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 met one of the minimum entry requirements 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. Doctoral Degree

Minimum entry requirements

Completion of research project in a related area including a thesis which is equivalent to at least 25% of a year’s full-time study at Level 8 or 9 of the Australian Qualifications Framework with achievement of a grade for the project equivalent to a Deakin grade of 70% or equivalent.
OR
Masters Degree (Research) in a related area.

2. Masters Degree (Research)

Minimum entry requirements

Completion of research project including a thesis which is equivalent to at least 25% of a year’s full-time study at Level 8 or 9 of the Australian Qualifications Framework with achievement of a grade for the project equivalent to a Deakin grade of 65% or equivalent.

3. Master of Science (Research)

Minimum entry requirements

Bachelor degree in Science, Engineering, or Information Technology requiring at least three years of full-time study with a minimum WAM or GPA of 65% or equivalent in the final year units/subjects.

4. Master of Philosophy (Electomaterials) – offered jointly with University of Wollongong

Minimum entry requirements

Bachelor plus a coursework Master Degree with a minimum Credit average (65% or GPA 3.0 out of 4.0 or equivalent), or a four year Bachelor Honours degree (with a minimum of 65%). A three year Bachelor degree (without Honours), but with a Distinction average (75%), may also be a suitable entry requirement if in the same discipline as the proposed research thesis. Research related and professional experience will also be considered when assessing qualifications.

5. Master of Philosophy – offered by the School of Medicine

Minimum entry requirements

Coursework Master degree with a minimum credit average (65% or equivalent) in the same discipline as the proposed research thesis.
OR
Bachelor degree with a distinction average (75%) for the third year or equivalent in the same discipline as the proposed research thesis.
OR
Completion of the pre-clinical component of the Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (or equivalent degree) at the postgraduate level.

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 are encouraged 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, the suitability of the proposed project, 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 or equivalent. Please see individual scholarship terms and conditions for further information.

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