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Overview

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program involves preparing a thesis that will make a substantial and original contribution to the specific subject area.

From 2021, Higher Degree by Research students will be required to complete some coursework as part of their candidature. Students will have access to a range of specialist units of study relevant for research students.

The Faculty of Engineering focuses on multidisciplinary research centered on various key themes:

This degree is awarded if your thesis is considered to be a substantial and original contribution to the subject concerned.

Subject areas
Shared pool

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your entry requirements

English language proficiency

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

For academic requirements check the ‘Admission requirements’ section on this page.

Your fee

The international fee rate for this course is currently not available. The fee rate is usually published by September for the following year. Where a fee is not available after this time check the admission requirements as the course may not be available to international students.

How to apply

Before you apply Make sure you have read the requirements for a research application and are in possession of all required documentation. 

1. Find a supervisor within the University whose academic background aligns with your research. You may visit Research Supervisor Connect to start.

2. Contact a research supervisor either through Research Supervisor Connect or email and provide: - your academic/educational background and research experience with examples such as an academic transcript - your CV/resume - the area of interest for your PhD - why you believe your research topics align with this supervisor

3. In conjunction with your supervisor, develop a preliminary research proposal up to 2000 words that outlines the subject area, objectives and significance of your research.

4. International applicants need to obtain two academic referee reports, each one written by a referee who is familiar with your previous academic achievements. You may upload letters of reference or complete our template .

5. If you intend to study part-time towards a PhD, you will also need to supply: - evidence that shows you will have sufficient time available to plan and carry out the research under the supervision of the University, and complete the course within the maximum period allowed for a part-time PhD enrolment - a declaration from your employer (if relevant) confirming that you will be permitted to take the time required to effectively pursue your studies.

6. Your research proposal should be submitted along with your CV, academic referee reports, academic transcripts and other supporting documents.

7. Submit a direct online application to the University of Sydney through the University course search.

Applications are open all year round. Processing times for research applications depend on many factors and therefore, can vary.

Applicants are advised to apply well in advance to allow for a timely application outcome and scholarship deadlines.

If your application cannot be processed in time for the requested start date, it will be considered for the next possible research period.

Separate scholarship application deadlines apply - refer to the relevant scholarships websites for details.

Starting date

Research Period 2: Start date 1 Mar
Research Period 3: Start date 1 Jul
Research Period 4: Start date 1 Oct
Refer to key research dates on the `How to Apply' website.

Before you apply Make sure you have read the requirements for a research application and are in possession of all required documentation. 

1. Find a supervisor within the University whose academic background aligns with your research. You may visit Research Supervisor Connect to start.

2. Contact a research supervisor either through Research Supervisor Connect or email and provide: - your academic/educational background and research experience with examples such as an academic transcript - your CV/resume - the area of interest for your PhD - why you believe your research topics align with this supervisor

3. In conjunction with your supervisor, develop a preliminary research proposal up to 2000 words that outlines the subject area, objectives and significance of your research.

4. International applicants need to obtain two academic referee reports, each one written by a referee who is familiar with your previous academic achievements. You may upload letters of reference or complete our template .

5. If you intend to study part-time towards a PhD, you will also need to supply: - evidence that shows you will have sufficient time available to plan and carry out the research under the supervision of the University, and complete the course within the maximum period allowed for a part-time PhD enrolment - a declaration from your employer (if relevant) confirming that you will be permitted to take the time required to effectively pursue your studies.

6. Your research proposal should be submitted along with your CV, academic referee reports, academic transcripts and other supporting documents.

7. Submit a direct online application to the University of Sydney through the University course search.

Applications are open all year round. Processing times for research applications depend on many factors and therefore, can vary.

Applicants are advised to apply well in advance to allow for a timely application outcome, scholarship deadlines and necessary visa and travel arrangements.

If your application cannot be processed in time for the requested start date, it will be considered for the next possible research period.

Separate scholarship deadlines apply - refer to the relevant scholarships websites for details.

