Master of Educational Psychology/PhD


Develop advanced research skills while studying to be an educational psychology practitioner by completing a PhD in educational psychology.

With a focus on early childhood development, learning issues, mental health, life transitions and promoting wellbeing across the lifespan, you’ll gain grounding in the theoretical, conceptual and empirical foundations of educational psychology.

The course offers:

  • practicum placements in a range of settings including primary and secondary schools, early learning centres, colleges, clinics, hospitals, private practice and community settings
  • student-centred reflective learning and curriculum
  • programs that are highly relevant to schools and educational policy and practice.

Have an enquiry? Course brochure (170kb PDF)

Entry requirements

  • A degree* with first class Honours (80% and above) in psychology
  • Three academic referee reports. Applicants must organise for referees to fill out the online form
  • An interview (if shortlisted)
  • All applicants must meet English language requirements.

* All degrees must be accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council.

Applicants with overseas qualifications must provide an Australian Psychological Society (APS) comparability assessment with their application to confirm their eligibility for Associate Membership.

Please note: If your application is successful, you must apply for provisional registration with the Psychology Board of Australia (if not currently registered) and undertake a Working with Children Check when you enrol in the course.

Course structure

  • Course code: G02AA
  • Up to 4 years full-time or 8 years part-time
  • Coursework and research, comprising:
    1. 100 points of coursework in the first year (or equivalent for part time students)
    2. 150 points of further coursework throughout the final three years
    3. 1000 hours of supervised fieldwork
    4. 80,000 word PhD thesis.

For detailed course and subject information, see the University Handbook: Master of Educational Psychology/PhD.


Successful completion of the course qualifies graduates to practice as a registered psychologist and become a Member of the Australian Psychological Society and Associate Member of the College of Educational and Developmental Psychologists.

You’ll gain training to work as an educational psychologist with expert skills in counselling, psychological assessment, research methods, intervention, group work, consultation and multidisciplinary team work, along with advanced research skills.

Graduates can work in a range of settings including:

  • schools, as a psychologist, student counsellor or welfare coordinator
  • agencies treating children with emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • government education and health departments
  • clinics, hospitals and private psychological practice
  • universities and research units.

How to apply

Application dates

There are two selection rounds each year for entry to the PhD and Masters by research degrees, and one round for entry to the Master of Educational Psychology/PhD and the Doctor of Education degrees. New applications can be submitted at any time, however all applications must be submitted and complete by the closing dates below to be considered for each round.

Meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee admission into the course, as entry to candidature is very competitive. Entry to the PhD is particularly competitive; and an H1 (80-100%) overall grade is usually required to be admitted into this degree.

Semester 2, 2018

Applications closed on 18 April 2018. If your application was submitted but incomplete at that date, your application will be considered for 2019 commencement (please see below).

Semester 1, 2019

Doctor of Education and Master of Educational Psychology/PhD (combined degree): applications close 31 August 2018.

All other graduate research degrees (PhD, MPhil, Master of Education - Research): applications close 16 October 2018.

Semester 2, 2019

All graduate research degrees: applications close 18 April 2019.

We recommend you submit your application at least four weeks before the closing dates, just in case any additional documentation is required.

Please note: the Master of Educational Psychology/PhD and the Doctor of Education do not have a Semester 2 intake.

Application process

1. Write your research proposal

You must provide an extended research proposal with your application. Research proposals should 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:

  • Aims of study: what's the proposed topic of your study and why is it important? What does your study want to achieve? What could your potential research questions be?
  • Key concepts and theories: briefly discuss key academic concepts and theories informing your study.
  • Approach and methodology: provide a brief overview of the approach and/or methodology you intend to use in your study.
  • Rationale for coming to the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE): why is MGSE the right research environment for your project? Why is your prospective principal supervisor a good fit for your project (see below)?
  • Bibliography: list up to ten key references for your project.

Once you've identified a principal supervisor, your research proposal should also be updated to reflect who they are and how they may contribute to your research project.

2. Find a supervisor

Find a principal supervisor who will support your research proposal and application. Your supervisor must be a current staff member at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE).

We recommend that you search for a supervisor on the University’s Find an Expert page, or visit our current research projects page to find staff members working on research projects. Please attach your research proposal (or a short summary) and CV when contacting your potential supervisors via email.

You'll need to upload evidence of your intended principal supervisor’s support when submitting your application. This can be in email format and must include the intended supervisor’s agreement to supervise you should your application be successful.

Please note that all supervision arrangements are also subject to the approval of the MGSE Selection Committee. Support of a prospective supervisor does not guarantee entry to MGSE’s research higher degree program.

3. Apply online

Read the application information and apply on the Future Students website.

Apply now

Don’t forget to provide your research proposal and evidence of your intended principal supervisors support when submitting your application. You will also need to supply a 100-word summary of your project in addition to your research proposal.

If you have any questions about how to complete or submit your application, please contact Graduate Research Admissions at


Prospective graduate research students will be automatically considered for scholarships as part of the graduate research degree application. Current graduate research students can apply for scholarships via their Student Portal.

Further information:

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.

Please note that for the current 2018 round, application outcomes for international applicants will be available in mid to end June. Outcomes for domestic applicants will be available in late June.

For the next round (commencement in the first half of 2019), application outcomes will be available by early December.