Application process - MPhil and PhD

Application checklist

Please ensure that you meet all the admissions requirements for the program you are applying for. These include minimum standards of academic achievement, qualifications and completed degrees, English Language requirements, etc.  Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

Along with the online application, applicants for both the MPhil and PhD should provide:

1. Research proposal and applicant information

  • Research proposal
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • References

2. Evidence

Supporting information

  • Publications / Creative and Design works

Research proposal

Applicants for graduate research programs in the MSD must include a research proposal. The proposal should be two to three pages (1,500-2,000 words) in length and address the following:

  • The research question expressed briefly and in simple English (it can include technical terms)
  • An explanation of the problem(s) to be explored, or hypotheses to be tested (aims and background)
  • The significance of the research
  • The sources of information to be used, including a preliminary bibliography
  • A suggested work plan, including stages of research and timeline
  • An indication of potential problems
  • Personal experience in the proposed area of study and the reasons for wishing to undertake such study

Curriculum Vitae

Applicants are required to provide a curriculum vitae (résumé) in the approved format. Your professional experience must demonstrate current knowledge/experience in the discipline in which you plan to undertake your research.


All references must be submitted using the online tool

  • Applicants must provide contact details for their referees in the online application form.
  • On submission of your application, the referees will be emailed a link to access the Graduate Research Referee tool and they must provide their references using this online tool.
  • You will be notified when they submit the reference.

It is important that you contact your referees well before submitting an application. This ensures they expect the request for a reference and understand that the University of Melbourne referee request email contains both instructions on how to access the tool and submit their references through the attached link.

Evidence of research experience

Applicants are required to have conducted a research project equivalent to 25% of a year’s full-time study at fourth year honours or Master level. Applicants transcripts must clearly show when the 25% research project was completed. If this is not clear from the transcript a letter from the University/supervisor should be attached as evidence.

Academic results and proof of graduation

Include original or copies of your results with your application, together with a grading scale used by the University (faculty/department) where you completed your 4-year Bachelor (Hons) degree and/or Master degree. If there is no proof of graduation on your transcript you must include an original or copy of the graduation certificate with your application.

Publications / journals

Applicants may submit supporting evidence of relevant academic publications in journals, or other publications if applicable, and/or creative works (e.g. folios, design projects etc.). 

Application dates and selection

The Melbourne School of Design graduate research selection committee appraises all applications for the MPhil and PhD programs. Selection is on the merit and quality of all aspects of the application. If your application is approved, the committee may also make suggestions for a supervisor if you haven’t already established a relationship with one. The MSD does not require you to have nominated a potential supervisor in your application.

Applications for graduate research programs in the MSD are assessed in the following application rounds:  

Application deadline Meeting date
3 February 2017 17 February 2017
10 March 2017 24 March 2017
21 April 2017 28 April 2017
2 May 2017 26 May 2017
9 June 2017 23 June 2017
14 July 2017 4 August 2017
11 August 2017 25 August 2017
22 September 2017 6 October 2017
20 October 2017 3 November 2017
10 November 2017 24 November 2017

Application Checklist

More information

Contact us

If you need more information before submitting your application, we are here to help.

Call us: 13 6352 | International: +(61 3) 9035 5511

Further information:

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