Higher degree research applications can be submitted online via the QUT Applicant Portal all year round.

The closing date has passed to initiate a 2021 application for the 2021 annual scholarship round.

You can still submit an expression of interest for a research degree at QUT, however your application will be considered for admission only.

Follow the steps below which will guide you through our two-part application process.

Ready to apply?

To apply

Read and complete steps 1 to 5.

Start at step 1 below.

What happens next?

Already submitted your final application? Find out what happens next, including important information for international students.

Find out what happens next

Step 1: Entry requirements

Am I eligible?

Use our research degree eligibility check tool to quickly find out if you're likely to meet the requirements for your chosen course.

Check your eligibility

Course entry requirements

Check your course information for full entry requirement details:

I don't meet the PhD requirements

If you don't meet the entry requirements but still want to study a PhD, you can:

  • apply for a Master of Philosophy after discussing with your potential supervisor or faculty
  • discuss your previous experience and qualifications with your potential supervisor.

English language requirements

Depending on your previous experience and qualifications, you may need to meet English language requirements. You can find your English language requirements in your course information.

We accept test results from:

  • IELTS (Academic)
  • TOEFL iBT (Internet-based)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic)
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)
English testOverallListeningReadingWritingSpeaking
IELTS Academic 6.5 6 6 6 6
TOEFL iBT 79 16 16 21 18
Pearson PTE (Academic) 58 50 50 50 50
Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) 176 169 169 169 169
Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE) C1 - - - -

You must take your test no more than 2 years before the start of your course.

QUT IELTS Test Centre

If you are in Australia, you can complete the IELTS proficiency exam at our IELTS test centre.

If you are registering for a TOEFL test, you can organise to send your results directly to us. Our TOEFL institution code is 9778.

International students

We assess the genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirements for all international applicants as part of the Australian Government's simplified student visa framework (SSVF).

If you are self-funded, we may request additional information to help assess your eligibility.

Check the areas below to see if you need to use a QUT official representative to lodge your application. Some agents may charge a fee.

If you do need an agent, you can find a representative near you.


All countries

Middle East

  • Afghanistan
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Syria
  • Lebanon
  • Yemen


  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • North Korea (DPRK)
  • Myanmar (Burma)


  • Russia
  • Ukraine

This list is subject to change. Australian sanction laws enforce United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and Australian Autonomous sanctions regimes. Up to date details on country specific sanctions can be found on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

Step 2: Research areas

Our research is conducted through our six faculties. Your proposed research project should align with one of their research focus areas.


Collaborate with government and industry to find innovative solutions that benefit business and community at a local, national and global level.

Explore areas like:

  • accountability, regulation and governance
  • consumers, markets and stakeholders
  • economics and finance
  • entrepreneurship, innovation and strategy
  • non-profit and social enterprise
  • organisation and work.

Learn more about research in the QUT Business School

Creative industries

Join our progressive and collaborative postgraduate community and make an original contribution to media, design or creative arts research. We believe in fostering a supportive intellectual environment that encourages our researchers to address real world problems in areas like:

  • digital media, communication and culture
  • innovation in the performing and digital arts
  • sustainability and innovation in design.

Learn more about research in our Faculty of Creative Industries


Recognised internationally as a leader in education research with a global outlook, we provide the right environment for our researchers and research students to make real progress and generate real world impact. Our research is leading the way in areas like:

  • childhood in changing contexts
  • teacher education and professional learning
  • literacies, language, texts and technologies
  • STEM education
  • student engagement, learning and behaviour.

Learn more about research in our Faculty of Education


Get hands-on experience with patients and students, and collaborate with government, community groups, hospitals and institutions from around the world. Your work has the potential to advance healthcare in areas including:

  • behavioural neuroscience and mental health
  • chronic conditions, including cancer
  • healthy lifestyles, ageing and environments
  • emergency care and health services
  • infection and injury prevention.

Learn more about research in our Faculty of Health


As our commercial, social and digital worlds continue to evolve, our laws and justice system must progress with them. Our research is helping to shape the law and guide policy reform in areas like:

  • commercial and property law
  • crime and justice
  • health law
  • intellectual property and innovation law
  • international law and global governance.

Learn more about research in our Faculty of Law

Science and engineering

From robotics to biomedical engineering, we are leading the way with research that will contribute significantly to the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of people across the globe. It’s exciting, world-changing work happening in areas like:

  • biology and environmental science
  • built environment
  • chemistry and physics
  • civil and environmental engineering
  • computer science
  • earth and atmospheric sciences
  • electrical engineering and robotics
  • information systems
  • mathematical sciences
  • mechanical, medical and process engineering.

Learn more about research in our Science and Engineering Faculty

Step 3: Find a supervisor and research topic

We recommend that you discuss your research interests with your proposed supervisor early in the application process. You can search for a supervisor using our experts database.

Your supervisory team are the most important people you'll work with while you're researching. You'll meet with them regularly, and they'll provide support and guidance throughout your project.

