Faculty of Graduate Research

Applications for PhD Admission

On this page:

Enquiries from Prospective PhD Students

Prospective students may make informal contact with academic staff about the possibility of doing a PhD.

We advise students to be prepared to discuss their past research, interests and possible PhD topics when contacting Postgraduate Coordinators or potential supervisors. We also suggest that they draft an application before making contact.

If a Prospective Student Contacts You

Please take the time to ascertain what sort of help potential students need. Where appropriate, you may:

How Prospective Students Apply

Please advise prospective students that they must apply to the Faculty of Graduate Research using the official application form. The form specifies the additional documentation applicants must supply.

Follow the link below for details of how to apply, closing dates for applications and more.

Page for prospective students on the application and enrolment process

Prerequisite Qualifications and Skills

Applicants for PhD admission will need to be suitably qualified.

Qualifications and skills required for PhD study (from the FGR webpage for prospective students)


Supervisors are appointed and students admitted following formal consideration of applications. For this reason:

  • you must not promise that a prospective student will be admitted or that you will be the person’s supervisor
  • you must not begin to supervise the student until after they have been officially registered for the degree.

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Assessing Applications for Admission

Applications for admission are assessed by the School Research Committee (or equivalent).

The School Research Committee (SRC) scrutinises a prospective candidate’s application and then makes recommendations to the Head of School (HoS) on the acceptability of the candidate and the appointment of supervisors.

The SRC must be satisfied that:

  • the applicant’s academic background is adequate (required qualifications and skills)
  • adequate supervision is available – supervisors must be appropriately experienced in the candidate’s field of research and able to devote sufficient time to the candidate
  • adequate research resources are available.

An additional factor the SRC may consider is whether the proposed research fits within the school’s general research strategy.


The SRC may recommend that the student would benefit from undertaking up to 60 points of advanced coursework in a relevant subject within the provisional registration period. In some schools, coursework will be compulsory.

Read our guide to coursework for students


The SRC ranks successful applications for Victoria Scholarships.


Victoria supports interdisciplinary studies and does not view interdisciplinarity as providing either a reason for accepting or rejecting any particular proposal. See the following Faculty of Graduate Research (FGR) guidelines.

Document File size File type
icon-pdf Interdisciplinarity in PhDs 174 KB PDF

Relationships with External Parties

In some circumstances, applicants may wish to undertake a PhD at Victoria while working at or with another institution. If any relationship with an external party is envisaged, a formal agreement between Victoria and the collaborating institution will be required.

Read the section below about research involving collaborating institutions

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Upgrading from a Master’s Degree to a PhD

Follow the link below for details about eligibility, how to apply and assessment criteria.

Upgrading from a Master's by thesis to a PhD (from our webpages for prospective students)

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Research at or Involving a Collaborating Institution

In some circumstances, it may be possible for candidates to undertake a PhD at Victoria while working at or with another institution. Crown Research Institutes, some hospitals, and some industrial organisations have research facilities which complement those at Victoria.

A formal agreement between Victoria and the collaborating institution will be required to ensure that the student’s research is not compromised and to avoid any future need to seek legal redress over issues such as the ownership of intellectual property.

This formal agreement will cover:

  • the provision of facilities, equipment and other research resources
  • any financial support for the student by the collaborating institution
  • intellectual property (including access to research data, ownership of data, public availability of the thesis)
  • supervision (including the relationship between internal and external supervisors, responsibilities of the external supervisor, payment of the external supervisor, supervisor training).

It is expected that the collaborating institution share the responsibilities of supervision. The external supervisor must be formally appointed.

Instructions for appointing external supervisors

Please contact the Faculty of Graduate Research for more information.

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Transferring from Another University

If a student from another university wishes to transfer their studies to Victoria, please read the guidelines below.

Document File size File type
icon-pdf Students Transferring from Another University 85 KB PDF