research project

Prospective research students

Higher Degree by Research (HDR) at CDU covers the degrees of Masters by Research (MRes) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). HDR degrees are the highest qualifications offered by the University and have a different application process to other courses offered at CDU.

If you are thinking about applying to become a HDR student at CDU, there are a few things to consider before making an application:

1. Eligibility

Both the MRes and PhD are wholly research based. This means that you will spend your candidature working towards a body of research that you will submit for examination. To ensure that you are prepared to get started with a HDR, we have the below entry criteria. If you don't meet these criteria, you can still apply but you will need to provide evidence of research experience in the form of research outputs (like publications) and/or research work experience as per our application process.

Masters by Research

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

  • a Bachelor Honours degree with first class or second class honours; or
  • a Masters 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:

  • a Bachelor Honours degree with first class honours or second class honours division A; or
  • a Masters qualification which contains a substantial research component

2. Project and supervision

If you think that you meet the above entry criteria, you can start looking for a project and supervisors. All candidates will need a panel of 3 supervisors but your focus should be on finding a Principal Supervisor to guide you through your candidature.

There are some projects and supervisors advertised on our HDR landing page. This list doesn't include everything available and you may need to do some investigation to see whether there are researchers available in your preferred field of research. Our Researcher Portal can help direct you to other areas that our researchers are working in. Each staff profile also indicates if the researcher is listed on our supervisor register and is eligible to supervise a HDR.

3. Funding

This is the time to think about how you will fund your HDR enrolment. Domestic students automatically receive a fee offset for HDR enrolment. International students will need to consider fees and living costs for the duration of their enrolment.

There are some scholarships that both domestic and international applicants can apply for and you can find further details here.

Application process

International applicants should apply through CDU Global. 

Domestic applicants need to download and complete the application pack below and forward to Please direct any questions about the application process to the same email.

The application pack consists of two forms:

  1. Domestic HDR application (PDF 3.1MB)
  2. Referee report (PDF 40KB)

The domestic HDR application is made up of the following sections:

  • Application for admission
  • Application for HDR scholarship
  • Research Project Outline Cover Sheet
  • Honours equivalence checklist
  • Existing research outputs
  • Recognition of profession attainment

The referee form is separate and should be sent to your referees (2 required) for completion. The reports should be sent directly to by your referee.

You will also need to forward the below documents along with your application:

  • certified copies of transcripts of all previous education qualifications, including details of the grading system
  • a current CV/Resume
  • a certified copy of the relevant pages of your passport as proof of your residency status if you are a permanent resident
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