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Higher doctorates

We award higher doctorates to people who demonstrate original, substantial and distinguished contributions to the knowledge, understanding, practice or creative achievement in any branch of learning in our faculties.

Higher doctorates we award include:

  • Doctor of Letters (DLitt)
  • Doctor of Science (DSc)
  • Doctor of Engineering (Deng)
  • Doctor of Business (DBus)
  • Doctor of Laws (LLD).

Higher doctorates are recommended by the Research Degrees Committee, and awarded by the University Academic Board.

Eligibility for admission

Higher doctorates are normally awarded for a lifetime of contribution to a particular field of study.

Applicants must:

  • be a member of QUT alumni with at least two years' standing at QUT, or be able to demonstrate a substantial connection with QUT
  • hold a doctoral degree that meets the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) Level 10 - Doctoral Degree criteria.


To apply for the higher doctorate, you need to apply in writing to the Dean of Research and Research Training.

Your application must follow the higher doctorate guidelines (PDF file, 93 KB), and include your:

  • grounds for admission
  • intended faculty
  • achievements
  • work to be submitted for the higher doctorate.

Assessing your application

The faculty will appoint a committee to determine whether:

  • your research fits within the faculty's scope
  • the quality and quantity of your research is sufficient.

The committee will tell the Dean of Research and Research Training whether they accept your work for examination. The Dean of Research and Research Training will notify you of the committee's decision.

If your application is successful, the Dean of Research and Research Training will organise an examination process, consisting of at least 2 external examiners.

Preparing your submission

You must provide evidence of outstanding scholarship, and an original, substantial and distinguished contribution to knowledge in your field.

This includes:

  • representing a significant advance in knowledge
  • influencing scholarly books and journals.

You'll need to state the sources that influence your research, and to identify original work and any joint publications.


The examiners will evaluate your submission. If they believe that the work meets the requirements for a higher doctorate, they will notify the Research Degrees Committee via the Dean of Research and Research Training. The decision must be unanimous and without conditions.

If you're successful, the University Academic Board will award you the higher doctorate.


Research Students Centre

RSC manages and supports research students.

  • Level 4
    88 Musk Avenue
    Kelvin Grove QLD 4059
  • Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

  • Postal address:
    Research Students Centre
    GPO Box 2434
    Brisbane QLD 4001

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