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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) (DPHD)

Entry requirements
Study mode
  • On-campus
  • External
  • Ipswich
  • Springfield
  • Toowoomba
  • 3 year(s) (or part-time equivalent)
  • Jan, Feb, Apr, May, Jul, Aug, Sep, Nov


  • Do you have a passion for research? The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a research degree available in all study areas and provides you with the skills to become an effective researcher in your previously studied discipline.
  • By undertaking a Doctor of Philosophy you will have expansive intellectual freedom to be able to make an original and substantial contribution to your area of study.
  • UniSQ academics are recognised throughout the world for their excellence in research. Some of the projects you can tap into are at the forefront of cutting edge research.
  • As a research student you will have the commitment and support to make a difference to society in a meaningful way. UniSQ is committed to excellence in research training and provide a quality research training experience for our students. We maintain our relevance in research by linking with industry and business through local and international research networks.
  • Our research extends across all of the Schools and Centres in the university. Within the Division of Research and Innovation it is focused across three research institutes and nine research centres, reflecting a wide array of research excellence.
  • To start your PhD you need to clarify your research topic and seek an academic staff member to be your supervisor. This can sometimes take time so it is wise to allow several months for discussion with potential supervisors and for consideration of your application.

Career outcomes

  • Graduating with a Doctor of Philosophy is ideal if you wish to pursue a career in industry, academia or government with specialisation in your chosen field.

Entry requirements

Applicants must have one of the following:

  • an Australian-university Bachelor honours degree with First Class Honours or Second Class Honours (Division A) or equivalent (with a thesis comprising at least two units), or
  • an Australian-university Masters degree (with a thesis comprising at least two units) or equivalent, or
  • other qualifications and/or experiences equivalent to First Class or Second Class Honours (Division A).

English language requirements

You are required to satisfy the applicable English language requirements and this degree requires a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If you do not meet the English language requirements you may apply to study a University-approved English language program.


UniSQ offers a number of masters degrees for you to study to help you meet the entry requirements for your chosen degree.

Degree structure

The Doctor of Philosophy comprises a minimum of 16 independent research units, although students would normally complete 24 independent research units, with the option to extend to 32 independent research units if needed.

Refer to the UniSQ Handbook for courses to be studied and recommended enrolment patterns.

Fees and scholarships

Your actual fees may vary depending on the courses you select. We review our fees annually so these may be subject to change.

Study Mode Cost
Domestic full fee paying

You are responsible for the full cost of your course and are charged a tuition fee.

AUD 33280

1 These are indicative annual fees for 2024. 

Grant to help you pay your fees

All Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, and New Zealand citizens commencing a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) degree will have their tuition fees paid by the Australian Commonwealth Government under the Research Training Program (RTP) Fees Offset scheme. The RTP Fees Offset scheme covers program fees for an HDR student up to a maximum period of four years for full-time study or up to eight years part-time study for a Doctoral degree, and up to a maximum period of two years for full-time or four years part-time for a Masters by Research degree.

As part of the enrolment process, students are required to submit proof of citizenship or permanent residency status and transcripts of all previous academic study. This documentation enables the University of Southern Queensland to determine eligibility for an RTP Fees Offset place.

Students eligible for an RTP Fees Offset place are those who:

  • have not used RTP Fees Offset funding in the previous three years; or
  • have already used RTP Fees Offset funding and have successfully completed an HDR degree. Once a student completes an HDR degree, full entitlements of RTP Fees Offset are restored.

If a student's RTP Fees Offset entitlement expires before completion of the degree, the student will be required to pay full tuition fees, or if meeting the eligibility criteria be able to apply for a FEE-Help loan


At UniSQ, we offer a range of scholarships to support your success at university. Find a scholarship that works for you.

How to apply

Complete your online application directly to UniSQ.

Intending students are advised to allow several months for discussion with potential supervisors and for consideration of the application prior to the commencement of the program.


Applications may be submitted at any time, but it is ideal to allow a minimum of 25 working days between when you submit your application and the start of your requested study period.

