Quick Facts

  • Entry Score Duration

    Not applicable
  • Duration

    Full-time 3-4 years
    Part-time 6-8 years
  • Location

    Not applicable
  • Fees

    Research Training
    Scheme
  • Next intake

    Continuous (scholarship application closing dates apply)

Overview

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in the humanities and social sciences cultivates high-level skills in research processes, advanced communication skills, analysis and synthesis of knowledge.

You’ll develop and extend your expertise, widen your networks, enhance your career prospects and produce socially useful research. You’ll create a thesis or research project that makes a substantial and original contribution to an existing body of knowledge.

Individually supervised research programs are available in three key areas: the social, the urban and the global.

Through the program you’ll access and nurture industry partnerships and collaboration with other researchers while gaining creative, technical and communication skills to generate and evaluate complex ideas and concepts.

Please note:

There will be no RMIT scholarships available through the usual scholarship rounds for new commencing research candidates in 2021.

An update regarding scholarships will be provided by end of June 2021 for candidates intending to commence their research in late 2021 or 2022.

It is recommended that you check the range of scholarships made available through funded projects, which are still available.

Fee-waiver scholarships are still available for eligible domestic students, which means that no tuition fees are payable for the duration of candidature.

As a prospective research candidate we encourage you to review the School of Graduate Research (SGR) website as it has lots of information regarding research at RMIT. This site is for both local and international applicants and includes information on the application process, finding a research project area, and scholarship information.The admission selection process has two stages:

  • Stage 1: Expression of Interest (EOI)
  • Stage 2: Application

The EOI gathers just enough information about you for the University to assess your eligibility and consider the research you will undertake as part of your research program. If your EOI is successful, you will be invited to complete and submit the rest of your application for admission consideration. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the lead researcher of their preferred project(s) before they submit their full application.Please use the following link below to submit your expression of interest:

It may take up to four weeks for an outcome on your EOI, so make sure you submit your EOI well in advance of when you expect to commence study.If you have any questions, you can contact the SGR Admissions team by phone, please call +61 (3) 9925 5570 during business hours.


Details

About RMIT research degrees

Our reputation for research excellence is underpinned by our commitment to connect students to the real world application of new knowledge and innovation. Illuminate your future with unparalleled access to industry collaborators, world-class facilities and the support of our community of highly cited scholars.

Postgraduate research training

Diverse research methodology training has long been a feature of the RMIT PhD and Masters by Research degrees. As a postgraduate research candidate at RMIT, you will be part of an active research community and have access to invaluable workshops and scholarships to help develop your research skills to generate research outcomes that meet the highest standards.

RMIT will provide you with the support of a group of experienced and trained research supervisors who will help you to develop the research skills and knowledge needed to maximise your potential.

Our postgraduate research programs assure the quality of your research training experience in all disciplines and modes of research, whether you conduct your research as a full-time or part-time candidate, in Australia or overseas.

Through the RMIT postgraduate research degree you will have access to innovative and distinctive research training at a global, urban and connected university.

What you can apply for

RMIT research programs involve comprehensive, independent research under the supervision of an expert academic. At RMIT, you can do your research program by project or thesis mode. 

The duration is usually 2 years full time for Masters and 4 years full time for doctoral (PhD) studies.

Master by Research

Applicants for masters by research programs must have completed one of the following from a recognised higher education institution:

  • a four year bachelor degree with at least a credit average in the final undergraduate year;

or

  • another recognised award deemed to be equivalent in character and standard to a four year undergraduate degree, with at least a credit average in the final undergraduate year.

Alternatively applicants may provide evidence of appropriate academic qualifications and experience that satisfies the Dean of the School of Graduate Research or nominee that the applicant has developed knowledge of the field of study or cognate field and the potential for research sufficient to undertake the proposed program.

Doctor of Philosophy

Applicants for doctor of philosophy programs must have completed one of the following from a recognised higher education institution:

  • a masters by research degree;

or

  • a masters by coursework degree which includes research courses or a research project with a duration of at least 25% of a full-time (or equivalent part-time) academic year and an overall distinction average;

or

  • a four year bachelor honours degree (with a minimum H2A achieved across the four years);

or

  • a three year bachelor degree and a one year bachelor honours degree program (with a minimum H2A achieved in the honours year);

or

  • another award deemed to be equivalent in character and standard to the above degrees.
How you will learn

Time spent on research

Full-time candidates are expected to commit at least four days per week (or at least two days per week for part-time candidates) to their research. The academic year is 48 weeks.

