Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the admission process to Higher Degree by Research (HDR) at UTAS.

A research degree is an advanced study program that gives you an opportunity to deeply explore a topic of your choice. Higher Degree by Research (HDR) programs at the University of Tasmania include the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Masters of Research (MRes) and Professional Doctorate (Prof Doc).

A candidate is a student studying a HDR.

An applicant is a person who has submitted or is in the process of submitting an application for consideration for entry into a HDR.

Please see our Apply Now page for instructions.

Before you start the application process, contact one of our researchers to discuss supervision of your research project and to identify research opportunities. UTAS has more than 1000 active research staff, including many world leaders in their fields, and are committed to mentoring a new generation of critical thinkers.

Graduate Research Administration Officers (GRAOs) are available to provide advice and support at the application stage and throughout your candidature.

For more information, please visit the Apply Now website.

Domestic applicants may apply for part-time candidature.

International applicants must check their visa requirements prior to submitting an application for part-time candidature.

The duration of the academic year for HDR candidates is 48 weeks. Candidates are enrolled for 52 weeks of each calendar year and are entitled to 4 weeks leave per year.

During full-time enrolment, a candidate is required to devote at least 38 hours each week (on average) Monday to Friday, and usually during normal business hours on each of those days.

In order to undertake part-time enrolment, a candidate must be able to devote on average at least 19 hours each week towards their study program, where at least one of these days is a weekday during normal business hours. This is required to ensure you make regular contact with your supervisor.

All candidates enrolled in a Higher Degree by Research must submit a thesis for examination in fulfilment of the award for which they are enrolled.

A degree of Doctor of Philosophy is awarded on the basis of a thesis prepared under supervision that makes an original, significant and extensive contribution to knowledge and understanding in the relevant field of study. Students are required to produce a thesis of no more than 100,000 words (Exegesis = 20,000-50,000), with the research representing a significant new contribution to the discipline.

The degree of Master of Research is awarded on the basis of a thesis prepared under supervision that presents the results of original research in a scholarship form demonstrating the Candidate’s knowledge of the research topic and the discipline/s it embraces. Students are required to produce a thesis of no more than 50,000 words (exegesis = 10,000-20,000), that demonstrates their capacity for critical analysis and application of specialist knowledge.

A degree of Professional Doctorate is awarded on the basis of a combination of:

  • A thesis of up to 80,000 words prepared under supervision that makes an original, significant and extensive contribution to knowledge and understanding in the relevant field of study in the context of professional practice; and
  • The completion of degree specific coursework as approved by Academic Senate and set out in the applicable University course and unit handbook.

A thesis is a body of work that a candidate submits for examination which embodies the results of the candidate’s research. A thesis is judged by independent experts applying accepted contemporary international standards.

An exegesis is a thesis that supports an exhibition or a creative piece of work. It is a critical interpretation or explication of text, a project or creative work. It has a critical part to play in contextualising the research project in the field of enquiry. The exegesis outlines the reasoning behind the research and the underpinning methodology thus explicating the nature and conduct of the research that has underpinned the creation of the performances.

Please see our costs page for information.

You are considered a Domestic student if you are:

  • a citizen of Australia or New Zealand;
  • a dual citizen of Australia and any other country;
  • a Permanent Resident of Australia; or
  • are on a Permanent Humanitarian Visa.

You are considered an international student if you are:

  • a citizen of any country except Australia or New Zealand;
  • a temporary resident of Australia;
  • a permanent resident of New Zealand.

Applications can be submitted at any time of the year.

Applicants who wish to be considered for living allowance scholarship should check our scholarships page for scholarship opportunities.

Please see Step 5 in Apply Now.

You will be advised of the outcome of your application via email. It is therefore important that the email address advised in your application remains valid for a period of at least 3 months.

Please follow the instructions indicated in your offer and the covering email. This may include making a payment and/or meeting offer conditions.

Your covering email will contain a link to the online application system through which you applied. Login to this system and accept your offer.

If you are an international applicant, upon acceptance of your offer, you will be taken to a Western Union payment page. Your quote will be for the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) rate appropriate for you (single, couple, family). Our Admissions Officers have determined the best OSHC for you based on your answers about dependents that will be relocating with you. The current rates of OSHC are available on your offer letter. If you do not believe the rate is correct for your circumstances, or your family will be joining you in Australia at a later date than you, please email us.

