Phase 1: Pre-Application

The minimum academic entry requirement for the PhD is:

  • The equivalent of a three-year UNSW undergraduate degree plus a postgraduate degree with an overall average grade of at least 75 (Distinction),

or

  • the equivalent of multiple undergraduate degrees (e.g. a dual degree) from UNSW or equivalent with at least one in a relevant discipline and an overall average grade of at least 75 (Distinction),

or

  • the equivalent of a four-year UNSW Bachelor's Degree with first or upper second-class Honours in a relevant discipline.

All applicants, whether domestic or international, must provide evidence that their English language ability meets the minimum requirements for admission, PRIOR to submitting their application for assessment.

Being born in Australia or other English-speaking country doesn't automatically mean that you will meet the UNSW English language proficiency requirements.

For more information refer to the English Language Requirements Policy.

For international students, part-time study is not available for this program. For domestic students, part-time study is possible but not preferred. It is not possible to study this program off campus.

A GMAT is necessary for applications to the marketing stream and a GRE is necessary for applications to the economics stream. If you are applying to study in either of these streams, please provide the relevant GMAT/GRE documentation with your online application.

No. You are required to complete a 1,500-word statement of research interests as part of your application and this will be used to assess whether there will be suitable PhD supervision available to you. During your first year you will have the opportunity to talk to potential supervisors and have this finalised before you commence Year 2 (Year 1 of the PhD program). Please be aware that due to limited supervision capacity, some applications may have a negative outcome despite their quality.

No separate application is necessary. Scholarships are offered to all students offered a place in the UNSW Business School Doctoral program.

Information on how to apply is available on the postgraduate research How to Apply page.

Step 1 (Monday August 31, 2020)

Prospective applicants use the Apply Online system to complete their application by including the documents as required in the How to Apply page.

  1. Prospective applicants check they are qualified to apply for the program
  2. Prospective applicants identify a UNSW Business School stream from the Doctoral Studies Program website .
  3. Prospective applicants ensure that the stream they chose on is able to supervise in research topics they are interested in.

Step 2 (8/30/2020 - 9/30/2020)

Each Stream evaluates and ranks their applicants

  1. Applications are assessed by the PGRCs and the Admissions Committees of the Streams
  2. Applicants may be invited to be interviewed over Skype or other online video conferencing platforms

Step 3 (10/7/2020 - 10/11/2020)

UNSW Business School Admissions Committee meets and makes decisions on successful applications

Step 4 (Starting from 10/14/2020)

Outcomes of their applications are communicated to the applicants

Once you have provided all the required documents, they will be sent to your nominated stream for assessment of likely supervision capacity in Year 2. The Director of Doctoral Studies (DDS) or Research Admission Committee will evaluate the academic record and statements of research interest of all applications in light of the streams’ recommendations. A maximum of 25 places will be offered each year.

All students accepted into the Business School Doctoral program will have their fees paid by a scholarship.

Below is a short description of documents that you must submit with your application:

  • Video clip:  Applicants need to prepare a short video (max 5 minutes) introducing themselves and why they want to be a part of the program (see the application instructions for the questions that require answering).
  • Statement of research interests:  Applicants need to provide a 1,500-word statement of their research interests, including possible research topics of interest.  Refer to the application instructions for the questions that require answering.
  • Electronic transcripts: Applicants need to provide a scanned or electronic copy of transcripts for all tertiary degrees completed or attempted, including current degrees. For those students undertaking a research degree which does not have specific scores, an enrolment summary will be required to show which semesters the applicant was enrolled.
  • Grading systems: These are explanations of what specific scores/grades mean at a specific University/Institution. These must be provided for each University the applicant has attended.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV): This should include details of previous research, such as a summary of all research output and experience, including publications, conference presentations, etc. Work samples such as abstracts may be attached as appendices to the CV.
  • Proof of English: All applicants, domestic and international, must meet the English language entry requirements for the University before they can be offered unconditional admission. Applicants do not need to have met the English requirements before applying for admission, however satisfactory English proof is required in order to be considered for a scholarship (please see Key Dates for the deadline).
  • GTE/Financial Declaration Form: This is required in order for your application to be assessed.

The following documents are also required but can be sent at a later date:

  • Testamurs: These are certificates of completion for prior degrees. If you are currently studying, the testamur for this degree can be submitted at a later date. Your application can be provisionally assessed without these. BTS checking may be undertaken at any time.
  • Proof of Australian/New Zealand citizenship, or Australian Permanent Residency (PR): For Australian/New Zealand citizens or Australian PRs only.
  • Current semester results: This is only required for any students still undertaking a tertiary degree. These are not required until you have completed all requirements of your current degree. Once you have completed, you will need to submit your final transcript and any examiners reports (if applicable).

Further documentation specific to your case may be required beyond the below, and we will contact you in the event these are required.

