About the course

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) lets you explore real-world issues and develop new theories, methodologies and models that could lead to significant steps forward in your industry or discipline.


Course code IF49
Attendance Part time or full time (part-time study is not available for international students)
Course duration 3-4 years full time
Start month Start any time
CRICOS code 006367J

As a PhD student, you’ll have the support of our academics and industry professionals throughout your studies to ensure your research is relevant and insightful. You'll also complete a research degree skills audit to help you and your supervisors identify the coursework and training that will support your research and career goals. To complete your PhD, you would typically be expected to:

  • conduct a literature review
  • develop and refine your research problem
  • present your research theory at a confirmation seminar
  • complete a research program which tests your theory
  • prepare a final thesis or dissertation of your findings.

Entry requirements

To qualify for entry to a PhD, you usually need to have achieved one of the following:

  • successfully completed a research masters degree
  • successfully completed a masters by coursework degree or professional doctorate, with at least 25% research
  • graduated from an honours degree with a First Class or 2A Honours.

Before considering a PhD, you should read the rules and regulations (PDF file, 329.3 KB).

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.

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.

Find a supervisor

Find a research topic

Costs and scholarships

There are normally no fees for PhD students who are Australian or New Zealand citizens, or permanent residents of Australia.

International students can find out more about fees and costs by checking course information.

You may be eligible for a scholarship in one of our scholarship rounds to help cover your costs while you're studying. Alternatively, you can browse all research scholarships.

Research areas

Explore our research disciplines to see the exciting directions our research is taking, or explore all QUT research.


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.

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.


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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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:

Make the most of your degree

More than a supervisor

Your support team will include external supervisors from industry as well as our academic staff. You'll develop positive and collaborative relationship, helping you progress toward your research goals.

Find your team

Build graduate skills

We want you to succeed in your studies and in your career. Our Graduate Research Education and Development (GRE+D) program offers seminars, workshops and  practical experiences to get your ready for life after graduation.

Research education and training

Writing your research proposal

One of the most important steps in your application is your research proposal. It should include:

  • your research topic
  • an overview of previous research in the area
  • the objectives of your research
  • your proposed research methods and plan
  • your supervisor
  • any coursework requirements.
Our PhD students explore real-world issues

How to apply

Before you apply for a research degree, there are a few steps you need to complete. You'll need to make sure you meet the entry requirements, find a supervisor, get your supporting documents in order and complete your research proposal.

Apply for a research degree

Contact us

If you have questions about the best options for you, the application process, your research topic, finding a supervisor or anything else, get in touch with us today.