Entry requirements

General entry requirements

Applicants will be required to demonstrate the following entry requirements to be considered eligible candidates:

  1. Applicant has previously studied for a minimum of four years in a tertiary institution.
  2. Applicant meets the eligibility criteria of the Graduate Studies Committee for the proposed study enrolling area/s.
  3. Applicant and proposed supervisor have confirmed with the Head of Enrolling Area that the necessary supervision and facilities required can be adequately provided to support research.
  4. Applicant has reached an appropriate level of proficiency in the English language to complete research.

Higher degrees by research

A higher degree by research differs from other postgraduate degrees in that the study program comprises mostly of research. Although Heads of Enrolling Area may require a portion of coursework-based units to be completed, the main body of work produced as a culmination of this research will be in the form of a thesis written under the guidance of a supervisor and associate supervisor/s.

Applications for admission to a doctoral or master higher degree by research program may be submitted at any time of the year. View a full list of the research courses offered at Curtin University via the Courses Handbook.

Applicants who are not of Australian or New Zealand citizenship and/or are not permanent residents are classified as international applicants, and will be required to pay the appropriate fees for the duration of their research program.

Further information for international applicants is available on the Future International Students website.

Australian and New Zealand prospective research students are encouraged to make initial contact with a prospective supervisor in the enrolling area most relevant to their area of study using the Register of supervisors.  If you’re unsure of who to contact, then simply fill in the Expression of Interest Form and we will help to put you in touch with an appropriate

If you are an international applicant and are unsure which enrolling area to contact, or for any other enquiries related to entry requirements, contact the International Office.

Entry requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy and other doctoral research degrees

Curtin offers several doctoral research degrees, including the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Doctoral research degree candidates throughout their research program should uncover new knowledge either by the discovery of new facts, the formulation of theories or the innovative re-interpretation of known industry data and established ideas.

The thesis research program at Curtin University is structured to allow for practical orientation, as well as being useful in developing an effective understanding – providing for the application of solutions to real-world problems.

Subject to and in accordance with Curtin University’s Rule 10: Degree of Doctor by Research, a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree shall be awarded for a thesis as defined in the Rules or a combination of a thesis and coursework in which the coursework component does not exceed one-third of the total doctoral degree program.

In all cases, the thesis must in the opinion of the examiners be a substantial original contribution to the knowledge or understanding of any field of study and demonstrate the capacity of the candidate to conceive, design and carry to completion independent research.

For admission to a doctoral degree program an applicant normally shall have studied for a minimum of four years in a tertiary institution and satisfied the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee that at least one of the following entry requirements has been 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;
  • (i) 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; and
    (ii) Demonstrated the capacity to undertake significant research;
  • in exceptional circumstances:
    (i) graduated with or qualified for the award of the degree of Bachelor;
    (ii) has substantial:
    i. relevant peer-reviewed publications or conference papers, or exhibitions; and/or
    ii. research experience; and
    (iii) demonstrated the capacity to undertake significant research;
  • Obtained qualifications from another institution which are recognised by tertiary admission authorities in Australia and which are deemed to be equivalent to, or a satisfactory substitute for, any of the qualifications prescribed above;
  • Enrolled in a research master degree for the equivalent of at least one semester full-time, and shown exceptional ability in the conduct of the early stages of the research project which is clearly capable of being extended and converted to doctoral level. Conversion of enrolment from master to a doctoral program requires the approval of the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee.

Entry requirements for master by research degrees

The master (by research) candidates should aim to expand knowledge about that of the Undergraduate Honours and/or postgraduate diploma level, and the program shall culminate in a research thesis. Recipients of a master degree (by research) may apply to be considered for entry for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program. Subject to and in accordance with Curtin Rule 11: Degree of Master by Research, a master degree shall be awarded for a thesis as defined in the Rules or a combination of a thesis and coursework in which the coursework component does not exceed one-third of the total doctoral degree program.

For admission to a master degree program, an applicant must satisfy at least one of the entry requirements of the Graduate Studies committee:

  • Graduated with or qualified for the award of the degree of bachelor with first class honours or second class honours within the University.
  • Graduated with or qualified for the award of postgraduate diploma within the University.
  • Graduated with or qualified for the award of the degree of bachelor, with a superior performance, together with relevant or substantial work experience.
  • Obtained qualifications from another institution which are recognised by tertiary admissions authorities in Australia and which are deemed to be equivalent to, or a satisfactory substitute for, any of the qualifications prescribed above.