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Postgraduate research degrees

Apply your theory-driven research to the real world

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 at Sydney can make the difference.

We're unlearning the world's greatest challenges

Our research is driven by the big picture. Ranked in the top 45 of research universities around the world*, the University of Sydney is home to leading researchers who are finding solutions to the world's most pressing issues by changing the way they look at them. 

We are home to 90 world‑renowned multidisciplinary research and teaching centres that tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges, such as health, climate change and food security. These centres include the Charles Perkins Centre, the Brain and Mind Centre and the Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology.

Our interdisciplinary approach means that students are part of a community of scholars that unites experts in fields as diverse as medicine, arts, social sciences, engineering, information technologies and science. 

As a researcher at Sydney, you'll work alongside some of the world's brightest and most accomplished academics. You can access high-calibre facilities and unique international partnerships with top ranked institutions, including Stanford, UCLA, the University of Edinburgh, Utrecht University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and the University of Hong Kong.


Types of research degrees

  • A master's degree by research is the second-highest qualification on the Australian Qualifications Framework
  • Gateway to study at PhD level
  • Usually 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.
  • A PhD is 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
  • Usually three years full time or six years of part-time study (part-time is available to domestic students only).
  • A professional doctorate allows candidates to pursue rigorous scholarship alongside advancing their practice in many fields
  • Usually three to four years full-time or six to eight years of part-time study (part-time is available to domestic students only).

Funding your postgraduate research

Over the next five years the University of Sydney will increase its investment in research scholarships for students by $50 million. This is just one way we are ensuring our continued commitment to supporting our future research students. It also means we have one of the largest research scholarships schemes in Australia. 

Find out more about available scholarships, as well as how to apply for and fund your research degree. 

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Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre

Hours: 9am- 5pm
  • Level 5, 160 City Rd, Darlington NSW 2008 Jane Foss Russell Building G02

Facts & figures

Research at Sydney

  • Top 45 One of the world's top research universities (1)
  • 100% of our research is ranked at world standard and above (2)
  • 90+ multidisciplinary research and teaching centres