How to apply for the Doctor of Philosophy and Professional Doctorates

Step 1 : Review the admission criteria

Western Sydney University must be satisfied that you are able to commence independent study at a doctoral level.

To be eligible for admission into the Doctor of Philosophy or a professional doctorate, you must have previously completed at least one of the following qualifications:

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

The approval of prior experience or qualifications for all higher research degrees is at the discretion of the School Dean or Institute Director.

Step 2 : Contact the Higher Degree Research Director

All research candidates must have a supervisory panel consisting of a principal supervisor and one or more co-supervisors.

You must contact the Higher Degree Research Director in a relevant School or Institute prior to submitting an application. In your email to the HDR Director, you should describe your experience, qualifications and area of research interest. The HDR Director can assist you in identifying potential supervisors and projects.

Step 3: Prepare a research proposal

A research proposal is an outline of your proposed research project 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 will be required to include the following information as part of your online application:

  • Certified copies of all tertiary graduation certificates and academic transcripts for degrees completed outside of Western Sydney University.
  • Certified proof of citizenship status (passport, birth certificate, citizenship papers, etc.) or certified proof of residency status (Australian permanent residents only).
  • Evidence of English language proficiency for applicants who completed their previous qualifications overseas.
  • A detailed research proposal identifying potential supervisors, a proposed project title and project description.
  • Evidence of research output (such as published work, book chapters, journal articles, conference presentations, exhibitions, creative works and professional experience).
  • Evidence of employment directly related to research training (if applicable).

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

Step 5: Submit your application

All applications must be submitted using the online application portal. Applications can be made at any time and there is no cost to apply. It may take 6-8 weeks to receive an outcome for your application. All offers of admission require agreement by the relevant School or Institute for the provision of supervision and resources.

International applicants from this list of countries are required to apply via an authorised agent.


Western Sydney University provides a range of scholarships to assist students undertaking higher degree research. For more information and how to apply, visit our scholarships page.