Undertake a unique doctoral program that combines research with professional practice. A professional doctorate can enhance your career in research or industry.

  • 3–4 years (full time) minimum commitment of 35 – 40 hours per week OR
  • 6–8 years (part time) minimum commitment of 15 hours per week.
  • Arts, Design and Architecture
  • Medicine and Health
  • UNSW Canberra
  • Completion of 48 credit points of coursework
  • Professional practice
  • A thesis of 50,000 words minimum


UNSW undertakes world-class research that tackles some of the greatest challenges facing society today. Through our track record of strong industry partnerships, we have developed a range of doctoral programs that provide candidates with the opportunity translate their research for a range of professional contexts.

By combining doctoral research with workplace-based projects, candidates address real-world problems and produce a thesis that reflects original research undertaken through professional practice.

This program is available in a range of fields including social work, education, information technology, and public policy.

Find information about individual professional doctoral program codes for each Faculty on the UNSW Handbook.

Learn about the graduate attributes and learning outcomes for UNSW higher degree research programs here

Entry requirements

The minimum requirement for admission to the Professional Doctorate is one of the following:

  • A UNSW Bachelor degree with first or upper second class Honours from UNSW; or
  • a completed Master by coursework in a relevant professional field with a distinction average and a significant research component, minimum equivalent 12 units of credit, consisting of methodology training and a stand-alone research project; or
  • an equivalent qualification from a tertiary institution as determined by the Faculty Higher Degree Committee (HDC)

The minimum requirement for UNSW Scholarship with admission to a professional doctorate is:

  • a four year Bachelor degree with first or upper second class Honours from an Australian institution or equivalent research qualification as above.

Future careers

You may think of yourself as a student, but we think of you as a professional researcher in the early stages of a long and vibrant career.

UNSW will provide you with the skills and expertise to pursue a range of career pathways after you graduate, from academia to industry.

As a PhD candidate, you’ll have access to a wealth of opportunities to work with and alongside industry through industry PhD programs to internships and mentorships

You’ll also have access to the most comprehensive student entrepreneurship program in Australia, that can help you develop your ideas, raise capital and launch a startup.

Fees and costs

The costs associated with enrolment in a research higher degree program vary depending on whether you are a domestic or international candidate. Learn more about the fees and costs here.