How to apply – research degrees

Deakin has a streamlined process for applying for a higher degree by research. You need to apply via the online Higher Degree by Research Application Form. You'll be required to attach a number of certified supporting documents, in addition to your research proposal and referee reports.

Application dates

Candidature only

Research degree candidature applications are accepted throughout the year. Some faculties/institutes require an Expression of Interest form to be submitted or that they be contacted prior to submitting a full application via the online Higher Degree by Research Application Form. These faculties/institutes are listed below with the relevant form or advice. Applications to other areas can be submitted directly via the online Higher Degree by Research Application Form at any time.

Candidature and Scholarship

The process and opening/closing dates for scholarship applications are different for each faculty/institute. Some faculties/institutes require an Expression of Interest form to be submitted prior to submitting a full application via the online Higher Degree by Research Application Form. The dates may vary depending on whether you are applying as a domestic or international applicant.

Want to know what research scholarships are available?

Find a scholarship and check if you meet the eligibility criteria to apply.

FACULTY OF ARTS AND EDUCATION

All applicants must complete and submit an Expression of Interest form prior to applying via the Higher Degree by Research Application Form. The faculty will then advise whether or not you should proceed in applying for candidature and scholarship.

Domestic and International Applicants
Opening date1 February 2017
Closing date31 October 2017

FACULTY OF BUSINESS AND LAW

All applicants must complete and submit an Expression of Interest form prior to applying via the Higher Degree by Research Application Form. The faculty will then advise whether or not you should proceed in applying for candidature and scholarship.

Information about our PhD Program and application process

Domestic and International* Applicants
EOI Closing date - Trimester 1 intake (March) 30 September 2017
EOI Closing date - Trimester 2 intake (July) 15 February 2017

*Visa processing times for international applicants are determined by Australian government

FACULTY OF HEALTH

All applicants must discuss their research interests/proposed program with an academic staff member and gain their support prior to applying for candidature and scholarship via the Higher Degree by Research Application Form.

Domestic Applicants
Opening date 1 May
Closing Date 31 October
International Applicants
Opening date 1 February
Closing date 31 July

FACULTY OF SCIENCE, ENGINEERING AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT

The faculty will accept scholarship applications between the dates below. You may apply directly via the Higher Degree by Research Application Form. 

Domestic and International Applicants
Opening date1 February
Closing date31 October

INSTITUTE FOR FRONTIER MATERIALS

All applicants must complete and submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) form prior to applying via the Higher Degree by Research Application Form. The Institute will then advise whether or not you should proceed in applying for candidature and scholarship. 

Domestic and International Applicants
Opening date for EOI form1 January
Closing date for EOI form31 October

INSTITUTE FOR INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

Domestic and international applicants can apply for a scholarship at any time of the year via the Higher Degree by Research Application Form. There are no opening or closing dates.

Intake dates

The commencement of your course will depend upon the faculty or institute you are enrolling in and your residency status. If you have Australian or New Zealand citizenship or Australian permanent residency, you are classified as a domestic student. All other students are classified as international students. Please refer to the intake dates listed below.

Faculty of Arts and Education

Domestic and international

2017 02 October
13 November
2018 28 February
28 March
09 May
13 June
09 July
29 August
03 October
14 November

Faculty of Business and Law

HDR students enrolling in the Faculty of Business and Law are normally required to complete between three and six coursework units in their research program in order to build their research skills and provide a framework to assist in managing their research project.
Due to this course structure, students may only commence in Trimester 1 or Trimester 2*. You may commence your studies up to three weeks before the trimester starts, but no later than one week after.

Domestic and international

2018             05 March- Trimester 1 commences
09 July (*subject to special approval) - Trimester 2 commences

Faculty of Health

Domestic

Domestic students enrolling in the Faculty of Health may commence their candidature at any time of the year.

International

2017 02 October
13 November
2018

17 January
28 February
28 March
09 May
13 June
09 July
29 August
03 October
14 November

Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment

Domestic

Domestic students enrolling in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment may commence their candidature at any time of the year.