This part of the application comprises two parts.  The first question requires you to provide a short video of yourself answering the specific questions.  Upload the video to YouTube or other suitable online platform (it does not need to be made public) and provide a link to the video with your written answer to Question 2.

Question 1 (video upload, max 5 minutes) - to YouTube or other suitable online platform

  1. Why do you wish to do a PhD and how will it fit into the career path you envisage for yourself?
  2. Why do you wish to undertake a PhD at UNSW Business School?
  3. What do you consider to be the advantages and disadvantages to working in an academic career?
  4. Tell us about your strengths.
  5. If we speak with your previous supervisor or colleagues, in which areas would they say you need improvement?

Question 2

(Please include link to uploaded video from Question 1)

(max 1,500 words) Please provide a statement of your research interests, in as much detail as you are able at this stage, including possible research topic(s) you are interested in.  This will also enable us to determine whether it is possible to provide adequate supervision and resources to support your research (from Year 2 onwards).  Your statement should include

  • clear aims and objectives;
  • a demonstration that you are capable of independent and critical thinking;
  • a discussion of the issues you would like to explore (why is it important and interesting);
  • a demonstration of some understanding of the background literature supporting your research interests;
  • details of any research experience (including publications) you have.

Note: You are not expected to provide a detailed proposal, as you will be exposed to a variety of different research issues during the early stages of the program.  Your indication of preferred research topics will not constrain your subsequent choice of research topic within the Stream you are applying for, once you progress to the PhD (2nd) year.

Applications close on 30th August 2020

The scholarship offered with your admission will provide you with a tuition fees waiver plus a non-taxable living stipend over the 4 years of the Doctoral program. You will initially receive a one-year scholarship for the Masters year, which will comprise a tuition fees waiver plus living allowance of $30,000, paid across 10 months from February to November.

After successful completion of the first year you will progress to Year 2 (formal PhD enrolment) with a 3.5 yr scholarship at a similar level.

In addition to, but separate from, the scholarship you will also have the opportunity to undertake Research Assistant work during Term 2 of Year 1. This will be 50 hours undertaken in Term 2 at the hourly rate of Level 4 Step 1 + 25% casual loading. 

No, there is only one entry each calendar year, commencing in February.

Phase 2: After Being Offered a Place at UNSW Business School

We handle a very large number of applications for each intake with only a limited number of places available each year.  If your application is considered strong enough and demand exceeds supply, you may be placed on a waiting list in the situation that another applicant declines their offer.

No, it means quite the opposite!  The Doctoral program offered by the UNSW Business School is an integrated 4-year program.  It is very competitive, fully funded and with limited numbers.  Only the best candidates are offered admission, starting with the MPDBS.  On completion, you will receive two degrees: a Master of Pre-Doctoral Business Studies and a PhD. 

Phase 3: Post-Admission

​Successful completion of the Master of Pre-Doctoral Business Studies plus the embedded Research Assistant work will allow you to move into the Business School's Doctoral program the following year (subject to available supervision and satisfactory submission of application requirements).

All students are required to undertake the three core courses, regardless of prior learning.  If you have previously undertaken courses required by your stream, or those courses are unavailable, you will be given the option of taking relevant elective courses instead, subject to the approval of the Stream Convenor.

​All students are required to undertake the three core courses, regardless of work experience.  If you have work experience that is considered to be equivalent to any of the courses required by your stream, you will be given the option of taking relevant elective courses instead, subject to the approval of the Stream Convenor.

​No.  Each of the core courses is offered once per year and so you need to complete them in the order offered.  Given the size of the program (limited to 25 each year) this ensures you have an enhanced experience by moving through the program with your cohort.

​No.  The Master of Pre-Doctoral Business Studies is Year 1 of the program and cannot be taken alongside Year 2.

​No, this is an on-campus program.

​Yes, but MPhil is intended as a terminating qualification, not as a pathway to a PhD.

The UNSW Scientia PhD Scholarship Scheme is a cornerstone of the UNSW 2025 Strategy, offering a prestigious scholarships package of $50,000 per annum, comprising a tax-free living allowance of $40,000 per annum for 4 years, and a support package of up to $10,000 per annum to provide financial support for career development activities.  

The China Scholarship Council (CSC) offers a number of scholarships each year in collaboration with the UNSW Business School to outstanding students from Chinese universities to complete a PhD degree at UNSW.  The UNSW joint PhD Scholarships with the CSC offers a supplementary living allowance of $10,000 per annum for up to 4 years from UNSW Business School, payment of tuition fees for up to 4 years, a living allowance from CSC, plus return economy airfares from CSC.

Both scholarship schemes have separate entry criteria and application processes.  See the website for more information on the Scientia PhD Scholarships and the UNSW-CSC Scholarships.

​Your work as a Research Assistant is an integral part of the program.  It will provide you with experience in an academic environment which will enhance your competitiveness in the job market.  Completion is necessary in order to progress to Year 2.