Master of Philosophy

Higher degrees research

Develop a greater depth of research skills by pursuing an independent investigative research project and relevant research training coursework.

Key facts

Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course overview

This elite intensive research degree in health and (bio-) medical sciences will provide students with the opportunity to pursue and independent investigative research project under the supervision of an academic staff member in the School of Medicine, along with coursework specifically designed to provide relevant skills in research design, communication, integrity and interpretation. This course will provide students with a dedicated pathway into PhD programs or into employment where deeper disciplinary knowledge and research skills are required.

The research projects that centre on the basis of health and disease span from basic gene discovery and molecular analysis, through to functional genomics and pre-clinical development, to clinical and population studies. This includes in the fields of immunity, infectious diseases, developmental biology, exercise physiology and metabolism, musculoskeletal biology, haematology, cancer, metabolic disease, neuroscience, molecular psychiatry and nanomedicine. Research projects may also be offered in the field of rural and regional medicine, general practice, chronic disease management, public health, medical education, epidemiology, farmer health, medical imaging, surgery and optometry.

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Course information

Award granted
Master of Philosophy

2024 course information

Deakin code
CRICOS code?
093847E Waurn Ponds (Geelong)
Higher Degree Research

Course structure

A Master of Philosophy is awarded for an original contribution to knowledge achieved in two years of full-time study (or four years of part-time study).

To complete the Master of Philosophy must complete 4 credit points of research training coursework that includes research design, communication, integrity and interpretation, in addition to an independent research project under the supervision of a nominated supervisor.

Students are required to meet the University's academic progress and conduct requirements.


Must pass 12 credit points in:

  • Research Thesis (2 credit point)
  • or

  • Research Thesis (1 credit point)
  • Students will work continuously on their research project over a two-year period full-time or four year period part-time.

    In addition, students need to complete 4 credit points of research training coursework units within the first year (FTE) of the course.

  • Research Communication (2 credit points)
  • Research Interpretation and Integrity (1 credit point)
  • And one of:

  • Research Design (1 credit point)
  • or

  • Biostatistics 1 (1 credit point)
  • or

  • Qualitative Health Research (1 credit point)
  • Intakes by location

    The availability of a course varies across locations and intakes. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Check each intake for up-to-date information on when and where you can commence your studies.

    Trimester 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Waurn Ponds (Geelong)

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

    Additional course information

    Course duration

    Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.


    You should be able to commit 36 hours a week towards the Master of Philosophy degree. A student is entitled to 20 working days annual leave from candidature on approval by their Principal Supervisor.

    Participation requirements

    Elective units may be selected that include compulsory placements, work-based training, community-based learning or collaborative research training arrangements.

    Reasonable adjustments to participation and other course requirements will be made for students with a disability. More information available at Disability support services.

    Work experience

    Career Pathway Placements (internships) with industry partners, are offered as an elective, to all domestic and international HDR students. The timing of a proposed placement should be discussed with the supervisory team, and approved by the School HDR Coordinator.

    Entry requirements

    Selection is based on a holistic consideration of your academic merit, work experience, likelihood of success, availability of places, participation requirements, regulatory requirements, and individual circumstances. You will need to meet the minimum academic and English language proficiency requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.

    Academic requirements

    To be considered for selection into this degree you are required to meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • completion of a masters degree with a minimum credit average (65% or equivalent) in the same discipline as the proposed research thesis
    • completion of a bachelor degree with a distinction average (70% and above) for third year units or equivalent in the same discipline as the proposed research thesis
    • completion of the pre-clinical component of the Doctor of Medicine (or equivalent degree) at the postgraduate level.

    English language proficiency requirements

    To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:

    Admissions information

    Learn more about Deakin courses and how we compare to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning.

    Not sure if you can get into Deakin postgraduate study? Postgraduate study doesn’t have to be a balancing act; we provide flexible course entry and exit options based on your desired career outcomes and the time you are able to commit to your study.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Recognition of prior learning.

    One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight credit points of a typical combination of units for your course.

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the handbook.

    Learn more about tuition fees.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship could help you pay for your course fees, living costs and study materials. If you've got something special to offer Deakin - or maybe you just need a bit of extra support - we've got a scholarship opportunity for you. Search or browse through our scholarships

    Apply now

    Apply direct to Deakin

    Get all the information you need to successfully apply for a Deakin research degree or PhD, including key dates, entry requirements, supporting documents and finding a research supervisor. We’re here to support you through the process.


    Career outcomes

    The Master of Philosophy is specifically designed to provide students from diverse undergraduate backgrounds with an opportunity to expand their knowledge base and become an independent researcher with specialized technical, critical thinking, communication and cognitive skills. These skills are highly sought by many employers, with the course providing students with a dedicated pathway into national and international PhD programs or into careers within academia, industry, medical research as well as government and non-government scientific agencies, both local and global.

    Professional recognition

    Not applicable

    Course learning outcomes

    Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.

    Graduate Learning Outcomes

    Course Learning Outcomes

    Discipline specific knowledge and capabilities

    Demonstrate an advanced and integrated understanding of a complex body of knowledge in a chosen area of research in the medical discipline.

    Plan and execute a substantial research project that demonstrates complex knowledge and application of medical research principles and methods.


    Interpret and efficiently transmit knowledge, skills, ideas and data to specialist and non-specialist audiences using highly developed written and oral communication skills

    Apply listening and effective communication skills to accommodate, encourage and answer questions from an audience and to defend research findings and propositions.

    Digital literacy

    Use digital technologies to locate, curate, interpret and disseminate relevant evidence-based literature to formulate research hypotheses, concepts and theories.

    Critical thinking

    Critically analyse literature, research data and other information relevant to the medical discipline to develop a conceptual framework for a substantial research project.

    Problem solving

    Demonstrate autonomy, well-developed judgement and responsibility to critically analyse, reflect upon and synthesise complex information, concepts and theories by planning and executing a substantial research project in the chosen field of study.

    Contribute to advancements in knowledge of the discipline through mastering the use of instruments and techniques, to collect, interpret, analyse, synthesise and disseminate research data and findings.


    Demonstrate a high level of personal autonomy, professionalism and responsibility in the acquisition of knowledge and in the planning and execution of a research project and interpretation of its data and findings.


    Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively and effectively with research peers and non-specialist stakeholders to address complex real-world problems in a variety of settings.

    Global citizenship

    Demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills in conducting best-practice research of the highest ethical standards and in managing, sharing data and disseminating research findings across wider research and cultural communities.