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Postgraduate research degrees

Pursue your passion to make a tangible difference

Embarking on a research degree in engineering or computer science at the University of Sydney is an opportunity to work alongside respected and accomplished academics, and make your innovative ideas a reality.

What is a postgraduate research degree?

Postgraduate research, also called a 'higher degree by research' (HDR), usually involves a program of study for postgraduate students where the central focus is an original research project, or series of projects, conducted with the guidance of expert supervisors.

Whether you're an aspiring academic, seeking a competitive edge in your career or want to explore your passion, a postgraduate research degree is a great choice.

Why study a postgraduate research degree at Sydney?

Research excellence translates into global change for good

Our research is shaped by the big picture. We see many of the world’s most pressing problems as engineering and technology challenges waiting to be solved.

By combining the expertise and talents of our scholars across many disciplines, and providing access to exceptional facilities, we enable our researchers to meet these challenges and anticipate those of the future to improve people’s lives around the world.

Our core strategic research themes are:

We support you so that you can excel

As a postgraduate researcher we will help you to deliver outstanding work in your chosen field in many ways, from providing strategic advice on research opportunities to helping you access funding.

We also assist you to develop transferable skills in research leadership and management, commercialisation, communication and cross-disciplinary capabilities.


We offer various scholarships and other forms of financial assistance to help you achieve your personal and professional goals. Read about our Industry Postgraduate Research Scholarship Program and other specific scholarships for engineering and computer science postgraduate research students.

Our research degrees

Master of Philosophy

The Master of Philsophy (MPhil) program allows candidates to undertake research and advanced specialisation in any area of scholarship or design covered by the faculty.

Admission criteria includes a bachelor’s degree – generally a four-year degree or a three-year degree with honours in a relevant discipline.

The program is typically completed in four semesters of full-time study (two years) or eight semesters of part-time study (four years).

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree is awarded for a thesis that is a substantial and original contribution to the discipline. Admission criteria includes a master’s degree with a research component or a bachelor’s degree with first or second-class honours.

Alternatively, you may be able to upgrade from the Master of Philosophy program, providing you have made satisfactory progress.

Candidates usually complete the PhD within three years’ full time or six years of part-time study (part time is available to domestic students only). You will need to produce a final thesis in the range of 50,000 to 80,000 words.

Industry Postgraduate Research Scholarship Program

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Robotics and Intelligent Systems

Professor Salah Sukkarieh, Director of Research and Innovation at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics
“We have been conducting research in autonomous remote sensing and developing robotics and intelligent software for the environment and agriculture community for more than a decade. We are working on a project with AUSVEG and Horticulture Innovation Australia to develop small, affordable robotic farming devices to give farmers tools to help better manage their farms.”
Australian Centre for Field Robotics