Doctoral Degree Admission Process for Australian Students

Doctoral Degree programs are offered by Universities and Private Colleges. Entry into higher education- Masters Degree courses in Australia is highly competitive, and a high standard of English language is required for Doctoral Degree study. The doctoral research degree allows the applicants to uncover new knowledge either by the breakthrough of new facts, the formulation of theories or the modern reinterpretation of known information and conventional ideas. Doctoral degree is for graduates who want to investigate and contribute knowledge in a particular academic discipline. Doctoral degrees recognise a considerable original contribution to a given field in the form of new knowledge or the adaptation, application and interpretation of existing knowledge.

There are two forms of Doctoral Degree: the Doctoral Degree (Research) and the Doctoral Degree (Professional).
  • Research doctorate (PhD): These consist primarily of supervised research resulting in the culmination of a dissertation. Entry requires a Masters degree by research or a bachelor degree (honours).

  • Professional doctorate: These combine coursework and research for professionals desiring to advance their knowledge in their domain without the research commitment of a PhD. Entry typically requires a Masters degree by research or a bachelor degree (honours). In addition, considerable professional experience is required either before or during the course.

Entrance/Test Requirements

Entry into Doctoral Degree Program of Studies in Australia, most important prerequisite is English language proficiency. At all Australian universities, English is the language of instruction. An applicant has to provide evidence of proficiency in the English language.

Other Requirements

Each Education provider will have different entrance requirements such as prior knowledge in certain subject, Work History details Official academic transcripts, Statement of Purpose, Letters of Recommendation, and Research Proposal.

Statement of Purpose: Imperative to mention your area of interest, reasons to join the course and the university, background, educational details, and your goals. SOP depicts your personality.

Letter of Recommendation: A letter of recommendation is a signed letter written by a person who knows you well professionally and has had a detail encounter with you during your learning process. Letter of recommendation includes your strengths and weaknesses, skills, accomplishments, and personal qualities. A letter of recommendation provides insights that cannot be gleaned by simply reviewing an applicant's score. Atleast two letters of recommendation are required.

Research Proposal: Students pursuing a post graduate research course or doctoral degree need to submit the below documents as well.
  • Detailed Research Proposal
  • Abstracts, Research Publications, etc.

Eligibility Requirements

For admission to a doctoral degree program an applicant normally shall have studied for a minimum of four years in a tertiary institution and at least one of the following entry requirements must be met:
  • Graduated with or qualified for the award of the degree of master within the University which requires the completion of a publicly available thesis or research project to an acceptable standard.
  • Graduated with or qualified for the award of the degree of bachelor with first class honours or upper second class honours within the University.
  • Graduated with a bachelor degree and completed a postgraduate diploma or its equivalent, or completed a master degree by coursework, with, in both cases, a course-weighted average of not less than 70 per cent within the University.


The duration of Doctoral degree program is generally two to four years full time study or part time equivalent.

Academic Calendar

Starting dates vary widely depending upon the course undertaken. Doctoral degree generally runs from late February to mid-November. The academic year is divided into two semesters, although some Universities operate on trimester system or offer summer schools from December to February.  Applicants should enroll for their area of study at the beginning of the year i.e. January or February and the application dates are towards the end of the previous year. Also, some institutions have a mid-year intake i.e. in month of July for certain specific courses.

Applicants opting for doctoral degree or other research degree can negotiate an alternative starting date with their project supervisor.

Admission Procedure

The admission process involves following steps:
  • Application Forms

    - Requesting Application Forms via email: You can request application forms from the universities website. Most universities have a form on their website which can be completed online to request application material.

    - University Representatives and Agents: The other way is to take forms directly from the university representatives or agents based in your city. Most Australian universities and colleges have agents all over the world.

    - Downloading from the university website: Many universities have a downloadable and ready to print versions of their application forms on the internet. These can be used for applying just as regular forms.

In the form, fill the following sections and submit:
- Personal Details
- Academic History
- Supplement Information
- Course chosen
  • Supporting Documents

Submit Supporting documents such as transcripts from all high school coursework, test scores of IELTS/TOEFL and GMAT, Letters of Recommendation, Work History, Reference/Personal Statement and Research Proposal.

Research Proposal:
Students pursuing a post graduate research course or doctoral degree need to submit the below documents as well.
- Detailed Research Proposal
- Abstracts, Research Publications, etc.
  • Letter of Offer

If the application is successful, the applicant will receive “Letter of Offer”. To confirm the offer you must reply to this letter by signing and sending an acceptance of offer back to the institution either by email or post. Subsequently you have accepted your Offer and paid your deposit you will receive an ‘Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment’ (eCoE) by email.

Education Costs

According to Study in Australia, the official government site for international students, tuition fees per year for students for a doctoral degree from AU$14,000 (US$13,071) to $37,000 (US$34,546). Tuition fees are generally calculated per unit, not per degree. Each unit falls into a fee band, and most students will be studying a combination of units from different bands, which entails that the fees will be different for everybody.

Financial Aid

Each University has different sums that a student can borrow for long term loans. Long term financial aid loans are for the following uses:
  • Class costs
  • Living costs
  • Other school related costs
Applicants for Financial aid are looked at by a University Student Loans fund committee. The University Fund committee looks at a student personal income and well as his or her parent’s income. Many universities also require the student to submit their expenditure for the upcoming school year. Academic results and school progress will also be a factor that the Student Fund Committee will tally to their criteria for obtaining a student loan.

It is important for prospective students to be well devised with their financial budgeting and future prospect.
Guarantors: Australian Universities require all students to provide a guarantor. Guarantors can be: Parents, Related Relatives and Personal Friends.

Guarantors will need to provide the following information:
  • Proof of the Guarantor's income
  • Home ownership and/or car ownership
  • Other assets
  • Repayment details
Students that are Permanent residents and/or Citizens of Australia:

Repayments are required when the student completes or decides to withdraw from their school classes. When a loan is granted to a student, a repayment plan is put into place and includes a repayment start date and the anticipated monthly payments along the long term loan.

The significant thing about financial assistance from Australian Universities is that Loans granted to students are interest-free up to the agreed upon repayment date. Interest is charged to a student total amount of an overdue payment.

How to Apply for Financial aid

Every University has their own way to apply for financial aid. Contact the prospective University by phone for more information or go the Universities website and locate financial aid and/or loan information sections. 
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