Doctor of Philosophy - Education

Doctorate

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis makes a distinct contribution to existing knowledge by using an original approach, interpreting findings in a new light, or discovering new information.

You will complete a substantial piece of original research under academic supervision, developing authoritative knowledge in your field.

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Entry requirements

The criteria for assessing applicants' eligibility for PhD candidature are:

  1. Minimum qualifications
    Applicants are normally required to have completed at least a four-year honours degree at H2A standard from an Australian university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered by the RHD Committee to be equivalent.
  2. Minimum level of academic achievement
    Applicants should have achieved an overall H1 (80-100%) or H2A (75-79%) grade in the relevant honours or masters degree.
  3. Relevance of the degree
    The completed degree must be in an area that is relevant to the intended PhD, including sufficient specialisation such that the applicant will have already developed an understanding and appreciation of a body of knowledge relevant to the intended PhD.
  4. Evidence of research ability
    Applicants are normally required to have completed a research project, component, subject or group of subjects that accounts for at least 25% of their work (i.e. Honours year), or 25% of one year accumulated over the length of a masters course, and which has, or have, been conducted and assessed individually. Research carried out in groups should at least have been graded individually.
  5. Currency of applicant's knowledge of the discipline
    The applicant's degree/s and/or professional experience must demonstrate that their knowledge of the discipline in which they plan to undertake their research higher degree is current.
  6. Assessment of level of suitability
    Based on interview or other verbal communication, an assessment should be made of the level of understanding, motivation and time commitment of the student for the proposed program of study. For example, a full-time student would be expected to devote at least 40 hours a week and a part-time student about half of this.

International students must also meet English language requirements.

Course structure

  • 4 years full-time or 8 years part-time
  • Candidates complete an 80,000 word PhD thesis
  • Candidates must present their research findings at a public completion seminar attended by their Advisory Committee.

For detailed course and subject information, see the University Handbook: PhD - Education.

How to apply

Application closing dates

There are two major selection rounds during the year. New applications can be submitted at any time, however only complete applications submitted by the closing dates below will be considered in each round.

Please note: meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee admission into the course as entry to candidature is very competitive.

Semester 2, 2017

Applications for all graduate research degrees close: 18 April 2017.

Semester 1, 2018

Applications for Doctor of Education and Master of Educational Psychology/PhD (combined degree) close: 31 August 2017.

Applications for all other graduate research degrees close: 16 October 2017.

We recommend you submit your application at least four weeks before the closing date to allow adequate time for any additional documents to be provided.

Application process

Applications for graduate research degrees are submitted online.

  1. Read the application information on the Future Students website.
  2. Complete the online application form by following the prompts and submit. You are required to provide a research proposal as part of your application (proposal requirements are outlined below).
  3. You will receive an email from Graduate Research (GR) Admissions confirming whether your application is complete or incomplete. Please check this email carefully for any additional documentation required and expected processing times.

If you have any questions about how to complete or submit your application, please contact GR Admissions at rhd-admissions@unimelb.edu.au.

Research proposal

You are required to provide an extended research proposal as part of your application. Research proposals need to be 1,500 words for PhD applications and 1,000 words for all other graduate research degrees.

They must succinctly address the following points under separate headings:

  1. Rationale for and aims of study: what is the proposed topic of your study and why is it important? What does your study want to achieve? What could be your potential research questions?
  2. Key concepts and theories: briefly discuss key academic concepts and theories informing your study.
  3. Approach and methodology: provide a brief overview of the approach and/or methodology you intend to use in your study.
  4. Rationale for coming to the Melbourne Graduate School of Education: include suggestions for two or three prospective supervisors, and provide a brief explanation of how these supervisors could contribute to your research project. You do not need to provide evidence that these supervisors have agreed to support your project. Please note that at least one of these prospective supervisors should also be listed in the “preferred supervisors” section of the online application form.
  5. Bibliography: list up to ten key references for your project.

Scholarships

Scholarship applications should be lodged online as part of your graduate research degree application. Current graduate research students can apply for scholarships via their Student Portal.

Visit financial support and scholarships to see available scholarships.

For more information about eligibility, selection and indicative competitive score for scholarships, visit how are graduate research scholarships awarded?

Application outcome

All correspondence regarding your application will be by email. If your application is successful, you will receive an offer letter via email explaining how you can accept your place.

Semester 2, 2017

Outcomes for all graduate research degrees: June 2017.