Domestic and International applicants
Step 1: Consider entry requirements
Review the admission requirements on the Why study this program tab of your chosen program.
Entry is highly competitive and depends on:
- your academic background
- the submission of a suitable research proposal
- the availability of a registered supervisor
- the availability of resources to support your proposed research topic
For further information, please refer to the Higher Degrees by Research Candidature – Procedures and the Higher Degrees by Research Admission and Enrolment – Guidelines which include admission pathways into specific higher degree by research programs.
Step 2: Find a Supervisor
Use the Research Supervisor Search to find a potential supervisor in your area of research. You may nominate a supervisor on your application form regardless of whether you've been able to contact them prior to submitting your application.
Step 3: Complete an application form
- The application form must be completed electronically. Download the Application for admission HDR (PDF 247KB). *
- You must complete all questions
* For PDF documents you must have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded from the Adobe Download page.
Step 4: Prepare supporting documentation
- Research Proposal. Download the Research proposal template (Word 13KB)
- Evidence of academic background
- Academic transcripts and completion certificates (transcripts must include a Key to Grading) - Please note, for studies completed outside of Australia you must provide certified copies of documents
- Formal notification from the qualifying university stating the allocation of marks to research component of a degree where not evident on the transcript
- If transferring from another Australian university, a statement from your current/former university stating HDR candidature consumed to date, probationary or confirmed status, and tution fee type
- Evidence of research publications/experience
- For example - Abstract (in English), details of publication, copy of the front page of the article/paper, link to article's location
- Evidence of citizenship/ Australian Permanent Residency
- Birth certificate, passport, citizenship certificate, or visa
- Evidence of English language proficiency (required for applicants who are not from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States of America)
- Review USC’s English language requirements. Some disciplines may require a higher level of English language proficiency, as provided in the Higher Degree by Research Admission and Enrolment – Guidelines.
- Please note that Language of Instruction will only be accepted from the countries listed above.
Where original documents are not provided by the test provider, applicants must be able to verify results online.
Step 5: Submit completed application form
Please note incomplete applications cannot be processed:
- Email an electronic copy of your application with scanned copies of supporting documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- USC-International requires hardcopies of original or certified copies of supporting documents before assessing overseas qualifications. Applicants must post their original or certified copies to:
Graduate Research Student Management
Office of Research – ML 26
University of the Sunshine Coast
Locked Bag 4
Maroochydore DC Qld 4558 Australia
- International students: Additional information is available on International students.
- Only complete applications will be considered (including original or certified copies of supporting documents for international applicants).
- Complete applications take approximately 6-8 weeks to be processed (this may vary during peak periods).
- Applications can be accepted at any time, however applications must be submitted at least 8 weeks prior to the nominated commencement date.
- Visit askUSC to find instant answers to frequently asked questions, or to lodge a more specific question
- Contact the relevant faculty (Faculty of Arts, Business and Law or Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering) to discuss your intended research topic and for assistance to locate a possible supervisor
- Email email@example.com for other enquiries