You may also be quoted for 50% of your annual rate of tuition fees (see page 5 of your offer letter). This will be included in your quote.

The Research Training Scheme (RTS) has been replaced by the Research Training Program (RTP) in 2017 and is run by the Australian Government’s Department of Education and Training. RTP has changed the way that the Australian Government supports research funding.

The University of Tasmania will offer an RTP Fees Offset to all domestic candidates in 2017 which will offset the total cost of tuition fees for the duration of the course with no extension available.

You qualify for an RTP Fees Offset if you are:

  • a citizen of Australia or New Zealand;
  • a dual citizen of Australia and any other country;
  • a Permanent Resident of Australia; or
  • are on a Permanent Humanitarian Visa.

There is a legislative requirement that recipients of the RTP Fees Offset must acknowledge the Australian Government’s support in any published materials related to their Higher Degree by Research. This relates to any time, both during and after completion of their Higher Degree by Research. Materials include items such as thesis, exegesis, books, articles, newsletters or other literary or artistic works which relate to their Higher Degree by Research project. The acknowledgement must include the mention of support through an “Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship”.

To be eligible for a RTP Fees Offset Scholarship the University is required to issue domestic candidates with a CHESSN and report this number to the Department of Education and Training. If a domestic candidate already has a CHESSN from previous study, the number will remain the same.

Please note that domestic candidates are invoiced for the Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF) and these fees are not covered by the Research Training Program.

Please see Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF) for information.

Domestic candidates are invoiced for these fees directly, unless the candidate has deferred the fees to their HECS-HELP debt. To defer the SSAF please complete a SA-Help form in eStudent before the census date.

International candidates will not receive a SSAF invoice as these fees are included in their annual tuition fees.

UTAS offers a wide range of competitive, merit-based scholarships for both domestic and international HDR candidates. Please see our scholarships page for information. There may also be scholarships related to specific PhD projects available. Please see our PhD Projects page for details on how to apply.

If you were successful in receiving a scholarship, conditions pertaining to the scholarship will be included with your offer.

OSHC is not generally included as part of your scholarship benefits. Please check your offer of enrolment and scholarship conditions for details.

Your payments may take up to 4 weeks from the date of enrolment to commence.

Yes, you can apply for a scholarship as a current candidate. All applications for scholarships are considered on a competitive basis. Applications from current candidates must have the support of the School of Enrolment. Current candidates who have been previously unsuccessful in an application for a scholarship at UTAS will need to demonstrate strong performance against candidature milestones. Please contact your Research Hub to apply.

Step 1: Accept your offer of enrolment online, including, if applicable, making any payments or meeting any conditions as noted in your offer letter.

Step 2: A Graduate Research Officer will acknowledge receipt of your acceptance. If you are an international applicant, you will be issued with an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) for the purpose of your visa application.

Step 3: Make appointments to meet with your supervisor, and with your Graduate Research Administration Officer (GRAO) at the Research Hub for your faculty.

Step 4: On your first day of candidature, complete a Commencement of Candidature form (including obtaining a signature from your supervisor) and return it to the Research Hub for your faculty.

Step 5: You will receive confirmation that your enrolment has been processed via email. This notification will include your login advice if you have not previously studied at UTAS.

Step 6: Login to iGRad to manage your candidature action dates.

Step 7: Visit the Current Candidates website for information about your candidature. Instructions on how to enrol in required coursework units are available here.

Please note: Domestic candidates undertaking Graduate Certificate in Research (X5A) or Graduate Diploma of Marine and Antarctic Science (S6O) must complete an eCAF form via eStudent (eCAF instructions PDF 525KB). This is for Government reporting purposes, there are no tuition fees or a HECS-HELP debt incurred by the candidate for X5A or S6O. Domestic candidates are still liable for paying Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF).

Step 8: Visit the Student Centre (campus maps) to organise your Student ID Card. Please take some form of identification (e.g. driver's licence, passport) and your student ID number (as shown on your letter of offer) with you.

