A research degree is an advanced study program that gives you an opportunity to deeply explore a topic of your choice and the expertise of their supervisors. To find an expert in your field of interest, see the Web Access Research Portal (WARP) site.
Research degree candidates are driven by naturally inquiring minds, and have a passion to solve problems and advance humanity. A research degree allows you to conduct your own, unique research, and produce new knowledge and expertise that is innovative, relevant, and enlightened.
Research degrees equip graduates with the transferable skills and attributes necessary for challenging and diverse roles in industry, government and business, as well as in research and academic organisations.
At the University of Tasmania, a research degree is a true mark of endeavour, providing you with the training and skills necessary for a career in academia and beyond.
To apply, refer to Research Degrees | How to Apply.
A Doctor of Philosophy produces individuals who can apply a substantial body of knowledge to research, investigate and develop new knowledge in one or more fields of investigation, scholarly expertise or professional practice.
The Degree provides candidates with skills that include the capacity to formulate a significant problem and to develop mastery of appropriate conceptual and methodological practices.
Candidates will acquire advanced specialist research training and provide evidence for independent thought and critical analysis, effective communication and expert knowledge of the discipline within a broader framework of knowledge in the international context.
At the University of Tasmania candidates are encouraged to demonstrate academic leadership, increasing independence, creativity and innovation in their research and are supported in their acquisition of a wide range of advanced and transferable skills.
Graduates will fulfil the skill requirements in the Australian Qualification Framework for this degree and the University of Tasmania expects all graduates of a Doctor of Philosophy to meet its Generic Attributes.
Graduates of a Doctoral Degree will have:
- cognitive skills to demonstrate expert understanding of theoretical knowledge and to reflect critically on that theory and practice
- cognitive skills and use of intellectual independence to think critically, evaluate existing knowledge and ideas, undertake systematic investigation and reflect on theory and practice to generate original knowledge
- expert technical and creative skills applicable to the field of work or learning
- communication skills to explain and critique theoretical propositions, methodologies and conclusions
- communication skills to present cogently a complex investigation of originality or original research for external examination against international standards and to communicate results to peers and the community
- expert skills to design, implement, analyse, theorise and communicate research that makes a significant and original contribution to knowledge and/or professional practice
Graduates of a Doctor of Philosophy will be able to:
- make an original and substantial contribution to knowledge of a subject within or across academic disciplines or areas of professional practice;
- demonstrate a systemic and critical understanding of a substantial and complex body of knowledge of a subject within or across academic disciplines or areas of professional practice; and
- demonstrate a detailed understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic enquiry.
Graduates of a Doctor of Philosophy will be independent researchers able to:
- evaluate the appropriateness and usefulness of various perspectives, methods and processes in research projects;
- independently and systematically develop, adapt and implement research methodologies to extend and redefine existing knowledge or professional practice;
- expert technical and creative skills applicable to the field of work or learning; and
- critically analyse, evaluate and synthesise new and complex ideas;
- work collaboratively in a team, recognising the need for and value of complementary expertise/skill sets, and work productively with other people; and
- communicate orally and in written form sufficient to publish and present their work, and communicate ideas and conclusions clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
Application of Knowledge
Graduates of a Doctoral Degree will have the knowledge and skills to be able to:
- undertake research with autonomy, authoritative judgement, adaptability and responsibility as an expert and leading practitioner or scholar.
- understand and apply the social and ethical implications of research and appropriate professional behaviour consistent with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and other relevant guidelines.
In Australia and around the world, Doctor of Philosophy graduates are highly regarded as potential employees.
The Doctor of Philosophy is a demonstration of a candidate's ability to conceptualise and implement an independent program of research, manage a project, organise resources, work and cooperate with colleagues and communicate effectively in writing at a high level. As a result, PhD graduates have the opportunity to pursue diverse career paths, including professions in research and academia, as well as a broad spectrum of professions in the public and private sector.
A Doctor of Philosophy is a course of supervised research and professional development conducted over 3-4 years (full-time) or 6-8 years (part-time), culminating in the examination of a thesis or creative equivalent, by at least two external examiners.
PhD Candidature is structured around a series of milestones:
- Draft Research Plan submitted at 3 months equivalent full time enrolment
- Confirmation of Candidature by 12 months equivalent full time enrolment
- Annual Reviews of Progress at 24 and 36 months equivalent full time enrolment
- Thesis or creative equivalent submission for examination no later than 48 months equivalent full time enrolment
PhD candidates are concurrently enrolled in a Graduate Certificate in Research designed to provide you with a range of training activities and career development opportunities that assist in developing high-level research, communication and management skills. The skills obtained will give you an edge with future employment opportunities.
The University also offers candidate opportunities to engage in research seminars, present at conferences and participate in skill development workshops.
The campus of study will vary depending on the location of the candidate, the supervisor and the research field.
Applicants should apply after finding a potential supervisor and discussing and agreeing on their proposed topic. An applicant may propose their own research project or apply for one of our available PhD projects.
Applicants will be considered who have:
- A Bachelor's degree with upper second class Honours or better from a recognised tertiary institution.
- A research Masters degree with at least two-thirds of the degree comprising a thesis; or
- A coursework Masters degree or graduate diploma which includes a research project or thesis of 10,000 to 20,000 words (must equate to a minimum 25% research component of the entire degree); or
- A qualification at a level from another tertiary institution considered equivalent by the Dean.
International applicants must also meet the University's English language requirements for admission.
Please refer to the University of Tasmania's Admission Requirements for further information.
Fees & scholarships
Domestic students will be provided with a Research Training Program (RTP) Fees Offset scholarship of AUD $22,000- $33,000. This scholarship is provided to individual students to offset their tuition fees.
These funds are provided by the Commonwealth Government as a contribution to the University towards the direct costs of a student’s research training (supervision, access to resources or facilities at the University, costs associated with fieldwork, training in techniques and necessary coursework undertaken outside the School/Institute).
Higher Degree by Research Candidates may apply for a variety of scholarships to assist with the cost of living, tuition fees and other research costs. For a full list of scholarships available to domestic and international candidates please visit Research degree scholarships and fees.
For information about additional costs associated with undertaking a PhD at the University of Tasmania refer to Research Degrees | Costs.
All candidates must pay a Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF), which we use to improve student services. This cost is included in international tuition fees, however domestic candidates are charged separately.
How can we help?
Do you have any questions about choosing a course or applying? Get in touch.