Our research degrees here at Swinburne allow you to plan, conduct and manage a substantial research project. You’ll engage in critical thinking and judgment and develop knowledge of ethical practice, commercialisation and more as part of your research degree. 

Apply for a research degree in five steps:

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:

Or simply search for a topic and find a potential supervisor.

Step 2. Check the entry requirements of your program

Entry requirements differ depending on your research course. Check entry requirements for PhD, Professional Doctorate, Integrated PhD Program, Master by Research, and Partnered PhD programs and offshore PhD programs.

Applying for one of our postgraduate psychology programs?

If you're applying for one of our postgraduate psychology programs, you may also be required to submit references online. Please refer to the faculty supporting documentation for information on how to submit your references and what courses require this information.

Step 3. Check scholarship opportunities

At Swinburne, we have a wide range of scholarships available for research degrees that can cover tuition fees, provide an annual payment and even allow you to study overseas on a placement! 

Note: If you’re applying for a scholarship, you will need to provide supporting scholarship documentation.

Step 4. Find a supervisor

Using the Find a supervisor 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. 

Note: This step is not required for the Impact PhD.

Have a question about prospective supervision? Send your query to our team. 

Find a supervisor

Step 5. Submit your application

Once you have decided on a research topic and found an appropriate and willing supervisor, you must firstly complete the HDR Research Proposal Template Form [DOCX 97KB] and submit it with your online application form.

Application review process

The review process usually takes up to eight weeks to complete. We will advise you of the outcome of your application. At Swinburne, we consider applications on a case-by-case basis. We ensure the university has the ability to provide supervision and resources to support your nominated project before approving your application.

The process may take longer if:

  • your application is incomplete
  • we require additional information from you
  • the review committees require additional time to assess your application.

Digital Construction Lab at the Hawthorn campus

Applying for a scholarship? 

If you’re applying for a scholarship, you will need to provide supporting scholarship documentation. You will need to ask at least two referees to complete one of the following forms:

Where possible, it is preferable that the references are academic in nature, but it is understood that this may not always be possible.

Interested in a different approach to undertaking a PhD?

We offer a new way to do your PhD, unique to Swinburne – an Impact PhD is designed to shape the innovators of the future. You will complete your PhD as part of a team of research students, from across a range of disciplines, to work collaboratively on a broad challenge identified by a partner. 

Find out more about this innovative approach to research by contacting us.

Need help applying for a research degree?

If you need help applying for a research degree at Swinburne, contact our team between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Contact us