Research FAQs

What are the different types of 'research degrees'?



What is honours?

Honours is a specialised year of study that allows you to draw together the theory and practical skills gained in previous undergraduate studies and develop an in-depth knowledge of your particular discipline through research and additional course work. Completing honours helps to expand your career options.

What is a masters by research degree?

A masters by research degree is awarded for an original contribution to knowledge achieved in up to two year's of full-time candidature (or up to four year's of part-time) candidature. The masters degree provides an advanced qualification for many careers.

What is a PhD?

Doctoral degrees are awarded for a substantial original contribution to knowledge achieved in two to four years of full-time (or the part-time equivalent) candidature. The PhD is the basic qualification for an academic or research career; however, it forms an ideal basis for many other careers, and PhD graduates are in demand for a range of positions in business and industry.

What is the difference between doing a masters and a PhD?

In the case of both masters by research and PhD degrees, the focus of the degree is on research. A PhD is a more advanced degree which is an independent research project designed to uncover new knowledge in your field and be of publishable quality.

What is a Postdoctoral position?

A postdoctoral position is often undertaken following completion of a PhD program and is generally under the supervision of an experienced researcher.  Postdoctoral fellowships are awarded by the following organisations: National Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC), National Heart Foundation (NHF),Australian Research Council (ARC). Alternatively, individual researchers may have funds available to support postdoctoral positions. Most postdoctoral positions and fellowships are two to four year's in length.

What is a Professional Doctorate?

(not offered within the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences)

The professional doctorate combines coursework and structured research tasks which are specifically related to professional practice and are often carried out in the workplace. The standard is equivalent to the PhD but the orientation is towards the development of professional practice rather than primarily as a contribution to academic knowledge.

What is a research fellow?

The title of Research Fellow is used to denote a research position at a university or similar institution, usually for academic staff or faculty. The duties and responsibilities may vary between institutions.

Requirements for admission into research degrees?

Requires honours or equivalent to gain entry into Masters/PhD.

What are the career prospects following research degrees?

Our graduates report very high levels of satisfaction with their field of study. More importantly, over 80% of our graduates felt that doing their research degree at Deakin enhanced their career prospects.

Regardless of your profession or industry, a postgraduate qualification tells employers that you are prepared to invest in your career. This gives employers more confidence when investing in you.

Studies have shown that a postgraduate qualification has the potential to increase your earning capacity. According to Australian Financial Review Boss magazine (May 2008, volume 9, 'Reinventing leadership'), professionals who completed their MBA are likely to have an annual 20% pay increase for the next five years. This is further evidence of the competitive edge a postgraduate qualification can provide.

What opportunities are there for international/overseas employment?

There are many opportunities for overseas work following completion of a Masters/PhD and you may even wish to to further research by undertaking a postdoctoral position or a research fellowship.

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