Doctor of Philosophy
Doctorate by research
- Doctor of Philosophy
A candidate may enrol in a Doctor of Philosophy either full-time or part-time. Enrolment shall be continuous with the exception of periods of leave of absence as approved by the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee. The course duration is a minimum period of two years and a maximum period of four years of equivalent full-time study. Research Training Scheme places may be available as well as fee-paying places. The time limits shall be adjusted for approved periods of leave of absence. Registered full-time duration for international onshore students on student visas is four years.
- 4 years full-time
If COVID-19 restrictions apply, we may need to make changes to units and/or delivery modes.
Bren Mark Felisilda
As a research student, you have to choose a university that can support your goals and helps maximize your skills and networks. I have found all of these things at Curtin and more.
Aside from the state-of-the-art facilities within reach, the course provides me with excellent mentoring from supervisors and other faculty members in my department. I also enjoy various personal development opportunities that are available to Higher Degree by Research students. The vibrant campus provides a balanced environment to grow, not just in my research but also as a person.
One of the highlights of my doctoral degree has been attending numerous conferences, because I’ve been able to share my research to the wider community, but also develop my communication and networking skills.
Top 1 %
Curtin is ranked in the top one per cent of universities worldwide.
Academic Ranking of World Universities 2022.
Get the Curtin edge
Access to leadership programs, specialist facilities and industry placements give you a competitive edge in the job market.
You’ll have access to a range of international study opportunities.
As a doctoral research degree candidate, you will uncover new knowledge either by the discovery of new facts, the formulation of theories or the innovative reinterpretation of known data and established ideas. Your research will use an in-depth understanding of theories and concepts to develop practical solutions for real-world problems.
A higher degree by research differs from other postgraduate degrees in that at least two-thirds of the study program must involve research. Although some coursework units may be required, the main part of your work will be in the form of a thesis written under the guidance of a supervisor and associate supervisor(s). Your thesis must, in the opinion of the examiners, be a substantial original contribution to the knowledge or understanding of any field through the discovery of new facts, the formulation of theories or the innovative reinterpretation of known data and established ideas. It must also demonstrate your capacity to conceive, design and complete independent research.
Throughout your studies, our faculties will provide you with access to equipment and resources to support your research, and financial assistance to attend appropriate local and international conferences.
Please refer to the handbook for additional course overview information.
Why research at Curtin
Curtin is widely recognised for applied research firmly focused on solving real-world problems. Underpinning our research endeavours are strong partnerships with industry, business and government, which result in outcomes that greatly benefit the broader community locally, nationally and globally. Our international reputation for being a strong partner in industry-driven research ensures our graduates enjoy outstanding opportunities to become innovators in their fields.
Depending on your area of speciality, you may be eligible for membership of various professional organisations upon graduation.
What you'll learn
- Demonstrate expert understanding of theoretical knowledge and to reflect critically on that knowledge and their practice
- Think critically, evaluate existing knowledge and ideas, undertake systematic investigation and reflect on theory and practice to generate original knowledge
- Apply expert creative, technical and professional skills to the field of work or learning
- Explain and critique theoretical propositions, methodologies and conclusions
- Present a complex investigation of originality or original research for external examination against international standards
- Communicate complex research concepts, plans and outcomes to the general community, peers and the national and international research community
- Design, implement, analyse, theorise and communicate research that makes a significant and original contribution to knowledge and/or professional practice
Entry requirements for Australian and New Zealand students
Applicants are required to demonstrate a capacity to carry out independent research and have adequate training and ability to pursue the proposed research course. Generally, this may be a master degree or bachelor degree with first or upper second class honours. See the Section 3.2.1 of the HDR admission policy for detailed information.
Curtin requires all applicants to demonstrate proficiency in English. Specific English requirements for this course are outlined in the IELTS table below.
|IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System)|
|Overall band score||6.5|
At Curtin, we understand that everyone’s study journey has been different.
You may have already studied some of the units (subjects) listed in your Curtin course, or you may have work experience that matches the degree requirements.
If this applies to you, you can apply for credit for recognised learning (CRL), which means your previous study is recognised and matched against a similar unit in your intended Curtin course.
A successful CRL application exempts you from having to complete certain units within your course and means you could finish your degree in a shorter amount of time.
CRL is also known as recognition of prior learning, advanced standing and credit transfer.
Use the CRL search to find out how much CRL you qualify for, or contact us at:
Webform: Submit here
Curtin Connect: 1300 222 888
Fees & charges
Under the Research Training Program (RTP), Australian and New Zealand citizens and Australian permanent residents undertaking higher degrees by research may be granted an Australian Government RTP Fee Offset Scholarship to assist with tuition fee liability.
Fee information is not available for this course at this time. Find estimated course fees.
How to apply
Please review information on how to apply for the campus of your choice
Please note that each campus has different application deadlines. Please view our application deadlines page for further information.Apply now
Help is at hand
See our frequently asked questions or get in touch with us below.
- What are the alternative pathways into Curtin?
- What scholarships are available?
- What are my options to manage my study load?
- Browse all FAQs
- Opening hours:
- Mon to Fri: 8.30am – 4.30pm, except Tues: 9.30am – 4.30pm (AWST). Closed public holidays.