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  • World class research

    We are one of the world’s top research universities and a member of Australia’s prestigious Group of Eight network and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities.

  • #1 in Australia

    Our graduates are ranked 1st in Australia and 4th in the world for employability by the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020.

Overview

In the Master of Arts (Research) degree you will complete a substantial independent research project with one-on-one supervision from leading academics in your field.

Pursue your passion for research in a range of subject areas offered by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences—consistently ranked among the top 20 faculties in the world for arts and humanities research. Develop advanced skills including critical thinking, data interpretation and analysis, project management, as well as communication and problem solving.

The MA (Research) comprises a combination of a thesis and coursework, including:

  • A thesis of 20,000 to 40,000 words; and
  • A minimum of one postgraduate unit of study (six credit points).

If you choose to continue with further research, the MA (Research) offers an internationally recognised pathway to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). If you don’t, your invaluable research experience will give you a competitive edge and enhanced employment opportunities, both in Australia and overseas.

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.

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

How to apply

Applications are open all year round. Apply well in advance (at least 6 weeks prior to your start date) to allow for a timely response to your application. If your application cannot be processed in time, it will be considered for the next possible research period. Separate scholarship application deadlines apply.

 

Starting date

Research Period 2: Start date 1 Mar

Research Period 3: Start date 1 Jul 

Refer to key research dates on the `How to Apply website.

 

Applications are open all year round. Apply well in advance of your start date to allow for a timely response to your application and necessary visa and travel arrangements. If your application cannot be processed in time, it will be considered for the next possible research period. Separate scholarship application deadlines apply.

 

Starting date

Research Period 2: Start date 1 Mar

Research Period 3: Start date 1 Jul 

Refer to key research dates on the `How to Apply website.

Research areas

Master of Arts (Research) candidates may undertake research in one of the faculty's six schools or the United States Study Centre. The six schools are the Schools of Economics; Languages and Cultures; Literature, Art and Media; Philosophical and Historical Inquiry;  Social and Political Sciences; and the Sydney School of Education and Social Work.

What you'll study

Changes to higher degree research in 2021

In 2021, the University is introducing a new coursework curriculum to support research success. Masters students will complete 6 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.

Units of Study

Applying for admission

Prospective students with an Honours degree awarded in the second class or a Master's degree without a thesis component should consult the Postgraduate Research Coordinator of the relevant department before making an application.

  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 candidature, and why you believe your research topics align with this supervisor.
  3. In conjunction with your supervisor, develop a preliminary research proposal of at least 500 words that outlines the subject area, objectives and significance of your research.
  4. Obtain two academic referee reports, each one written by a referee who is familiar with your previous academic achievements.

Completion requirement

In order to complete the requirements for the Master of Arts (Research), a candidate shall complete an approved course of advanced study and research comprising:

  • a minimum of one postgraduate unit of study (6 credit points) from Table R; and 
  • a thesis of 20,000-40,000 words investigating an appropriate topic approved by their supervisor, the relevant postgraduate coordinator, and the Faculty.

Thesis submission requirements and examination procedure as set out in the Academic Board resolutions for this course and the Higher Degree (HDR) Rule 2011.

Admission requirement

To be eligible for admission to the Master of Arts (Research) you must have completed the equivalent of a bachelor's degree in a subject area related to your proposed research area.

These constitute the minimum requirements for eligibility and do not guarantee admission. This remains at the discretion of the relevant supervisors and departments. The University must certify that there are sufficient supervisory and other resources and facilities available to enable your candidature to be completed successfully.

Career pathways

Your superior ability and invaluable research experience will give you a competitive edge and enhanced employment opportunities, both in Australia and overseas.

Future study options

Domestic students

International students

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