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Research and Innovation

Future Research Students

Choose CDU for your research degrees
  • Top 100 university globally for quality education

    According to the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings 2021

  • Be supported by a research scholarship

    Available to domestic and international students

  • An elite 'Rising Star' challenger university in the Class of 2030

    According to Times Higher Education

Research degrees

Charles Darwin University offers a range of Higher Degrees by Research for graduates, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master by Research (MRes). We deliver high-quality research training for emerging scholars to undertake independent research in your area of study.

PhDs and MRes can be undertaken at all CDU Colleges and the Menzies School of Health Research. Study and work in the context of our regional focus, which prioritises the complex issues facing Northern Australia and the Asia-Pacific.

 

PhD and MRes at Charles Darwin University

The main difference between a PhD and MRes is the duration of the study, length of the thesis, and level of originality.

 

Doctor of Philosophy

Master by Research

Minimum duration

Two years full-time or four years part-time.

One year full-time or two years part-time.

Maximum duration

Four years full-time or eight years part-time, from your start date.

Two years full-time or four years part-time, from your start date.

Thesis length

Maximum of 100,000 words.

Maximum of 50,000 words.

Time commitment

40 hours per week for a full-time student.

20 hours per week for a part-time student.

40 hours per week for a full-time student.

20 hours per week for a part-time student.

What is the cost of a research degree?

Domestic candidates

Domestic candidates incur no fees if they complete their degree within the allocated time. Candidates may also be eligible to receive a living allowance, often worth about $28 700, while they complete the research project. Learn more about domestic scholarships.

International students

International candidates often pay fees to undertake a research degree at CDU.  However, if their record is especially strong, they might receive a fee waiver or even an additional living allowance, often worth about $28 700, while they complete the research project.  Learn more about international scholarships.

How to Apply

Information for domestic applicants

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master’s by Research (MRes) are the highest tertiary qualification in Australia, Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Levels 9 and 10

Domestic applicants are Australian citizens and permanent residents in Australia.

1. Check your eligibility

To decide which applicants to accept, the University considers the academic qualifications, research experience, and other characteristics of the candidate and research proposal.   The following table presents more information about eligibility.  Typically, applicants tend to be eligible to enrol in a:

  • PhD if they have completed at least one semester of research activity at an Honours or Masters level and achieved a distinction average--or completed equivalent activity
  • Masters by Research if they have completed at least half a semester of research activity at an Honours or Masters level--or completed equivalent activity
Information to read Contents
Specifies in detail how the University evaluates who is eligible
Offers recommendations on how to become more eligible to receive an offer or a scholarship
2. Visit the information page for Domestic Students

Visit the information page for prospective domestic research students. Find relevant information on how to apply if you are a domestic applicant.

Find out

3. Enquiries? Get in touch with the Office of Research & Innovation

Get in touch

E: research.degrees@cdu.edu.au
T: 08 8946 6548

Information for international applicants

1. Check your eligibility

To decide which applicants to accept, the University considers the academic qualifications, research experience, and other characteristics of the candidate and research proposal.   The following table presents more information about eligibility.  Typically, applicants tend to be eligible to enrol in a:

  • PhD if they have completed at least one semester of research activity at an Honours or Masters level and achieved a distinction average--or completed equivalent activity
  • Masters by Research if they have completed at least half a semester of research activity at an Honours or Masters level--or completed equivalent activity
Information to read Contents
Specifies in detail how the University evaluates who is eligible
Offers recommendations on how to become more eligible to receive an offer or a scholarship
2. Meet the entry requirements

Entry requirements

Completing your Master by Research or PhD is an opportunity to specialise in your chosen field and contribute to delivering real and measurable impact in Northern Australia and beyond. Find out what you can study with CDU.

Master by Research (MRes)

To be eligible for entry to an MRes you should have completed either:

  1.  a Bachelor Honours degree with first-class or second-class honours
    or

  2.  a Master by Coursework or Extended Masters, which contains a substantial research component

Doctor of Philosophy

To be eligible for entry to a PhD you should have completed either:

  1.  a Bachelor Honours degree with first-class honours or second-class honours division
    or

  2.  a Master's qualification that contains a substantial research component

For more information on Honours' equivalence and documentation (for example copies of peer-reviewed academic publications), see HDR - Candidate Recruitment, Admission and Enrolment Procedures

English entry requirements 

IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with no band less than 6.0, or an equivalent English proficiency test result. However, please refer to the entry requirements page for more information on the forms of demonstrating English language proficiency. 

Learn more about the course

3. Visit the information page for international applicants

Apply to undertake your Higher Degree by Research (HDR) at CDU, and you’ll be supported by committed supervisors who are experts in their fields, while you work in a distinct and unique part of Australia.

Find out how to apply for a research degree program at Charles Darwin University for international students

Find out

4. Enquiries? Get in touch with the CDU Global team

Get in touch

E: international@cdu.edu.au

Visit the International website for a list of the application documents.

Find out more about external scholarships to support your research

scientists in a lab

Scholarship finder

The finder will assist you in identifying scholarships where you may meet the eligibility criteria. Please ensure you check the criteria for each scholarship before applying.

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