Explore new scientific frontiers.
Upgrade your original training and develop new or existing areas of expertise. The practical focus of this higher degree by research is designed to increase your professional credibility in day-to-day dealings with clients and equip you for senior positions. Undertake a comprehensive review of research literature, learn advanced research techniques, and apply extensive analysis to a project in the workplace.
You can choose from five recognised research concentrations:
- GeneCology Research Centre
- Cluster for Health Improvement
- Inflammation and Healing Research Cluster
- Centre for Animal Health Innovation
- Stormwater Research Group
You can also access opportunities with the Australian Institute of Fitness Research. If environmental issues are your specialty, consider collaborating with USC staff involved in a number of educational and research projects that focus on climate change adaptation. Research is a major focus in the School of Health and Sport Sciences.
Faculty staff profiles also list the research interests of individual academic staff.
To be eligible for admission to Master of Science candidature, applicants are normally required to hold a bachelors degree with at least Honours Class 2 Division II from a recognised higher education institution. Applicants who have completed a bachelors degree and have achieved by subsequent work and study a standard equivalent to at least Honours Class 2 Division II may also be considered.
Entry by non-graduates who have relevant governmental or industry experience may be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Executive Dean, Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering.
In exceptional cases applications may be considered on the basis of other evidence of general and professional qualifications as approved by the Research Degrees Committee. Refer also to the University’s English language requirements.
Application and admission advice
Contact Student Central
+61 7 5430 2890
Ground floor, Building C, Sippy Downs
Runway research plans are taking off at USC
Royal Australian Air Force Flight Lieutenant Sean Jamieson is launching into research at the University of the Sunshine Coast that could help revolutionise how Australian runway surfaces are built.
31 October 2017
Honours student shines light on forest marsupial
A USC Science Honours student who spent long nights in state forest north-west of Gympie searching for the “eye-shines” of Australia’s biggest gliding marsupial has received an Ecological Society of Australia scholarship.
3 January 2017
Science graduate targets computer 'slouchers'
A Buderim-based occupational therapist who recently graduated with a Master of Science from USC is campaigning for office workers to make “stop slouching” their New Year’s resolution.
5 September 2016
Graduate shares formula for academic excellence
A University of the Sunshine Coast Master of Science student who maintained a perfect grade point average as an undergraduate is now researching a medical treatment for a potentially deadly cardiovascular disease.
10 May 2016
High-flying students receive Rotary scholarships
A researcher investigating how habitat fragmentation affects native bees will be one of three outstanding students to be awarded Rotary Postgraduate Scholarships at an annual presentation dinner at the University of the Sunshine Coast tomorrow (Wednesday 11 May).
11 May 2015
Research focuses on sedentary lifestyle of students
Regularly playing sport or going to the gym might not be enough to counter the negative effects of a generally sedentary lifestyle, according to USC researcher Casey Sutherland.
What will I study
As a candidate you are required to conduct research that can be written up as a scholarly thesis.
You must demonstrate research competency and the ability to make a significant and original contribution to the body of knowledge in your chosen area of specialisation.
You must clearly articulate in your research outline, the topic, background, rationale, research question, aim and objectives, methodology, research methods and techniques, and timeframe.
Your research outline is to include a literature review that relates to the research question and objectives. The results of your research activities should be presented succinctly and accurately and as necessary could be supported by more detailed annexures.
Your syntheses analysis and discussion must clearly focus on the research question and the objectives of the work.
Conclusions and recommendations must be drawn from your analysis and discussion and reflect the attainment of the aim and the way in which the research question is addressed.
Total units: 0
Recommended study sequence
This recommended study sequence ONLY represents the CURRENT program structure. Students in previous structures should use this sequence to inform order of courses and current course details. For courses in your commencing structure not included in the current sequence, search the course code for current course offerings and requisites.
- Prospective applicants wishing to undertake an MSc will need to find a suitable supervisor by contacting the Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering.
- For further information, refer to the Higher Degrees by Research - Academic Policy.
- Refer to related policies, rules, plans and procedures.
- Refer to the University's English language proficiency requirements.
- Only a full-time study option is available to international students on a Student Visa.
Enrolment and fees
- Domestic candidates: Australian and New Zealand citizens and permanent residents are not required to pay tuition fees for the standard duration of their HDR program. The Australian Government's Research Training Scheme (RTS) covers the cost of HDR tuition fees for these candidates. Research Master candidates are entitled to a maximum of two years full-time equivalent study. Candidates who do not complete their degree within the maximum RTS allowable completion times may be required to pay fees for any additional periods of enrolment. Please refer to Higher Degree by Research fees.
- International candidates: tuition fees apply. Refer to International HDR tuition fees.
- In any semester, full-time enrolment comprises 0.500 EFTSL.*
- In any semester, part-time enrolment comprises 0.250 EFTSL.*
- The census date for withdrawal without financial penalty or academic penalty is the Semester 1 or 2 census date.
* EFTSL - Equivalent Full-Time Student Load. One year of full-time study equates to 1.000 EFTSL
How to apply
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
- your English language proficiency (if English is not your first language, see step 4)
- 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.
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 tuition 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 or 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 Studies 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 for 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