Higher Degree Research

The School of Nursing and Midwifery Higher Degree Research (HDR) program strives to attain a high standard of excellence in the learning, research and supervision paradigms.

Higher degree research (HDR) students explore their chosen topics in much greater depth than normally happens during undergraduate study. They truly become experts in their area of interest. They acquire superior skills in analysing concepts, thinking critically, collecting, interpreting & analysing information, writing persuasively, solving problems creatively and working independently. All of these skills are important for senior appointments in any industry in a modern economy. Higher degree research also provides a foundation for students wishing to pursue a research career.


To find a prospective HDR supervisor, please visit our Potential Supervisors page.

HDR courses


What support is available?

At the Western Sydney University's School of Nursing and Midwifery, students are supported by supervisors and other research staff who committed researchers.

Skilled and enthusiastic library staff and the University's Learning and Teaching Unit offer skills workshops and individual consultations.

Writing skills workshops and English language support are available.

HDR students are entitled to shared office space on-campus.

Close supervision keeps the HDR student's project on target. Supervisors understand marker's expectations, and monitor progress to ensure timely submission.

International students may be eligible for an international research scholarship.

A wide range of support services are available.

What are the entry requirements for higher degree research?

Read about higher degree entry requirements PDF, 22.13 KB(opens in a new window)

Who should apply for a Masters of Philosophy? Can it bridge to a PhD?

A PhD is normally required for a subsequent academic appointment; whilst a Masters of Philosophy degree may be sufficient for students intending to work in non-academic industrial settings. It is important  to gain the foundation skills for research before undertaking a PhD. It is advisable to complete your Masters before undertaking a PhD. A PhD is normally required for an academic appointment. A Masters of Philosophy degree is an opportunity to increase your skills in:

  • Writing and analytical skills
  • Report writing
  • Writing a long document
  • Research process
  • Literature searches and reviews
  • Journal publication

What graduate opportunities are available after the Masters of Philosophy degree?

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Clinical Nurse Consultant
  • Research Officer

What is the study mode for Masters Philosophy?

Full time or part time study is permitted.

Who can apply for the PhD program?

Students with a 1st Class Honours in a relevant discipline are encouraged to apply for the PhD program. Students with a 2nd class Division 1 Honours will also receive favourable consideration.

A PhD increases your research skills beyond a Masters of Philosophy

A PhD is more intensive and of longer duration than a Masters of Philosophy degree. As a result, all research skills are enhanced, in particular, skills concerned with publishing and broadly disseminating the research.

Multiple, connected studies are commonly undertaken with a PhD, which gives the student skills in managing complex projects.

What graduate opportunities are available after the PhD?

  • Academic appointment
  • Clinical Nurse Consultant
  • Research Officer
  • Post Doctoral Research Fellow

What is the program of study for PhD?

Completion of a thesis that reports on a program of original research and makes a significant contribution to knowledge about a topic of interest to the student. Find out more about research degrees.

How do I choose a supervisor?

A supervisor should have knowledge and experience, and be conducting their own original research in your area of interest.

You should be able to work harmoniously and productively with your supervisor. Personal compatibility is important. Your supervisor needs to be accessible and able to arrange meetings at mutually convenient times.

Choose a supervisor whose advice you trust and from whom you are willing to take advice and your supervisor should be able to provide you with timely responses to your enquiries.

Your supervisor will be an expert in their academic field, and act as a guide to understanding Western Sydney University research policies and the statutory obligations for researchers.

To find a prospective HDR supervisor, please visit our Potential Supervisors page.

Do you need more information or advice?

Please contact:

Email: research_sonm@westernsydney.edu.au