Doctor of Philosophy - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Doctor of Philosophy

Become an expert in your field.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is an advanced research program that fosters the development of independent research skills, scholarly analysis and an ability to communicate research findings.

Study locations
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Gympie
  • Moreton Bay
Refer to the program footnotes
Program length (full-time)
3 years (minimum full time duration - maximum 4 years)
Annual tuition fee 2022
Estimated total tuition fee *
  • Only a full-time option is available to international students on a Student visa. Online programs are not available to Student visa holders.
  • * Estimated tuition fees are based on 2022 rates. Refer to international fees for more information.
  • Not all majors/minors and elective options are available at every campus. You should refer to the What Can I Study tab, and the proposed study sequence for your chosen campus and intake for further information.
Study locations
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Moreton Bay
  • Gympie
USC program code
3 years full time; 6 years part time.
Study mode
Internal, external

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is an advanced research program that fosters the development of independent research skills, scholarly analysis and an ability to communicate research findings.

The University of the Sunshine Coast has a team of enthusiastic and experienced academics able to provide supervision across a broad range of research areas.

Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission to Doctor of Philosophy candidature, applicants are normally required to hold:

(a) a Bachelor Honours degree (AQF Level 8) with a significant research component with a minimum of Class IIA from a recognised higher education institution; or

(b) a Masters degree (AQF Level 9) with a significant research component equivalent to Honours degree research component from a recognised higher education institution; or

(c) a Bachelor degree (AQF Level 7) from a recognised higher education institution, and shall have achieved by subsequent work and study a standard equivalent to at least Class IIA Honours as may be approved by the Research Degrees Committee; or

(d) a record of research or professional qualifications deemed by the Research Degrees Committee to be of a standard equivalent to at least Bachelors Honours degree Class IIA and providing a suitable background for the doctoral research the candidate is proposing to undertake.

Refer also to the University’s English language requirements.

Admission is subject to availability of appropriate supervision and facilities.

How to Apply

Research areas

Research areas include communication and media studies, creative arts, mental health and wellbeing, society and culture, environment and sustainability, management and business, law, and a broad range of health-related disciplines. For more information on USC's key research areas go to

Program structure

The Doctor of Philosophy is the Doctoral-level degree offered by this University.

It is awarded solely on the basis of a thesis produced under supervision that makes an original, significant and extensive contribution to knowledge in the relevant field of study, as judged by independent experts applying accepted contemporary international standards.

As a candidate for the Doctor of Philosophy, you may be required to undertake study, such as a research methodology course or other specified courses, seminars or reading activities, in addition to and as a support for your research. Where such activities are required, they shall be specified as a condition of candidature.

Thesis format

Doctoral candidates may complete a thesis in the traditional format or manuscript format - details about both formats will be found in the HDR Thesis Format - Guidelines.

Program requirements and notes
  1. Prospective applicants wishing to undertake a PhD will need to find a suitable supervisor via the research supervisor search.
  2. For further information, refer to the Higher Degrees by Research - Academic Policy and Higher Degree by Research Candidature - Procedures and HDR Applicants page
  3. Refer to related policies, rules, plans and procedures.
  4. Refer to the research areas for the School.
Enrolment and fees
  1. Domestic candidates: Australian and New Zealand citizens and permanent residents will be assessed for a Research Training Program Fee Offset Scholarship as part of the admission process. The RTP Fee Offset Scholarship may cover tuition fees for a period of up to 4 years for Doctoral candidates. Candidates who do not complete their degree within the standard period may be required to pay fees for any additional periods of enrolment. Please refer to Higher Degree by Research fees.
  2. International candidates: tuition fees apply. Refer to International HDR tuition fees.
  3. In any semester, full-time enrolment comprises 0.500 EFTSL.*
  4. In any semester, part-time enrolment comprises 0.250 EFTSL.*
  5. 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.

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Questions? Ask us anything about studying this program. Alternatively, contact Student Central with any student-related enquiries.

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Apply now

Applications to study at USC in 2022 are open now. Find out how to apply.

Ways to study

Choose to study on campus, online or a combination of both.

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