Regular contact with your supervisor

A schedule of meetings with your supervisor/s must be established to assess progress against milestones and timely completion.

Resources, facilities and support

You will have access to online resources through the myRMIT student portal. You will be part of an active research community and have access to resources and workshops to help you succeed.

More information about training and development for research candidates.

School of Graduate Research

The School of Graduate Research works with Schools to further support candidates during their postgraduate research degree.

Industry connections

RMIT University is committed to providing you with an education that strongly links formal learning with professional or vocational practice.

Electives and Program Structure

You will undertake the PhD program under the supervision of an appointed research supervisor. The PhD program is structured to enable you to:

  • complete a compulsory research methods course
  • receive training in research integrity and ethics
  • select studies in qualitative and quantitative research techniques
  • complete a thesis/project which demonstrates your original contribution to the field and your ability to communicate complex or original research for peers and the community to an international standard.

Upon graduation you will have developed:

  • high-level skills in research processes
  • analysis and synthesis of knowledge related to specific disciplines
  • high-level communication skills. All candidates are required to complete:

Research Techniques

Electives in qualitative or quantitative research techniques once data collection has begun. You can use your own data to explore different research analysis techniques. Your supervisor will help you decide when you should take these electives.

Co-curricular Activities

You are encouraged to participate in activities offered by the university, college and school according to your needs and interests.

This PhD may be undertaken in a project, thesis by publication or thesis mode. Prospective candidates should discuss these modes of submission with their potential supervisor/s prior to application.

Time spent on research

Full-time candidates are expected to commit at least four days per week (or at least two days per week for part-time candidates) to their research. The academic year is 48 weeks.

Regular contact with your supervisor

A schedule of meetings with your supervisor/s must be established to assess progress against milestones and timely completion.

Resources, facilities and support

You will have access to online resources through the myRMIT student portal. You will be part of an active research community and have access to resources and workshops to help you succeed.

School of Graduate Research

The School of Graduate Research works with Schools to further support candidates during their postgraduate research degree.

Career

This program equips you with a nationally and internationally recognised qualification. Graduates are employed in tertiary academic positions, research centres and institutes, and senior leadership and management positions in a variety of education environments.

You may also be employed in senior leadership and management positions in government, non-government organisations and corporations.

Admissions

The minimum requirements for admission to a PhD program are:

  • a bachelor degree requiring at least four years of full-time study in a relevant discipline awarded with honours. The degree should include a research component comprised of a thesis, other research projects or research methodology courses that constitute at least 25% of a full-time academic year (or part-time equivalent). The applicant must have achieved at least a distinction average in the final year; or
  • a master degree that includes a research component comprised of at least 25% of a full-time academic year (or part-time equivalent) with an overall distinction average or a master degree without a research component with at least a high distinction average; or
  • evidence of appropriate academic qualifications and/or experience that satisfies the Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Training and Development or nominee that the applicant has developed knowledge of the field of study or cognate field and the potential for research sufficient to undertake the proposed program.

At RMIT a grade of distinction represents academic achievement of 70% or higher and a high distinction is 80% or higher.

If you are a current master by research candidate, you are able to apply for a transfer to a doctor of philosophy program through the process prescribed in the RMIT Higher Degree by Research policy and processes.

Selection tasks

These entrance requirements are the minimum academic standard you must meet in order to be eligible to apply for the program. You will need to complete a selection task as part of your application.

A selection process will be conducted in conjunction with the School and supervisors you nominate.

For further information on the steps you need to take to apply for a research program see How to apply – Research programs.

Pathways

Pathway options

You can gain entry to this program from a range of RMIT four year Bachelor and Honours degreesPostgraduate  and Masters by Research programs.

Fees

Fee summary

Fee information for masters by research and doctorate (PhD) programs.

If you are an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or New Zealand citizen you may be eligible for a Research Training Scheme (RTS) place where your tuition costs are funded by the Commonwealth Government under the RTS and you have full exemption from tuition fees.

Acceptance in an RTS place is very competitive and places are granted on the condition that you meet annual progress requirements and complete within the allotted time for your program and your status as a part-time or full-time candidate.

