Entry pathways to research degrees

Entry to a research degree at Deakin is based on a demonstrated capacity to undertake significant research in the proposed field. This means that you should have completed:

  • advanced coursework in a relevant field of study
  • initial research training in appropriate methods and
  • a research project resulting in a written report or comparable output.

The University will assess each application on its merits. It is not possible to comment on qualifications or publications without full documentation. The final decision about the standard of an applicant's research ability is made by the University, not by individual faculty members. Research ability is only one factor in the decision to offer candidature – others include availability of supervision, university strategic goals and available funding.

Research ability may be demonstrated in a variety of ways as outlined below.

Admittance to candidature

To be admitted to candidature, an applicant must:

a) have completed one of the qualifications listed in (I - V) 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 (VI):

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

  Qualification/equivalent research experience Required standard of achievement
For admission to Masters degree (Research) For admission to Doctoral degree
I Bachelor Honours Degree at AQF Level 8 (following a Bachelor 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 at least second class honours at least second class honours upper division
II Bachelor Honours Degree at AQF Level 8 (embedded in a Bachelor 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 at least second class honours at least second class honours upper division
III Masters 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) N/A pass
IV Masters 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 grade equivalent to a Deakin grade of at least 60 for research project grade equivalent to a Deakin grade of at least 70 for research project
V 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
at least second class honours or grade equivalent to a Deakin grade of 60 for research project at least second class honours upper division or a grade equivalent to a Deakin grade of 70 for research project
VI 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

Disciplinary knowledge and skills meet at least AQF Level 8 criteria

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

b) comply with the University's English language requirements set out in Schedule A: Higher Degrees by Research English Language Requirements.

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 class H1
70-79% Upper Second class H2A
60-69% Lower Second class H2B

Scholarship eligibility

To be competitive for a scholarship you must obtain a minimum grade of H1. Please see individual scholarship terms and conditions for further information.

Additional evidence (optional)

Evidence Description
Publications Independently peer-reviewed
  • journal articles
  • conference papers
  • other publications
Note: the contribution of the applicant must be described clearly where there are multiple authors.
Research experience
  • Professional reporting
  • Prior learning
  • Research related awards/prizes
  • Other evidence of research ability

You must provide demonstrated evidence of the above, which has been independently assessed. You should also include details on the nature of your research ability, such as the length and content of the program or research, with particular attention to the standard of any research component.

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 prima facie 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.

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