Apply for a research degree

Applications for most research degrees are made via an online form. When you can apply depends on whether you want to apply with or without scholarship.

Application dates

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

Applications for research degrees with scholarship can be made as follows:

  Applications open Applications close
Local applicants (citizens and permanent residents of 
Australia and citizens of New Zealand)
1 May 2016 31 October 2016
International applicants 1 February 2016 31 July 2016

Unsuccessful applicants may reapply for candidature and scholarship in subsequent scholarship rounds.

Read about Deakin's research degree scholarships.

Application process

If you are a Doctor of Psychology applicant, a Master of Science (Research) applicant, or a current research degree student applying for a scholarship only, please follow the relevant directions below.

Doctor of Psychology applicant?

Applications for Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) can be lodged online via the Deakin applicant portal. Please read the applicant guidelines (PDF, 239.8 KB)  prior to lodging your request for a referee report via the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council online portal.

For more information please contact the School of Psychology by email. Applications close on 31 October each year.

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

Master of Science (Research) applicant?

The Master of Science (Research) degree differs from a Masters by Research. It comprises a unique combination of coursework and research and provides the ideal pathway between undergraduate study and a doctoral degree. It is open to both domestic and international students.

For more information:

  • International applicants - Please contact Deakin International by telephone on +61 3 9627 4877 or enquire online.
  • Domestic applicants - Please contact the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment by telephone on 03 9244 6699 or email.

Current research degree student applying for a scholarship only?

If you are an existing Deakin research degree student applying for Scholarship only, please go to RMENET and use your Deakin student username and password to login. The scholarship application form is located at HDR/HDR eForms/Create an HDR eForm.

Instructions (PDF, 83.9 KB) are provided to assist you in creating the current student scholarship application form.

If you have applied for a HDR scholarship previously, you need to demonstrate that you have achieved significant research outcomes beyond the basic expectations of your candidature progression since your last application.

All other applicants follow the seven main steps below to complete your application.

Please complete these steps in the following order to avoid submitting an incomplete application.

Entry to a research degree at Deakin is based on a demonstrated capacity to undertake significant research in the proposed field. Research ability may be demonstrated in a variety of ways. In addition to the entry pathway requirements for candidature, there are additional eligibility criteria for entry into a scholarship. 

See entry pathways to research degrees for detailed information on demonstrating your research ability and eligibility criteria.

  • This step is applicable to all applicants other than those applying to study in the Faculty of Business and Law. Those students should contact for all supervisor and other research degree related enquiries.

Before you start your application, you need to contact a faculty or institute research degree coordinator for advice on your research topic and proposal. 

A list of potential research areas and supervisors can be found via our finding a supervisor page. 

Please note Deakin may not be able to appoint the person you request as your supervisor.

All online applications must be supported by two referee reports (these must be forwarded to your referees to complete). You should request reports from current or former lecturers or academic or employment supervisors who are able to comment on your research expertise and potential.

These reports are confidential and must be sent by your referees directly to Deakin University at the address indicated on the form. Please urge your referees to complete and send in their reports as soon as possible.

All applicants please use the combined domestic and international referee report form below.

Your referees should retain a photocopy of the reports they provide to Deakin.

You must provide a brief outline of your proposed research topic. We use this to assess whether the University has appropriate supervision expertise available.

If you have already been in contact with a potential supervisor, you may work with them to develop your research proposal. For more information that may be specific to your research area, see preparing a research proposal.

Certified documentation

Please send all certified documentation to the relevant postal address below:

Australian or New Zealand 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

Academic transcripts

You need to provide transcripts of all of your tertiary education studies, except those undertaken at Deakin University.

These should indicate the name of the qualification, the institution of enrolment, the years of study, the subjects/units undertaken, the grades achieved, explanatory notes concerning the grades and proof that the qualification has been completed. If transcripts are not in English, an English translation must also be supplied.

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

Certified copies of important documents are photocopies that have been sighted along with the original document by an authorised person. The person must then write on every page of the copy document a statement like the following: 'I have sighted the original document and certify this to be a true copy of the original'.

The person certifying documents for you should sign each statement and provide their designation, for example, 'Pharmacist'.

Authorised persons include:

  • Justices of the Peace
  • Police Officers of the rank of Sergeant and above
  • Pharmacists
  • Barristers, Solicitors and Patent Attorneys
  • Principals of Australian Secondary Colleges, High School and Primary Schools
  • Postal Managers
  • Medical Practitioners
  • Bank Managers
  • Accountants

Proof of identification and citizenship

Australian or New Zealand citizens need to provide a certified copy of your birth certificate, relevant pages of your passport or a citizenship certificate.

Australian permanent residents need to provide 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.

International citizens need to provide a certified copy of relevant pages of your passport showing your identity and citizenship.

