Step 1. Choose your course
Choose the graduate research course you want to apply for. Options include:
- Doctor of Philosophy – Up to 4 years in duration, you will undertake original research on a specialised topic and produce a thesis of approximately 80 000 words. Some of our PhDs include taught subjects in the first year.
- Doctorate by Research – offering a coursework component in parallel with meetings with your research, giving high-level engagement with the key literature in your research area.
- Master of Philosophy (MPhil) – an internationally recognised masters course by research that requires the completion of a thesis of 30 000–40 000 words.
- Masters by Research – different from the MPhil it offers a coursework component, along with a shorter thesis of about 30 000 words.
Step 2: Check eligibility and fees
You need to meet minimum eligibility to apply for graduate research courses. This includes course requirements and English language requirements. See Graduate research entry requirements
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants
You'll need to confirm your Aboriginality to be eligible for Indigenous targeted places and scholarships. If you haven't already done this, see Murrup Barak, Melbourne Institute for Indigenous Development.
Fees for domestic graduate research courses will vary depending on the type of enrolment or place you're offered.
Most domestic students are exempt from paying tuition fees through the Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP). Research courses funded under this are the PhD, MPhil, Masters by research and Research doctorates.
You'll also need to pay a Student Services and Amenities Fee, and factor in other costs such as additional courses you take, materials, social events, travel and accommodation.
If fee-paying places are available, tuition fees are based on the course you take and your study load. You can find estimates of course fees on every course page.
For more information, see Fees & payments.
Step 3: Prepare your documentation
At minimum, you will need to provide academic transcripts and a CV with your application. If you're currently studying, you'll also need to provide a transcript of your final results and evidence of completion as soon as they’re available.
Depending on the course, you may also have to provide a research proposal, folio of creative works, GRE or GMAT test result or writing sample.
If you're currently studying, you'll also need to provide a transcript of your final results and evidence of completion as soon as they’re available. Some graduate schools will consider applications at any time, others only assess applications at fixed times of the year.
Check the graduate course you're applying for to find out application due dates before submitting your application.
You will also need to provide the name and contact details of two referees. If it is less than 5 years since you completed your last course, they should be academic referees. If it is more than 5 years since you completed your last course, they may be professional referees. Once you submit your application, your referees will be emailed a link to provide their reference online.
In the event your referee does not receive the email with the link, please check that you have entered their email address correctly and contact us through Stop 1 to confirm their details and that their form has been sent.
It is important that you contact your referees well before submitting an application. This ensures they expect the request for a reference. Some graduate schools will consider applications at any time, others assess applications at fixed times of the year only.
If you want to include in your application details of publications of which you are the author or co-author, please follow the following formatting conventions.
Relevant publications include refereed journal articles, refereed conference papers, book chapters or books that have been published or are forthcoming. Please present publications in the format below:
Begin with the most recent publication first:
- Journal articles: author(s), title of article, journal title and issue/number, year of publication, page references;
- Book chapters: author(s), chapter title, book editors, title of book, page references, place of publication, publisher and year of publication;
- Books: author(s), book title, place of publication, publisher and year of publication;
- Refereed conference papers: author(s), paper title, title of conference, date(s) of conference.
Do not include articles or other works which have not yet been accepted for publication.
Find a supervisor
Your graduate research study will be guided by an academic supervisor. This person will be an expert in the area you are proposing to study and will guide and support you through all of the stages of candidature and ensure that you have access to necessary resources and facilities to complete your research project.
For most courses and areas of study you will need to find an appropriate supervisor as part of your application process. If your course does require evidence of supervisor support at the time of application, you can either upload an email from them stating that they are providing in-principle support for your application or complete this form and upload it to your application after the supervisor has signed it. If you are unsure whether in-principle support is required, you will be able to see this once you start your online course application as there will be a link to the form.
The University's Find an Expert website is a useful place to start. Use the “Experts for Research Supervision” filter to find those who are registered to supervise.
Know the faculty
The faculty your supervisor belongs to will be the faculty your course of study is with. It is important you note the faculty (or graduate school) of your supervisor so you apply for the right study package. This information will be shown in their entry in the Find an Expert website.
Please consult the entry requirements for the course you are applying for.
Step 4: Apply with Melbourne
- If you're a current student at Melbourne, apply through your student account
- If you're a new student, you can apply online. You'll need to provide a copy of your academic results and referee report forms as part of your application.
Ensure you apply by the relevant deadline. Check the graduate course you're applying for to find out application due dates before submitting your application.
You can track your application by logging back into your student account, or online account where you applied, and viewing the status of your application.
Don't have your results yet?
You can still apply if you haven't received your final results. You'll need to submit your most recent results on application, and your final results when you receive them to be admitted into a graduate research course.
Step 5. Be assessed and wait for offers
After you submit your application, you'll receive a confirmation email with your unique student ID and application reference number. If anything is missing from your application, we'll email you.
Assessment of your application will take approximately 8-12 weeks for most graduate research courses, however, some graduate schools assess applications in rounds on particular dates. Check with the graduate faculty for more details.
If you are selected for admission, we'll email you directly with an offer.
If the offer is conditional, you need to meet the offer conditions before accepting it. If you've been sent an unconditional offer, you can choose to accept it immediately.
To find out how to do this, see Offers and enrolments.
Step 6: Search for a scholarship
We have one of the most generous scholarship programs in Australia to help with your tuition and living costs.
If eligible, you will automatically be considered for a Graduate Research Scholarship. Other scholarships are available by application.
- Graduate Research Excellence Scholarships – competitive scholarships available to graduate researchers with excellent research potential
- Graduate Research Access Scholarships – competitive scholarships available to graduate researchers from Australian Indigenous descent or students who are experiencing compassionate or compelling circumstances
- Endeavour Scholarships – competitive, merit-based scholarships and fellowships offered by the Australian government, providing opportunities for Australians to undertake study, research or professional development overseas and for overseas citizens to do the same in Australia.
- Travelling scholarships – for students undertaking research at an overseas institution, such as the Rae and Edith Bennett Travelling Scholarship.
- Scholarships for Indigenous students – offering scholarships to help with tuition and living costs applied with Melbourne
- Other grants and bursaries – some offered by faculties to reward you for academic achievement, others to help with the general cost of living and tuition while studying at Melbourne.
To find out more about our graduate research scholarships and funding, see Research funding.
For all scholarships offered through Melbourne, see Melbourne Scholarships.
Step 7: Plan for accommodation
If you're planning to move to Melbourne for your studies, there are a range of student accommodation options you can choose from including residential colleges, student apartments, share houses, homestay, hostels and temporary accommodation.
To find out more, see Accommodation.