How to apply for the Doctor of Philosophy and Professional Doctorates

You can apply for admission into this program at any time with successful candidates commencing on a quarterly intake basis. Applications are open to both domestic and international applicants.

If you are interested in scholarship opportunities, you can visit our research scholarships page for more information.

Step 1 : Review the admission criteria

Western Sydney University must be satisfied that you have the skills and experience to commence independent study at a suitable level for entry into a doctoral program.

To be eligible for admission, you must have previously completed at least one of the following degrees:

  • Bachelor (Honours Class 1 or Class 2) degree
  • Master of Research degree
  • Master of Philosophy degree
  • Degrees from a university or other tertiary institution equivalent to the above

If you do not meet the admission criteria, the approval of prior research experience or other degrees is at the discretion of the relevant School Dean or Institute Director.

If you do not meet the admission criteria and you are interested in a pathway program, we encourage you to consider our Master of Research (MRes).

Step 2 : Find a research supervisor

All research candidates have a supervisory panel consisting of a principal supervisor and one or more co-supervisors. You are required to identify a potential research supervisor in your application.

You can visit our find a supervisor page for advice about how to search for a potential supervisor.

When contacting potential supervisors, you should send an email to introduce yourself, describe your degrees and experience, and provide a statement that clearly identifies your area of research interest. Supervisors receive a lot of enquiries from potential applicants so you need to make a good first impression!

When you have confirmed that an academic is interested in being your supervisor, you will need to request a letter of support to include in your application.

Step 3: Prepare a research proposal

A research proposal is an outline of your proposed research project. It should demonstrate that you have a general understanding the proposed area of research and should be approximately one or two pages in length.

Visit the how to write a research proposal page for more information.

Step 4: Prepare your documentation

You are required to include the following documentation in your application:

  • Certified copies of all tertiary graduation certificates and academic transcripts for degrees completed outside of Western Sydney University.
  • Certified evidence of citizenship status (e.g. passport, birth certificate, citizenship papers, etc.) or certified evidence of residency status (for Australian permanent residents only).
  • Evidence of English language proficiency for applicants who completed their previous degrees outside of Australia.
  • A letter of support from your proposed supervisor.
  • research proposal that clearly identifies your area of research interest and provides a project title and project description.
  • Evidence of relevant employment or experience directly related to research training (if applicable).

All copies of official documents must be certified according to Western Sydney University requirements.

Step 5: Review the frequently asked questions

You should review the frequently asked questions below before submitting an application. It is important that you understand the expectations and responsibilities associated with applying for admission into a research degree.

Step 6: Submit your application

The final step is to submit an online application to be assessed for admission. Please ensure you include all the required information as this will help us to streamline the processing of your application.


Frequently asked questions

You can find a list of contacts for each of the Schools and Institutes from the find a supervisor page. When requesting advice about potential supervisors, please provide a general overview of your degrees, experience and area of research interest.

Applications for admission into our doctoral programs are always open to both domestic and international applicants. Your application will be considered for the next available intake.

Yes, you are required to provide a letter of support from a potential supervisor in your application. This will help us to ensure that we are resourced to support your research project.

In your online application, you will find a step with a drop-down list of available sessions. Sessions are the time period where you will commence your study (for example, in the first-quarter of the year).

You should choose the session that is closest to your preferred research commencement date. For example, if you want to start your program in August, you should choose Quarter 3 of the current year. This might not be the session that you actually start, but it will give us an idea of your preference.

You should disregard any sessions that are not quarters as these do not apply to research degrees.

In your online application, you will find a drop-down list of available programs.

You need to choose the program that is most relevant to your preferred discipline. In most cases, the program name will be similar to the School or Institute of your proposed Principal Supervisor.

In your online application, you will find a drop-down list of available campus locations.

You need to choose the campus location where your proposed Principal Supervisor is primarily based. You can search for this information on our staff directory or you can ask your Principal Supervisor.

It may take 6-8 weeks to receive an outcome for your application. All offers of admission require a full assessment and endorsement from the relevant School or Institute to ensure the provision of suitable supervision and resources.

If you have a specific question or need further advice, please submit your enquiry here.