The Doctor of Philosophy in Business - Practice Based Research provides you with an opportunity to conduct high-impact doctoral research and engage in a Community of Practice with other research candidates. 

You’ll stay connected to your peers throughout your research and gain ongoing support and feedback opportunities. The expert guidance of your supervisors complements your peer support.

Your industry experience

Internship opportunities are available for Higher Degree by Research students.

Research areas

  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Management
  • Sport Management
  • Human Resources Management

Skills you’ll learn

  • Independent thinking
  • Decision-making skills
  • Good judgement
  • Logical thought, rationality
  • Communication skills
  • Project management skills

Your career opportunities

  • Academic
  • Researcher/Consultant/Manager
  • Entrepreneur
  • Business development
  • Analyst – policy, market, economic
  • Project manager

Key codes

International student visa

International students in Australia who hold student visas are required to study full-time and on campus. Courses that are taught entirely online are only available to international students studying outside Australia or those in Australia who are not on a student visa. Online courses are not available to international students in Australia who hold a student visa.

Why Swinburne?

Ranked Top 350 in Business and Management Studies

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023

Top 300 for Business and Economics

Times Higher Education World University Ranking by Subject 2023


Applicants must have completed at least four years (or equivalent) of tertiary education studies in a relevant discipline at a high level of achievement, and must have been approved for the award of the degree(s) for which they studied. 
A high level of achievement is defined as the equivalent of a four year Swinburne Honours degree that includes a significant research component in the fourth year, leading to an Honours degree class 1 (average grade between 80-100) or class 2A (average grade between 70-79) level. 
Four years of tertiary studies can be demonstrated by the completion of any of the combinations of qualifications below, at the required standard of achievement: 

  • a bachelor degree (three or four years) and a Masters by Research or

  • a bachelor degree (three or four years) and an Honours year or

  • a bachelor degree (three or four years) and a Masters by Coursework or

  • a bachelor degree (three or four years) and a postgraduate diploma in Psychology or

  • a bachelor degree (four years) in an approved discipline.

Find out more about entry requirements.


Admission requirements

Meeting the minimum entry requirements for the course does not guarantee an offer of a place. See admission requirements for general information about the admission process.

English language requirements

Satisfactory completion of one of the following:

Need to undertake an English assessment for entry?

A prerequisite for many courses, the Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic) can now be done at our Hawthorn campus.

Finding your fit

At Swinburne, we recognise that not one size fits all. If this course doesn’t meet all your study criteria, check out these alternatives.

Course structure

The PhD by PBR is a program run through the Faculty of Business and Law. It is generally completed over six years part-time (three years full-time).

In the first two years, you’ll undertake a custom training workshop program to ensure you have mastery over the foundations of doctoral research. This workshop is run four times a year on-campus by highly-experienced, internationally recognised researchers in their disciplines.

In the third and fourth years as you implement your research plan and collect and analyse data, we offer more tailored training and support.

In the final two years, we support you during the writing of your thesis. We offer writing workshops, presentation and peer-feedback opportunities as you prepare your thesis for examination. 

Doctor of Philosophy in Business - PBR

Progress reviews

Progress reviews used to monitor academic progress and provide feedback to candidates at different stages of their candidature. Progress review due dates will vary based on your degree and enrolment status.

Progress reviews process Due date from enrolment

Preconfirmation review

Completion of thesis-related tasks and attendance at research training workshops

3 months

Confirmation of candidature review

Completion of thesis-related tasks and attendance at research training workshops

9-12 months

Mid-candidature review

Completion of thesis-related tasks and attendance at research training workshops

I2-24 months

Draft thesis review

Completion of thesis-related tasks and attendance at research training workshops

33-36 months and follow-up 3 months prior to thesis submission

2024 fees

Yearly fee* ($AUD)


Fees are estimates only

The student tuition fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. These fees apply to 2024 unit enrolments for HE Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) and Undergraduate Full Fee Paying (FFP) only and may change for units studied in future years. If part-time study is permitted, annual fees will be proportionally lower based on the number of units taken per semester.

Fees are estimates only

The indicative course fees shown apply to international students for the relevant year only. They are based on a standard study load per year. However, please note that fees are assessed according to a student's study load in each semester, and variation to study load will result in an adjustment to tuition fees. International tuition fees are generally inclusive of Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). All fees are subject to annual review and may be adjusted.

Government-funded Research training program (RTP)

This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding. To qualify for a government-subsidised place, you must meet various eligibility criteria. The course you’ve applied for must also be offering government-subsidised places. Swinburne will determine your eligibility by conducting a full assessment of your eligibility during the course application process.


Scholarship applications for 2024 are now open. Our research scholarships are awarded to candidates with exceptional potential who are undertaking doctoral studies. These opportunities seek to promote equity and recognise excellence and achievement. 

Please view our guidebook to help determine which documents you’ll need to prepare an application.

When you apply for a Swinburne course, we automatically consider you for an international scholarship of up to 30 per cent off your course fees – no separate application required! Just apply for your Swinburne course of choice and when we review your course application, we will also assess you for an international scholarship.

Apply through an agent

Most international students use an education agent to help them through the application process. Swinburne has agents all over the world that can help you with your application to study. Search for a Swinburne representative in your country. If your country is not listed, please contact us.

Representatives and agents
Search for agents

Apply for a research degree

Step 1: Decide on a research topic

Your research topic should align with one of the areas of research we are involved in. You can find out about Swinburne's areas of research through our:

Step 2: Find a supervisor

Using the Find a Supervisor tool search for a potential supervisor in your area of interest and contact them directly to discuss supervision. You must find a supervisor for your research project before applying for a research degree. Your application will not be considered unless you have an appropriate and willing supervisor.

Step 3: Submit your application

Once you have decided on a research topic and found an appropriate and willing supervisor, you must complete and submit the online application form.

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