Admission information

This is where you start

The University of Wollongong offers a range of HDR degree options for graduates. The doctoral program includes the PhDPhD (Integrated) and professional doctorate degrees. We also offer the new research training pathway, the Master of Research MRes and the Master of Philosphy MPhil

The PhD (Integrated) is a four year program comprising one year of coursework (with a qualifying grade) and three years thesis.

Please follow the steps below, and do not hesitate to contact the Future students team if you have any questions.

Approach a Supervisor and Academic Unit

Your first step is to determine your preferred field of study and find the faculty or academic unit that will best meet your requirements. You are encouraged to research our staff members to identify a potential supervisor who matches your area of interest. You may contact a potential supervisor to discuss your project prior to applying for admission.

Select a Research Topic and Prepare Your Research Proposal

You should discuss a broad plan for your research topic with the head of the academic unit, faculty head of postgraduate studies or your potential supervisor. You are required to nominate a working title at the beginning of your enrolment but may change this with the approval of the academic unit. Your thesis topic will become better defined as your research progresses.

All candidates must submit a research proposal summarising the project they would like to pursue. It is highly recommended that you discuss your research proposal with your potential supervisor before completing your HDR application.

If your potential supervisor is in the Faculties of AIIM, EIS, or SMAH, then your research proposal should be 1-2 pages in length and include introduction, research design/methodology, expected outcomes, and references.

If your potential supervisor is in the Faculties of BUS, LHA or SOC, then your research proposal should be 3-4 pages in length and include introduction, literature review, research design/methodology, expected outcomes, and references.

For assistance on please read our Writing a Research Proposal guide.

NOTE that your research proposal must be written in your own words and may be checked for plagiarised material. 

Apply for Admission

Check and confirm the academic and documentary requirements required to apply for your degree of interest through CourseFinder.

Complete and submit your application for Higher Degree Research.

Please note that the postgraduate research application process is lengthy as each application is assessed by the relevant faculty. Turnaround times for a research application is 6–8 weeks.

Creative Arts applicants may be required to submit documentation or portfolio material. Contact our Graduate Research School for further information.

English Language Requirements

If you are an International student or if your undergraduate degree was completed using another language, you should check UOWs general English Language requirements. Note that International Students will also need to understand the English language requirements for your student VISA.

For more information contact UOW

Supporting Documentation

If your undergraduate studies were completed in a language other than English, or in a country where English is not the first language, you must also provide evidence of English proficiency (e.g. IELTS Test Report Form or TOEFL Official Score Report—not a student copy) For more information contact the Future students on 1300 367 869.

Creative Arts applicants may be required to submit documentation or portfolio material. Further information is available from the School of Arts, English and Media

Certification of Documents

Original or certified copies of academic records, mark sheets or transcripts for studies previously undertaken must be provided. Certified English translations are also required for documents in another language. The transcript must show all subjects undertaken, grades and stages reached or qualifications gained.

For domestic applicants, a photocopied hardcopy document must be certified as a true copy of the original by:

  • An authorised officer in the admissions office at any tertiary institution
  • A member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia or the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants, or the National Institute of Accountants or the Association of Taxation and Management Accountants or Registered Tax Agents
  • A bank branch manager (not in a bank travel centre)
  • A barrister, solicitor or patent attorney
  • A police officer of the rank of sergeant or above
  • A post office manager
  • A principal of an Australian high or primary school; or
  • A justice of the peace

The person certifying the photocopies must:

  • Write on the copy: “This appears to be a true copy of the original document sighted by me”, and
  • Sign the document and print your name, address, telephone number, profession/occupation, date verified; and
  • Affix the official stamp or seal of the verifier’s organisation on the copy, if the organisation has such a stamp.

My eQuals: Certified Digital Academic Documents

Where an applicant has had digital academic document(s) issued via My eQuals, they can submit links to these documents to UOW as part of their admissions application.

To submit My eQuals digital academic documents, please follow the below instructions:-

1. Generate a link to your My eQuals digital academic document(s) – do not nominate an expiry date
2. Paste the link into a Word document
3. If you added a PIN to the link, please ensure you note the PIN next to the link
4. Where you have more than one relevant My eQuals digital document to submit, provide a link for each, ensuring you label each link clearly
5. Save the Word document on your computer. Note: a document must not be bigger than 2 MB for undergraduate/postgraduate course applications and not bigger than 5 MB for HDR applications. Acceptable formats are: pdf, doc, docx, xls, xlsx, jpg, jpeg, tif and tiff.
6. Upload the Word document to your UOW admissions application

Please only submit My eQuals digital documents according to the instructions outlined above. The My eQuals portal offers other options in which to share documents, however, those options are not recommended by UOW.

