UNSW Law & Justice is a global leader in legal and criminological education and research. We're inspired by the principles of justice to make a difference in this world.

Search our list of UNSW Law & Justice postgraduate research supervisors and familiarise yourself with our postgraduate research programs and subject experts.

All applicants must apply online for entry into a UNSW Law & Justice PhD, Master of Laws (Research) or MPhil.

There are two ways to apply for a research degree:

1. Expression of Interest (EOI)

Before you make a formal application, you should submit an EOI to UNSW Law & Justice providing information about your academic, professional or other qualifications. Include a draft research proposal outlining your intended research, information about your previous research experience and publications, and any other relevant information.

Complete the online EOI form.

2. Formal application

You can submit a formal application for a research degree through the UNSW Graduate Research School (GRS).

Check the key dates for scholarship applications. If the closing date for scholarship applications is approaching, submit a formal application through the GRS.

Find out more

To find out more about our research degrees, the research interests of our staff, entry requirements, scholarships or how to apply, contact: 

Faculty Higher Degree Research Officer, Jenny Jarrett 
E: j.jarrett@unsw.edu.au 

Submitting an Expression of Interest

When submitting an EOI, please email the following items to the Faculty Higher Degree Research Officer, Jenny Jarrett.

1. Download and complete an EOI form

2. Copies of academic transcripts, including grading systems for each degree and institution (at this stage, certified or original copies aren’t needed)

3. A research proposal – The UNSW Learning Centre provides information on preparing a research proposal:  

4. Resume/Curriculum Vitae including details of publications and previous research and/or professional experience

5. If appropriate, provide evidence of your English ability, such as a recent IELTS or TOEFL result. Include previous study in English or of Australian residency. Find out more about UNSW’s English language requirements


After receiving your EOI, UNSW Law & Justice will send you an email. Please allow at least 4 weeks for your EOI to be considered. You'll be informed by email whether you should make a formal application for admission to one of our research programs.  

Contact the Faculty Higher Degree Research Officer, Jenny Jarrett, for more information.

Before submitting an EOI, candidates should also work through these steps: 

  • PhD – the minimum academic entry requirement is: 

    • An undergraduate degree in law, criminology or a cognate discipline to an acceptable level to the Faculty Higher Degree Committee (generally Hons 2(1) or equivalent) .

    • A postgraduate degree in law, criminology or a cognate discipline to an acceptable level to the Faculty Higher Degree Committee (generally, a distinction average is required, plus proof of a research component) . 

     LLM by Research – the minimum entry requirement is: 

    • An undergraduate law degree to an acceptable level to the Faculty Higher Degree Committee (generally LLB Hons 2(1)) .

    • A Master of Laws by coursework with a minimum of a distinction average. 

    MPhil – the minimum entry requirement is:

    • An undergraduate degree in law, criminology or a cognate discipline with honours 2 (2) or a pass degree with a credit average result. 

  • PhD applicants 

    At UNSW, it is standard practice to ask applicants to submit a research proposal. This determines whether the faculty can provide adequate supervision and resources to support your research. The proposal should be five to six pages long and include:  

    • proposed title of research thesis 

    • sims of the research thesis 

    • background of the research, including literature review, a statement of the expected significance of your research and an outline of your research methodology. 

    The UNSW Learning Centre provides information on preparing a research proposal and a literature review

    This information assists us in considering your eligibility for the research program of your choice, as well as identifying whether appropriate supervision is available. 

    If you're accepted into the program, your topic may be reviewed or refined during your enrolment. The proposal will assess your capacity to undertake research and should demonstrate: 

    • the capability of your research to:
      • drive a research project to the required standard
      • produce research that will make a significant and original contribution to knowledge 
    • the methodology or methodologies that will be used to explore your research question

    • whether the research question is clear, sufficiently narrow in scope and capable of being answered within the confines of a PhD research project

    • whether the proposed research engages, in a thoughtful way, with the existing literature on the subject or practices in the field 

    • a good command of the English language.

    Master of Laws by Research and Master of Philosophy applicants  

    Master of Laws by Research applicants are required to submit a brief research proposal so we can ascertain whether appropriate supervision is available for your research topic. The research proposal should cover: 

    • proposed title of research thesis  

    • aims of the research thesis 

    • background of the research, including literature review, a statement of the significance of your research and an outline of your research methodology.  

    The UNSW Learning Centre provides information on preparing a research proposal and a literature review. 

    The above information will assist us in considering your eligibility for the research program of your choice.  

  • Include information on your education and work experience and, if applicable, information on previous research experience or details of publications. 

  • For admission to any UNSW program, all applicants must provide evidence before enrolment that their English language ability meets the minimum requirements for admission. 

    Applicants will be deemed to have satisfied the English language requirements if they can provide evidence of one of the following criteria: 

    1. Prior study in the medium of English. 

    2. Residency. 

    3. English language tests: 

    • IELTS: 7.0 overall (min. 7.0 in writing, 6.5 in other subtests) 

    • TOEFL – Internet-based: 96 overall (min. 27 in writing, 23 in reading, listening and speaking) 

    • TOEFL – Paper-based: 589 overall (min. 5.5 in TWE). 

    Find out more at UNSW’s English Language requirements. 

    EOIs can be lodged any time throughout the year. Once the EOI assessment is completed, we'll advise you whether to submit a formal application with the GRS. If we advise you to submit a formal application, you can apply online via the Graduate Research School. 

Research student scholarships  

We offer a number of local and international postgraduate research scholarships, including partnerships with other organisations.  

If you intend to apply for a scholarship, we recommend visiting Graduate Research Scholarships. Make sure you find out the closing dates for postgraduate research scholarship applications before you submit an EOI.   

At UNSW Law & Justice, we'll generally not consider a scholarship application from a potential candidate unless they have submitted a formal application. If the scholarship closing date is less than six weeks away from your application, please submit a formal application with the Graduate Research School (GRS), not an EOI, to ensure you're considered.