Frequent asked questions

Why would I choose the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne over other institutions?

The Faculty of Arts has an outstanding reputation for research and attracts high achieving graduate students who come here to benefit from internationally recognised scholars with global networks. We are the original and oldest faculty at The University of Melbourne, and a premier institution that is ranked 19 in the world for Arts and Humanities, and 19 in the world for Social Sciences.*

* The 2014-2015 Times Higher Education World University Rankings

What is the difference between a masters by coursework and a masters by research?

The masters by coursework degree involves studying specified subjects that require attendance at classes and the submission of assignments. Some masters by coursework degrees also require the completion of a minor thesis (usually 14,000 words) as part of the course.

The masters by research degree requires the completion of a thesis of 20,000 words (shorter thesis) or 30,000 words (major thesis). Candidates in the masters by research work independently with support from their supervisor and School. Attendance at regular classes is not a requirement of the masters by research thesis. However, students who elect to enrol in a Masters by Advanced Seminar and Shorter Thesis will be required to attend seminars.

What subjects do I enrol in for a PhD or masters by research degree?

Enrolment in an ongoing thesis subject specific to each discipline within each School is required until the submission of the thesis for examination.

PhD students (and any MA students considering converting to a PhD) are required to complete a PhD coursework component. MA by Advanced Seminars and Shorter Thesis students are required to complete some coursework subjects as part of their degree.

For more information please visit the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Melbourne School of Government websites.

What academic background do I need to be eligible for entry into a PhD or masters by research degree?

The minimum entry requirements for a masters by research is a four year BA (Honours) degree with a research component or equivalent in the area of study, with an Honours thesis result of H2A (75%) equivalent and an overall honours result of H2B (70%) equivalent. Some streams of the masters by research degree may have additional special application requirements. See Areas of study for further details.

The minimum entry requirement for the PhD degree is completion of a four year Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree with a research component or equivalent in the appropriate area of study or closely related area, with an honours thesis result at least equivalent to an H2A (75%) and an overall honours result at least equivalent to an H2A (75%) at the University of Melbourne.

Applicants without the required honours degree may still be considered with significant fourth year, masters or graduate diploma research experience. Research experience must also be relevant to the proposed topic of research.

I am enrolled in a PhD program at another Australian University and wish to transfer into the PhD Arts. What is the process?

Transferring students apply through the same application process as new applicants. Please note, however, that the ability of students to transfer into the PhD Arts has been severely limited because of the requirement to complete the PhD coursework prior to confirmation. Generally only unconfirmed students who have been enrolled for 6 months or less (full-time equivalent candidature) can successfully transfer, though some exceptions exist. Please email Arts Research in advance of any application to discuss your options.

How many contact hours per week will I be required to study as a part-time PhD or Masters by Research student student?

Resource needs vary between students and the 'how' and 'where' of your research practices will determine your need to be on campus. Regular meetings with your supervisor will require you to attend campus either fortnightly for full-time candidates or monthly for part-time candidates. You will also attend PhD or Masters subjects depending on the requirements of your degree. Full-time students should be prepared to undertake independent study (research and writing) for six to eight hours per day, Monday to Friday.

Masters by research and PhD students are encouraged to be part of the on-campus experience.

Do I have to be living in Melbourne while I study?

Research students must be resident in Victoria for at least one third of their candidature. For more information on residency requirements please see the Selection and Admission into Graduate Research Courses Policy (MPF1284) web page.

If I am an international student, how do I apply?

International students should apply online through the Graduate research degrees web page. More information for international students can be found on the Future Students International Students web page.

Before applying, please visit our How to apply web page and ensure you have completed the steps listed in the Application Checklist.

When should I lodge my application for entry?

Please visit our Application deadlines web page for important dates and information about applying for a graduate research degree.

Who should I contact about the supervision of my research project?

Please visit our How to apply web page for further details about identifying your research interests and seeking potential supervisors.

What are the tuition fees for graduate research programs?

Domestic students do not pay tuition fees for research study. These students are offered graduate research places under the Commonwealth Government's Research Training Scheme (RTS). Research Training Scheme places are Commonwealth supported with a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) exemption for the normal duration of the course.

International student should consult the Future Students Admissions and applications Fees web page for details about calculating your fees, the cost of living in Melbourne, and the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

What scholarships are available?

The Melbourne Scholarships program is one of the largest and most comprehensive in Australia, supporting approximately 3000 high achieving students at the University. Scholarships are allocated annually via a competitive selection process.

For more information please visit the Faculty of Arts Application deadlines and Scholarships web pages. The Faculty of Arts recognises academic achievement and attracts outstanding students from within Australia and around the world.

What activities and events can I participate in while I am studying?

Academic schools offer graduate candidates a wide range of activities and events. For more information please check individual school websites.

The Faculty of Arts has extensive facilities, and offers a wide range of support services for PhD and masters by research students.