For information about where your desk will be located and obtaining the necessary equipment for your research, please talk to your supervisor or the Research Hub to find out the contact person in your school.

Tasmania is renowned for its natural beauty, its opportunity for adventure and its lifestyle. It has access to some of the most spectacular natural heritage listed areas in the world, including the Tarkine, and a dense, fascinating tapestry of geological features and a rich legacy of the breakup of Gondwanaland.

Tasmania has a cool temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Summer lasts from December to February when the average maximum temperature is 21 C (70 F) and winter maximums are 12 C. It is also one of the driest places in Australia, making it perfect for a range of outdoor activities all year round.

Hobart is the capital city of Tasmania and is characterised by waterfronts, markets, boating, shops, parklands, museums and art galleries. Tasmania has an enormous food and lifestyle culture so that you are spoilt for choice with cafes, restaurants, vineyards, wineries and gourmet markets. Some of the most pristine beaches, forests and island attractions are within close proximity to UTAS campuses for you to explore whilst undertaking your research degree.

There are many different types of accommodation options in Tasmania:

Most international candidates require a Student Visa to study in Australia. If your application for candidature is successful, and you accept your offer of enrolment, you will be issued with an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) which is a required document for your Student Visa application.

International Student Support offers guidance, however please note that UTAS staff are not allowed to provide visa advice under Australian law. Please contact Australian Immigration for assistance.

Having adequate Health Cover for the length of your Student Visa is an Immigration requirement unless you hold Belgian, Swedish or Norwegian citizenship. Please see the Australian Government’s Department of Health for further information.

You can purchase OSHC through UTAS (Medibank Private is our health insurance provider), or through another Australian health insurance provider. If you choose the latter option, you will need to arrange this cover yourself and provide evidence of cover when accepting your offer of enrolment. Please ensure your OSHC will cover you from 28 days prior to your nominated start date and for a duration of 4 years and 9 months (for PhD and 4 year Professional Doctorates), 3 years and 9 months (for 3 year Professional Doctorates), or 2 years and 9 months (for Masters of Research). This is an Immigration requirement to ensure you hold OSHC for the length of your visa.

For more information on OSHC providers and how to arrange your own OSHC cover, please visit the Department of Health website.

A question on the application will ask you if you intend to purchase OSHC through UTAS, and for how many family members, so we can provide you with an accurate quote.

If you wish for your family to relocate to Tasmania for the duration of your degree, please check visa requirements with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Please consider the cost of living for you and your family members to ensure you have sufficient funds.

OSHC is required for you and your family members. If you purchase OSHC for additional family members through UTAS, please provide the personal details of all family member(s) to to ensure the confirmation certificate will contain the correct information.

A question on the application will ask you if you intend to purchase OSHC through UTAS, and for how many family members, so we can provide you with an accurate quote.

Please check the visa requirements for your family with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Once you know the dates for your family’s planned arrival, please contact your OSHC provider yourself (including if you purchased OSHC through UTAS), and arrange for your family members to be added to your OSHC. This will incur an additional payment to your OSHC provider.

If you arranged your OSHC through UTAS, please contact

If you arranged your OSHC through another health insurance provider, please contact your provider directly.

The cost of living in Tasmania varies according to your lifestyle and requirements. You will need to have funding for not only tuition fees, Overseas Student Health Cover, and visa fees; but also essential living expenses such as accommodation, utilities, food, clothing, entertainment, transport and phone.

Additional funds are needed for things such as textbooks, medical expenses, recreational and sight-seeing costs. Part-time work can assist with financial needs, but should not be relied upon to cover full living expenses. International candidates should check their visa conditions for information about undertaking part-time work.

Please see Student Living Costs and Evidence of Funds on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website.

To make your transition to a new country and culture easier, the University of Tasmania can meet you at the Hobart or Launceston airport and take you to your temporary or permanent accommodation.

This service is only available to international candidates commencing their first semester, and bookings must be made at least three days before you are due to arrive. The service is free for students, however family members or friends travelling with a UTAS student will also be transported for a small charge if space is available. Request your airport pickup using the online form.

Please see the following page for information about minimum English Language Requirements.

Please see the English Language Centre website for information.