International

2017  02 October
13 November
2018

17 January
28 February
28 March
09 May
13 June
09 July
29 August
03 October
14 November

Institute for Frontier Materials

Domestic

Domestic students enrolling in the Institute for Frontier Materials may commence their candidature at any time of the year.

International

2017  02 October
13 November
2018

17 January
28 February
28 March
09 May
13 June
09 July
29 August
03 October
14 November

Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation

Domestic

Domestic students enrolling in the Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation may commence their candidature at any time of the year.

International

2017 02 October
13 November
2018

17 January
28 February
28 March
09 May
13 June
09 July
29 August
03 October
14 November

Application process

To apply for a Higher Degree by Research, follow the eight steps outlined below. If you are a Psychology applicant* or a Master of Science (Research) applicant, please follow the relevant links below.

* Doctor of Philosophy (Psychology) applicants should follow the eight steps outlined below to apply for candidature and/or scholarship.

Applying in eight steps

Follow these eight steps to successfully complete your application:

Check the entry pathways

Entry to a research degree at Deakin is based on your demonstrated capacity to undertake significant research in a proposed field. 

Your ability can be demonstrated in a variety of ways. In addition to the entry pathway requirements, there are additional eligibility criteria for entry into a scholarship.

Find out more about entry pathways to research degrees

Find a supervisor

Before you start your application, please contact a supervisor for advice on your research topic and proposal. A list of potential research areas and supervisors can be found via our Find a supervisor page.

This step is applicable to all applicants except those applying to study in the Faculty of Business and Law. For all supervisor and research degree related enquiries, prospective Business and Law Faculty students should email the faculty directly.

Arrange referee reports

Your application needs to be supported by two referee reports from current or former lecturers or academic or employment supervisors who are able to comment on your research expertise and potential. 

Forward the referee report form below directly to your referees to complete. 

These reports are confidential and referees should send them back to Deakin, ideally as soon as possible.

Prepare your proposal

Provide a brief outline of your proposed research topic. This will be used to assess whether the university has appropriate supervision expertise available. If you've already been in contact with a potential supervisor, you may work with them to develop your research proposal. 

Learn more about preparing a research proposal

Evidence of English proficiency

English language requirements, if required

If your first language isn't English, or if your degree qualifications weren't undertaken in English, please provide evidence of English proficiency.

The English language requirements for Deakin's higher degrees by research courses are benchmarked against the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) standards, which can be found in the tables below.

Tests cannot be more than two years old.

BAND A 6/6 Overall 6.0, no band less than 6.0
BAND B 6.5/6 Overall 6.5, no band less than 6.0
BAND C 7/6.5 Overall 7.0, no band less than 6.5
BAND D 7/7 Overall 7.0, no band less than 7.0
BAND E 7/7/7.5 Overall 7.0, no band less than 7.0, speaking and listening 7.5

Higher degree by research applicants must demonstrate that they meet the English language requirements to the level required by the faculty or institute in at least one of the ways specified above in the following table:

English language requirements - Previous studies in English


Entire secondary and post-secondary studies and residency in Australia, or other specified English-speaking country* since graduation Study at an institution within Australia or other specified English-speaking country*, completed no more than 2 years prior to enrolment at Deakin
Faculty of Arts and Education + Institute of Koorie Education Accepted 2 academic years of full-time study at tertiary level
Faculty of Business and Law Accepted 3 academic years of full-time study at tertiary level
Faculty of Health Accepted 3 academic years of full-time study at tertiary level
Faculty of Science,Engineering and Built Environment Accepted 2 academic years of full-time study at tertiary level
Institute for Frontier Materials Accepted 2 academic years of full-time study at tertiary level

*Other specified English-speaking country includes Australia, Canada, Fiji, Ireland, Kenya, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland), United States of America, Zambia.

