Skip to main content
Postgraduate researcher presenting

Facts & figures

  • #1 in Australia and #5 in the world for graduate employability*
  • #22 in the world for Arts and Humanities*
  • #25 in the world for Social Sciences*
  • *2020 QS World University Rankings

Postgraduate research

Challenge your thinking

Undertake in-depth research in an area you're passionate about with the guidance of some of the world’s brightest and most accomplished academics.

A higher degree by research will open up a new world of ideas and possibilities, deepen your insights, and develop your capacities for practical application in your current career or position you to carve out a new one.

We conduct a diversity of research that spans more than 50 departments and centres. You will have the opportunity to work alongside distinguished researchers in a supportive, scholarly environment and access to world-class facilities.


Important information for 2020 applicants

Applications for 2020 commencement are welcomed from students wishing to pursue a PhD in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Due to the realignment of the Faculty and to better represent our multidisciplinary research across our diverse range of discipline areas (e.g. Arts, Social Sciences, Education, Social Work, Visual Arts) we are changing our administrative processes so that Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) candidates commencing from 2020 will be enrolled through a single PhD pathway.  

From 2020 the doctoral programs of Doctor of Philosophy (Arts and Soc Sci), Doctor of Philosophy (Education), Doctor of Philosophy (Social Work) and Doctor of Philosophy (Visual Arts) will delivered under one new central name and course code, Doctor of Philosophy (Arts and Social Sciences).  

We will continue to offer the same world-class research opportunities and encourages appropriately qualified applicants to apply. All other arrangements for PhD study in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, such as supervision and progression, will remain the same.

2020 applications are currently being accepted – please visit our Doctor of Philosophy (Arts and Social Sciences) course page for more information and to apply.

The University currently aims to issue offers for 2020 commencement in Doctor of Philosophy (Arts and Social Sciences) from July 2019. Please note that if you apply for an offer to commence a PhD from 2020, it is an application for the new degree name and code, the Doctor of Philosophy (Arts and Social Sciences).

There is no change for students who commenced their course in, or prior to, 2019.

From 2020, tuition fees for students enrolled in doctoral study in Arts and Social Sciences will be raised in line with the fees for doctoral studies in Education and Social Work.

As a guide, the international fees for 2019 in PhD (Education) and PhD (Social Work) are $40,000 per year (please note this is indicative only for 2019 and is subject to annual increase). Tuition fees for domestic students undertaking a PhD at the University of Sydney are usually funded by the Australian Government through an RTP Tuition Fee Offset.

Full 2020 fee information will be available on our courses site when finalised.

Course options and coordinators

  • Anthropology
  • Arabic Language and Cultures
  • Archaeology
  • Art History
  • Asian Studies
  • Celtic Studies
  • Chinese Studies
  • Classics and Ancient History
  • Creative Writing
  • Digital Cultures
  • Economics
  • English
  • European Studies
  • Film Studies
  • French Studies
  • Gender and Cultural Studies
  • Germanic Studies
  • Government and International Relations
  • Graduate School of Government
  • Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies
  • History
  • Indian Subcontinental Studies
  • International and Comparative Literary Studies
  • International Security
  • Italian Studies
  • Japanese Studies
  • Korean Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Media and Communications
  • Medieval Studies
  • Modern Greek
  • Museum and Heritage Studies
  • Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Political Economy
  • Public Administration
  • Sociology and Social Policy
  • South East Asian Studies
  • Spanish and Latin American Studies
  • Studies in Religion
  • Theatre and Performance Studies
  • US Studies
  • Educational History, Sociology and Philosophy
  • Educational Systems: Administration, Management and Leadership
  • Health and Sport
  • Learning Sciences: Psychology of Education
  • Research on Teaching and Learning
  • Social Structures, Inequalities and Social Justice
  • Social Work and Social Policy
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Why complete a postgraduate research degree with us?

  • Experience one of the most comprehensive arts and social sciences faculties in Australia, where your area of study is only limited by your imagination.
  • Work alongside some of the most acclaimed academics in the country, who have made groundbreaking discoveries and helped inform public debate on the key issues of our time.
  • Benefit from access to our world-leading research centres and institutes.
  • Conduct your research in a faculty with a competitive international standing, ranked 22 in the world* for Arts and Humanities and 24 for Social Sciences* in 2020.

*QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020


Lisa Heinze

PhD student
After several years working as an environmentalist and writing a book about sustainable living, I saw the need for more research on fashion and sustainability – the perfect opportunity to work on a PhD. I wanted to undertake it with the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, where I had completed my master’s degree, because of the breadth of expertise within the department and faculty. When I complete my PhD, I hope to teach and advocate for climate, sustainability and environmental justice.
View course details