This means a maximum of 2 years for a full-time Masters by Research or 4 years for a PhD (or the equivalent part-time).

Contact the School of Graduate Research for more information.

Other fees

he student services and amenities fee (SSAF) is used to maintain and enhance services and amenities that improve your experience as an RMIT student. In addition to the SSAF there may be other expenses associated with your program.

International applicants
  • Fees information for international candidates studying at RMIT’s Melbourne campuses
  • Master by research and PhD fees for international candidates studying offshore
Income tax deductions

Candidates may be eligible to apply for income tax deductions for education expenses linked to their employment. See the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website for more information.

Scholarships

RMIT awards more than 2000 scholarships every year to recognise academic achievement and assist students from a variety of backgrounds. Learn more about RMIT research scholarships.

How to apply

Choose your program

RMIT offers both PhDs and Masters by Research degrees across a range of disciplines.

On average, the duration of a PhD is three to four years (or equivalent part time). A masters by research usually takes two years full time (or four years part time). International applicants on a student visa must enrol full time.

To be eligible for admission to an RMIT University research program, you must:

To be successful you must demonstrate capacity to conduct independent research. Places are also subject to academic supervisor and resource availability, as well as suitability of the proposed research.

Identify your research project

Applicants have the opportunity to align with a diverse range of exciting research projects, spanning a variety of critical research areas.

The process allows us to then align the best supervisor with your desired area of interest, which ensures you will be supported by the most appropriate expert in the field.

We offer a diverse range of projects from each of the RMIT schools and Centres. You can browse current project offerings to align with here.

When you apply online, you:

  • Register your interest in up to three available projects applicable to the program for which you are applying for admission
  • Submit a statement indicating why you are interested in joining the projects you nominate.

It is important to take note of the program which is accepting applications for your chosen project/s as you will be asked to provide this information during the application process.

Propose your own research topic

Applicants to schools that do not have research projects available must propose their own research topic.

Similarly, applicants who are fully funded through an arrangement with an external sponsor may propose their own research topic.

When you propose your research topic, you must make sure it is aligned with at least one of RMIT’s identified research strengths which are largely defined through the University’s Enabling Capability Platforms.

It is also highly recommended that you review the research strengths in each school.

You should also look at the research interests of the University’s researchers.

When you propose your research topic, you are required to provide a research proposal that outlines the research you expect to undertake as part of your research degree.

Please observe the guidelines that the School of Graduate Research provides when writing your research proposal.

If you important to ensure that your application is submitted to the school where your potential supervisor is located. Further details regarding Research programs is available via Study with us.

Fees

See below for the fee structure for your Masters or PhD. We also offer scholarships to support candidates financially while they undertake research projects.

Fee information – local applicants

If you are an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or New Zealand citizen your place is automatically funded by the Research Training Program (RTP) by an RTP Fee Offset scholarship

Local candidates are not required to pay tuition fees for the maximum duration of their program.This means a maximum of 2 years for a full-time Master by Research or 4 years for a PhD (or the equivalent part-time).

Other fees

The student services and amenities fee (SSAF) is used to maintain and enhance services and amenities that improve your experience as an RMIT student. In addition to the SSAF there may be other expenses associated with your program.

Fee information – international applicants onshore

International onshore HDR fees

Fees information for international candidates studying at RMIT’s Melbourne campuses

Fee information – international applicants offshore

International offshore HDR fees

Fees for international candidates studying PhD and Masters by Research offshore with RMIT.

Scholarships

There are two basic types of stipend scholarship that are made available through the research scholarship rounds. These are:

Stipend scholarships

International tuition fee scholarships

Scholarship applications from international applicants are automatically considered for both a stipend and the Tuition Fee Offset Scholarships.

When applying for a scholarship you will automatically be considered for all scholarships for which you are eligible, including the Vice-Chancellor’s PhD Scholarship (VCPS). You do not need to submit separate applications. 

RMIT Research Indigenous Scholarship

If you identify as an Indigenous Australian, you are eligible to apply through the RMIT Research Indigenous Scholarship category. Please note, evidence is required if you are awarded a scholarship in this category.

RMIT Research Equity Scholarship

Additional scholarship consideration is given if you are affected by a Disability or long term medical condition. If applying for this scholarship category, you are required to provide a detailed statement of your circumstances indicating how your past academic achievement has been affected by your condition. You are also required to attach to your application evidence of your condition from a health practitioner, by the scholarship closing date.

