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Australian PhD Degrees

If you are thinking of pursuing a Doctoral degree overseas, Australia is a destination well worth considering. Australia has seven of its forty-one universities in the world’s top one hundred according to the QS World University rankings. Earning a PhD in Australia will assure future employers of your ability to carry out research at the highest level.

How much work is involved?

Completion requirements vary. Unlike the United States, most Australian PhD programs do not have a required coursework component. The PhD credits are all gained from the product of the research, which is usually an 80,000 word thesis that makes a significant new contribution to the field.

The PhD thesis is sent to external examiners who are experts in the field of research and who have not been involved in the work. Examiners are nominated by the candidate's university and their identities are often not revealed to the candidate until the examination is complete.

A formal oral defence is generally not part of the examination of the thesis, largely because of the distances that would need to be travelled by the overseas examiners.

How long does a PhD take to complete?

The usual duration of PhD study is three to four years full-time though in some cases more than four years are required.

What are the admission requirements?

Admission to a PhD program in Australia requires applicants to demonstrate capacity to undertake research in the proposed field of study. This is normally in the form of a research proposal of about 1000 words.

The standard requirement is an Australian Honours degree or its overseas equivalent with either first-class or upper second-class honours.

Research Master's degrees and coursework Master's degrees with a 25% research component are usually considered equivalent. It is also possible for research Master's degree students to 'upgrade' to PhD candidature after demonstrating sufficient progress.

IELTS requirement is usually 6.5

How much will a PhD cost in Australia?

International students must pay fees, unless they receive a scholarship to cover them. According to the Australian government website for international students the costs are as follows.

2014 International fees: Doctoral Degree - $14,000 to $37,000

Veterinary and medical courses can be considerably higher this. To get the full low down on PhD fees in Australia, contact your nearest GetSet centre.

2014 living costs for students in Australia are around $18,610 per year. It is estimated that you should allow $6515 for your partner if they are accompanying you, $3720 for a first child and $2790 for each additional child.

Are there PhD scholarships available in Australia?

International PhD students are sometimes offered a scholarship to study for their PhD degree. The most common of these are the government-funded International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS), which covers two years fees and living costs for a Research master’s degree or three years fees and living costs for a Doctoral Degree. 

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