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Research degrees
Be part of industry transformation, create change and further your studies with one of UniSQ’s Higher Degrees by Research (HDR). Join our ground-breaking researchers; from engineering new technologies, to pioneering new space frontiers – they’re at the forefront of advancing knowledge.

Go beyond with UniSQ research

World-leading experts

Learn from supervisors at the head of their research field.

Cutting-edge facilities

Access a range of infrastructure that's helping to revolutionise industry.

Exceptional candidate support

Benefit from a team dedicated to supporting your HDR experience.

Program flexibility

Start study when it suits you with multiple intake options.

Zero tuition fees for domestic HDR students

Start your research journey with peace of mind.

Graduate Research School

Whether you’re wanting to study research in the future or are currently enrolled at UniSQ, you can access key information and find support below.
Why study a UniSQ Higher Degree by Research?

Our research degrees come in all shapes and sizes. Study a topic that you’re interested in within a supportive, innovative, engaged and future-focused environment. 

As a research student you will be supervised, mentored, and supported by qualified experts. During your studies there will be many opportunities for professional development and training.

By studying a HDR with UniSQ you will be able to grow the collective knowledge, solve real problems, and make innovative contributions to society. 

You can graduate with a doctorate in just three years. If you’re studying full-time this program will need to be completed within four years. Alternatively, if you’re studying part-time you will have up to eight years to complete your studies.

When studied full-time, our Master of Research can be completed in two years and has a maximum duration of four years. 

We know that life, work and study can be a lot to juggle, so part-time study is often available for HDR students.

The Master of Research is a direct pathway into the PhD at UniSQ but there are other options for entering into a doctorate.

Applicants can get approved for a PhD by meeting one of the below criteria:

  • An Australian university Bachelor Honours degree with First Class or Second Class Honours (Division A) or equivalent (with a thesis comprising of at least two units).
  • An Australian university Masters degree (with a thesis comprising of at least two units) or equivalent.
  • Other qualifications and/or experiences equivalent to First Class or Second Class Honours (Division A).

English language requirements
Please view the relevant English language requirements and note that 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. If you have any questions regarding entry requirements, please contact


Firstly, we’re so glad you’re considering UniSQ – if we’re able to take you on as a student we will! Our ability to accept HDR students depends on the supervisors available within specific fields. To find out if we have someone able to support you in your chosen area of study, search our Expert Finder; more information is available via Find Your Research Topic. Our interactive database is also a good place to look, it showcases all pre-approved research positions. 

If you can't find a suitable supervisor, please contact the Graduate Research School for assistance. You can apply without listing a supervisor, however this might delay your admission.

Once you’ve found a potential supervisor, please reach out to them via email. Introduce yourself and briefly outline your proposed project – about 500 words will do. All going well, you will then meet with your supervisor and be asked to complete a Preliminary Research Thesis Topic Proposal

For more information, please visit the Graduate Research School website.

An Australian Commonwealth Government Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship may provide support in one or more of the following ways:

  • A RTP Fees Offset Scholarship pays all tuition fees for a domestic HDR student, however, this doesn’t include Student Services Amenities Fee or other student fees.
  • A RTP Stipend Scholarship supports the general living costs of an HDR student through fortnightly, tax-free payments for the standard duration of the academic program. 
  • A RTP Scholarship Allowance assists students with ancillary costs incurred during study. Ancillary costs may include, but are not limited to:
    • Standard Overseas Student Health Cover for either the student or the student, their spouse and any dependents.
    • Relocation costs. 
    • Higher Degree by Research thesis printing and academic publication costs. 

If you have any questions, please contact the Graduate Research School

UniSQ offers HDR Stipend Scholarships for both domestic and international students. These scholarships are paid as stipends that can assist with the cost of living. We also offer International PhD Fees Scholarship to support international students with their tuition fees. On occasion, we offer other HDR scholarships funded by industry or government departments. 
Applications for most scholarships are open from August to September, with some opening mid-year, all scholarships take effect the year following application. You can usually expect an outcome on your scholarship application within six weeks of the closing date.
For more information, and a full list of scholarships for research degrees, please visit our scholarships page and select ‘research’ from the drop-down menu.
Doctor of Philosophy
Studying a PhD is not like other degrees, there are no formal teaching periods or breaks. Students work with their supervisory team to complete their research and set their timelines; they can apply for annual leave as needed. When starting out, you’re able to begin your PhD at one of the eight intakes throughout the year.
Master of Research 
There are several intakes throughout the year for the Master of Research. Currently (2023), this degree operates according to the Interim Trimester academic calendar, in 2024 this will change to the Trimester calendar. If you’re wanting to know more, please read these FAQs about the Master of Research
No, HDR students do not have class attendance requirements, unless they're enrolled in a research training course. Unlike coursework students, HDR students remain enrolled in a research project throughout the duration of their program and are expected to conduct independent research under the guidance of their supervisory team.