Find out more about sharing My eQuals digital documents.

How do I find a supervisor?

You may use the UOW Scholars website to search for potential supervisors by searching by name and/or research areas. The contact details will be listed for you to allow you to contact potential supervisors through their Scholars page.

You may also speak with the Head of Postgraduate Studies of your intended Faculty for assistance with finding potential supervisors.

Heads of Postgraduate Studies

Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

SchoolHead of Postgraduate StudiesEXTHead of SchoolEXT
Arts, English and Media Dr Michael Griffiths (Acting) 5269 Professor Sue Turnbull 392392
Humanities and Social Inquiry Dr Alison Moore 4949 Associate Professor Ika Willis 3608
Liberal Arts Dr Talia Morag 4905 Professor Dan Hutto 3987

Associate Professor Steven Howard

Dr Rachel Jones



Associate Professor Shirley Agostinho 5512
Health and Society

Associate Professor Lynne Keevers

Associate Professor Lyn Phillipson



Professor Annette Braunack Mayer 981228
Psychology Associate Professor Stephen Palmisano 3640 Professor Peter Caputi 3742
Geography & Sustainable Communities Dr Thomas Birtchnell 2540 Associate Professor Nicholas Gill 4165
Associate Dean (HDR) Associate Professor Catherine MacPhail 4112    

Faculty of Business and Law

SchoolHead of Postgraduate StudiesEXTHead of SchoolEXT

Associate Professor Xiaofei Pan

Dr Amir Arjomandi



Professor Grace McCarthy  4880 
Law Associate Professor Lowell Bautista 4719 Professor Trish Mundy  392551 
ANCORS Associate Professor Lowell Bautista 4719 Professor Stuart Kaye   4217 
Associate Dean of Research Senior Professor Simon Ville  3098     

Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences

SchoolHead of Postgraduate StudiesEXTHead of SchoolEXT
Civil, Mining & Environmental Engineering Associate Professor Neaz Sheikh 3009 Professor Faisal Hai 3054
Computing & Information Technology Engineering Associate Professor Lei Wang 3771 Professor Willy Susilo 5535
Electrical, Computer & Telecomm Engineering Associate Professor Kwan-Wu Chin 4320 Professor Jiangtao Xi 3065
Physics Associate Professor Susanna Guatelli 4374 Professor Michael Lerch 4954
Mathematics & Applied Statistics Associate Professor Adam Rennie 3822 Dr Maureen Edwards 4768
Mechanical, Materials, Mechatronic Biomedical Engineering Professor Buyung Kosasih 3109 Senior Professor Geoff Spinks 3010
Associate Dean (HDR) Professor Huijun Li 8197    

Faculty of Science Medicine and Health

SchoolHead of Postgraduate StudiesEXTHead of SchoolEXT
Chemistry & Molecular Bioscience Professor Paul Keller 4692 Professor Helen Blanchard 3516
Earth, Atmospheric & Life Sciences Associate Professor Phillip Byrne 1932 Senior Professor Guang Shi 3013
Medical, Indigenous and Health Sciences Associate Professor Todd Mitchell 5443 Professor Paul Stapley 2514
Nursing Dr Shahla Meedya (Acting) 3205 Professor John Daly 3694
Associate Dean (HDR) Associate Professor Danielle Skropeta 4360    

Australian Institute for Innovative Materials

SchoolHead of Postgraduate StudiesEXT
Intelligent Polymer Research Institute Senior Professor Jun Chen 3781
Institute for Superconducting Electromaterials Associate Professor Konstantin Konstantinov 5765
Associate Dean of Research Professor Peter Innis (Acting) 3600


How does the Australian system differ to those elsewhere?

At UOW we offer three types of research degrees:

  • Doctoral degrees. Traditionally Australian Doctorates have followed the British model, comprising of independent study realised in a thesis, However recently, a number of universities including the University of Wollongong have also introduced Doctorates with formal coursework, where up to one third of the requirement may be a structured course of study.
  • Master of Philosophy (also called  Masters by Research), which is the equivalent of 18 month to two years of full time study depending on entry requirements and may include coursework as preparation for a thesis component.
  • Master of Research, this is an internationally recognised research training pathway degree comprising of advanced research training and a substantial research project.