As part of your application, you must propose a research topic and develop a research proposal. You can search our student topics database for available research projects or propose your own research topic. You may ask a supervisor to help you identify or refine a research topic.

If your Expression of Interest is approved, you will be invited to develop and submit a research proposal as the final step of your application.

Creative Industries Faculty

The Creative Industries Faculty conducts leading, field-defining research for real world outcomes across creative practice, design, digital media and journalism in our schools and research centres.

The research centres will be able to advise on suitable supervisors and their capacity to support your project, find out more on their websites:

Faculty of Education

Explore the Faculty of Education's research to identify an area of research that you're interested in.

Faculty of Law

Explore the Faculty of Law's research to identify an area of research that you're interested in.

Faculty of Health

Explore the Faculty of Health's research to identify an area of research and a potential supervisor. They prefer you to identify a potential supervisor before you apply for your research degree.

QUT Business School

Explore the Business School's research to identify an area of research area that you're interested in. You should align your research project and proposal to one of the faculty's key research areas.

We recommend that you explore the faculty's research projects and academic staff to find at least one potential supervisor for your research degree.

If you can't find a supervisor, the faculty will attempt to find one for you if your research degree application is successful.

Science and Engineering Faculty

You can find a supervisor online, and search by faculty to find Science and Engineering supervisors.

Contact hdr@qut.edu.au if you want to discuss your application.

Step 4: Costs and scholarships

Covering tuition costs

Australian and New Zealand students

If you're an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen, you won't have to pay tuition fees if you complete your degree within:

  • 4 years full-time (or equivalent) for doctoral students (PhD and professional doctorate)
  • 2 years full-time (or equivalent) for masters students.

You may also be eligible for scholarships to help you with living expenses.

International students

You may be able to apply for scholarships that cover tuition fees for all or part of your degree. If you don't receive a scholarship, you must pay full fees directly to QUT.

Information about course fees is available on your course information.

You may also be eligible for scholarships to help you with living expenses.

Scholarships you can apply for

You can apply for scholarships to help support your living expenses while you're researching, or cover your tuition costs if you're an international student.

Make sure you look closely at the scholarship’s application instructions and guidelines, and be sure to include any required supporting documents with your application. If you don't provide the right documentation, your scholarship application may not be eligible.

Annual scholarship round

The closing date has passed to initiate your application for the 2021 Annual Scholarship Round. You can still apply for admission to a research degree at any time throughout the year.

Our annual scholarship round

Applying outside the annual round

There's a variety of scholarships you can apply for throughout the year and outside of the annual round. Check the application dates for each scholarship to find out when you should apply.

Find a research scholarship

You can also search the Good Universities Guide scholarship collection.

Funding your research degree

For more information about funding your research degree, including tuition details and study-related costs.

Funding and financial assistance

Step 5: EOI and supporting documents

Along with your Expression of Interest (EOI) and supporting documents, you need to provide personal information and brief details about your research project (no more than 100 words per item) including:

  • project objectives
  • overview of research topic
  • proposed methods
  • potential for industry engagement (if relevant)
  • previous research experience
  • alignment to QUT research priorities

If your EOI is successful you will be invited to submit an application, which requires you to draft a research proposal with your proposed supervisor (See Step 6).

Required documentation

Academic records

If you have undertaken study at QUT or any other Australian university listed as a QualSearch participating institution you don't need to submit these academic records, as we can verify them online.

If you have studied at other institutions, either international or not listed on the Australian QualSearch participating institutions, you must submit:

  • a high-resolution copy of your academic transcripts, award certificate, or other evidence of completion
  • the grading scale of your university (this may be on the back page of your transcript)
  • if the documents are in a language other than English, you must also provide an official English translation
  • if you receive an offer of admission you may need to provide certified copies of your documentation.
English language certification

If you've completed any English language course or test to meet the English language requirements for your course, you must provide evidence.

CV (curriculum vitae) or resume

Your resume should outline your relevant research activities, including:

  • research-related employment
  • research publications
  • other research achievements.

Include any documents that demonstrate proof of your research activities and abilities.

You can follow our guide to formatting a curriculum vitae (PDF file, 156.58 KB).

Employment experience

If professional experience is an entry requirement for your course, or you believe it will add to your application, you must provide statements from your employers.

These statements should be on company letterhead, be signed and dated, and include:

  • your position title and duties
  • whether you were employed full time, or the full-time equivalent you worked
  • the dates you were employed.
Proof of residence or citizenship

Provide a certified copy of either:

  • your birth certificate
  • your certificate of citizenship
  • the relevant pages of your passport.
Confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent

If you're applying for an Indigenous Postgraduate Research Award (IPRA), you'll need to provide confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent before your scholarship can start. Find out more about confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent via the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies website.

I’ve changed my name

You must provide evidence of your name change, such as your marriage certificate or deed poll, if:

  • the name you provide on your application form is different to the name on any supporting official documents
  • you have official documents issued in more than one name.

Different study arrangements

Depending on the circumstances of your proposed research degree, you may need to provide further documentation to help us process your application.

