Why choose Swinburne for your research degree?

$47m external research income1

186 research degree completions2

1,893 indexed publications in 20193

16 five-star discipline areas4

Search for a researcher or supervisor

Whether you’re looking for a potential collaborator, PhD supervisor or expert, our database will help you find who you need.  

Your access to world-class facilities and equipment

Swinburne is dedicated to providing the best possible facilities and equipment for our research students. We have invested more than $250 million in research over a four-year period. 

Our students have access to state-of-the-art research facilities in our flagship research buildings: 

  • The state-of-the-art Advanced Manufacturing & Design Centre is our 5-star green star building for research

    Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre

    The Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre (AMDC) is a state-of-the-art facility that gives researchers and students the opportunity to use the latest manufacturing and design techniques and technologies.

  • Advanced Technologies Centre

    The Advanced Technology Centre (ATC) is our front door, showcasing leading-edge research facilities and teaching spaces, as well as architectural design and sustainability.

Excellent training and support for research students

Swinburne has dedicated and well-established support networks to assist you with your research. 

As a Swinburne research student, you can attend our research training sessions on topics such as thesis writing, publishing and presenting. We also run a variety of seminars presented by experts from industry and universities around the world.

A research student conference is held biennially. Meet and collaborate with other research students at our social functions.

Register (log in required)

Real-world research

At Swinburne, we are committed to quality research with real-world applications. As a research student with us, you’ll benefit from our focus on industry-relevant research which will help you take the next step in your career. 

From Boeing to Pilkington to Suntech — Swinburne University of Technology has partnered with global and Australian-based organisations for you to gain real-world experience to shape our future.

Master degree or PhD?

Unsure which research degree is right for you? At Swinburne, we offer various study options that are designed to suit your lifestyle. Learn more about the study levels we offer for research degrees.

  • Male student wearing leather jacket stands outside smiling to camera

    Master degrees

    Master degrees are the next step after a bachelor’s degree, designed to extend your  expertise in a particular field and prepare you for the next step in your career.

  • Young female student wearing a white top smiles to camera outside on a sunny day

    Doctor of Philosophy

    A PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) is focused around a significant, original piece of research that demonstrates a critical knowledge and understanding of a particular research area.

  • Entry requirements for research degrees

    Find out about all our higher degrees by research including PhD, professional doctorate, master by research, partnered and offshore PhD programs.

  • Shot of a male student sitting in a classroom going over his work.

    How to apply for a research degree

    Applications for research degrees are accepted year-round for most research programs. Learn the application and enrolment process for international students and learn how to find a potential supervisor.

  • Image of a Science student

    How to enrol as a research student

    Enrolments for PhD and master degree (by research) students are conducted in person. Here’s how to enrol as a PhD or master degree (by research) student.

  • Background of australian dollar for design

    Money and living costs in Australia

    Living in Melbourne, like many cities around the world, can be relatively expensive at times, but there are ways to manage your money to make it go further. Find out what you need to get started and get by in Australia.

  • Young couple happy smiling surfers on ocean coast

    Why study in Australia?

    If travel restrictions mean you can’t be here right now, it’s still fun to dream about your ultimate study destination! World-class education, breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cities and friendly locals (even kangaroos and koalas) — it’s no wonder our international students love Australia! 

Read what our research students have to say

Meet our research students and hear about their experiences studying a research degree here at Swinburne University of Technology.

James Phelan, former PhD student at Swinburne.
Why did you choose to do a research degree?

I undertook a PhD after completing my Master of Arts (Writing) through Swinburne. 

Undertaking a PhD while I was starting out as a full-time novelist gave me some headspace from my working life, while allowing me to focus on an area of research — Young Adult Fiction — that I knew I would one day enter into.

What was your research topic?

Chasers is a Young Adult novel written in the first person from the point of view of a sixteen year-old character trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic setting. I used auto-ethnography and Practice Led Research (PLR) to record and reflect on the writerly journey, from idea to publication and beyond.

My journey through the methodology of auto-ethnography centred on the novelist as creator, the artefact through PLR, the aesthetic of young adult fiction, how creativity meets commerce, and what only the novel can say via explorations of style, allegory, and symbolism.

  • "I looked forward to all the meetings with my supervisors, discussing my work and getting critical and constructive feedback from people I trusted and respected."

    James Phelan , Former PhD student

What were the best aspects of your PhD candidature?

I loved the broad nature of the project - and I detested it too; it was an interesting journey! My topic changed about half way through, as I (and my supervisors) kept coming to the fact that it was too big to achieve within a PhD candidature. Once I’d made the commitment to focus on one specific area of my original concept, it was much easier to achieve the outcome. 