Scholarship rounds

Applications for scholarships to commence in 2020 are now closed.

Information about the end of  year scholarship round will be published here late August. The University is currently accepting applications for admission only into a research program.

Eligibility

Applicants for an RMIT research scholarship must:

  • meet the entry requirements for a graduate research program at RMIT University; or
  • be currently enrolled in a graduate research program at RMIT

Additionally, international applicants must meet English requirements by the advertised scholarship application deadline.

Competitive Selection

Scholarships are awarded on the basis of a competitive selection process that ranks applicants according to their academic achievement, research outputs and relevant professional experience.

Priority is given to applicants who:

  • have achieved a high distinction in the final two years of the qualifying program(s). At RMIT a grade of high distinction represents an academic achievement of 80% or higher
  • may be considered by RMIT as having an equivalent level of academic attainment, taking into account previous study, relevant work experience, research publications and other research experience
  • are able to take receipt of a scholarship for a minimum 12 months duration on a full time basis (or part time equivalent) because of prior enrolment in a graduate research program
  • have not already completed a graduate research program at the same or higher course level.  For example Masters by Research applicants should not have already completed a Masters by Research or PhD
  • have not previously held an RMIT or Commonwealth-funded postgraduate research scholarship unless it was terminated within six months of the scholarship’s payments commencing
  • are or will be enrolled and primarily based at an RMIT Australian campus

Additionally:

  • Vice-Chancellors PhD Scholarship recipients must not have undertaken prior higher degree by research candidature in the last three years

Current research candidates

Current research candidates are eligible to apply for a scholarship if they:

  • have more than 24 months remaining (full time equivalent) of PhD candidature as at 1 July 2020

have more than 12 months remaining (full time equivalent) of Master by research candidature as at 1 July 2020.

Terms and conditions

See the HDR Scholarship Terms and Conditions for more information.

Prepare your application

The application process

The process has two stages:

  • Stage 1: Expression of Interest (EOI)
  • Stage 2: Application

The EOI gathers just enough information about you for the University to assess your eligibility and consider the research you will undertake as part of your research program.

If your EOI is successful, you will be invited to complete and submit the rest of your application. It may take up to four weeks for an outcome on your EOI, so make sure you submit your EOI well in advance of when you expect to commence study.

Application Types and deadlines

Admission to research program only:

  • You may apply throughout the year for available monthly intake periods.

Admission to research program and scholarship:

  • You are expected to submit your EOI and full application by the advertised deadlines.

Scholarship only:

  • Available only if you are already enrolled in or have an offer of admission to an RMIT research program

You must submit your application by the advertised scholarship application deadline.

I want to transfer to RMIT from another University

To apply:

  • Apply online using the standard form
  • Indicate that you wish to transfer to RMIT from another university
  • Provide a statement from your previous university which outlines the details of your previous enrolment and status of your candidature

Transfers with remaining periods of candidature of less than 12 months are only approved in exceptional circumstances. If admitted, you will be asked to complete the RMIT milestones such as  Confirmation of Candidature or the Mid-Candidature Review. You may be exempt from completing these milestones at RMIT if you can provide evidence that you have already completed these milestones and they are deemed equivalent to the standard of milestones completed at RMIT.

Required documentation checklist

Applicants are required to provide scanned and where applicable certified copies of the following with their expression of interest

  1. CV
  2. Complete transcripts for all academic qualifications
  3. Research proposal or statement of interest in an available research project

A letter of financial guarantee if you are an international applicant being sponsored to come to RMIT to complete your research degree.

I am already enrolled in a research degree at RMIT and want to transfer to another research degree

To apply:

Indicate that you are already enrolled at RMIT and wish to transfer to another degree.

I intend to complete my study as part of a CRTA

Collaborative Research Training Agreements (CRTA) – Cotutelle Agreements and Collaborative PhD Agreements

Joint PhD partnerships involve co-enrolment and supervision of HDR candidates leading to a joint award, or awards, from both partners.

RMIT Collaborative PhD partnerships involve partner organisation hosting and co-supervising RMIT research candidates with single enrolment in the RMIT PhD.View the full list of CRTA’s here

*Please note these details are up to date as of August 2020. For all information regarding PhDs and other research degrees visit the RMIT website.