English language requirements - English language tests


Faculty of Arts and Education + Institute of Koorie Education Faculty of Business and Law Faculty of Health Faculty of Science,Engineering and Built Environment
IELTS: International English Language Testing System Band C: overall 7.0, no band less than 6.5 Band C: overall 7.0, no band less than 6.5 Band C: overall 7.0, no band less than 6.5 Band B: overall 6.5, no band less than 6.0
TOEFL (IBT): Test of English as a Foreign Language (internet based test) 94 Writing 24 94 Writing 24 94 Writing 24 79 Writing 21
TOEFL (IBT): Test of English as a Foreign Language (paper based test) 600 Writing 5 600 Writing 5 600 Writing 5 577 Writing 4.5
CPE: Cambridge English: Proficiency Overall score of 185, no band less than 176 Overall score of 185, no band less than 176 Overall score of 185, no band less than 176 Overall score of 176, no band less than 169
CAE: Cambridge English: Advanced Overall score of 185, no band less than 176 Overall score of 185, no band less than 176 Overall score of 185, no band less than 176 Overall score of 176, no band less than 169
PTE: Pearson’s Test of English (Academic) 65: No less than 58 in each skills 65: No less than 58 in each skills 65: No less than 58 in each skills 58: No less than 50 in each skills
DUELI EAP program (completed 1 year prior to enrolment) EAP 4 – 65% EAP 4 – 65% EAP 4 – 65% EAP 4 – 60%
DUELI Test (completed 6 months prior to enrolment) Score of 7.0 Score of 7.0 Score of 7.0 Score of 6.5

Work experience in English accepted by The Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM)

Substantial written work in an English speaking professional environment for a period of at least 3 years immediately prior to enrolment. Documentary evidence must be provided by senior management of the employing organisation to the satisfaction of the Academic Board

The Faculty of Health and Science, Engineering and Built Environment and the Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) may allow you to provide proof of your English proficiency after they've approved your application.

The required standard may be achieved by taking a course at Deakin University English Language Institute (DUELI).

Find out more about DUELI

Prepare relevant documents/information

Resume or Curriculum vitae

Prepare and submit your curriculum vitae or résumé as part of your online application in section 1.

Academic Transcripts

Please provide transcripts of all tertiary education studies taken outside Deakin.

Transcripts should indicate the name of the qualification, the institution, the years of study, the subjects/units undertaken, the grades achieved, explanatory notes concerning the grades and proof that the qualification was completed.

If transcripts are in a foreign language, an English translation is to be supplied.

Previous research degree

If you've previously been enrolled in a research degree at another institution, or are applying to transfer your research degree from elsewhere, proof of your commencement date and evidence of any intermissions or changes of candidature (e.g. from full time to part time) are to be provided.

Publications information to include

If you've had your research published, outline your contribution to the work, state whether the journal or conference was national or international, submit a copy of the contents page and abstract page for each item but don’t attach the full article.

Provide a list of publications with a breakdown as follows:

  • refereed journal articles
  • refereed conference papers
  • non-refereed conference papers
  • books based on original research
  • book chapters based on original research
  • professional research reports

Bibliographic information to include

For each published work provide full bibliographic references, for example:

  • Name / names - Smith. J., Brown. S., Shaw. P.
  • Title
  • Name of publication
  • Type of publication, (e.g. refereed journal article, non-refereed journal article, book chapter, review etc.)
  • Publication details (e.g. Volume 29, issue 2, 2005)

Providing proof of identification and citizenship

You will need to submit evidence of your citizenship and personal details (name, date of birth, etc.). Please provide:

  • a certified copy of your birth certificate, relevant pages of your passport or a citizenship certificate if you're an Australian or New Zealand citizen
  • a certified copy of the relevant pages of your passport showing your visa or a letter with your residency status from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection if you're an Australian permanent resident
  • a certified copy of relevant pages of your passport showing your identity and citizenship if you're an international passport holder
  • proof of any changes of name (e.g. marriage certificate) if applicable

Apply online

Answer all questions thoroughly in your online application and attach all requested documents. If information is missing it may affect your chances of being accepted.

Apply via the Higher Degree Research Application Form

Remember to mail in certified copies

Most documents need to be certified before you upload them. Certified copies of documents are photocopies that have been sighted along with the original document by an authorised person (see list below).

Deakin does not accept documents that have been electronically certified. Documents submitted by mail will not be returned. Do not send originals, as they will not be returned.

How do I certify my documents?

