Become a research degree student

Join the world’s best and brightest research professionals in our PhD Xtra program. Approximately 1700 higher degree by research students are taking advantage of our exceptional facilities, strategic partnerships, innovative research centres and excellent reputation.

What is a research degree?

A research degree is the highest possible qualification a university can offer. The work of our research students is integral to Deakin's reputation and growth.

Whether it's a masters by research or doctorate, enrolling in a research degree will give you an invaluable opportunity to publish and present your work to a broader academic community and establish yourself within your chosen profession.

Find out more about our types of research degrees

PhD Xtra – Be Expert

Join the world’s best and brightest research professionals in our new PhD Xtra program. Deakin offers all higher degree by research students an enhanced learning experience through an individual, flexible learning program tailored by the student.

Find out more about PhD Xtra

Choose Deakin and make a difference

There are a multitude of reasons Deakin is the right choice for your research degree:

  • Our PhD Xtra program offers you an enhanced learning experience through an individual, flexible learning program, tailored by you
  • 89% of our research is rated at or above world-class (Excellence in Research for Australia 2015)
  • we're in the top 1% in global rankings (according to major international university ranking ARWU 2018)
  • we're the leader in graduate satisfaction in Victoria for the eighth consecutive year (in the Australian Graduate Survey (2010–15) and QILT survey (2016–2018)
  • our supervisors are global leaders
  • our broad international research footprint is continually growing.

Plus, as a Deakin research student you'll gain:

  • qualifications that are respected and recognised throughout the world
  • access to innovative research facilities
  • formal recognition and acknowledgement of your achievements through a portfolio of assets.

Find out why you should choose Deakin

Perhaps the Deakin dream is too good for me to wake up from? Nevertheless, it has shown me the doors of reality.

Balaji Narayanaswamy

Deakin PhD candidate at the Institute for Frontier Materials

Find a supervisor

Finding the right supervisor to discuss research opportunities in your field is essential before you apply for a research degree.

Define your area of research and choose the relevant Deakin faculty, research centre or institute to search for the appropriate person to oversee your project.

Find a supervisor

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. Research ability may be demonstrated in a variety of ways.

Find out more about entry pathways


Applying for a scholarship isn't just about filling in a form – it's also about what you can bring to the Deakin community.

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

Find out more about scholarships

What to expect

As a Deakin research student, you'll complete research training coursework, develop an individual learning plan and receive effective supervision to assist you in completing your thesis. 

There are a number of key candidature milestones that all research students must achieve, as well as a suite of policies and procedures that should be acknowledged and adhered to.

Visit Deakin's student site to learn more about what to expect

How to apply

Use Deakin's online higher degree by research application form to apply for a research degree. You'll need to attach proof of citizenship, academic transcripts, a research proposal, referee reports and other certified documents.

Our research students come from 50+ countries

Almost one third of all Deakin's higher degree by research students are from overseas, making Deakin a truly diverse and globally significant centre of research.

Become an international research student

Contact us

Higher Degrees by Research - Candidature office
+613 924 45258
Email the HDR Candidature office

Higher Degrees by Research - Scholarships office
+613 924 45413
Email the HDR Scholarships office

Current students
Browse HDR contacts