Postgraduate programs

Ranked in the top 2% of universities in the world* and 34th in the top 200 universities under 50 years of age^, CDU is identified by Times Higher Education as one of an elite global group of ‘rising stars’ - a new generation of challenger universities quickly rising in world rankings.

The School of Creative Arts and Humanities at our Darwin campus in the Northern Territory offers vibrant, personalised and interdisciplinary masters and doctoral studies either face to face or online, with many teachers demonstrating world-class strengths in research.

Practice-based postgraduate programs which involve a body of work (visual, audio, musical) together with a reflective exegesis can be taken in visual arts, music, digital media or creative writing.

The following courses are available:


Before you apply

You would need to get in touch with a researcher to supervise your PhD or Masters by Research degree. The right supervisor would be able to help you in your field of interest in developing an outline and provide the needed support to complete your degree.


Masters by Research

To be eligible to apply for a Masters by Research, you must have completed the equivalent of an Australian Bachelor Honours Degree Class II, or other qualifications and / or experience equivalent to this degree.

Doctor of Philosophy and Research Professional Doctorates

To be eligible to apply for the Doctor of Philosophy or a Research Professional Doctorate, you must have completed the equivalent of an Australian Bachelor Honours Degree Class I or IIA, or an Australian Masters Degree (with a substantial research component). Alternatively, you may have other qualifications and / or experience equivalent to these degrees.

Assessment of Equivalence

If you have not attained a Bachelor Honours Degree Class IIA or higher, the Honours Equivalence Checklist,Recognition of Professional Attainment and Existing Research Outputs forms are used by the University to assess an application for equivalence.


To apply for a postgraduate research place and / or a scholarship at Charles Darwin University, you will need to obtain an application pack.

To see the application process of becoming a student, see International Services.


To find out what scholarships are available and what you might be eligible to apply for, visit Research scholarships.

The closing date for domestic and international student applications is October 31 in any given year. 
You will be expected to commence your program of study no later than March 31 in the year for which your award was granted.

Relocation Allowances

Charles Darwin University (CDU) offers a Relocation Allowance to eligible domestic students who are relocating to the Northern Territory. Please see relocation allowances for more information.

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History & Aboriginal Studies

StevenFarramDr Steven Farram ( is a senior lecturer in History. His research interests include the politics and history of northern Australia and Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia and Timor-Leste. He also has a strong interest in the 1960s popular culture of the region, especially music. He is well published in these areas with many journal articles, book chapters, and book and exhibition reviews. He is also the author and editor of several books. (Bio

ChristineDoranDr Christine Doran ( is Senior Lecturer in History and Political Science in the School of Creative Arts and Humanities. She lectures mainly on Southeast Asian and Australian history. In addition to three monographs on Australian history and two edited volumes on Australian and Indonesian politics, she has published widely on Southeast Asian history and politics in edited collections and in journals such as Nations and NationalismReview of Indonesian and Malaysian AffairsAsia Pacific ViewpointGender, Technology and Development and Sojourn. For example, she has recently published several articles on the political objectives and strategies of Chinese intellectuals in colonial Singapore at the beginning of the twentieth century. Dr Doran has supervised to completion PhD theses on the history of West Timor, the history of Terengganu state in Malaysia, the Goddess Durga in India and Indonesia, Northern Territory politics and the history of Brunei. She has also supervised completed MA theses on women in Lombok and the history of the police force in Singapore. Dr Doran would be especially interested in supervising postgraduate theses regarding the history of Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines or Indonesia. (Bio)

alan-powellAlan Powell ( is Emeritus Professor of History and Political Science at CDU and is a former Dean of the Arts Faculty. His teaching interests include Classical history, NT history, and World War 2 Pacific war history. He has published extensively in both and has won many research awards. (Bio)  

Literary Studies & Creative Writing

ChristianBokDr Christian Bök ( is a literary theorist, lecturer in literary studies, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a best-selling, award-winning, experimental poet. He has written numerous journal articles, but he is most famous for Eunoia (2001) and The Xenotext (2015). Eunoia tells five stories, each using only one of the five vowels, and the book has gone on to win the Griffin Prize. The Xenotext recounts his ongoing efforts to engineering a bacterium, so that its genome becomes "not only a durable archive for storing a poem, but also an operant machine for writing a poem." (Bio)


GemmaBDr. Gemma Blackwood ( is a lecturer in communication studies. In the areas of Film Studies and Cultural Studies, she completed a PhD on the subject of film tourism in 2012 at The University of Melbourne. Her thesis examined the ideals of film-inspired travel, and she examined specific case studies on the contemporary phenomenon: including an examination of the Universal Studios film tour in Los Angeles; the Thailand locations of The Beach; the San Francisco locations as featured in Hitchcock's Vertigo; and a study of the tourism-promoting government initiatives that connected with Baz Luhrmann's epic film Australia. She researches on cinema, screen studies, film studies, digital cultures, communications studies, cultural geography, tourism studies, spatial studies, visual culture, critical theory, travel and travel writing, gender studies, television studies, screen cultures, and Australian culture. Please visit her staff page to see her publications. She welcomes innovative research and creative projects from prospective students that touch upon these interests, or else submissions that connects to communication studies, media studies, journalism and public relations. (Bio)

