Research degrees in Australia

Girl studyingAustralian universities are known for their excellent courses and high-quality research, ranking very highly when compared on a global scale. If you are considering coming to Australia to do a research degree, let us answer your questions.   

What type of research degree can I do? 

International students interested in an Australian research degree can choose from a number of postgraduate programs. There are two types of masters degrees and two types of doctoral degrees.

  • Masters degrees: Masters degrees by research are the first option. Their focus is a thesis or research project in your area of interest, which is externally assessed. Entry usually requires a bachelor degree (honours) or a masters preliminary year. If you want to combine regular classes with a smaller research project, a masters degree by coursework might also be of interest. In these programs, the focus is on learning in a lecture/tutorial setting (like in most undergraduate programs) but students can often complete a short thesis.  
  • Doctoral degrees: The doctoral degree recognises a significant original contribution to a field of knowledge. Students considering doctoral study can choose from a research doctorate (known as a ‘PhD’) or a professional doctorate. Entry into PhD programs requires a masters degree by research or a bachelor degree (honours). Students work closely with a research supervisor and typically write an in-depth thesis. Professional doctorates combine coursework and research, and are usually completed by professionals already working in the field. As with the PhD, applicants must have completed a masters degree by research or a bachelor degree (honours).

Where should I study in Australia?

When considering your study options, you will need to think about which university you would like to attend and which part of Australia is best suited to your field of research. You may explore the humanities in Australia’s political centre, the Australian Capital Territory, or research marine sciences in Queensland or Tasmania. On the other hand, you may be drawn to a particular state or territory for the attractions you want to visit or the lifestyle it offers — perhaps Victoria has caught your eye for Melbourne’s great fashion and café culture, or New South Wales has drawn you in for Sydney’s bright lights. When comparing universities, you should keep in mind that each has different specialties and strengths. While one university may specialise in the medical sciences, another may focus on communication and the arts. Read about universities using our Institution search.   

How much will a research degree cost to study?

Fees for research degrees vary between universities, so it is best to contact them directly to see how much your degree will cost. On average, masters degrees cost between $AUD20,000 and $37,000 per year. Doctoral degrees range from $AUD14,000 to $37,000 annually. Some research programs may have higher fees. The good news is that many universities offer research scholarships for international students, which may result in a contribution to your tuition fees and living costs or even fee remission (not paying any fees at all).

Useful links:

Related blogs

Subscribe to our newsletter