Study Graduate Research

Application dates

Application dates

The Faculty of Arts only accepts applications for Graduate Research study to commence in Semester One. No mid-year intake is offered.

We offer two rounds of applications for our graduate research programs for commencement in the following year. Applications for admission to a graduate research program must be submitted in full before the closing date. We recommend you submit your application at least four weeks before the closing dates. This gives you some extra time in case you are required to provide any additional documents.

You will be automatically considered for the Melbourne Graduate Research Scholarships as part of the graduate research course application.

Application outcomes will be available approximately eight weeks after the application closing date.

Applications from Closing date Outcomes notified
International applicants* 31 August (recommended) First week of October
Domestic applicants
International applicants*
31 October First week of December
*International applicants
  1. To be considered for the Melbourne Graduate Research Scholarships we strongly recommend you submit a complete course application before 31 August. The majority international Graduate Research Scholarships are awarded in September;
  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. You must provide evidence that you meet the University of Melbourne English Language requirements by the application closing date.

How to apply

Step 1: Check your eligibility

Please check if you are eligible for consideration by viewing our entry requirements before you proceed further. The Faculty of Arts offers three research degrees:

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

Pre-Application Checklist

Check that you meet the University’s English Language requirements.

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 about graduate pathways please email Arts Graduate Admissions.

To be considered for entry to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) you must demonstrate that you meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of at least a four-year Bachelors (Hons) degree and/or a Master’s degree equivalent to the University of Melbourne’s H2A (75%+) standard; and
  • A degree that is in a discipline relevant to your intended PhD; and
  • A substantial research component that accounts for at least 25% of one year’s work at 4th year or masters’ level, with a minimum result of H1 (80%) University of Melbourne equivalent.

To be considered for entry to a Master of Arts (Thesis Only) or Master of Arts (Advanced Seminar and Shorter Thesis) you must demonstrate that you meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of at least a four-year Bachelors (Hons) degree and/or a Master’s degree equivalent to the University of Melbourne’s H2B (70%+) standard; and
  • A degree that is in a discipline relevant to your intended PhD; and
  • A substantial research component that accounts for at least 25% of one year’s work at 4th year or masters’ level, with a minimum result of H2A (75%) University of Melbourne equivalent.

Step 2: Finding a supervisor

Before you submit an application online, you must have obtained written support of an academic supervisor in the Faculty of Arts for your proposed research project.

You can look for potential supervisors by:

  1. Exploring our current research degree opportunities page to discover projects recruiting students
  2. Find current Research Degree opportunities at Arts

  3. Searching the University’s Find an Expert directory and contact a potential supervisor directly with your research proposal
  4. Search the Find an Expert directory

  5. Browse the Faculty of Arts School websites to understand their research strengths and contact a potential supervisor from their people page.

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

When contacting a potential supervisor, you should include:

A Current CV (resume) In your CV please highlight your academic achievements and any relevant professional experience or publication information 
All 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

Applying for the Creative Writing Discipline?
Here are some guidelines to help you develop a proposal for the Creative Writing graduate research program.

Tips for Creative Writing Proposals

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: Submit an application

Please be aware that meeting the minimum entry requirements or having strong supervisor support does not guarantee admission to the course. All applications are subject to approval of the Faculty's selection committee.

To submit an application, please visit the online application portal:

Search for the course code to start an 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

Please also note the following study package mode

  • Liability category:
    • International applicants - select ‘PG Overseas Fee Paying’
    • Domestic applicants - select  ‘RTP / RTS / CTS’
  • Attendance mode: select 'On Campus'
  • Study mode: select 'Standard'.

Once you've submitted your application, you will receive an email stating that your application has been received. If your application is incomplete, you will receive an email requesting additional documents.

Assessment of your application will only commence once you have provided all required documents. To avoid delay in the assessment of your application, ensure you follow the online application instructions carefully and upload all the required documents.

If you have submitted a complete application before the closing dates for any round, you will receive an outcome by the relevant date outlined above.

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's agreement to supervise you should your application be successful;
  • 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 your last qualification completed (overall or thesis component) is marked on a pass/fail basis, provide a copy of the examiner's report and complete the Academic Report of Ungraded Thesis Form.
    • 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

More information

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 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.

  • Scholarship applications

    You will be automatically considered for the Melbourne Graduate Research Scholarships when you apply for the course. No separate application is required.

    Please note: In order to be eligible for consideration for a Graduate Research Scholarship, applicants must have met the University of Melbourne English Language requirements by the application closing date.

    Other scholarships
  • Accept the offer

    If your application is successful, you will receive an offer letter by email. Please read your course offer closely and accept your offer online by following the instructions in your offer letter.  To accept your scholarship offer, follow the instructions in your scholarship offer letter.

  • Enrolment

    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.

  • 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?
  • Fees

    Domestic students who are admitted in a graduate research degrees will receive a Research Training Program Fee Offset Scholarship to acknowledge the contribution from the Australian Government towards the cost of their tuition. Learn more about the RTP Fee Offset Scholarship and Graduate Research Scholarships

    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.

  • Residency requirements

    All candidates must have a plan that includes spending at least one-third of their candidature on campus. The residency requirement is deemed especially important during the period of probationary candidature and while completing the PhD coursework component.  Please note that the University does not offer entirely distance or online supervision. Throughout your candidature, it is expected that you will attend the University to fully benefit from planning, conducting and writing up your research. This on campus presence is essential for fostering a vibrant research culture and cultivating a sense of belonging within your respective school’s research community.

    For more information on residency requirements please see the Melbourne Policy Library Selection and Admission Policy (MPF1295).

  • Computer Resources

    To support you in your studies you should bring your own laptop for University use. Some of our shared workstations are equipped with monitors and power sockets to allow you to connect your own device to the University network for internet access and printing facilities.

Frequently asked questions

Need more information, refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Frequently Asked Questions