Political Science

WCristaudoProfessor Wayne Cristaudo ( is a social and political philosopher in the political science program. He teaches Foundations of Western Civilization, Political Ideas and International Relations. Professor Cristaudo has written and edited almost 20 books and special journal issues and published numerous articles and book chapters on the history of ideas and institutions, religion and politics, political sociology and social and political thought, metaphysics, literature, the state, and love and evil. He is currently completing two books, one, Ideas and World-Making, is a critical history of philosophy and the danger of taking 'ideas' as 'models', and the other (with Guan Bei Bei), Baudelaire, in Spite of Benjamin, is on the poet Charles Baudelaire and the critic and writer Walter Benjamin. He is able to supervise in a variety of areas from history of ideas and political philosophy to domestic, comparative and international politics, and wars, terror, and revolutions. (Bio)

andrew-klassenDr Andrew Klassen ( teaches Australian, Indonesian and Chinese politics, as well as coordinates the Northern Territory politics internship program. His PhD thesis was a comparative study of 80 countries analysing how the design of electoral management bodies affects public perceptions of electoral fairness. Dr Klassen researches the links between institutional design, societal conditions, political support and public behaviour. For example, how the designs of national parliaments, electoral systems and electoral management bodies affect public trust in these institutions, perceptions of electoral fairness and rates of electoral participation. A unique aspect of his research is its cross-regional approach, which involves running concurrent regressions across different regions to discover global trends and variations. (Bio)

DennisShoesmithProfessor Dennis Shoesmith ( specializes in the field of Comparative politics of Southeast Asia. He has been the principal supervisor for fourteen successful doctoral and masters students in the field of Southeast Asian politics and is currently involved in supervision of a number of postgraduates in East Timor and Indonesian research. Originally, his research was concerned with Philippine politics and, specifically, the political role of the Catholic Church in the Philippines during the Marcos regime. Since 1999 he has focussed on Timor-Leste where his work on governance, state-building, democratic transitions, political party systems and electoral politics has attracted international recognition. His current research is concerned with local government reform and decentralisation in eastern Indonesia. He has been a consultant for the United Nations and for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Timor-Leste. He was co-author in 2015 of a report commissioned by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on opportunities for trilateral cooperation between Australia, Indonesia and Timor-Leste in their shared sub-region. (Bio)

Philosophy & Anthropology

BrianMooneyProfessor T. Brian Mooney ( is professor of philosophy and head of school. He has published nine books and more than seventy articles in areas as diverse as ethics, philosophy of education, love, terrorism, critical thinking, political philosophy, ancient and mediaeval philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology and aesthetics. (Bio)

NicolasBullotDr Nicolas Bullot’s ( work aim to develop an alternative to individualistic models of human cognition and contextualistic theories of cultural practices that reject scientific methods. The alternative he proposes is a new psychohistorical theory of identification and control. He uses the qualifier “psychohistorical” to denote research that aims to integrate (i) mechanistic explanations of human cognition that are common in the psychological and biological sciences with (ii) contextualistic explanations pervasive in historical accounts in philosophy and the social sciences. One of Dr Bullot’s work, his psychohistorical theory of art, has contributed to the integration of the cognitive science of art with historical accounts of art in philosophy and the social sciences. (Bio)

Indonesian Studies and Asian Studies

Dr Vannessa Hearman ( is lecturer in Indonesian studies. She is a historian of Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Her research deals with the 1965-66 anti-communist violence in Indonesia, as well as histories of activism in Indonesia and Timor Leste, and the bilateral relationship between Indonesia and Australia. She has published her research in academic book chapters and journals such as Critical Asian StudiesIndonesiaSouth East Asia Research, Labour History and Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs. She also writes for non-scholarly publications such as Inside IndonesiaNew MandalaAsian Currents and The Conversation, as well as providing regular media commentary. Dr Hearman has supervised to completion several postgraduate and honours research projects, dealing with Indonesian history, politics and society. (Bio)


Nathan-FranklinDr. Nathan Franklin ( is an Indonesianist with expertise in Indonesian politics and Indonesian language.  He currently teaches Indonesian language at CDU and is coordinator and resident director of the Kupang and Lombok in-country language programs, which are part of the Regional Universities Indonesian Language Initiative (RUILI).  Dr. Franklin is currently conducting research on Indonesian politics and working on publications.  He is also a working member of a trilateral project between CDU, University of Nusa Cendana (UNDANA), and University of Mataram (UNRAM) on local governance capacity building in selected districts in Eastern Indonesia with particular reference to the delivery of health and education services. (Bio

Chinese Studies

AmyYuAmy Yu-Vatskalis ( graduated from the College of Foreign Languages, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou, Fujian in 1989 -- majoring in English for the Bachelor of Arts. In 2002, she completed graduate studies in Chinese literature and art at the Chinese Institute of the Fujian Normal University. During 2006-2007, she was seconded to the Northern Arizona University, USA, in an exchange program, to teach Chinese at the Department of Modern Languages. In 2012 she was seconded by Hanban (Confucius Institute Headquarters China) to the Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT, Australia as the Chinese lecturer at the School of Creative Arts & Humanities and she is now continuing as a Chinese lecturer with CDU. (Bio)

