Research degree entry pathways

Students wanting to enrol in a research degree at Deakin must have a demonstrated ability to undertake significant research in a defined area of interest. Your prior studies will have included advanced coursework in a relevant field, initial training in appropriate research methods and submission of a significant research component in a written report or comparable output.

Demonstrating research ability

Research ability may be demonstrated in a variety of ways. Students applying to undertake a higher degree by research must:

a) comply with the University's English language requirements

b) have completed one of the qualifications listed in (1 - 5) below in a relevant discipline from a recognised tertiary institution at the standard specified, or demonstrate equivalent prior learning and research experience as set out in (6).

Simply transferring from a coursework degree to a research degree isn't possible. All applicants must meet the following entry requirements to be admitted to candidature.

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) stipulates the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training.

1. Bachelor honours degree at AQF Level 8 (following a bachelor's degree)

Qualification/equivalent research experience

Bachelor honours degree at AQF Level 8 (following a bachelor's degree) which includes the following (or equivalent): at least 2 credit points of advanced coursework and 6 credit points of research and research training, including at least 4 credit points for a research project.

Required standard of achievement

For admission to master's degree (research)

At least second class honours.

For admission to doctoral degree

At least second class honours upper division.

2. Bachelor honours degree at AQF Level 8 (embedded in a bachelor's degree)

Qualification/equivalent research experience

Bachelor honours degree at AQF Level 8 (embedded in a bachelor's degree) which includes the following (or equivalent): at least 2 credit points of advanced coursework and 4 credit points of research and research or applied professional training, including at least 2 credit points for a research project.

Required standard of achievement

For admission to master's degree (research)

At least second class honours.

For admission to doctoral degree

At least second class honours upper division.

3. Master's degree (research) at AQF Level 9

Qualification/equivalent research experience

Master's degree (research) at AQF Level 9 of which at least two thirds is devoted to research, research training and independent study (as required by the AQF).

Required standard of achievement

For admission to master's degree (research)

N/A

For admission to doctoral degree

Pass

4. Master's degree (coursework) or (extended) at AQF Level 9

Qualification/equivalent research experience

Master's degree (coursework) or (extended) at AQF Level 9 which includes the following (or equivalent): at least 2 credit points of advanced coursework and 6 credit points of research and research training, including at least 4 credit points for one or more research projects.

Required standard of achievement

For admission to master's degree (research)

Grade equivalent to a Deakin grade of at least 60 for research project.

For admission to doctoral degree

Grade equivalent to a Deakin grade of at least 70 for research project.

5. Other qualifications at AQF Level 8 or 9

Qualification/equivalent research experience

Other qualifications at AQF Level 8 or 9: 

  • with the equivalent of at least 4 credit points of research or research training, including at least 2 credit points for a research project 
  • where the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research (or nominee) is satisfied that students will be adequately prepared for HDR candidature, taking into consideration the structure of the course, the qualifications and experience required for entry into the course and the requirements of the discipline.

Required standard of achievement

For admission to master's degree (research)

At least second class honours or grade equivalent to a Deakin grade of 60 for research project.

For admission to doctoral degree

At least second class honours upper division or a grade equivalent to a Deakin grade of 70 for research project.

6. Prior learning equivalent to a qualification at least at AQF Level 8

Qualification/equivalent research experience

Prior learning equivalent to a qualification at least at AQF Level 8 and research experience with outputs which is sufficient to prepare the applicant for HDR candidature.

Required standard of achievement

For admission to master's degree (research) or doctoral degree

Sufficiency of research experience and standard of research outputs to be determined with reference to evidence which might include independently peer-reviewed publications, research-related awards or prizes and/or professional reports.

Grade equivalence

The following table provides a guide to grade equivalence at Deakin University. It is an indicator only and does not automatically equate to other institution grades.

% range                  Description                   Deakin Honours Grade
80%+First classH1
70-79%Upper second class H2A
60-69%Lower Second classH2B

Find out about international grade equivalence

Additional evidence (optional)

You might want to provide copies of peer-reviewed publications as evidence of your research experience. Include details on the nature of your research ability, specifically length and content of the program or research, with particular attention to the standard of any research component.

Application assessment

Deakin assesses each application on its merits, and final decisions are at the discretion of the University rather than individual faculty members. The University must also take into account supervisor availability, strategic university goals and available funding.

Thesis based on a series of publications prior to candidature

It is possible to be admitted to candidature to produce a thesis based on prior publications. 

To be admitted, the publications to be included in this thesis must form a coherent body of work that demonstrates a substantial original contribution to knowledge on the part of the applicant. 

The publications must normally have been produced within the last ten years. The research leading to the publications must have been conducted in a way consistent with university research integrity requirements. 

Any part of the publications submitted for another degree must be identified, and cannot be considered as part of the contribution to knowledge that is to be demonstrated in the thesis.

For more information, email the HDR Candidature office.

Scholarship eligibility

To be competitive for a scholarship you'll need to have an H1 grade average. Please see individual scholarship terms and conditions for further information.

Find a scholarship