How to apply

A checklist on how to apply for a research program that covers the selection criteria, identifying whether supervision is available, your research proposal and a writing sample as well as the submission process.

Completing the application form is one of the final steps in the process. Please read through the application checklist before proceeding with your application.

1. Selection criteria

Ensure you meet the selection criteria.

If you do not meet the requirements, please refer to the Future Students website for information about programs and pathways. For further information please email Arts graduate admissions team.

All applications must also satisfy the University's English Language Requirements.

2. Identify if supervision is available

Contact the Graduate Research Administrator in the relevant school to assist you with identifying if appropriate supervision is available for your research. The Find an Expert website may help your search for a supervisor.

School / InstituteNameEmail
Asia Institute Leena Sookramanien leenas@unimelb.edu.au
School of Culture and Communication Gabrielle Grigg scc-rhd@unimelb.edu.au
School of Historical and Philosophical Studies Ryan Quinsee shaps-rhd@unimelb.edu.au
School of Languages and Linguistics Leticia Nieuwenhuizen soll-research@unimelb.edu.au
School of Social and Political Sciences (including Melbourne School of Government) Kate Farhall ssps-research@unimelb.edu.au

Once you have found a potential supervisor you can contact them with your research proposal and writing sample. If they agree to supervise your project, you would then make a formal application.

3. Research proposal

A research proposal is viewed as being as significant as your academic marks; a research degree application cannot be assessed without a research proposal, even if your marks are high.

The research proposal is a statement of what you want to research. A research proposal is not a statement of your beliefs or of something you want to prove, it is a topic or question that you wish to examine objectively. It must focus on a particular issue or research question; the research proposal should not rely on a discipline in which you are not trained.

The research proposal is the starting point for your thesis. It should include a brief introduction and conclusion, and the following outline:

  • The specific area of your intended research, with a clear title
  • A brief summary of the key literature in this field. A comprehensive literature review is not required, but a short bibliography and summary of key relevant works should be included
  • A sketch of the key research questions you hope to answer
  • A description of the methodology required to conduct this research
  • The word length of the thesis proposal should be approximately 2,500 words long

This information will assist the School selection committee to make a qualitative assessment amongst the many applications received for available places. It will also enable the School selection committee to ensure that appropriate expert supervision is available, as well as the resources necessary to facilitate your proposed research.

The School selection committee recognises that it is common for research proposals to go through different stages of development, and your proposal is considered indicative, rather than binding, in all details.

4. Writing sample

To further assist in the selection process, you are required to provide a 5,000 word sample of your recent work. For example, this might be one or two chapters from an Honours thesis, or a recent essay or paper that you think demonstrates your research and writing abilities.

Please provide a very brief explanation of the context, ie. whether this is a chapter from your thesis, or a 4th year essay, or a paper writing in a particular context.

Ensure both documents are labeled with your name, the School to which you are applying and the date.

5. How to submit an application

Domestic Students

International students