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.
- Doctor of Philosophy: PhD entry requirements and regulations
- Masters by research: MA entry requirements and regulations
In addition to the Graduate Research Degrees University requirements (see the Graduate research degrees web page), the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences (GSHSS) requires applicants to submit a 2,500 word thesis proposal and 5,000 word writing sample (details below).
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 / Institute||Name|
|Asia Institute||Leena Sookramanienfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|School of Culture and Communication||Gabrielle Griggemail@example.com|
|School of Historical and Philosophical Studies||Ryan Quinseefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|School of Languages and Linguistics||Leticia Nieuwenhuizenemail@example.com|
|School of Social and Political Sciences (including Melbourne School of Government)||Kate Farhallfirstname.lastname@example.org|
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
- Complete the Application for Admission to Graduate Research Candidature and Scholarship.
- Submit by the application deadline - October 31. Applications not submitted with the required documentation in time for this selection round cannot be considered for entry. Late or incomplete applications will be held over until the next selection round in the following year.
- International students can submit an application at any time, however we encourage students to submit prior to any relevant scholarship application deadline. For more information on deadlines please see the Faculty of Arts Graduate research scholarship web page
- For more information about important dates, visas, how to apply and related information, please see the Future Students International Information for you web page
- Complete the Application for Admission to Graduate Research Candidature and Scholarship or apply through one of the University of Melbourne's Overseas representatives