Victoria University’s world-leading researchers are available to supervise graduate researchers on their way to becoming the next generation of research-qualified professionals.

Undertaking a research degree at VU is a great way to enhance your career. You will develop advanced skills in research, critical thinking and problem-solving. Our completion rates are among the highest in Australia, and our graduate researchers value the quality research supervision and research training we provide.

There are a range of options available for funding your research degree.

When to apply

You can apply for a research degree at any time throughout the year. Offers are made for the next available semester depending on your application date.

Applications for a place in semester 1, 2019 close at 8am on Monday 3 December 2018. Successful applicants must enrol into the course no later than 1 February 2019.

If you apply after 3 December 2018, your application will be considered for a place in semester 2, 2019.

Domestic course and/or scholarship applications for Master of Research courses in 2019 must be submitted via SmartyGrants.

Applications for a semester 1, 2019 place are now open now and close at 8am AEDT on Monday 3 December 2018. Successful applicants must enrol into the course no later than 1 February 2019.

Refer to step 4 of the application process below for information on how to prepare a research proposal for submission.

If you apply after 8am AEDT 3 December 2018, you will need to apply via the six step process below. These applications will be considered for a semester 2, 2019 place.

How to apply for a research degree

Select a suitable study level:

You will need to meet the minimum academic entry requirements for admission. You will also need to demonstrate a capacity to undertake significant research in your chosen field.

If your previous qualifications are from an overseas institution, your application will be assessed for equivalence to Australian Higher Education Degrees.

Academic requirements

Degree name Minimum entry requirements

Master of Research

(domestic applicants only)

Master of Research Practice (1 year effective full-time)

  • Completion of an Australian Bachelor Honours degree (or equivalent) in the same discipline with an average grade of Distinction (or equivalent).

OR

  • Completion of an Australian Graduate Diploma (or equivalent) in the same discipline with an average grade of Distinction (or equivalent).

Master of Research (1.5 year effective full-time)

  • Completion of an Australian Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in the same discipline with an average grade of Distinction (or equivalent) in the final year.

OR

  • Completion of an Australian Bachelor Honours degree (or equivalent) in a different discipline with an average grade of Distinction (or equivalent).

Master of Applied Research (2 years effective full-time)

  • Completion of an Australian Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in any discipline with an average grade of Distinction (or equivalent) in the final year.
Doctor of Philosophy
  • Completion of an Australian Bachelor Honours degree (or equivalent) in the same discipline, requiring average grades of at least H2A/Distinction or equivalent.

OR

  • Completion of an Australian Masters degree (or equivalent) in the same discipline with minor thesis, requiring average grades of at least H2A/Distinction or equivalent

OR

  • Completion of an Australian Masters by research degree (or equivalent) in the same discipline requiring average grades of at least H2A/Distinction or equivalent, or demonstrated exceptional ability during partial completion of a research project in a Masters by research degree.
Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated)
  • Completion of an Australian Bachelor Honours degree (or equivalent) in the same discipline

OR

  • Completion of an Australian Graduate Diploma (or equivalent) in the same discipline.

For details on Australian equivalency of your overseas qualification(s), please see the  international academic requirements for a higher degree by research.

English Language Requirements

English language examination method Result
IELTS (academic module): Overall score (no band less than) 6.5 (6.0)
TOEFL Internet: Test score 79 (Listening 19, Speaking 19, Reading 18, Writing 22)
Pearson Test of English (PTE): Overall score (with no section score less than): 58-64 (50)
University of Cambridge - Advanced (CAE): Total score of 58
VU English - University Preparation UPP (Postgraduate) Achieved
English Language School in Sydney (ELSIS) - EAP 2 (advanced) A grade

In some circumstances, we will accept test results from other examination methods not listed in this table.

If you completed a qualification where English was the primary language of instruction, you may be eligible for an English language exemption. Check our guide to English language requirements to find out if you qualify for an exemption.

Supervisors are active researchers working within VU's institutes, research centres or college-based research groups. They provide guidance and support throughout your research. As part of your application (step 4), you will need to nominate a supervisor.

It is important to identify a supervisor that shares an interest in your research topic. Your research interest should also align with one or more of our research focus areas.

Please note that colleges reserve the right to confirm supervision.

Identifying a supervisor

We recommend that you read about the research groups, projects and activities of our institutes, centres and colleges.

