The Faculty of Arts has an outstanding reputation for research. It attracts high achieving graduate students who benefit from working with internationally recognised scholars and their global networks. Arts is the oldest faculty at the University of Melbourne, a premier institution that is ranked 39 in the world for Universities and 20 in the world for Arts and Humanities (QS World University Rankings 2019)
How to apply for a Doctor of Philosophy (Arts) (PhD) or a Masters by research
The Faculty of Arts only accepts applications for Graduate Research study to commence in Semester One. No mid-year intake is offered.
Deadlines for applications
|Applications from||Closing dates||Applications notified|
|International applicants*||31 August||11 October|
|31 October||13 December|
To be considered for Graduate Research Scholarships applications must be complete and received by the closing dates. Application outcomes will be available approximately eight weeks after the application closing date.
- To be considered for Graduate Research Scholarships please make sure that you submit a complete course application before 31 August. Most international Graduate Research Scholarships will be awarded in October
- If you are successful in obtaining a scholarship, you must commence your courses by the first day of Semester 1 of the academic year you have been made an offer for
Step 1: Ensure you meet the minimum entry requirement
Please familiarise yourself with these courses before deciding on the course most suitable to you.
The Faculty of Arts offers three research degrees:
- Doctor of Philosophy (Arts) (PhD)
- Master of Arts (Thesis Only)
- Master of Arts (Advanced Seminar and Shorter Thesis)
Please check if you are eligible for consideration by viewing our entry requirements before you proceed further.
If you do not meet the minimum entry requirements for direct entry into our graduate research degrees, you may wish to consider undertaking the Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced) as a pathway into Graduate Research. For further information, please email email@example.com.
Step 2: Finding a Supervisor
Before you can submit an application, you will need to contact a potential supervisor and establish whether appropriate supervision is likely to be available for your proposed research.
You can look for potential supervisors by
- Exploring the University's Find an Expert directory. You can search by topic key words, name, faculty or school
- Browsing the Faculty of Arts School websites including their staff lists
When contacting a potential supervisor, you should include:
|CV (resume)||In your CV please highlight your academic achievements and any relevant professional experience|
|All your higher education transcripts||Your transcripts should give detailed information of the individual mark received in your university-level qualifications to date|
|A 2,500-word research proposal||
The research proposal is the starting point for your thesis. It should include a brief introduction and conclusion, and the following outline:|
1. The specific area of your intended research, with a clear title
2. A brief summary of the key literature in this field, including a short bibliography and summary of key relevant works
3. A sketch of the key research questions you hope to answer
4. A description of the methodology required to conduct this research
|A 5,000-word writing sample||Please include a sample of your written work typically your Honours or masters 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.|
Step 3: To submit an application
To submit an application please visit our online application web pages:
Please note: you may proceed with your application only when you have confirmation that supervision is available.
You will be asked to submit the following documents with your online application:
- A copy of an email or letter indicating that your nominated supervisor has agreed to support your application
- A current CV outlining your all complete and incomplete academic qualifications and work experience, and details of any research publications (if relevant)
- A copy (or copies) of all higher education transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and numeric marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. You should only upload official documents issued by your institution and any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation. If you are still studying, you can apply now before completing your degree by including current transcripts of at least up to the first semester of your final year studies
- A 2,500-word research proposal
- A 5,000-word writing sample
- Your research proposal 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
- Ensure both research proposal and writing sample documents are labeled with your name, the School to which you are applying and the date
To support your application you will need to nominate two referees who can comment on your academic ability and research potential.
All referee reports must be submitted using the online tool. On submission of your application, your referees will be emailed a link to access the online referee form and they must provide their references using this online form. You will be notified when they submit the reference. Your application may be deemed as incomplete if the referee reports are not submitted before the application closing dates.
Ungraded Masters thesis
If you have completed, or are competing a masters thesis, which will not receive a numeric mark on your transcript or your thesis component will not appear on your transcript, you must include this detail in your online application or attach a separate statement to your application which explains this. You must attach a copy of your thesis and examiners reports (if relevant).
We recommend that you nominate an academic referee who can comment directly on your thesis. They should provide as much information as possible about your thesis by completing all relevant sections of the academic referee report and may also choose to attach a separate letter.
To apply for the Graduate Research Scholarships no separate application is required. You will be automatically considered for these scholarships.
Please note: In order to be eligible for consideration for a Graduate Research Scholarship, applicants must have met the University of Melbourne English Language Entry Requirements by the application closing date.
For all other scholarships please follow the relevant application instructions and complete the scholarship application section in the online form.
If you are successful in obtaining an offer for a place, you must complete your enrolment and commence your course by the first day of Semester 1.
All commencing graduate researchers are invited to an Orientation Welcome Session before the start of the semester. At this session you'll be introduced to your Graduate School, learn about our facilities and services, and get a chance to meet coordinators and peers from your program. For more information please visit the Faculty of Arts Orientation and Induction web page.
Graduate Researchers completing a Doctor of Philosophy (Arts) Phd degree are required to complete 4 coursework subjects in the first year. For more information about coursework requirements and candidature management please visit the Faculty of Arts Graduate Research web page.
Graduate researchers must be resident in Victoria for at least one third of their candidature. For more information on residency requirements please see the Melbourne Policy Library Selection and Admission Policy (MPF1295).
Transferring students apply through the same application process as new applicants. Please note, however, that the ability of students to transfer into the Doctor of Philosophy (Arts) has been severely limited because of the requirement to complete the PhD coursework in the first year prior to confirmation. Generally only unconfirmed students who have been enrolled for 6 months or less (full-time equivalent candidature) can successfully transfer.
Domestic students do not pay tuition fees for research study. These students are offered graduate research places under the Commonwealth Government's Research Training Program (RTP).
International students should consult the Study Fees web page for details about calculating your fees, the cost of living in Melbourne, and the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).
For more information about fees please visit the Students Fees web page.
Frequently asked questions by those considering a Doctor of Philosophy (Arts) or a Masters by Research
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 of Arts (Thesis only). However, students who elect to enrol in a Masters of Arts (Advanced Seminar and Shorter Thesis) will be required to attend seminars.
What academic background do I need to be eligible for entry into a Doctor of Philosophy (Arts) 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.
The minimum entry requirement for the Doctor of Philosophy (Arts) 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 H1 (80%) 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 research experience. Research experience must be relevant to the proposed topic of research.
How many contact hours per week will I be required to study as a full-time Doctor of Philosophy (Arts) or Masters by Research 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 Doctor of Philosophy (Arts) or Masters subjects depending on the requirements of your degree. Full-time students should be prepared to undertake independent study (research and writing) for 40 hours per week. Masters by Research and Doctor of Philosophy (Arts) students are encouraged to be part of the on-campus experience.