Some other fond memories are all the meetings with my supervisors, discussing my work and getting critical and constructive feedback from people I trusted and respected. It made my regular meetings something to look forward to.

What do you hope to achieve after completing your PhD?

For me it was about the journey, not the outcome. I achieved what turned out to be bigger than I imagined from the out-set. Bigger in terms of the volume of work that never made the final cut; probably 80% of my work sits like the unseen portion of an iceberg supporting what you see above the water.

I’ve been a full-time author since 2006 and see myself continuing that for the foreseeable future.

Larry Schwartz, PhD student at Swinburne.
Why did you choose to do a research degree with Swinburne?

I was working on a book on asylum seekers and their supporters. Swinburne’s then journalism program director Meg Simons suggested that I consider completing a research degree.

What is your research topic?

I am examining the extent to which a grassroots theatre production acted as a counter-narrative in the early 2000s when research overwhelming suggests media coverage was compromised by Federal Government propaganda.

  • "I've enjoyed the privilege of returning to study after decades in the workforce, engaging with other students and great supervisors."

    Larry Schwartz , PhD student

What are the best aspects of your PhD candidature?

I’ve enjoyed the privilege of returning to study after decades in the workforce, engaging with other students and great supervisors. I’ve gained a unique opportunity to explore issues that continued to concern me after leaving The Age in 2009.

Michael Lo Bianco, PhD student at Swinburne. 
Why did you choose to do a research degree with Swinburne?

I completed my undergraduate degree in Digital Media Design here at Swinburne and received First Class Honours.

After working within the industry for some time, I knew from experience and on-going relationships with my past lecturers and peers that Swinburne was going to be the right choice to undertake my research degree. I now have an exceptional and highly qualified supervisory team who are dedicated to letting me grow and develop academically.

The wider research community within Swinburne provides tremendous encouragement and support to those who wish to flourish as researchers.

What is your research topic?

For the elderly, falls are a significant issue that negatively affect their safety and quality of life. Within Swinburne’s Centre for Design Innovation, I am developing a digital tool to assist in the visualisation and retrofitting of existing elderly home environments for fall prevention.

The aim of this is to facilitate safer and more empowering ageing-in-place conditions and solutions.

  • "The wider research community within Swinburne provides tremendous encouragement and support to those who wish to flourish as researchers."

    Michael Lo Bianco , PhD student

What are the best aspects of your PhD candidature?

Throughout my PhD candidature there have been a number of standout moments. An example is presenting my research topic as a whole and receiving warm commendations at the 6th Biennial Australian and New Zealand Falls Prevention Conference in Sydney.

Also, the opportunity to become a sessional lecturer has allowed me to get back into the classroom to engage with and motivate Swinburne’s future digital and communication designers. 

Javeria Jalal, PhD student at Swinburne. 
What is your research topic?

The topic of my research is studying streaming flows generated by ultrasound around milk fat globules in milk. I simulate how milk fat globules form cream under the influence of ultrasound, and find out what factors improve or aggravate this process of creaming.

This is an important area of research because ultrasound has never been used to separate cream from milk before.

Upon successful completion, we will be able to provide the industry with an alternate technology to the current centrifugation process for cream separation.

  • "Working with an interdisciplinary team has helped me understand how to see the same problem from other perspectives."

    Javeria Jalal , PhD student

What are the best aspects of your PhD candidature?

The most interesting aspect of my PhD is how it is directly related to the dairy industry. The project was actually proposed by industry itself as they wanted to introduce a new technology to separate cream from milk.

The project is interdisciplinary and I got the opportunity to work with people from different backgrounds such as physics, engineering and bioengineering.

As a mathematician I had always thought we only play with numbers and equations, but now I have had the opportunity to visit milk processing and cheese making plants.

What do you hope to achieve after completing your PhD?

I see that science is more and more about teamwork and that we no longer work individually. Working with an interdisciplinary team has helped me understand how to see the same problem from other perspectives.

I believe this will help me tackle new challenges in the future.

1 Total external research income for 2019
Higher degree by research completions (Oct 2018 – Oct 2019)
3 Scopus indexed publications in 2019
4 16 discipline areas ranked 5 stars (well above world-standard), 2018 ERA report

Contact the Swinburne Research team

Want to know more about the world-class research taking place at Swinburne University of Technology? Call +61 3 9214 4859 or email research@swinburne.edu.au to speak with the team.

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