Master of Philosophy (Surgery)

The Master of Philosophy (Surgery) is conducted over two years of full time study or the equivalent in half-time candidature. The key aim of the program is to train students in research methodology and techniques and to engage them in the critical evaluation of literature and results in their field of research at an advanced level. Whilst the Master of Philosophy (Surgery) may contain a significant coursework component, the focus of the degree is on research. Master of Philosophy (Surgery) graduates are well placed to progress to independent research at doctoral level.

As one of the most highly research-intensive and respected universities in Australia and a member of the prestigious Group of Eight, The University of Adelaide is the smart choice for your research program. The University is committed to providing unique opportunities for graduates and researchers who are recognised as worldwide leaders for their vision and capacity to address global research challenges.

All Master of Philosophy students at the University have the opportunity to broaden their research experience through the Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) program.


Career Readiness

A Master of Philosophy (Surgery) is a great stepping stone to transition to a Doctor of Philosophy. It is the highest research award after a doctorate and can greatly increase your career opportunities in academia, government and industry.

The University of Adelaide Careers Service prepares, inspires and empowers students to achieve successful career transitions and connect with industry.

Potential careers

Research Manager, Surgeon

Degree Structure

A Master of Philosophy (Surgery) comprises an independent, supervised research project mutually agreed upon by the student, their supervisors and Head of School. Students can choose to undertake the degree by either 100% research or, by mixed research and coursework.

The award of the degree for students in the 100% research stream is based entirely on the examination of a thesis, however, students in the mixed research and coursework stream complete one third of the degree (15 units) by coursework and the remaining two thirds of the degree by research resulting in the production of a proportionally smaller thesis. All coursework can be selected, in consultation with supervisors, from amongst relevant Master by Coursework or Honours level courses offered by the University. In addition Master of Philosophy students complete a minimum of 60 hours of relevant professional development activities through the University’s Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) program.

Progress through the degree is tracked through the completion of a number of key milestonesThese milestones provide an opportunity for the University to review progress and ensure that candidates are well supported to complete their degree in a timely manner.

Examiners of a Master of Philosophy (Surgery) thesis seek evidence that the candidate has:

  • a thorough understanding of the relevant techniques and methodologies in the field as demonstrated by a thorough critical review of the literature
  • demonstrated competence in the chosen field through judicious selection and application of appropriate methodology to yield meaningful results
  • demonstrated the capacity to evaluate critically these results

Admission Requirements

A successful application to a Master of Philosophy (Surgery) program involves a number of considerations:

Academic background and Experience

An applicant must demonstrate that they have gained the required qualifications for admission to a Master of Philosophy (Surgery) as detailed in the academic program rules.

English Language Proficiency Requirement

As English is the language of instruction at the University of Adelaide, all applicants must provide evidence of their proficiency before an offer of a place is made.

Availability of supervision and resourcing

In addition to the academic requirements, the Head of School must certify that your proposed research project is acceptable to the School and that there are sufficient supervisory and other resources and facilities available to enable your candidature to be completed successfully. Accordingly, discussing your research interests with your prospective supervisors/School is essential prior to submitting your Master of Philosophy (Surgery) application. Visit our Research Degrees Projects page for details of some of the available projects on offer.  If you don’t find a project of interest here, you can apply with your own project idea after reaching out to potential supervisor(s) in your area of interest. 

Fees for Domestic Students

Eligible domestic students (including Australian citizens or permanent residents and New Zealand citizens) are covered by the Research Training Program (RTP) and are exempt from the payment of tuition fees. An RTP place is available for a maximum of 2 years of full time equivalent study for an eligible Master by Research student.

Fees for International Students

The tuition fees for international research students are available on the web at:
In addition to tuition costs, it is a condition of a student visa that you hold and maintain health insurance for the entire length of your stay in Australia. This insurance is called Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).


The University of Adelaide offers a wide range of scholarships to assist both domestic and international students with the cost of their studies. For information on the opportunities available, closing dates and how to apply go to:

Academic Program Rules

The Calendar is a comprehensive handbook of the University's academic program rules.


Your Master of Philosophy (Surgery) thesis will be examined by no less than two examiners of international standing in their field of research including at least one external examiner. Any required coursework will be assessed by assignments and exams.

Related Degrees


The University of Adelaide provides a resourceful and supportive environment for conducting rigorous and high quality doctoral research, while broadening my global network.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.

Last updated: Wednesday, 13 Sep 2023