Important guidelines regarding doing a Doctoral degree (PhD) in Australia

Currently Australia is one of the favourite destinations for international students. Despite the fact that Australia education is little bit expensive than other major countries such as USA, UK, Canada; thousands of international students choose Australia for their study abroad.

Australian universities are known worldwide as leading global research centres, which makes them a perfect destination for doing a Doctoral degree. 

Doctoral degree (PhD)

Doctoral degrees identify a significant unique contribution to a particular field in the form of new knowledge or the adaptation, application and interpretation of existing knowledge. The doctoral degrees are generally completed over three or four years of full-time study. These degrees are mainly offered in two formats:

  • Research doctorate (PhD): These mainly include a supervised research resulting in the completion of a thesis. For entry one needs to have a master’s degree by research or a bachelor degree (honours).
  • Professional doctorate: This type of doctoral degree include a combination of  coursework and research for professionals aiming to advance their knowledge in their respective field without the research commitment of a PhD. Entry usually demand a masters degree by research or a bachelor degree (honours). Apart from it, significant professional experience is also required either before or during the course. 

The visa requirement to study a PhD in Australia

Australia offers two types of student visa to international students:

  • The Higher Education Sector Visa (for taught courses)
  • The Postgraduate Research Sector Visa (for research degrees)

For a PhD degree, applicant has to apply for the Postgraduate Research Sector Visa. This visa allows a student to stay in the country for an extended research program. 

Other important guidelines about a Doctoral degree (PhD) in Australia

  • The Australian academic year mostly begins in February but in case of a doctoral degree or other research degree, students might be able to negotiate and agree on an alternative starting date with their project head.
  • The Australian Doctoral degree is a totally a research qualification. It entirely consists of work on an independent thesis and generally doesn't comprise of any taught modules.
  • An Australian Doctoral degree mostly lasts for three years of full-time study.  In some cases, students might take longer; however, this mostly depends on funding arrangements and registration.
  • Australian students can also go for part-time PhDs in Australia but this option is generally not available to overseas students, hence, they need to study full-time.
  • Australian PhDs are generally awarded depending on the clarity and strength of an applicant’s research.
  • To get admission to a Doctoral degree in Australia generally require existing Bachelors and Masters Degrees in a suitable subject. However, in very few cases, some universities might give you admission without a Masters Degree as well.
  • Australian universities will ask you to submit some documents as part of a PhD application. These generally include evidence of your previous qualifications. Moreover, an applicant also needs to provide some form of research proposal, which might be an outline of a PhD topic they are suggesting or it can also be more like a CV, representing applicant’s suitability for an advertised position or ongoing research project. Apart from it, certain official documents like degree results have to be certified.