How to apply

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Eligible prospective postgraduate research candidates who wish to apply to a research degree in UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture must submit an expression of interest (EOI) to the relevant area.

This allows us to complete a preliminary assessment of your application and identify whether an appropriate supervisor and resources are available.


Preparing an application

Please follow the steps outlined below:

  • Ensure you satisfy the admission criteria (under the determine your eligibility section) for your chosen research degree. You must also ensure you meet the UNSW English Language Requirements for this Faculty.

    If you require a scholarship to undertake your research degree, please read the information at UNSW Scholarships

  • You need to contact prospective supervisors to determine in advance if they are in a position to supervise your research topic. Find a research supervisor for your chosen research topic or visit the UNSW Research website.

    Once you have identified an appropriate supervisor, contact them by email with your research proposal. If the prospective supervisor you have contacted expresses initial interest in supervising your research proposal, then you can progress to Step 3.

    Please note schools/centres do not allocate supervisors to research applicants and evidence of supervisory contact is a mandatory supporting document for all EOIs.

  • Please complete the relevant expression of interest in higher degree research candidature form and compile all supporting documentation as listed on the EOI form's checklist.

    Your EOI should then be emailed to the relevant admissions contact in your proposed school or centre (contacts are listed on final page of form).

    Please note that the EOI assessment period can take four to six weeks to complete and can only begin once all supporting documentation has been provided. EOIs that do not meet the UNSW English Language Requirements are not eligible to be considered until the requirement is met.

    Any EOIs received later than four weeks prior to the Graduate Research School's application deadlines cannot be guaranteed processing in time for relevant scholarship rounds.

    Download this expression of interest form if you’re an applicant to the following programs:

    • Master of Arts (MA) by Research (2353)
    • Master of Education (MEd) by Research (2354)
    • Master of Philosophy (MPhil) Built Environment (2222)
    • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Creative Practice (1273)
    • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Education (1970)
    • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Humanities (1271)
    • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Social Sciences (1272)
    • Indigenous Studies (PhD) (1110)
    • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Built Environment (Practice-based PhD) (1122) – applicants to this program must provide a list of additional resources required to undertake the project and attach with their EOI
    • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Built Environment (1120)
    • Professional Doctorate in Public Policy and Governance (1746)
    • Professional Doctorate in Social Work (1744)

    Download this expression of interest form for HDR programs in the School of Art & Design:

    • Master of Fine Arts (MFA) (2245)
    • Master of Philosophy (MPhil) Art, Design & Media (2267)
    • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Art, Design & Media (1292)

    Download this expression of interest form for the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) Arts & Social Sciences (2364).

    The Doctor of Education (EdD) (1975) program (offered to domestic students only) will not be accepting a new intake of applications in 2024. An expression of interest form for the EdD is subsequently not available for download at this time. 

    The expression of interest is a mandatory admissions process and must be completed before lodging a formal application to UNSW.

Next steps

On receipt of your EOI form and all supporting documents, the school/centre will review your application to assess your eligibility for entry, and that appropriate supervision and resources are available. 

If the school/centre you are applying to determines that you are eligible and that supervision and resources are available, you will be invited to submit a formal application

Your formal application must include this invitation to apply email from the school as the 'proof of contact'.

It is important to note that an invitation to apply does not constitute an offer for admission to study at UNSW.

For detailed instructions on how to submit your formal application and more information on admission and scholarship deadlines, go to UNSW Research.

Timelines for assessment

Expression of interest processing can take up to four to six weeks for assessment.

Scholarship applicants:

Applicants wishing to be considered for a UNSW scholarship must lodge their full EOI to the school at least four weeks prior to UNSW's scholarship rounds.

Any EoIs received later than four weeks prior to the Graduate Research School's application deadlines cannot be guaranteed processing in time for relevant scholarship rounds.

Self-funded/externally funded/sponsored applicants:

Applicants who are not applying for a UNSW scholarship should submit their EOI to the school at least 12 weeks (domestic) or 16 weeks (international) prior to their preferred commencement term’s start date.

Please refer to the Application Deadlines and HDR Academic Calendar tabs on this page for relevant term start dates and scholarship round deadlines.