This will help you to:

  • identify a potential research supervisor
  • ensure your research interests align with ours.

Institutes & research centres

All graduate research applicants are required to prepare a research proposal for submission. Your research proposal should be 1-2 pages (typed, A4), and include the:

  • title of your research proposal
  • name and college of your nominated supervisor (on the title page)
  • aims and field of research
  • significance of the research
  • methodology and research techniques
  • facilities and equipment required.

This initial proposal gives us an understanding of your research interests. Study in the early stages of your research degree may lead to changes. In some cases, your supervisor(s) may suggest a project linked with both of your interests.

You can submit an application any time throughout the year. There are graduate research intakes twice a year.

Applicant status Application process
Australian residents

Submit your application to apply.research@vu.edu.au.

Please ensure you include your:

If your application is successful, you will receive a formal Letter of Offer sent via email by the Office for Researcher Training, Quality and Integrity. All domestic research applicants will be considered for an Australian government funded place under the Research Training Program (RTP). Please then proceed to Step 6.

2019 course and/or scholarship applications for Master of Research courses must be submitted via SmartyGrants. Applications for a semester 1, 2019 place close 8am AEDT on Monday 3 December 2018.

Applications submitted after Monday 3 December 2018 will be considered for a semester 2, 2019 place.

International applicants

Submit your application through Victoria University International.

If your application is successful, you will receive a formal Letter of Offer sent by VU International. Please then proceed to Step 6.

Please be aware of the relevant deadlines for off-shore and on-shore applications.

Admission with Advanced Candidature

If you are currently enrolled in a higher degree by research with another institution, and would like to transfer to VU, you may be eligible for admission with advanced candidature. See more information on applying for advanced candidature.

You must enrol and commence for semester 1, 2019 before 1 February 2019.

Applicant status Enrolment
Australian residents If you are offered a place in a higher degree by research, please follow the instructions on your Letter of Offer to accept your offer and arrange your enrolment.
International applicants

Victoria University International will you a Letter of Offer, which will include the fees (and/or details of any agreed fee scholarship arrangements), enrolment deadline, and overseas student health cover details.

If you are offered a place in a higher degree by research you will be contacted to arrange your enrolment.

Please be aware of the deadlines for the acceptance of the offer.

Master of Research

For domestic Master of Research applicants, initial admission is to the pre-candidature phase, which usually continues for the first 6 months effective full-time (EFT) enrolment.

Standard duration for:

  • Master of Research Practice is 1 year (EFT)
  • Master of Research is 1.5 years (EFT)
  • Master of Applied Research is 2 years (EFT)

Your candidature must be approved before you become an official candidate for the degree. Your ongoing enrolment is also provisional until your candidature is approved.

Doctor of Philosophy

For PhD applicants, initial admission is to the pre-candidature phase, which usually continues for 6-9 months effective full-time (EFT) enrolment. Standard duration for a Doctor of Philosophy is 3 years EFT, while the maximum duration should not exceed 4 years.

Your candidature must be approved before you become an official candidate for the degree in which you are enrolled. Your ongoing enrolment is also provisional until your candidature is approved.

You will be required to enrol in and complete two (2) core coursework units in the first semester (effective full-time). Find out more about our PhD coursework units.

Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated)

For PhD (Integrated) applicants, initial admission is to the Year 1 program of intensive research training with minor thesis. If you meet the requirements to progress to Years 2-4, at the conclusion of Year 1 you will proceed to the pre-candidature phase of the PhD with a fast track to candidature confirmation. This includes intensive mode delivery of the core PhD coursework unit, Conceptualising and Contextualising Research early in Year 2.

The duration of the PhD (Integrated) is normally 4 years. Your PhD project and thesis should incorporate the initial research work undertaken in Year 1. Your candidature must be approved before you become an official candidate in your degree. Your ongoing enrolment is also provisional on approval of candidature.

If you entered the PhD (Integrated) via the alternative pathway, you will be eligible to exit early with a Master of Research Practice after Year One if you:

  • achieve a pass mark of 50% or above in all Year 1 units, but do not fulfil the hurdle requirement (70% average across the coursework units and 70% in the Year 1 thesis); or
  • do not wish to proceed to years 2-4.

Contact us

For more information on the application process, please email apply.research@vu.edu.au.