How to apply for the Master of Research

The Master of Research (MRes) is a two-year research training degree that provides you with a pathway to PhD study and a future research career.

The first stage of the program is coursework and the second stage is a supervised research project. Domestic and international applicants are encouraged to apply.

Step 1: Review the application periods

You can apply for admission at any time of the year. The application closing dates apply for intake into the first half (1H) semester or the second half (2H) semester.

1H 2024 (February intake) applications close:

  • 4 November 2023 for international applicants
  • 19 January 2024 for domestic applicants

2H 2024 (July intake) applications close:

  • 8 March 2024 for international applicants
  • 3 May 2024 for domestic applicants

International applications close earlier to allow for visa processing and travel to Australia. International applicants that are currently onshore in Australia with a visa can apply up to the domestic closing date.

Step 2: Review the admission criteria

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

To be eligible for admission, you must have:

  • successfully completed a Bachelor degree or a Masters degree; and
  • achieved an admission average mark equal to or above a minimum of 65 in your most recent degree

You can calculate your admission average mark (AAM) by adding all your results awarded for completed subjects in your most recent degree, and then dividing the total by the number of subjects you studied in the degree.

If your most recent degree is more than five (5) years old, you can apply based on demonstrated professional experience in an area relevant to your proposed research. You will need to provide evidence of relevant work experience, professional training, and/or seniority or standing in an area of endeavour. Evidence may include work as a research assistant or laboratory technician, policy writing, consultancy, report writing, creative output, or the publication of peer-reviewed journal articles. Your experience will be considered at the discretion of the Dean, Graduate Studies.

Step 3: Check for available research projects

You can browse our range of currently available research projects to check for a project that interests you and is relevant to your degrees or experience. These are opportunities where a research supervisor is actively looking for a student to join their project.

If you don’t find a project that interests you, don’t worry because you are not limited to choosing from this list. The projects are just to give you an idea of potential research areas.

Step 4: Find a research supervisor

If you have identified a project that you are interested in, you should contact the supervisor directly to discuss the project and your intention to apply.

If you have not identified a project, you can visit the find a supervisor page for more information about how to search for a potential supervisor or how to discuss your options with a relevant School or Institute.

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 5: Prepare your statement of intent

A statement of intent outlines a general research area for your project. It does not need to be very detailed and should be approximately 250-500 words in length. Visit the how to write a statement of intent page for more information.

Step 6: 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.
  • A statement of intent that clearly identifies your area of research interest.
  • 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 7: 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 8: Submit an online application for admission

The final step is to submit an online application to be assessed for admission into the Master of Research. 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 review the available research projects page to find a list of potential projects and supervisors.

You can find a list of contacts for each of the Schools and Institutes from the find a supervisor page.

Yes, applications for the Master of Research are always open and we encourage you to submit an application at any time.

If you have missed a closing date, late applications are considered on a case-by-case basis with priority given to applications received before the closing dates.

All applications 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 the online application portal, you will find a drop-down list of available programs.

You need to choose the program that is most relevant to your preferred discipline. 

Humanities, Arts and Social Science – choose this version of the program if your preferred discipline is business, creative arts, education, history, geography, languages, law, psychology, sociology or other similar disciplines. 

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – choose this version of the program if your preferred discipline is the built environment, data science, engineering, health science, information technology, mathematics, medicine, midwifery, nursing, science or other similar disciplines. 

If you need advice about which category is most relevant to your research area, you can ask your Principal Supervisor.

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-half of the year).

You should choose the session that is closest to your preferred program commencement date. For example, if you want to start your program in the first-half of the year, you should choose Semester 1 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 semesters as these do not apply to the Master of Research.

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

You need to choose the Parramatta City (Macquarie St) campus location as this is where the Master of Research is primarily based during the program work stage.

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.

We encourage you to review the full set of frequently asked questions about the Master of Research before submitting your application.

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

Need more information?

Higher Degree Research Knowledge Directory will help answer some of the most common enquiries about higher degree research. 

For more information or advice about applying for the Master of Research, please submit your enquiry here.