Greek and Hellenic Studies

GFrazisAssociate Professor George Frazis (  n 1999 completed a PhD at Flinders University dealing with the literature of the renown Cretan writer Pandelis Prevelakis. George currently teaches the Modern Greek Language and Greek Literature at Charles Darwin University where he specialises in literary studies, Modern Greek Literature, Byzantine history & literature, Greek Immigration in Australia; oral history and the teaching of Greek with the use of new technologies, and in the creation of computer-based programs for the teaching of language in all forms through distance education. (Bio)


StephenKerryDr Stephen Kerry ( is a lecturer in sociology who conducts research into the health and wellbeing of those who live on the gender margins of society, such as intersex and transgender people. Dr Kerry’s areas of research interest are gender, sexuality, health, religion, and popular culture. In 2015, Dr Kerry was a Keynote Speaker at the Variant Sex and Gender, Religion and Wellbeing conference in the UK. His current research project consists of interviews with transgender people in the Northern Territory, including transgender Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, also known as sistergirls and brotherboys. (Bio

Digital Media

AuroraScheelingsDr Aurora Scheelings ( is a digital media lecturer and an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has been broadcast to national and international television audiences. Her films have explored social issues such as exclusion (homelessness), inclusion (multi-cultural and cross-cultural) and ethnographic studies more broadly, from the social impact of international aid on developing communities to the nature and culture of television production itself. She has worked as an independent filmmaker on broadcast commissioned works as well as an in-house documentary producer within Australian public broadcasting.

Art History & Visual Arts

Dr Ioannis Michaloudis ( an academic, visual artist and researcher internationally acknowledged as one of the leaders in Art & Science and the first ever creator and investigator on the application of the NASA’s nanomaterial silica aerogel in Fine Arts. He has several publications in leading scientific journals and books that demonstrate his remarkable, self-reliant and worldwide original research in the intersection of art, science, technology and engineering. He completed two Ph.D. supervisions, participated in three Biennales of Art, twelve solo art exhibitions and had more than twenty invitations to international artistic and scientific presentations.  Indeed a strong representative for the promotion of education and research at Charles Darwin University. The achievement of several grants for Research and Development declares an international interest in his plans and a high standards scholar who has the springboard ability to guide and promote programs by also securing their external funding. His areas of research are: Nanotechnology as an inside-out modelling process; Interactivity between Art & Science; Etymology as an inspiration tool; Mythology & methodology of symbols; and Immateriality in Space Art. Currently, he is collaborating with Jet Propulsion Laboratory and MIT on two projects: Climatic Sculptureality project: creating microclimatic conditions into silica aerogel sculptures; and Etherospermia project: sky-seeding for new habitable planets. (Bio

sarahpirrieSarah Pirrie ( works across a conceptual, site-responsive and often collaborative art practice that incorporates drawing, sculpture, installation, events and public interventions. Pirrie’s work has referenced a range of social and environmental issues and is often shaped by local activity and phenomena. (Bio)

matsundenMats Unden ( has over 20 years’ experience working as a professional printmaker. The majority of that time he managed his own print workshop in Sweden, where he collaborated with some of Scandinavia’s most successful artists. From 2008 his position as Senior Printer at Basil Hall Editions provided him with opportunities to work on some of Australia's most exciting printmaking projects. This involved the management of workshops in remote indigenous communities, collaborating with artists, editioning thousands of prints and supervising graduate printmakers and other staff. This was successfully achieved while he established a strong reputation for himself in Australia. (Bio)



Professor Martin Jarvis' ( work in music education is highly regarded in the Northern Territory. Well known in the wider community as the creator of the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, he brings more than 35 years of industry experience to the School Creative Arts and Humanities. (Bio)


Paolo Fabris ( is an accomplished Italian actor, singer and vocal coach. With a passion for musical theatre, Paolo studied acting in the Stanislavskij's Method and has worked with a number of major companies in Italy playing leading roles in Fame, Jesus Christ Superstar and The Sound of Music. He has also directed numerous productions of Cats, The Lion King, and Wicked for San Carlo College in Milan. During his career, Paolo has given his voice to a number of animation movies, TV and Radio advertisements. His research interests includes Anatomy and physiology of the Voice, Estill Voice Training in Tertiary education, Pedagogy of Voice, Choral Conducting, and Musical Theatre. (Bio)

chen-huiChen Hui ( believes that the core of piano technique lies in having total control of the whole body and to this end, requires total awareness. It means that all music students should be equipped with a well-coordinated and sustainable technique, one that takes into consideration biomechanical principles and a knowledge of how the body works best with the instrument. As such, her teaching focuses on developing good coordination at the piano which promotes a sense of physical well-being while playing, enhances suppleness, speed and facility, allows for a broader dynamic range and reduces performance anxiety. (Bio)

* Source: Times Higher Education Rankings 2018
^ Source: Times Higher Education Rankings 2017