Doctor of Philosophy in Psychological Sciences

    • CRICOS Code: 006670B

    Course overview

    • 4 years full time / 8 years part time
    • On Campus (Parkville)
    • Available to domestic and international students.


    The degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne marks a student’s admission to the community of Psychological Sciences scholars. It signifies that the holder has undertaken a substantial piece of original research which has been conducted and reported by the holder via thesis.

    The submission must be a careful, rigorous and sustained piece of work demonstrating that a research 'apprenticeship' is complete.

    The PhD will demonstrate authority in the candidate's field and shows evidence of command of knowledge in relevant fields. The thesis must make a distinct contribution to knowledge and is judged on originality of approach and in some cases, the discovery of new facts.

    PhD thesis

    In scope, the PhD thesis differs from a research master’s thesis chiefly by its deeper and more comprehensive treatment of the chosen subject. It is completed over a maximum period of up to four years full-time.

    It is written succinctly, in English, unless approval has been given for the thesis to be written in a language other than English. All candidates for the degree will be examined on the basis of their thesis which is examined externally. The normal length of the submission is between 80,000 and 100,000 words, exclusive of words in tables, maps, bibliographies and appendices.

    The PhD is an internationally recognised and highly transferable qualification designed for graduates to demonstrate academic leadership, independence, creativity and innovation in their research work.

    The Melbourne School of Health Sciences is a preeminent centre in health sciences research, and part of a leading international university with a tradition of excellence in research and research training. Undertaking the PhD can broaden your career pathways, developing you as a researcher and enhancing leadership opportunities in your specialty practice area.

    Commencement periods

    • Students may commence a PhD at any time during the year between 1 March and 31 October. Commencement between 1-28 February or between 1-30 November may be approved subject to approval of the proposed principal supervisor. Commencement in January or December is not permitted.
    • Commencement in the degree is subject to prior arrangement with their nominated supervisor and the Learning and Teaching Unit. (Scholarships have separate rules and students should seek approval from Melbourne Scholarships to vary their scholarship commencement).
    • Please check with the relevant academic unit prior to making any arrangements for enrolment or travel.


    A range of University policies and procedures apply to Higher Degrees by Research and students should familiarise themselves with these policies via the University of Melbourne Policy Library.