You can apply for a research degree via our online application form. It is a two-part process that usually takes between 6 to 8 weeks.

If you're applying in our scholarship rounds, it may take longer to receive your outcome. Make sure you check the dates for applying in our scholarship rounds.

The first part of your application is preparing and submitting your expression of interest. Follow our steps below to find out what you need to do.

Already submitted your expression of interest and application? Find out what happens next, including important information for international students.

Ready to apply?

To apply

Read and complete steps 1 to 5.

What happens next?

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

Learn more

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

Check your course information for full entry requirement details:

I don't meet the PhD requirements

Once you’ve found a potential supervisor, you can discuss your previous experience and qualifications to see if they’re equivalent to the PhD entry requirements. If not, you are welcome to apply for the Master of Philosophy.

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)

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.

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.

International students

Travel restrictions and applying

We are currently accepting expressions of interest from applicants who are onshore in Australia. Australian border restrictions are currently in place which limit entry into Australia to Australian citizens and people with travel exemptions.

We also welcome expressions of interest from applicants who are not currently in Australia in these exceptional circumstances:

  • if you have been approved for a travel exemption, or your proposed supervisor has agreed to support a travel exemption application. The Australian Government is only allowing applications for travel exemption in specific critical fields - you can see a list of these fields via the Department of Home Affairs website
  • if your supervisor has pre-approved you to start your research project while overseas. Not all research topics and projects are eligible.

Given the current travel restrictions and global disruption, applicants who are not in Australia may choose to delay submitting their expression of interest until border restrictions are lifted.

We look forward to welcoming all international students to Brisbane as travel restrictions ease.

Additional information for some countries

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.

If your county of citizenship is listed below, you will need to use a QUT official representative to lodge your application. Some agents may charge a fee.

You can find a representative near you.

Africa

All countries

Middle East
  • Afghanistan
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Syria
  • Lebanon
  • Yemen
Asia
  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • North Korea (DPRK)
  • Myanmar (Burma)
Europe
  • 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.

Find a research area

Your research should align with our areas of focus and our ongoing research strengths.

Business

Our high-quality research and research training are undertaken in collaboration with end users and deliver tangible economic, environmental and societal benefits to corporate, government and community partners.

Explore areas like:

  • accounting, governance and social enterprise
  • business innovation
  • organisational behaviour
  • employment and labour markets
  • behavioural economics
  • entrepreneurship
  • econometrics
  • consumers, stakeholders and markets.

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 design innovation.

Education

Recognised internationally as a leader in education research with a global outlook, QUT provides a rich intellectual environment for our researchers and research students to investigate and address problems with real-world impact. Our research in education is leading the way with concentrations of excellence across two research centres and four research groups in areas like:

Engineering

Our research tackles significant real-world problems and delivers innovations that respond to existing and emerging economic, societal, spatial, management and technological challenges. Our research outputs are wide ranging, covering areas such as:

  • architecture, landscape architecture, and interior architecture
  • construction management, project management, and quantity surveying
  • urban and regional planning, development and governance
  • civil, infrastructure, transport, structural, geotechnical and construction engineering
  • environmental engineering, and integrated water resources management
  • electrical, electronics and communications engineering
  • robotics, autonomous systems, computer vision, and image and signal processing
  • mechanical and materials engineering, computational modelling, and asset management
  • biomedical engineering and technologies
  • process engineering, sustainable industrial biotechnology, and bioprocessing.

Health

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 health care 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
  • genomics and personalised health
  • vision and eye impairment and treatment
  • childhood nutrition and adversity
  • air quality, allergies and respiratory illnesses
  • tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and wound care
  • road safety and connected vehicle technologies.

Justice

With a focus on diversity, inclusion and widening access to justice, our research makes a positive difference in the real world by empowering citizens, consumers and communities. Join a stimulating and supportive research training environment that works with government and industry to improve laws and policy in areas such as crime prevention, youth justice, civil society advocacy and restorative justice.

Law

As our commercial, social and digital worlds, and ecological footprint continue to shift and change, our laws and regulatory governance systems at the national and international level must progress with them. Our research is helping to shape the law and guide policy reform in areas like:

  • health law
  • environmental law
  • commercial and property law
  • international law and global governance
  • intellectual property law
  • technology, data and automation, innovation and the law.

Science

Our world-class and internationally recognised scientists explore the frontiers of biological, physical, and digital worlds to drive innovation and develop solutions to complex, real-world challenges. Strong connections and long-standing partnerships enable us to meet industry and societal demands for scientific, data-driven and technological solutions that will transform the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of people across the globe. Join us to explore research in:

Explore all areas of focus and research strengths

Find a research topic

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.

Available student topics

Find a supervisor

Discuss your research interests with your proposed supervisor early in the application process. Our experts database is a useful tool to identify potential supervisors. Not all academics listed on the database are available to supervise projects, so contact your preferred potential supervisor to check their availability.

Search for a supervisor

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.

Scholarships

If you want to apply for a QUT scholarship, you can indicate this within the financial details section of the expression of interest. If you are applying for or been awarded a non-QUT scholarship, you should also let us know this information in the financial details section.

Find a research scholarship

Applying for a research scholarship

Funding your research degree

Find out more about funding your research degree, including types of funding available, tuition details and study-related costs.

Funding and financial assistance

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 collaborative research degree program guidelines (PDF file, 539.2 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 and consumed load
  • 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.

