Applying for a UNSW Business Higher Degree Research Program
Applying for a UNSW Business Higher Degree Research Program
Our research degrees will give you the opportunity to develop skills and qualifications necessary for a career in academia. UNSW Business School’s research reputation is around 50th in the world across a number of rankings (QS World Rankings, Times Higher Education World University Rankings, or CWTS Leiden Ranking), or CWTS Leiden Ranking) and one of the top three in Australia. And our research degrees are arguably the best in Australia, with formal coursework, informal mentoring, and comparatively generous financial support. We are committed to supporting our research students as they develop their intellectual capabilities and qualifications.
UNSW Business School offers two kinds of Higher Degree Research (HDR) programs.
1) The full UNSW Business Doctoral Program comprises a Master of Pre-Doctoral Business Studies (MPDBS, 1 year) and a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD, 3 years). This is the most common research degree pathway. Typical duration: 4 years, full time.
2) Direct Entry to Standalone Business PhD which is suited for students with substantial prior research experience or other exceptional circumstances (e.g., external PhD funding). Typical duration: 3.5 years, full time.
In addition, in certain circumstances, students may enroll in a self-funded Master of Philosophy (MPhil). In the unlikely event that an MPhil is appropriate for you, it will be recommended by the Postgraduate Research Coordinator of the School to which you are applying.
Once you submit an Expression of Interest (see below), we will inform you of the program(s) you are eligible for.
Prior to submitting an official application through the university-wide Apply Online system, research applicants must receive an Invitation to Apply from the Postgraduate Research Coordinator of the specific school to which you are applying. To receive an Invitation to Apply, you should 1) self-assess your eligibility and 2) submit an Expression of Interest to the relevant School’s Postgraduate Research Coordinator. Details of what to include in your Expression of Interest can be found on the PhD page of the specific school to which you are applying.
There are different research degrees offered by UNSW Business School, each with different qualification standards. However, the minimum qualifications involve meeting requirements for Academic Entry and English Language (see below).
If, after reading the below, you are unsure whether you meet our minimum requirements for Academic Entry and/or English Language, you are encouraged to submit an Expression of Interest to the relevant School’s Postgraduate Research Coordinator.
Academic Entry Requirement:
The minimum academic entry requirement for the PhD is:
English Language Requirement:
If you are not a citizen of an English-speaking country, then you will need to establish that you have sufficient English language fluency.
UNSW recognises several countries as English-speaking. A “List of Recognised English-Speaking Countries” can be found here.
There are four ways to establish sufficient English language fluency: English Tests, UNSW Global English Course, Prior Study, or an English Waiver. For details on each of these, please visit the website.
No. Not all Higher Degree Research programs require arranging supervision in advance. Instead, please submit an Expression of Interest to the relevant School’s Postgraduate Research Coordinator and we will provide guidance around whether and how to find supervision.
No separate application is necessary. Scholarships are automatically offered to the vast majority of students accepted into our Higher Degree Research (e.g., PhD) programs. The main exceptions occur when a student applies with external funding (e.g., an Industry PhD, donor, government sponsored fellowship, UNSW / Home Country Joint Scholarships, or Australian Research Council funding) or if the student is pursuing a self-funded part-time degree. If you have arranged external funding or are pursuing a self-funded part-time research degree, please indicate it on your EOI.
Almost all students admitted to one of our programs receive scholarship funding involving a tuition waiver of between AU$30 - 50K in living allowance (depending on the situation).
The standard UNSW PhD scholarship details can be found here.
In addition to the university’s scholarship, the Business School offers top-up scholarships for PhD students. The Business School also provides funding to support research activities.
Applying for Admission and Scholarship funding are part of the same process and are done at the same time. Additional information about scholarships may be provided after you submit an Expression of Interest to the specific school to which you are applying: https://www.unsw.edu.au/business/study-with-us/postgraduate-research
Part-time study is not available for the Full UNSW Business Doctoral Program. Under special circumstances, students granted Direct Entry to our Standalone Business PhD can attend part-time. But a part-time PhD can take up to 7 years! Feel free to discuss this further with your School’s Postgraduate Research Coordinator.
You need to be in/near Sydney to study this program.
While inclusion of a GMAT or GRE score in your application is always welcome, they are only required by certain programs. Specifically, a GMAT or GRE is necessary for applications to the Marketing and Economics streams. If you are applying to study in either of these streams, please provide the relevant GMAT or GRE documentation with your Expression of Interest.
You can express your interest all year round. However, there are different PhD pathways with different deadlines.
The Full UNSW Business Doctoral Program (MPDBS + PhD) admits a single cohort per year. The deadline for the Apply Online applications for the 2024 cohort is 26th of August 2023. However, you first need an Invitation to Apply. To be guaranteed that you have an opportunity to receive an Invitation to Apply, you’d need to submit an Expression of Interest to your School’s Postgraduate Research Coordinator by 26th of July 2023. While you can submit an EOI after this date, there is a good chance it will be too late.
Another pathway is Direct Entry to the Standalone PhD degree. Application deadlines for Direct Entry can be found here.
As a general rule, submitting sooner is always better than later.
The first step in the application process is to email an Expression of Interest to the Postgraduate Research Coordinator of the specific school to which you are applying to. We aim to inform you within two weeks whether you are eligible to apply online. If you are, you will be provided with an Invitation to Apply. Once you’ve Applied Online, the amount of time it takes to fully process your application is variable.
The Full UNSW Business Doctoral Program (MPDBS + PhD) admits a single cohort per year, which commences in Term 1 (February).
It is also preferrable if Direct Entry students start in Term 1. However, starting in other terms may be possible in consultation with the relevant School’s Postgraduate Research Coordinator.
Please do not reapply unless specifically invited to do so. We handle a very large number of applications for each intake with only a limited number of places available each year.