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  • Pursue supervised applied research on an approved creative industries-related topic.
  • Develop expertise within Faculty research strength areas: Digital Media, Communication and Culture; Innovation in the Performing and Digital Arts; or Sustainability and Innovation in Design.
  • Competitive scholarships available.
  • Study full-time as either an internal or external student.
  • Work with the Creative Industries Faculty, a leader in language, communication and cultural research.
  • Creative Industries Faculty is a national leader in supporting the advancement of practice-led research.
QUT course code IF49
Attendance Full-time
Course duration 4 years full-time
Note: The CRICOS registered course duration is four years however the course may be completed full-time in three to four years.
Start month 2018 & 2019 Start any time
Delivery On campus
  • Gardens Point
  • Creative Industries Faculty
Enquiries Ask a question about this course
CRICOS code 006367J

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The main intake for PhD students is February and July each year, with completion of a PhD taking 3-4 years of full-time study. All students must complete a compulsory research methods unit, and are expected to actively engage with the CI/QUT research culture. Scholarships typically close in September each year and are highly competitive, with successful applicants requiring a first-class honours degree or equivalent.

QUT adopts a project management approach, with higher degree research (HDR) candidates working closely with their supervisory team to meet collegially reviewed milestones. During candidature, the supervisor and other key stakeholders will provide advice and direction to the candidate to encourage their participation in a range of scholarly activities, including research seminars, workshops, teaching and publication. The length of the thesis varies according to the topic, but should normally be no longer than 100,000 words, excluding bibliography. Creative practitioners enjoy a strong commitment to practice-led research, in which the Creative Industries Faculty is a national leader. 

Students have recently completed PhDs on topics such as:

Why choose this course?

The PhD program demonstrates the Creative Industries Faculty’s reputation for innovation and excellence in research training, welcoming collaborative and interdisciplinary research projects and activity in the Creative Industries Precinct—Australia’s first site dedicated to experimentation and commercial development in the creative industries. Some of the world’s leading practitioners in the creative industries come here to teach, theorise, research, and create. Kelvin Grove Urban Village, La Boite Theatre Company, and exhibition spaces are located nearby, with the new $80m Creative Industries Precinct Stage 2 offering state-of-the-art sound recording, visual art and design studios.

Our award-winning postgraduate supervisors are successful practitioners and researchers from the arts, media and design industries, recognised for their real- world expertise, innovation and knowledge. Indeed, the recent Excellence in Research in Australia (ERA) review ranked the Faculty as 'well above world' for research in Communication and Media Studies. Critically, QUT Creative Industries researchers actively collaborate with colleagues from across the university, including those in health, science and engineering, education, business, and information technology, and frequently work with community, industry, educational, and government partners in tackling ‘real-world’ research projects. While students usually have considerable flexibility in defining the focus of their work, most research is concentrated across the faculty's key research strength areas:

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

This world-class program provides a basis for critical inquiry to enable you to develop a significant and original contribution to disciplinary knowledge, producing bold and innovative concepts and practices. As a PhD candidate, your research must reveal high critical ability and powers of imagination and synthesis and may be demonstrated in the form of new knowledge or significant and original adaptation, application and interpretation of existing knowledge. Our goal in the Faculty is to produce confident graduates who have made an original contribution to knowledge and have the ability to independently conduct high quality, innovative research. As a higher degree research (HDR) student, you will be encouraged to be a self-directed, proactive and independent learner, who takes the main responsibility for the conduct and progress of your research, and demonstrate a high level of personal commitment, initiative and the desire to actively engage in ongoing professional development. While you will work and think independently, the Faculty will provide an environment that fosters a vibrant and innovative research culture, encouraging debate, discussion and theoretical and practical grounding in the latest innovative research methodologies. 

Career outcomes

With QUT's real-world approach, QUT Creative Industries researchers develop expertise in a wide range of innovative research methodologies and make a significant contribution to new knowledge in their field. Our graduates are building prominent and successful careers around the world as architects, renowned designers, global artists, creative leaders, communicators and cultural experts – in academia, government, community and industry settings. 


Course design


  • IFN001 Advanced Information Retrieval Skills
  • Time based Thesis

Other units as agreed by student in negotiation with their supervisor and faculty.

Entry requirements

Academic entry requirements

You must have either:

  • a completed recognised relevant honours degree or equivalent
  • a completed recognised masters degree or professional doctorate (by research or coursework)

Masters and professional doctorate degrees by coursework must have a significant research component, normally not less than 25%. Holders of masters and professional doctorate by coursework must:

  • have a minimum grade point average (GPA) score of 5.0 on QUT's 7 point scale; and
  • present evidence of research experience and potential for approval

Admission to the Doctor of Philosophy depends on an applicant’s demonstrated research aptitude and the availability of supervision, infrastructure and resources needed for the proposed research project.

Once you've started your PhD, you'll need to complete your Stage 2 milestone to be fully admitted to your course. You'll usually complete this milestone within the first three months of study.

For more information on eligibility, read the admission criteria for the Doctor of Philosophy (PDF, 98.5KB).

Minimum English language requirements

Select the country where you completed your studies to see a guide on meeting QUT’s English language requirements.

Your scores and prior qualifications in English-speaking countries are considered. Approved English-speaking countries are:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • England
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • Scotland
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • United States of America
  • Wales

If your country or qualification is not listed, you can still apply for this course and we will assess your eligibility.

We accept English language proficiency scores from the following tests.

English Test Overall Listening Reading Writing Speaking
TOEFL iBT 79 16 16 21 18
Pearson PTE (Academic) 58 50 50 50 50
IELTS Academic 6.5 6 6 6 6
Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) 176 169 169 169 169
Test must be taken within 2 years of commencement at QUT.
Pearson PTE (Academic)
Test must be taken within 2 years of commencement at QUT. Please assign your test to QUT in your Pearson profile.
Cambridge English Advanced (CAE)
Test must be taken within 2 years of commencement at QUT. You must provide your Cambridge English Candidate ID and Candidate Secret Number, these are printed on your Cambridge English Confirmation of Entry.

Don't have the English language score you need? We can help!

We offer English language courses to improve your English and help you gain entry to this course.

When you apply for this course, we will recommend which English course you should enrol in.

Haven't completed an English language test? We can help!

If you have not completed an English language test, you can sit the IELTS test at our IELTS test centre.

Course fees

Your actual fees may vary depending on which units you choose. We review fees annually, and they may be subject to increases.

2019: $29,200 - $35,400 per year full-time (subject to annual review)

2018: $28,000 - $34,000 per year full-time (96 credit points) (subject to annual review)

Scholarships and financial support

You can apply for scholarships to help you with study and living costs.

These scholarships are available for this course:

View all research scholarships


How to apply for Doctor of Philosophy (Hosted by Creative Industries Faculty)

You apply directly to QUT for all our research degrees.

Are you ready to submit your application?

To complete your application, you'll need to:

  • check you meet the entry requirements
  • look at our research areas
  • agree on a supervisor and research topic with your faculty
  • check costs and scholarships
  • write your research proposal
  • gather your supporting documents.

Follow our step-by-step applying guide to make sure your application meets all the criteria.

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