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Master of Philosophy

Please note. This content is from the 2018 Research Student Handbook and should only be used as a guide. Please refer to the 2019 Research Student Handbook PDF for current information.

The Master of Philosophy is offered in every faculty as the primary research master degree available to prospective research students. Candidates can choose to undertake the degree by either 100% research or, if available in their school, by mixed research and course work.

A student who elects to undertake the MPhil by mixed research and coursework will complete one third of the degree (15 credit points) by coursework and the remaining two thirds of the degree by research culminating in the production of a thesis.

Master of Philosophy students also participate in the compulsory Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) program which requires completion of 60 hours of activities prior to thesis submission. Programs are conducted over two years of full-time study (or the half-time equivalent) and students are trained in research methodology and techniques and are engaged in the critical evaluation of literature and results in the substantive area of the thesis at an advanced level. While Master of Philosophy degrees may include an advanced coursework component, the focus is on research.

Examiners of a Master of Philosophy thesis will be seeking evidence that you have:

  • 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
  • Presented a clear and well written thesis.

International Students

International students who enter the Master of Philosophy will normally be required to undertake the mixed research and coursework stream of the program which includes completion of the following core Integrated Bridging Program–Research (IBP-R) courses taught by Professional and Continuing Education (PCE):

  • Research Processes (3);
  • Research Design (3); and
  • Research Communication (3).

Exemptions from individual core course(s) may be granted following diagnostic testing by PCE at the start of your degree.  Where exemption(s) are granted, you will be required to undertake additional discipline-specific coursework in order to bring the total up to the required 15 units for completion of a mixed research and coursework Master of Philosophy program.

Elective coursework units may be selected from among relevant master by coursework or honours courses approved by your school. Students who are granted an exemption from all three core IBP-R courses, may elect to undertake the Master of Philosophy by 100% research if desired. Participation in the full or negotiated IBP-R program may still be required.

Entry Requirements


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