Starting date

Research Period 2: Start date 1 Mar
Research Period 3: Start date 1 Jul
Research Period 4: Start date 1 Oct
Refer to key research dates on the `How to Apply' website.

Research areas

PhD candidates at the Faculty of Engineering may undertake research in one of the following disciplines:

  • aerospace engineering, mechanical and mechatronic engineering;
  • biomedical engineering;
  • chemical and biomolecular engineering; 
  • civil engineering; 
  • electrical and information engineering; 
  • computer science; and
  • project management.

What you'll study

Changes to higher degree research in 2021

From 2021, the University is introducing a new coursework curriculum to support research success. PhD students will complete 12 credit points of coursework and be able to choose from a pool of 270+ units from any faculty. The pool comprises a range of development opportunities that include specialist analytical methods, professional development units and discipline-specific subjects relevant for research students. Browse all available units here.

There is no separate tuition fee cost for the coursework units of study you will undertake, it is part of the tuition fee for the course.  See the ‘Your Fee’ section for fee information. Additional non-tuition course costs vary depending on the units of study.

You will be able to see and enrol in any of the units available, subject to capacity constraints and your own background. Note that your faculty may elect to make certain units compulsory for a given PhD degree pathway.

Applying for admission

Before you apply Make sure you have read the requirements for a research application and are in possession of all required documentation.

  1. Find a supervisor within the University whose academic background aligns with your research. You may visit Research Supervisor Connect to start.
  2. Contact a research supervisor either through Research Supervisor Connect or email and provide:
    • your academic/educational background and research experience with examples such as an academic transcript - your CV/resume
    • the area of interest for your PhD 
    • why you believe your research topics align with this supervisor 
  3. In conjunction with your supervisor, develop a preliminary research proposal up to 2000 words that outlines the subject area, objectives and significance of your research.
  4. International applicants need to obtain two academic referee reports, each one written by a referee who is familiar with your previous academic achievements. You may upload letters of reference or complete our template .
  5. If you intend to study part-time towards a PhD, you will also need to supply:
    • evidence that shows you will have sufficient time available to plan and carry out the research under the supervision of the University, and complete the course within the maximum period allowed for a part-time PhD enrolment
    • a declaration from your employer (if relevant) confirming that you will be permitted to take the time required to effectively pursue your studies. 
  6. Your research proposal should be submitted along with your CV, academic referee reports, academic transcripts and other supporting documents. 
  7. Applications are made via the University online.

Admission criteria

You must have completed the equivalent of one of the following in an area related to your proposed research:

  • bachelor's degree with first class honours (or equivalent), 
  • master's degree by research, 
  • master's degree by coursework with an independent research component such as a thesis, dissertation or research project with a minimum overall distinction average. 
  • an equivalent qualification that demonstrates research experience, excellence and capability.

Applicants who do not meet these admission requirements may be issued an offer of a place in the Master of Philosophy (Engineering).

Transfer from Master of Philosophy (Engineering)

Outstanding candidates who successfully complete up to one year full-time or equivalent part-time of the University of Sydney's Master of Philosophy (Engineering) may apply for transfer into the Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering) and receive credit for work completed:

  • with approval from the Supervisor and School,
  • meeting all Higher Degree by Research progression requirements,
  • providing evidence that their research is of a sufficient scope and depth to sustain a doctoral thesis.

Course opportunities

A PhD thesis will demonstrate that the student has achieved expertise and mastery in the area of research and is able to formulate theories and/or experiments, interpret data, relate the results to the existing body of literature and provide innovative solutions to challenging problems. PhD graduates may pursue careers in academia and research organisations. They can also be employed in companies to lead the research and development activities. 

Future study options

Graduate opportunities

Through the completion of a PhD, students gain deeper understanding of a subject area and develop analytical, problem solving, communication and project management skills. These skills are highly valued by prospective employers. PhD graduates may pursue careers in industry, academia and research organisations.

Domestic students

International students

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.