How does a postgraduate research degree compare to a postgraduate coursework degree?

  • Postgraduate research degree must include no more than one third of that degree as coursework. 
  • Coursework postgraduate degrees may have all or the majority of their requirements met by the completion of coursework subjects in a particular discipline or professional area.

Types of research degrees available

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

  • A PhD requires that candidates undertake in-depth research in order to make an original contribution to the body of knowledge in their chosen studies.
  • A PhD can lead to or enhance an academic career and is highly regarded by private and public sector employers.

  • For full-time students the course length is usually between two to four years, and four to eight years for part-time students.
  • Graduates are eligible to apply for a Temporary Graduate Visa (485), which allows them to live and work in Australia, for up to four years.
  • For further information about specific degrees, search under faculties.

Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) (PhD I)

The PhD (Integrated) is a four-year research degree which integrates a traditional three-year PhD thesis with one-year of coursework, comprising generic research training and discipline-specific content into a single degree.  

The coursework provides candidates with the opportunity to develop their research skills while allowing additional time to develop a detailed research topic, therefore providing greater certainty and better completion outcomes in the thesis.
The coursework also allows candidates to take individual subjects in a specific discipline area, thereby providing a deeper level of content from which to draw potential research themes.  International students intending to become university researchers and teachers in their home country will benefit from exposure to Australian teaching methods through the inclusion of these ‘taught’ coursework subjects.  

The PhD Integrated is therefore ideal for applicants who aspire to graduate with a PhD and who:

  • Want a flexible program which includes a selection of ‘taught’ subjects included in a specific discipline area of their interest;
  • Need further time and to develop a detailed research proposal; or

  • Need to develop their research training skills in order to demonstrate their capacity to undertake the major research thesis.
  • Graduates are eligible to apply for a Temporary Graduate Visa (485), which allows them to live and work in Australia, for up to four years.

Supporting statement

Applicants for the PhD Integrated must provide either a supporting statement or a detailed research proposal outlining the area of intended future research and reason for wishing to enrol in a research program. Applicants are encouraged to contact the  Head of Postgraduate Studies (HPS) in their discipline area, to obtain advice relating to potential research topics and supervisors. The HPS will also provide advice on the style and content needed for their research proposal/statement.  

Master of Philosophy

A Masters of Philosophy is a research degree which:

  • Provides specialised research training for those preparing for careers in academia, government and industry; and to provide professionals with the means to increase their knowledge and upgrade their qualifications.
  • Is between one to two years in length for full time students, and two to four years for part-time students.
  • This degree has over 30 specialisations, tailored to suit each discipline area.
  • Graduates are eligible to apply for a Temporary Graduate Visa (485), which allows them to live and work in Australia, for up to three years.

Master of Research (MRes)

The Master of Research is a research training pathway degree:

  • MRes is preparation for doctoral students
  • For full time students 2 years study
  • Domestic students enroll first in the BRes (48cp one year degree) and receive 48cp advance standing into the second year of the MRes
  • Graduates

Professional Doctorates

The University offers a number of professional doctorates in the Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities and Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health.

  • Professional doctorates prepares professional leaders with research experience in their chosen area of study.
  • A candidate for a professional doctorate usually enrols in a research subject comprising a thesis and undertakes an approved study which may include specified course and/or practical work and/or performance as recommended by the Head.

Many HDR students have responsibilities or financial restrictions which prevent them moving to a UOW campus.

The HDR distance learning option allows candidates to undertake HDR studies in their preferred location in Australia or overseas.

Enrolment is open to both domestic and international candidates for full- or part-time study.

International candidates based overseas do not need an Australian study visa so are eligible to undertake HDR studies part-time, an option not available for onshore students (Australia based) international students.

Candidates maintain communications with their supervisor by electronic means.

Criteria for distance learning HDR study:

  • Suitable only for research projects that do not require physical access to facilities based at UOW campuses
  • Only HDR degree without coursework requirements are eligible. Hence only applications for the PhD or MPhil (with advance standing for the coursework)
  • Existing on campus students can apply to transfer to distance learning mode, on approval from their supervisor, HPS, and the GRS

For further details please contact Graduate Research School.

Apply now

With postgraduate courses offered at our Wollongong, metro and regional campuses, plus options to study online or on campus, continuing your education at UOW is easy.

Start your next step now
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