ANU Postgraduate Research - Domestic and International Applications

Postgraduate research, or a higher degree by research (HDR) program, is a research-focused degree usually undertaken by someone who has completed a previous degree with a significant research component.

Postgraduate research degrees include Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and professional doctorates.


Admission to a Doctor of Philosophy degree at ANU requires:

  1. An Australian Bachelor degree with at least Second Class Honours - Upper (First Class Honours is often required) or its international equivalent, or
  2. Another degree with a significant research/thesis component that may be assessed as equivalent to paragraph (1), or
  3. A combination of qualifications, research publications and/or professional experience related to the field of study that may be assessed as equivalent to paragraph (1).

Admission to a Master of Philosophy degree at ANU requires:

  1. An Australian Bachelor degree or higher, with an overall grade of distinction or higher, or its international equivalent, or
  2. Another degree that may be assessed as equivalent to paragraph (1), or
  3. A combination of qualifications, research publications and/or professional experience related to the field of study that may be assessed as equivalent to paragraph (1).

All applicants must meet the University's English language requirements for admission, noting that it is possible for you to apply without yet meeting English. In this case, if you are approved for admission, your offer would be conditional on meeting our language requirements.

A supervisor must be available at ANU willing to supervise your research before an offer may be made. If, however, you are applying to the ANU College of Business & Economics, please check with this College about their arrangements for setting up supervision.

How to apply

HDR program applications are open throughout the year. You can submit your program application at any time.

Some scholarships require you to submit your application by a specified date, however. If you are applying for a research scholarship, please be aware of the scholarship application deadline. You must indicate on your admission application form whether you still wish to be considered for admission if your application for a scholarship is unsuccessful.


Step 1
Find a supervisor

Visit the Researchers website to search potential supervisor profiles, including their research expertise, published works and contact details. Through this process you will need to ascertain whether or not we offer research supervision in your area of interest.

Colleges can also provide information about the areas of research, supervisors and research groups, but note that supervision in some areas of interest can be offered in more than one College.


Visit the sites listed below to find more information around research opportunities in each College, and the appropriate contacts.

Step 2
College pre-application requirements

Once you have identified which supervisor you would like to work with, or which College offers research supervision in your area of interest, you will need to check to see what the pre-application process is for that College.

Most Colleges will ask applicants to identify and secure the support of a potential supervisor before they can proceed to an application for admission. However, some Colleges ask applicants to submit a short description of their proposed area of research as an expression of interest and a summary of their academic qualifications, including grades, to a central contact first.

Visit the relevant College website for pre-application advice (see links above).

Step 3

If you have been advised that it is appropriate to do so by a College, or if you have secured the support of a potential supervisor, you may apply for admission using the ANU Programs & Courses website. If you choose to submit an application for admission without this endorsement your application may not be assessed. 

To submit an application, find the program you want to study using the Program & Courses website, then click the Apply button to access the application portal.

You can list up to two HDR preferences during your application, however you may only be made one offer. This offer will be the highest preference that you list, as long as you're eligible. So when you submit your application, remember to list your programs in the order in which you would like to receive an offer.

Already completed your previous qualification/s?

When you apply, you will need to upload clear, colour copies of your academic transcripts, graduation certificates, and proof of English Language proficiency. There is no need to certify your documents, however they must be original copies. ANU independently verifies the authenticity of your qualifications.

Still completing your current qualification?

You can still apply before you complete your current degree if you are in your final year, and you must advise our office in your application of your expected completion date. You will need to provide a clear, colour copy of your most recent academic transcript for assessment. If you are successful, you will be asked to provide copies of your final transcript and graduation certificate before you may receive a full offer.

Referee reports

You will need to nominate three referees to support your application. After submitting your application make sure that you contact your referees and ask them to complete the ANU Research Application Referee Report Form, which can be located in the Resources section of this web page. Your referees must submit their completed reports directly to the University. 

Step 4
Receive an outcome

Applications to the University are assessed on an ongoing basis. The ANU will contact you about the result of your application as soon as possible. Applications usually take between 6-8 weeks to assess, or longer if you are applying for a scholarship also. All outcomes are issued to your email address so it is important that you provide an email address in your application that you check regularly and you can easily access.