Step 1. Choose your degree
Choose the graduate research degree 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 Philosoph (MPhil) – an internationally recognised masters degree 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 degrees. This includes degree requirements, English language requirements and meeting student visa conditions set by the Department of Home Affairs.
If you want to study for less than an academic year, you'll need to apply as an exchange or study abroad student through a separate application.
For more information on eligibility, see entry requirements
If eligible, you will automatically be considered for a Graduate Research Scholarship that provides a living allowance and/or tuition fee-remission scholarship. More than 300 of these scholarships are offered to international graduate researchers each year.
If you are unsuccessful for a tuition fee-remission scholarship, you'll enter as a full fee paying student.
Tuition fees are based on the degree you take and your subject load. You can find estimates of fees on every course page. You'll also need to factor in other costs while at university, such as for social events, travel and accommodation.
There are other scholarships and bursaries that can help with tuition and the cost of living while you study.
To find out how tuition fees are calculated and ways to pay, 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.
If you don’t have verified digital copies of academic documents for prior or current studies and wish to obtain during your application, you can select Digitary VIA when requested during your submission. This includes English translated documents and can be fulfilled for both interim qualifications and completed qualifications.
Obtaining verified digital copies of academic documents can help fast-track your application and retained for use with other applications you wish to make. The Digitary VIA option includes a one-off charge.
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.
If you don’t have verified digital copies of academic documents for interim or complete qualifications, you can select Digitary VIA during the application submission to help fast-track your application. The Digitary VIA option includes a one-off charge.
Check the graduate degree 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 less than 5 years since you completed your last degree, they should be academic referees. If it is more than 5 years since you completed your last degree, 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, they may download the appropriate PDF form below and return it to the email address on the form. Please note that the online form is the preferred method for references to be provided, as it links the reference directly to your application.
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.
Agreement for a Joint PhD Degree
Your Joint PhD enrolment and candidature will be governed by an agreement between us and your partner institution. This Graduate Researcher Agreement will outline your location periods (of at least 12 months) at each institution, thesis requirements, as well as supervision, funding, examination and graduation arrangements. This agreement should be obtained from the coordinator of the Joint PhD activity. Coordinator contact details can be found on the websites of the Joint PhD activity you are applying for. The agreement should be completed within your first year of study.
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.
Please consult the entry requirements for the course you are applying for.
Step 4: Apply with Melbourne
Early application is recommended for graduate research degrees, as you may be given an early offer by some schools. Late applications may also be accepted if places are available.
How to apply
- 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 as part of your application.
- If you need help applying, you can find an overseas representative to help you with lodge an application, accept your offer and apply for a student visa (if admitted into the University). To find out about their costs and services, see Find an overseas representative.
Ensure you apply by the relevant deadline. Check the graduate degree 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 select Digitary VIA during the application submission to obtain verified digital copies of academic documents for interim qualifications, to help fast-track your application. The Digitary VIA option includes a one-off $USD199 charge.
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 degree.
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 degrees, 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. These include:
- 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.
- Other grants and bursaries – some offered by faculties to reward you for academic achievement and 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.