Doctor of Philosophy - Architecture, Building and Planning

  • CRICOS code: 056961K
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The Melbourne School of Design aims to admit outstanding and diverse graduates and to provide them with a world class experience in undertaking a graduate research degree.

Applications are accepted throughout the year. Offers are normally made for candidature and scholarship in November and December for commencement the following year.

1. Decide on a research program

The Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning offers two research programs:

We recommend that you familiarise yourself with both of these programs before deciding on the program most suitable to you.

2. Check your eligibility

Please ensure that you meet all the PhD entry requirements before applying. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

3. Check the application and scholarship deadlines

Graduate research applications can be submitted at any time, to be considered for research scholarships applications must be submitted and complete, including meeting the University of Melbourne English Language Entry Requirements, by the following deadlines:

Applications from Closing dates Applicants notified

International applicants

30 September

10 December

Domestic applicants

31 October

20 December

Second round*31 March31 May

*Only run where scholarships remain to be awarded, all eligible applications considered.

Application outcomes will be available approximately eight weeks after the application closing date.

A separate application is not required for Graduate research scholarships. For other Faculty scholarships, an Expression of Interest may be required. If you wish to apply for other University scholarships, such as the Fay Marles or Human Rights Scholarships, you will need to add these to your application. You can search for scholarships here:

4. Prepare documentation

You will be asked to submit the following documents with your online application:

  • Academic results and proof of graduation
    Include scanned copies of official transcripts from every higher education institution you have attended, together with a grading scale used by the University (faculty/department) where you completed your 4-year bachelor (Hons) degree and/or masters degree. The transcripts should include the numeric grades received. Any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a translation. If there is no proof of graduation on your transcript you must include a copy of the graduation certificate with your application.
  • Ungraded masters thesis: If you have completed, or are completing a masters thesis, which did not/will not receive a numeric mark on your transcript, or your thesis component will not appear on your transcript, you must include this detail in your online application or attach a separate statement to your application which explains this. You must attach a copy of your thesis and examiners reports (if available).

    We recommend that you nominate an academic referee who can comment directly on this ungraded thesis. They should provide as much information as possible about your thesis by completing all relevant sections of the academic referee report and may also choose to attach a separate letter.
  • Evidence of research experience
    Applicants are required to have conducted a research project equivalent to 25% of a year’s full-time study at fourth year honours or master level. Applicant’s transcripts must clearly show when the 25% research project was completed. If this is not clear from the transcript a letter from the University/supervisor should be attached as evidence.
  • Curriculum Vitae
    A current CV outlining work experience relevant to your proposed field of research, prior research background and details of any research publications. Sample format for the required CV.
  • Research proposal
    Applicants for graduate research programs must include a research proposal. The proposal should be two to three pages (1,500-2,000 words) in length and address the following:
    • The research question expressed briefly and in simple English (it can include technical terms)
    • An explanation of the problem(s) to be explored (including aims and background),
    • Articulation of the research objectives or hypotheses to be tested
    • The significance of the research (including placing the proposed research within existing academic literature)
    • Brief outline of the proposed research method
    • A suggested work plan, including stages of research and timeline
    • Personal experience in the proposed area of study and the reasons for wishing to undertake such study
    • If you are proposing a thesis with a creative work output, please include details of this in your proposal.
  • Two Academic Referee Report Forms
    You must provide contact details for your academic referees in the online application form. If it is more than 5 years since you completed your last degree, professional referees may be provided.

    On submission of your application, your referees will be emailed a link to access the online referee form and they must provide their references using this online form. You will be notified when they submit the reference. Your application may be deemed as incomplete if the referee reports are not submitted before the application closing dates.
  • Supplementary information
    If applicable, applicants may also submit supporting evidence of research publications, refereed journals and/or creative works (digital portfolios, design projects) where relevant to your application.

5. Submit an application

For admission to Graduate Research Degree Candidature and Scholarship, you must submit a course application online. Quote course code DR-PHILABP in your application. Please also note the following:

  • Liability category:
    • International applicants select ‘PG Overseas Fee Paying’
    • Domestic applicants select ‘RTP / RTS / CTS’
  • Attendance mode: select 'On Campus'
  • Study mode: select 'Standard'.

To avoid delay in the assessment of your application, ensure you follow the online application instructions carefully and upload all the required documents. Once a complete application is received, the assessment process can take 8 – 12 weeks. Applications received outside the closing dates may receive an outcome or advice their application is on hold, these applications will receive an outcome within 8 weeks of the closing date as outlined in Section 3.

More information:

Supervision: Applicants are not required to find a supervisor prior to applying. As part of the application process, the Faculty assesses the application, research proposal, feasibility of the project, and availability of supervisors. Applicants may choose to discuss their research interests with a potential supervisor prior to applying. Supervisors can be identified via the Melbourne School of Design academic staff page or via Find an Expert.

Enrolment: If you are successful in obtaining an offer for a place, the Faculty expects you to complete your enrolment and commence your course in February or March for those commencing in semester one or August or September for those commencing in semester 2.

All commencing graduate researchers will be inducted on the day they enrol and invited to an orientation session with peers.

Residency requirement: Graduate researchers must meet the residency requirement. For more information on residency requirements please see the Melbourne Policy Library Selection and Admission Policy (MPF1295), section 4.14

Transferring applicants: Transferring students apply through the same application process as new applicants. Please contact the Research Support Office to discuss your situation.

All Enquiries


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