Graduate research

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 37 in the world for Universities and 16 in the world (and No. 1 in Australia) for Arts and Humanities (QS World University Rankings 2022).

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.

Deadline for applications

Applications from Closing dates Outcomes notified
International applicants* 31 August (recommended) 07 October
Domestic applicants
International applicants*
31 October 09 December

To be considered for Graduate Research Scholarships applications must be complete and received by the relevant closing date. Application outcomes will be available approximately eight weeks after the application closing date.

*International applicants

  1. To be considered for Graduate Research Scholarships we strongly recommend you submit a complete course application before 31 August. The majority international Graduate Research Scholarships will be awarded in August
  2. If you are successful in obtaining a scholarship, you must commence your course by the first day of Semester 1 of the academic year you have been made an offer for
  3. Please ensure you have allowed adequate time for your student visa application to be processed between your admittance into the course and the last date you can start your course
  4. 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

Application process

Please note: The School of Historical and Philosophical Studies has recently introduced an Expression of Interest process for prospective students and supervisors. For more information please visit the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies Graduate Research web page.

Ensure you check with the School you are interested in applying with for any school or discipline-specific Graduate Research application requirements.

    Current PhD project opportunities

    PhD Scholarship in Applied Linguistics (deadline: 25 November 2022)

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:

Please check if you are eligible for consideration by viewing our entry requirements before you proceed further.

Need help? Use the below Checklist to help you determine if you are eligible.

Pre-Application Checklist

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 Arts Graduate enquires.

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:

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, as well as the institution's grading system
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.

Please note: if you do not receive a response from a supervisor within five working days, follow up with an email to the contact email address listed on their Find An Expert profile. We recommend that if you do not receive a response in two weeks that you consider contacting another supervisor.

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.

Quote the course code in your application:

  • DR-PHILART for Doctor of Philosophy – Arts
  • MR-ARTSTHS for Master of Arts (Thesis Only)
  • MR-ARTSAST for Master of Arts (Advanced Seminar and Shorter Thesis) – Philosophy only

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. Students apply from a University of Melbourne Honours or Master program do not need to submit transcripts.
  • A 2,500-word research proposal
  • A 5,000-word writing sample

Important information

  1. 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.
  2. Ensure both research proposal and writing sample documents are labelled with your name, the School to which you are applying and the date.

Referee reports

To support your application, you will need to nominate two referees who can comment on your academic ability and research potential. We recommend that at least one report from someone who has supervised your thesis/dissertation or research work.

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.

Please note: students who have completed honours or a master degree through the University of Melbourne need only to provide two University of Melbourne referee contacts, and are exempt from providing referee reports.

Ungraded thesis

If you have a completed a thesis or research component that is marked on a pass/fail basis, provide a copy of the thesis. The examiner’s report and an Academic Report of Ungraded Thesis Form. Send the form to the most senior academic staff involved in the assessment of your thesis/research component and request them to complete and return the form before the deadline of the round that you are applying for.

More information

Scholarship applications

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.

Domestic students experiencing compassionate or compelling circumstances (including illness, disability, care responsibilities or personal hardship), may be eligible to apply for the Fay Marles Scholarship or the Frederick Blake Shepherd Scholarship. Applications close on 31 October.

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 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.

Residency requirements

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 applicants

Transferring applicants

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. Your application will be assessed based on your ability to meet our degree requirements and complete your course in a timely manner. Please ensure that if you are considering a transfer from your current course that you discuss the following with a nominated supervisor:

  • Reasons - what are the reasons for transferring?
  • Confirmation - have you met your current university's Confirmation requirements?
  • PhD Coursework – If you have not been confirmed in your current candidature, how will you complete the Arts PhD coursework component before Confirmation?
  • Completion - do you have a plan for completion of your course within 3 years from the initial enrolment date when you started your current research degree? You will also need to provide evidence of satisfactory progress in your current program.
  • Residency requirements - will you be able to meet the University of Melbourne's residency requirement if your transfer is successful?


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

For those students considering a Doctor of Philosophy – Arts or a Masters by Research please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions web page.

Frequently Asked Questions