of 1.53% will apply for payments made by Visa, MasterCard, American Express or JCB. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy


Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

International students

Indicative International Tuition Fees for Postgraduate Students


The tuition fee for international postgraduate students is an indication only of the fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increases


Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs and health insurance


For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the tuition fees. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, course-specific materials, tools, protective clothing, and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from https://sydney.edu.au/students/materials-and-equipment.html. In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through a government approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government. Further information is available from https://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/living-costs/health-insurance.html.

Visa/MasterCard/American Express/JCB surcharge


Please note that a surcharge of 1.53% will apply for payments made by Visa, MasterCard, American Express or JCB. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy


Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.