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Entry Requirements

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 admission requirements for Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) are set out in the relevant set of academic program rules, as published in the University's calendar.

This page provides a general overview of Higher Degree by Research (HDR) program entry requirements.

The official and current entry requirements for specific programs can be found in the University Online Calendar. Requirements for HDR programs can be found in the Adelaide Graduate Centre section of the University Calendar. At least a second class honours (upper division) or a relevant master’s degree that contains a significant research component (normally at least 15 University of Adelaide credit points of research or equivalent, with at least 12 units attributed to dissertation) is required for admission to a doctorate. Coursework degrees that do not contain a significant research component are not acceptable for the purposes of admission to a PhD.

In addition to the formal academic requirements for admission, it is advisable essential for you and your prospective School to consider a number of other criteria before a higher degree by research candidature is offered or accepted. For example:

  • Is the School appropriate for your proposed research, and does it have the space, facilities and resources that your project is likely to require?
  • Is the School able to provide quality, experienced panel supervision comprising a principal and at least one co- or external supervisor for the duration of the research program?
  • Is there a sufficient level of similarity between your research interests and background and those of your prospective supervisors?
  • Do you have the capacity to meet the ongoing time, logistical and other requirements of candidature (particularly if you are in employment, or are applying as a half-time or remote student or are intending to also pursue other studies)?
  • Are you able to support yourself for the duration of your research program through receipt of a scholarship or other means? (Note that even if you are able to secure scholarship funding, the duration of your scholarship [3 to 3.5 years] may be less than that of your research program [up to 4 years].)
  • scholarship holders are (normally) full-time candidates are restricted to a maximum of 8 hours of work per week during normal working hours.

If you have entry qualifications that are insufficient for direct entry into a doctoral program, in some cases it may be possible for you to enrol in a Master of Philosophy and, subject to satisfactory progress and the approval of the Research Education and Development Committee, upgrade to doctoral candidature following completion of your first 18 months of study.

Master's Students

The admission requirements for the Master of Philosophy and the Master of Clinical Science are set out in the Academic Program Rules, located in the University's online calendar in the Adelaide Graduate Centre section.

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Doctorate Students

Admission to doctoral candidature is normally granted on the basis of a relevant bachelor's degree with at least a second class honours (upper division) or a relevant master's degree that contains a significant research component (normally at least 15 University of Adelaide credit points of research or equivalent, with at least 12 units attributed to dissertation).

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English Language Proficiency Requirement

As English is the language of instruction at the University of Adelaide, proficiency in speaking, listening to, reading and writing English is essential.

All applicants for a higher degree by research must provide evidence of their proficiency before an offer of a place is made. Evidence of a tertiary education at an Australian university is generally sufficient for this purpose.

Alternatively, applicants may be required to submit the results of a suitable English language test which has been undertaken within two years of the date of the application.

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Before Applying

Before applying for any research program you are strongly advised to contact the research area in which you wish to study to discuss potential supervision and any other issues relating to your eligibility to undertake a research degree in that area. The appropriate contact in the first instance is usually the Postgraduate Coordinator.


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