A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at UNSW Science will lead you to make a new and original contribution to your chosen scientific specialisation. The PhD is a program of specialist expert knowledge which will open doors to academic, research and professional roles nationally and internationally. 

Entry requirements 

The minimum entry requirement for admission to a PhD includes: 

  • an appropriate UNSW bachelor degree with upper second-class honours; or 
  • a completed Masters by Research from UNSW with a substantial research component and demonstrated capacity for timely completion of a high-quality research thesis; or 
  • an equivalent qualification from a tertiary institution as determined by the Faculty Higher Degree Committee (HDC). 

The minimum requirement for a UNSW scholarship with admission to a PhD include: 

  • a four-year bachelor degree with honours class from an Australian institution or equivalent research qualification experience -this qualification must be awarded in a field relevant to the proposed area of research. 

English requirements  

All applicants must provide evidence that their English language ability meets the minimum requirements for admission: UNSW English Language Requirements.


Domestic students: The Australian Government's Research Training Scheme (RTS) provides Commonwealth-funded higher degree by research (HDR) candidates with an exemption from tuition fees for the duration of their PhD by research for a maximum period of four years' full-time equivalent study. Domestic students are liable for the UNSW Student Services Amenities Fee. 

International students: Full details can be found on the GRS Fees and Costs page for International Postgraduate Research Candidates. Note that international students are exempt from the UNSW Student Services Amenities Fee. 

Scholarship opportunities

We assist postgraduate researchers with a range of prestigious scholarships with annual stipends, living allowances, tuition fee costs, travel scholarships and supplements. Our scholarships support both current and new postgraduate research candidates.  

Our research areas

Environmental sciences and climate

We’re a global research leader in climate change, environmental policy and natural resource management. We explore how environments function and how systems, from the smallest microbes to the whole of Earth, cope with change.

Fundamental sciences 

Fundamental Sciences are the interdisciplinary specialisations that underpin all scientific and systematic research, from microbiology and genome systems, to data science and astrophysics.

Materials sciences

We develop advanced materials to improve sustainability and improve manufacturing outcomes in a wide range of industries including transport, electronics and energy generation.

Health sciences

We are leaders in the disciplines of psychology, ageing, mental health and biological and medicinal sciences, as well as the mathematical, statistical and systems specialisations that contribute to improvements in human health.

Combined PhD/Master of Psychology programs

PhD/Master of Psychology (Clinical)

Complete an APAC-accredited fifth and sixth-year sequence in psychology while you conduct clinically relevant research.

PhD/Master of Psychology (Forensic)

Complete an APAC-accredited fifth and sixth-year sequence in psychology while you conduct forensically relevant research.