Select to start in one of the following intakes:

Study periods Study period start date
Research 1  Monday 15 January 2024
Research 2 Monday 26 February 2024
Research 3 Monday 8 April 2024
Research 4 Monday 20 May 2024
Research 5 Monday 1 July 2024
Research 6 Monday 12 August 2024
Research 7  Monday 23 September 2024
Research 8
Monday 4 November 2024

Further information

To learn more about the application process and how to find and connect with a research supervisor please visit the Graduate Research School website.

Two men collaborating at a computer workstation in an office environment.

Got questions?


Begin your study journey today with the university rated 5/5 stars for graduates starting salaries* and start the degree that’s right for you.

*Good Universities Guide 2024

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What is a PhD?

PhD is short for Doctor of Philosophy – a globally recognised research qualification. Traditionally, PhD students completed a substantial piece of original research which is presented as a thesis or dissertation. This research is conducted under the guidance of at least one expert supervisor.

Discover more about higher degrees by research at UniSQ.

Why study a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)?

If you have a passion for research and want to expand your knowledge in your choose field beyond a masters degree, a PhD might be for you. Other reasons to study a doctorate degree include:

  • Expanding your career prospects with the highest achievable postgraduate qualification.
  • Become an expert – after your PhD you will be considered an expert in your choose area of research.
  • Showcasing your transferrable skills. Achieving a PhD degree involves more than research – your qualification demonstrates your work ethic, problem solving skills, commitment, communication skills and much more depending on your choose research topic.
What can you do with a Doctor of Philosophy?

A PhD qualification can open up many exciting career paths in a variety of roles and settings including:

  • Academica or government
  • Postdoctoral positions at a university or research institute
  • Graduate lecturer
  • Researcher/consultant
  • Non-government or private organisations
  • Scientific research
  • Researcher/consultant in industry or non-for-profit.
  • Entrepreneur.
How long does a PhD take?

A PhD degree will take you approximately three years to complete. Some students choose to study part-time which increases the time it takes to complete the doctorate.

To start a PhD you need to clarify your research topic and seek an academic staff member to be your supervisor, therefore we recommend allowing several months to consider your application.

Can you do a part time PhD?
Yes you can! Balance your life, work and family commitments by studying where and when it suits you. You can choose to immerse yourself in on-campus study or learn your subject theory online and attend campus when necessary– the choice is yours. Discover more about the different ways to study at UniSQ.
What can I do after a PhD?

Graduating with a PhD is a noteworthy achievement as it is considered the highest postgraduate achievement you can earn. After completing your Doctor of Philosophy you will likely be considered an expert in your field, opening up a variety of new career paths. After completing your PhD, take this unique opportunity to:

  • Tailor your resume – showcase the skills and knowledge you learnt during your studies, including transferrable skills. Don’t be modest about your achievement as it is significant and your potential employer may not understand what it took to achieve a PhD.
  • Networking – put your newly found expertise to good use by attending industry events and meeting other experts or notable professionals in your field. This will not only expand your horizons but may lead to potential job opportunities.
How much does a PhD cost in Australia?

The cost of a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree will vary depending on the education provider you choose.

When you study with us, your degree will cost approximately AUD 31000 (Domestic full fee paying).

All Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, and New Zealand citizens commencing a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) degree will have their tuition fees paid by the Australian Commonwealth Government under the Research Training Program (RTP) Fees Offset scheme.

For further information on Fees, including RTP and scholarships, please view the Fees and scholarships section of this webpage.

What are the requirements for studying a PhD in Australia?

The entry requirements for studying a PhD degree can vary depending on your chosen education provider. At UniSQ applicants must hold either a relevant bachelor honours degree, masters degree or other qualifications and satisfy applicable English Language requirements.

For further details please view the entry requirements section of this page.

Why study a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) with UniSQ?

Get a strong start to your research career:

  • Learn from world class researchers – according to the latest ERA results, UniSQ is rated at world standard or better in 30 areas of research.
  • Study for your PhD while balancing your life work and family commitments with flexible online or on-campus study.
  • Benefit from our leading research expertise, extending across three research institutes and nine research centres.
  • We are proud to partner with industry leaders to drive impactful change, giving our students opportunities to experience research in real-world environments.