How to Apply for Research Degrees

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Professional Doctorates

Admission criteria

To approve your application into a research higher degree, the university must be satisfied that you are able to commence independent study at a doctoral level.

Approved qualifications for entry in the Doctor of Philosophy and other professional doctorates are the attainment of the following:

  • Master of Philosophy degree; or
  • Bachelor (Honours Class 1) degree; or
  • Bachelor (Honours Class 2) degree; or
  • Qualifications from a university or other tertiary institution deemed to be equivalent to the requirements as set out above.

Approval of prior experience or qualifications for all higher research degrees is at the discretion of the School or Institute Dean or Director.

Find a supervisor

All research candidates have a panel of at least two supervisors, one of whom is designated as the principal supervisor. The School and Institute HDR Directors can assist in identifying potential supervisors and should be contacted prior to preparing your application.

How to apply

Local students (including Australian Citizens, Permanent Residents and New Zealand Citizens) may apply for admission into higher research degrees at any time using the Online Application Form. If your application is successful, you may commence at any time.

International students may apply for admission into higher research degrees at any time using the Online Application Form. If your application is successful, your enrolment for a session must commence before the corresponding census dates of 31 March or 31 August.

Research proposal

You are asked to submit a research proposal with your application. The proposal should be discussed with an academic advisor to ensure that your project is viable and that Western Sydney University has the resources to support your research topic.

Refer to the Guide for writing your research proposal (PDF, 116.14 KB) (opens in a new window) for more information.

If you are applying for a predefined scholarship project (e.g. ARC funded scholarship), you are not required to submit a research proposal but you should identify this on your application.

Application checklist

Use the HDR Checklist for Research Applicants (PDF, 106.44 KB) (opens in a new window) to ensure your application is complete and that you have attached all the required forms and certified documents. Incomplete applications cannot be processed and may be rejected.


A range of scholarships are available to provide assistance for students undertaking higher degree research. Applications for two main scholarship rounds are opened each year. Additional scholarships may be made available during the year.

For more information, please visit the scholarships page.