Developing future research leaders

UNSW Canberra delivers an unparalleled postgraduate research environment specifically designed to help HDR candidates thrive in their chosen field of research. We support international experience, providing vibrant and stimulating research training with a global mindset. Whether you're looking to study a PhD, master's by research or professional doctorate, our range of higher degree research study options are designed to expand your ability to pursue a career with real impact. 

With access to first-rate facilities and world-class supervisors at the forefront of their fields, you'll develop research and professional skills, as well as a broad intellectual sophistication that is prized by employers in industry, the public sector, academia and the broader community. As you engage in theoretical, practical and creative approaches to your study, you'll have access to our supportive postgraduate student structures to help you develop progressive thinking and exciting interdisciplinary findings.  

In collaboration with industry, government, defence and community, our leading researchers utilise new techniques to find answers to the most pressing issues within our society. Your research work will support original innovations and discoveries that make a difference in creating a better future. 


Explore our range of postgraduate research degrees to kick-start your research journey with UNSW Canberra.  

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Studying a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at UNSW Canberra, you'll make a significant, original contribution to knowledge and understanding in your chosen discipline in an international context. It will open doors to academic, research and professional roles nationally and internationally.  

You'll demonstrate your specialist research skills by producing a high-quality thesis of up to 100,000 words. You'll provide evidence of your independent investigation and critical analysis, summarising the research you've completed over three to four years.

Professional Doctorate

The Professional Doctorate program combines research and coursework components with professional practice to meet the needs of industry and professional groups. Through workplace-based projects, you'll generate and analyse evidence to address real-world problems and produce a thesis of up to 60,000 words that reflects applied investigation, problem solving and original research.  

Completion of this three- to four-year (full-time) degree prepares you for the highest level of professional practice in which you can make a significant contribution to the development of your specialisation. 

Masters by Research

A Master's by Research is your opportunity to contribute new knowledge within your chosen discipline. You'll use research skills and methodologies to demonstrate original insights and produce a thesis of up to 75,000 words.  

To be eligible for this degree, you must show clear potential to undertake significant independent research by completing a relevant honours degree, professional work following your undergraduate degree, or completing a postgraduate coursework degree with a significant research component. 

The degree can take up to two years to complete (full-time) and the work you do will help you pursue a PhD or enter a career in research. 

Master of Philosophy

A Master of Philosophy is an advanced research degree that combines postgraduate coursework and original, in-depth research. If you're a professional with several years' experience in the workforce, this course allows you to develop research skills and focus in-depth on a specific area of interest.  

You’ll produce a thesis of up to 40,000 words that demonstrates independent thought, enhanced disciplinary knowledge, analytical skills and mastery of related research methodologies. The degree can take up to two years to complete (full-time) and provides you with the opportunity to advance to a PhD.