If relevant, you also need to provide proof of any changes of name (e.g. marriage certificate).

English language requirements, if required

Where your first language is not English, or where degree qualifications were not undertaken in the English language, you must 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 for Deakin's Higher Degrees by Research courses can be found in Schedule B: Higher Degrees by Research English Language Requirements. Please note that all tests must have been completed within the last two years.

The Faculties 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 have approved your application. If so, the required standard may be achieved at the Deakin University English Language Institute (DUELI).

The Faculty and Arts and Education is currently working with the Deakin University English Language Institute (DUELI) to assist applicants in reaching the required English Language standard. Please contact the Faculty of Arts for further information.

You are required to submit your curriculum vitae or résumé as part of your online application. This needs to be uploaded in section 1.

If you have had your research published, provide a list of publications with the information presented as described below.

Your list of published work must be broken down into the following types:

  • Refereed journal articles
  • Refereed conference papers
  • Non-refereed conference papers
  • Books based on original research
  • Book chapters based on original research
  • Professional research reports.

For each published work:

  • Provide full bibliographic references For example: 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).
  • Outline your contribution to the work.
  • State whether the journal or conference was national or international,
  • Provide a copy of the contents page and abstract page for each item.
  • Do not attach the full article.

Step 7. Apply online

In your online application, you should answer all the questions thoroughly and attach all the requested documents - if information is missing it will affect your chances of being accepted.

Scanned copies of identification and academic transcript documents may be attached to your online application, but you also need to post certified copies of the originals to Deakin as soon as possible. We cannot make an offer until hard copies of these documents are received.

  1. Register and obtain a username and password.
  2. Log in and complete the application. You can do this in one session or several. Your progress is saved each time you click the Next button in the online application. You will be asked to upload a range of documents during the application process.

The application process contains the following sections. For some sections, you have to both upload scanned copies of documents and post certified copies to us; these are marked with an asterisk (*).

Section 1 Your personal details, for contact and statistical purposes and your curriculum vitae or résumé. If you have changed your name, you must attach proof.
Section 2 Your type of application (Candidature only or candidature and scholarship)
Section 3 Your citizenship, to determine whether any fees will be payable. You will need to attach proof of citizenship:
  • For Australian or New Zealand citizens, a birth certificate, relevant pages of passport, or citizenship certificate. For Australian Permanent Residents, relevant pages of passport showing visa or letter from the Department of Immigration;
  • For international citizens, relevant pages of your passport showing identity and citizenship
Section 4 Your proposed area of study. This includes the research title, discipline or area, the research proposal, and any Deakin staff who you may have contacted. We direct your application to this area of the University.
Section 5 Your proposed study mode - will you be studying on or off campus, and full or part-time? What is your proposed start date? We need to ensure we have the resources to support your study with us.
Section 6

Are you currently studying? This may affect your start date or entry into the degree

If you want to transfer from a research degree elsewhere, you will need to provide us with details of your progress from your current university. This can be achieved by obtaining an official letter from your current university stating your course name, start date (and withdrawal date, if applicable), consumed EFTSL load, scholarship commencement date, if applicable (and suspension date, if applicable). We will also require you to attach an outline of your work completed so far, and explain how the work will be completed in the remaining time, with milestones.

If you have previously been enrolled in a research degree but have since discontinued study, you will also need to provide us with the same information as detailed above, for reporting to the government.
Section 7 Sections 7 to 11 relate to evidence of your research ability and whether you are qualified for the degree. You may need to complete some or all of these questions. 

Your previous tertiary (university) qualifications. You will have to attach transcripts of results from each degree and provide a certified copy* to Deakin - that is, the list of subjects and results supplied by the university, including whether or not you completed the degree.
Section 8 Your original research, such as a thesis, dissertation or research project (not coursework essays or assignments). You will need to provide the transcript, abstract or first page.
Section 9 Your research experience you may have had in your employment. You should outline what actual research you have done and what new knowledge you have discovered.
Section 10 Your research publications, such as in refereed journals, at conferences, in books with original research or in industry. You will need to provide details of the publication and your contribution to it.
Section 11 Your scholarships or awards, including where and when you received the award
Section 12 Your proficiency with English. You may be required to provide proof of this and provide a certified copy* to Deakin.
Section 13 Your two referees who can comment on your research ability. There is a form for them to complete, which you send to them. They return it directly to us via email or fax.
Section 14 This is a checklist for your attachments, which you can view all the way through the form.
Section 15 How you heard about Deakin and why you chose to apply. You also have to declare that all the information that you have supplied is accurate. Only once you have completed all sections and attached all the required documents and pressed the 'submit' button can we process your application.

Need assistance?

If you are having difficulties submitting your application online or have a question, please contact our Candidature office at or phone +61 3 925 17768 or our Scholarships office at or phone +61 3 522 72146.

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