I've organised to do a PhD or masters as part of an international partner agreement

Your application may be linked to an existing international agreement that will allow you to study jointly at QUT and another leading university overseas.

You should discuss this agreement with your potential supervisor and get their help to complete an individual student agreement. If you need a copy of this agreement, email hdrpartners@qut.edu.au

Read the joint PhD guidelines (PDF file, 115.5 KB) for more information.

I’m being supported by an external organisation

If your research is being supported by an organisation external to QUT, a person authorised by the organisation needs to supply a statement indicating the support the organisation will provide.

I want to transfer to QUT from another university

If you want to transfer to research at QUT, you still need to complete a full application. You'll also need to provide an official letter from your university that includes:

  • degree or course type
  • milestone dates
  • start of candidature
  • maximum candidature date
  • Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Fees Offset (Domestic) entitlements (previously Research Training Scheme)
  • scholarship commencement, if you hold a scholarship
  • approved leave of absence dates
  • date withdrawn
  • completion date of confirmation process.

You must also supply:

  • the name of your former principal supervisor
  • the reason you're transferring
  • your most recent progress report
  • ethics approval, if applicable. Either attach your prior ethics approval, or details of any QUT ethics approval applications in progress.

Step 6: Invitation to submit an application

If your Expression of Interest is successful you will be invited to submit an application, which requires you to draft a research proposal with your proposed supervisor.

Prepare a research proposal

A research proposal is a key requirement for your research degree application. Writing a research proposal is an essential step in defining and conveying your research interests and goals.

QUT Business School

It is recommended that you align your research project and proposal to one of the faculty's key research areas.

The Business School provides a research proposal template that may be used as a suggested format for your research proposal. You do not have to use this template, however it is recommended that you structure your research proposal according to the suggested headings.

You are required to write your own research proposal using these guidelines. The proposal is used to assess your level of writing and current understanding of the gaps in research.

Business School research proposal template (DOCX file, 83.4 KB)

Overall word limit
No set word limit, however 5 to 6 pages is recommended
Creative Industries Faculty

The Creative Industries Faculty conducts leading, field-defining research for real world outcomes across creative practice, design, digital media and journalism in our schools and research centres. Your research proposal should align with one of the Faculty Research Priorities.

Creative Industries Faculty provides a guide that should be used to prepare your research proposal. You are encouraged to develop your own research proposal using this guide.

Creative Industries Faculty research proposal guide (DOCX file, 83.1 KB)

Overall word limit
The research proposal should be no more than 800 words (approximately 2 pages), not including references.
Faculty of Education

The Faculty of Education provides guidelines to assist you in structuring you research proposal.

You are encouraged to write your own research proposal using these guidelines. As this proposal may be used to identify supervisors with expertise relevant to the applicant’s project, please be clear and precise within the limits of your current knowledge of:

  • research methods
  • your proposed area of study.

Faculty of Education research proposal guide (DOCX file, 92.0 KB)

Overall word limit
No more than 3 pages.
Faculty of Health

Your research proposal should include appropriate headings and sections addressing:

  • your area of research (including the faculty, centre or school you'll be studying in)
  • a clear statement of your research topic
  • a brief overview of previous relevant research
  • the objectives of the program of research and investigation
  • your research methods and plan, including references to key literature sources
  • your proposed QUT principal supervisor, QUT associate supervisor or supervisors and any non-QUT associate supervisors (if known)

Contact your proposed supervisor for advice about additional discipline-specific requirements for your research proposal.

Overall word limit
No set word limit, however 2 pages is recommended.
Faculty of Law

The Faculty of Law provides a research proposal guide that your are encouraged to use in preparing your research proposal for formal application.

You are encouraged to write your own research proposal using the guide.

Faculty of Law Research proposal guide (DOCX file, 81.5 KB)

Overall word limit
Proposals that are 6 pages in length are preferred.
Science and Engineering Faculty

The Science and Engineering Faculty (SEF) requires you to find a supervisor before applying.

Once you have identified a supervisor in your research area who is willing to supervise your project, you should work with them to develop your research proposal.

You should download the SEF research proposal template and work with your nominated supervisor to align your proposal with the established discipline requirements.

SEF research proposal guide (DOCX file, 86.6 KB)

Overall word limit
Your research proposal should be 2 to 3 pages in length.

Submit your application

Submit your application now, or wait till 17 August.

We recommend you apply via our new online application system from the 17 August 2020.

If your application is urgent, you can submit now, following the instructions below.

Australian and New Zealand students

If you're an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen, you can apply online from 17 August 2020.

Start your application

International students

If you're an international student, you can download the application form and email a completed copy to research.enquiries@qut.edu.au

From 17 August 2020, you'll be able to apply online, we recommend you wait to apply online.

Download application form (PDF file, 374.5 KB)

Submit your Expression of Interest

If you've completed steps 1 to 5 above, you're ready to submit your Expression of Interest.

Submit your Expression of Interest

What happens next?

Already submitted your final application? Find out what happens next, including important information for international students.

Find out what happens next

Contact us

If you've got any questions about how to apply, contact us today.