Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Students can pursue a Doctor of Philosophy in which they produce a major piece of extended original research over three to four years.

This original piece of research is typically 80,000 words in length and is considered to be a significant contribution to its specific field of enquiry.

In order to enter the PhD program, students must have completed:

  • A Bachelor’s degree with first or second class honours; or
  • A Master’s degree by research (e.g. Master of Arts (Research)); or
  • A coursework-based Master’s with a research component (thesis, dissertation or research project) with an overall average of 75%; or
  • Significant experience and/or qualifications related to the field of study.


A large part of pursuing a Higher Degree by Research is to find an appropriate supervisor, one that reflects your interests, and is able to provide relevant insights into your area of enquiry. You can find the contact details and learn more about our academics' research expertise by visiting our faculty page.

For more information

More information about the program is available on the University of Sydney website.

Postgraduate coordinator

Associate Professor Brendon O'Connor

Doing a PhD in the United States

If you're interested in studying a PhD in the United States, listen to US Studies Centre CEO Professor Simon Jackman and senior lecturer Dr David Smith discuss how Australians and other international students can apply successfully. The conversation covers the major differences between US and Australian programs, who pays your way, how to apply and key application tips.