Your expression of interest

In your expression of interest, you need to:

  • provide personal and academic information
  • write a summary of your research project explaining (in maximum 100 words per item):
    • project objectives
    • overview of research topic
    • proposed methods
    • potential for industry engagement (if relevant)
    • previous research experience
    • alignment to QUT research priorities.

Your research proposal

You will also need to upload a research proposal, which is a key requirement for your application. Writing a research proposal is an essential step in defining and conveying your research interests and goals.

Applying for a scholarship?

When you submit your expression of interest, you must upload your research proposal at the same time if you're studying:

  • business
  • creative industries
  • education
  • health
  • justice
  • law.

If you want to study science or engineering, you can upload your proposal with your expression of interest, or upload it later in the application process.

Preparing your proposal

Each of our research disciplines has individual criteria for a research proposal.

Business

We recommend that you align your research project and proposal to one of our key research areas.

Use the business research proposal template (DOCX file, 83.5 KB) if your research relates to:

  • accountancy
  • advertising, marketing and public relations
  • economics and finance
  • management.

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.

There is no word limit. We recommend writing 5-6 pages.

Creative industries

We recommend that you align your research project and proposal to one of our key research areas.

Use the creative industries research proposal template (DOCX file, 82.4 KB) if your research relates to:

  • creative practice
  • communication
  • design (industrial, fashion, interactive and visual).

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.

The research proposal should be no more than 800 words (approximately 2 pages), not including references.

Education

Use the education research proposal guide (DOCX file, 82.4 KB) if your research relates to:

  • teacher education and leadership
  • early childhood
  • inclusive education.

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.

Your proposal may also be used to identify supervisors with expertise relevant to the project. Be clear and precise within the limits of your current knowledge of research methods and your proposed area of study.

The research proposal should be no more than 3 pages.

Engineering

We recommend that you align your research project and proposal to one of our key research areas.

The Faculty of Engineering requires you to find a supervisor before applying. Once you've identified a supervisor in your research area who is willing to supervise your project, you should work with them to develop your research proposal.

Use the engineering research proposal guide (DOCX file, 87.8 KB) and work with your nominated supervisor to align your proposal with our engineering discipline requirements.

Use the guide if your research relates to:

  • architecture, including landscape architecture and interior design
  • built environment
  • engineering (civil, electrical, environmental, mechanical, medical and process)
  • robotics.

Your research proposal should be 2-3 pages in length.

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.

There is no set word limit, but we recommend your proposal is 2 pages.

Justice

Use the justice research proposal guide (DOCX file, 82.4 KB) if your research will be hosted by the School of Justice.

Write your own research proposal using the guide. The proposal is used to assess your level of writing and current understanding of the gaps in research.

We prefer proposals to be 6 pages long.

Law

Use the law research proposal guide (DOCX file, 82.4 KB) if your research will be hosted by the School of Law.

Write your own research proposal using the guide. The proposal is used to assess your level of writing and current understanding of the gaps in research.

We prefer proposals to be 6 pages long.

Science

We recommend that you align your research project and proposal to one of our key research areas.

The Faculty of Science requires you to find a supervisor before applying. Once you've identified a supervisor in your research area who is willing to supervise your project, you should work with them to develop your research proposal.

Use the science research proposal guide (DOCX file, 90.6 KB) and work with your nominated supervisor to align your proposal with our engineering discipline requirements.

Use the guide if your research relates to:

  • biology
  • chemistry and physics
  • computer science
  • earth and atmospheric sciences
  • environmental science
  • information systems
  • mathematical sciences.

Your research proposal should be 2-3 pages in length.

The ideal time to submit your expression of interest depends on:

  • your chosen course and faculty
  • whether you’re applying for a QUT scholarship.

Applying for a QUT scholarship

There are a variety of scholarships you can apply for throughout the year. When you find a scholarship you're interested in, check the deadline to apply that's listed on the scholarship details.

Find a scholarship

Some scholarships are only awarded in our scholarship rounds.

Our research scholarship rounds

Scholarship rounds have specific deadlines for submitting your expression of interest. Follow the advice and deadlines for applying for a research scholarship that's offered in the scholarship rounds.

I'm not applying for a QUT scholarship

If you're not applying for a QUT scholarship, we recommend you submit your expression of interest four months before your proposed start date, unless you're researching in creative industries or education.

I want to research in creative industries or education

Creative industries and education have specific dates when you can submit your expression of interest. Make sure you check the dates and apply at the right time.

Creative industries
PhD and Master of Philosophy

You'll start your research degree at the beginning of either Semester 1 or Semester 2 so that you can complete compulsory coursework.

Submit your expression of interest:

  • between 1 July and 31 October to start in Semester 1 of the following year
  • between 1 February and 31 May to start in Semester 2 of the same year.
Doctor of Creative Industries

You'll start your research degree in February. Submit your expression of interest between 1 July and 31 October to start studying the following year.

Education
PhD

We recommend you submit your expression of interest four months before your proposed start date.

Master of Philosophy

You'll start your research degree at the beginning of either Semester 1 or Semester 2 so that you can complete compulsory coursework.

Submit your expression of interest:

  • between 1 July and 31 October to start in Semester 1 of the following year
  • between 1 February and 31 May to start in Semester 2 of the same year.
Doctor of Education

You'll start your research degree in January. Submit your expression of interest between 1 July and 31 October to start studying next year.

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.admissions@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 prepared your expression of interest information and collated your documents, you're ready to submit.

Submit your expression of interest

What happens next?

Already submitted your online expression of interest and 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.