Master of Philosophy



This elite intensive research degree in health and (bio-) medical sciences will provide students with the opportunity to pursue and independent investigative research project under the supervision of an academic staff member in the School of Medicine, along with coursework specifically designed to provide relevant skills in research design, communication, integrity and interpretation. This course will provide students with a dedicated pathway into PhD programs or into employment where deeper disciplinary knowledge and research skills are required.  

The research projects that centre on the basis of health and disease span from basic gene discovery and molecular analysis, through to functional genomics and pre-clinical development, to clinical and population studies. This includes in the fields of immunity, infectious diseases, developmental biology, exercise physiology and metabolism, musculoskeletal biology, haematology, cancer, metabolic disease, neuroscience, molecular psychiatry and nanomedicine. Research projects may also be offered in the field of rural and regional medicine, general practice, chronic disease management, public health, medical education, epidemiology, farmer health, medical imaging, surgery and optometry.


Key facts

English language requirements

Total band of 7.0 and no individual band score less than 6.5


2 years full-time or part-time equivalent


Offered at Waurn Ponds (Geelong)

Trimester 1

  • Start date: March
  • Available at:
    • Waurn Ponds (Geelong)

HDR applications now open
Applications for research degrees without scholarship may be made at any time. Commencement of research degrees is not confined to Deakin's trimesters.

Key information

Award granted

Master of Philosophy


2018 course information

Tuition fee rate

Available fee rates can be found at

Deakin code





Higher Degree Research

Course Structure

To complete the Master of Philosophy, students must attain 16 credit points, including 4 credit points in research design, communication, integrity and interpretation, in addition to an independent research project under the supervision of a nominated supervisor.

Students will work continuously on their research project over a two-year period. In addition, students need to complete 4 CP of research training coursework units within the first year of the course.

  • Research Design HMH800 (1 credit point)
  • Research Communication HMH810 (2 credit points)
  • Research Interpretation and Integrity HMH811 (1 credit point)
  • Entry requirements

    Students must have successfully completed:

    • Bachelor degree with a distinction average (75%) for the third year or equivalent in the same discipline as the proposed research thesis


    • Coursework Master degree with a minimum credit average (65% or GPA 3.0 out of 4.0) in the same discipline as the proposed research thesis


    The pre-clinical component of the Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (or equivalent degree) at the postgraduate level.

    Career outcomes

    The Master of Philosophy is specifically designed to provide students from diverse undergraduate backgrounds with an opportunity to expand their knowledge base and become an independent researcher with specialized technical, critical thinking, communication and cognitive skills. These skills are highly sought by many employers, with the course providing students with a dedicated pathway into national and international PhD programs or into careers within academia, industry, medical research as well as government and non-government scientific agencies, both local and global.

    Course learning outcomes

    Graduate Learning Outcomes

    Course Learning Outcomes

    Discipline specific knowledge and capabilities

    Demonstrate an advanced and integrated understanding of a complex body of knowledge in a chosen area of research in the medical discipline.

    Plan and execute a substantial research project that demonstrates complex knowledge and application of medical research principles and methods.


    Interpret and efficiently transmit knowledge, skills, ideas and data to specialist and non-specialist audiences using highly developed written and oral communication skills

    Apply listening and effective communication skills to accommodate, encourage and answer questions from an audience and to defend research findings and propositions.

    Digital Literacy

    Use digital technologies to locate, curate, interpret and disseminate relevant evidence-based literature to formulate research hypotheses, concepts and theories.

    Critical thinking

    Critically analyse literature, research data and other information relevant to the medical discipline to develop a conceptual framework for a substantial research project.

    Problem Solving

    Demonstrate autonomy, well-developed judgement and responsibility to critically analyse, reflect upon and synthesise complex information, concepts and theories by planning and executing a substantial research project in the chosen field of study.

    Contribute to advancements in knowledge of the discipline through mastering the use of instruments and techniques, to collect, interpret, analyse, synthesise and disseminate research data and findings.


    Demonstrate a high level of personal autonomy, professionalism and responsibility in the acquisition of knowledge and in the planning and execution of a research project and interpretation of its data and findings.


    Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively and effectively with research peers and non-specialist stakeholders to address complex real-world problems in a variety of settings.

    Global Citizenship

    Demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills in conducting best-practice research of the highest ethical standards and in managing, sharing data and disseminating research findings across wider research and cultural communities.


    How to apply

    Higher Degrees by Research

    Higher degree by research applicants must apply via the online applicant portal. You will be required to attach a number of certified supporting documents, in addition to your research proposal and referee reports.

    For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage.

    Apply through HDR


    You should be able to commit 36 hours a week towards the Master of Philosophy degree. A student is entitled to 20 working days annual leave from candidature on approval by their Principal Supervisor.

    Fee information

    Fees and charges vary depending on your course, your fee category and the year you started. To find out about the fees and charges that apply to you, visit

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship could help you pay for your course fees, living costs and study materials. If you've got something special to offer Deakin - or maybe you just need a bit of extra support - we've got a scholarship opportunity for you. Search or browse through our scholarships

    Offered campuses

    Geelong Waurn Ponds

    Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus is located on the western edge of Geelong, boasting expansive landscaped grounds.

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