  • Photocopy a copy of your original document.
  • Photocopies must be legible; this applies to all aspects of the document, including the name and address of the awarding institution.
  • If the document is in a language other than English, a certified copy of the original must be provided together with a certified translation.
  • Take both the photocopy and original to one of the people listed below to have them certified.
  • The authorised person must write and sign each page of the copied document.
  • The authorised person should sign each statement and provide their designation, i.e. Pharmacist.

Many authorised persons have a stamp they use to mark the paper before they sign and date the declaration. If an authorised person does not have a stamp, they may use wording such as the example below:

Certified true copy. Original sighted by me on ......../......../20......
Signed ..................................................................................
Signatory's authority: .............................................................

Who can certify my documents?

In Australia, the following people are acceptable as signatories for certification of documents:

  • a justice of the peace or bail justice
  • a public notary
  • an Australian lawyer (within the meaning of the Legal Profession Act 2004)
  • a clerk to an Australian lawyer
  • the prothonotary or deputy prothonotary of the Supreme Court, the registrar or the deputy registrar of the County Court, the principal registrar of the Magistrates' Court or the registrar or the deputy registrar of the Magistrates' Court
  • the registrar of probates and the assistant registrar of probates
    the associate to a judge of the Supreme Court or of the County Court
  • the associate of an Associate Judge of the Supreme Court or of an associate judge of the County Court
  • a person registered as a patent attorney under Chapter 20 of the Patents Act 1990 of the Commonwealth
  • a member of the police force
  • the sheriff or deputy sheriff
  • a member or a former member of either House of the Parliament of Victoria
  • a member or a former member of either House of the Parliament of the Commonwealth
  • a councillor of a municipality
    a senior officer of a council as defined in the Local Government Act 1989
  • a person registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law to practise in the medical profession (other than as a student)
  • a person registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law to practise in the dental profession as a dentist (other than as a student) and in the dentists division of that profession
  • a veterinary practitioner
  • a person registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law to practise in the pharmacy profession (other than as a student)
  • a principal in the teaching service
  • the manager of an authorised deposit-taking institution
  • a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia or the Australian Society of Accountants or the Institute of Public Accountants
  • the secretary of a building society
  • a minister of religion authorised to celebrate marriages (not a civil celebrant)
  • a person employed under Part 3 of the Public Administration Act 2004 with a classification that is prescribed as a classification to which this section applies or who holds office in a statutory authority with such a classification
  • a fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives (Victoria)
  • a staff member at Deakin.

Outside Australia, the following people are authorised to certify documents:

  • a justice of the peace
  • notary public
  • Australian Consular Officer or Australian Diplomatic Officer (within the meaning of the Consular Fees Act 1955)
  • employee of the Commonwealth or the Australian Trade Commission who works outside of Australia
  • a recruitment agent for international students.

Who can't certify my documents?

  • You cannot certify your own documents, even if you are listed as being able to do so for others on the list above.
  • A family member cannot certify your documents, even if they are listed as being able to do so for other people on the list above.

Where do I post the certified documents?

DOMESTIC applicants

HDR Admissions Officer, Deakin Research
Building BC
Deakin University
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood
Victoria 3125

International applicants

Deakin International
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood
Victoria 3125
Australia

What happens next?

What happens after I submit my HDR application?

You will receive a system generated confirmation email once you have submitted your application. If you have not provided all of the necessary documents, the Higher Degree by Research team will advise you via email. We ask that you submit the outstanding supporting documents as soon as possible. Failure to do so will delay the timely progression of your application to the faculty for review or your application may lapse.

When will I know if I’m accepted and how is the offer made?

You will be notified of the outcome of your application via the email address you have provided. In most cases, this will occur within 8 weeks of your complete application being submitted.

How do I accept my offer?

The offer email includes the terms and conditions of your offer and instructions on how to accept it.

How long do I have to accept my offer?

The duration you have to accept the offer will be mentioned in the offer email. It can be anywhere between one week to three weeks.

Can I defer my offer?

Typically students must commence their studies within three months of the offer letter. However in exceptional circumstances the commencement date may be deferred until a later date but this is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Need assistance?

Higher Degrees by Research - Candidature office
+61 3 9244 5613
Email the HDR Candidature office

Higher Degrees by Research - Scholarships office
+61 3 5227 2146
Email the HDR Scholarships office