Doctor of Philosophy


3 locations available
Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is an opportunity to pursue a topic you're passionate about at the highest academic level.

A PhD is an independent, supervised research project that is assessed on the submission of a thesis or creative work and exegesis. This course may be undertaken in any School within ECU, provided there are supervisors available in your proposed research area, and the resources and facilities required to complete your proposed project are accessible. ECU encourages interdisciplinary research that may span two or more disciplines. As a PhD candidate, you will be expected to develop a project that can be completed in three years full-time. You may submit your thesis any time after two years of full-time study, and the maximum course duration for a PhD is four years full-time. A PhD is a significant undertaking, and if enrolled full-time you are expected to commit at least 35 hours per week to your research.

Course Entry

Academic Admission requirements (Band 11)

The following course-specific admission requirements are mandatory and must be satisfied by all applicants. These requirements are in addition to or supersede the minimum requirements outlined within the Academic admission requirements band section below.

All applicants are required to have the equivalent of 6 months full-time research (which must involve a research output which includes the conception and design of the project, and analysis and interpretation of findings) if applying with a Masters qualification other than a Master by Research.

Applicants seeking online study will be required to provide additional information to support their application, as not all projects nor disciplines are suited to online study.

Special entry may be considered for applications to the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) who will be required to attend an audition and/or interview.

For more information, including guidelines for specific disciplines, please see our Interviews, folios and auditions web page.

Academic admission requirements (Band 11) may be satisfied through the completion of one of the following:

  • Masters Degree (Research); or
  • Bachelor Honours Degree (First or Upper Second class); or
  • Demonstrated capacity to undertake original PhD-level research.

English Language requirements (Band 4)

English competency requirements may be satisfied through the completion of one of the following:

  • IELTS Academic Overall band minimum score of 6.5 (no individual band less than 6.0);
  • Bachelor degree from a country specified on the English Proficiency Bands page;
  • Successfully completed 0.375 EFTSL of study at postgraduate level or higher at an Australian higher education provider (or equivalent);
  • Where accepted, equivalent prior learning, including at least five years of relevant professional experience; or
  • Other tests, courses or programmes defined on the English Proficiency Bands page.

English Language Requirements for Nursing and Midwifery:

International students (other than those students schooled in a recognised country as defined by APHRA) are required to provide any English language test approved by AHPRA with a score equivalent to an IELTS Academic overall minimum score of 7.0 (no individual band less than 7.0). Internationally schooled applicants may also be required to meet this requirement or we may require additional information to confirm that requirements have been satisfied.

Course Details

Semester availability

  • Semester 1: Study full-time at Joondalup, Mount Lawley, South West or Online
  • Semester 1: Study part-time Online
  • Semester 2: Study full-time at Joondalup, Mount Lawley, South West or Online
  • Semester 2: Study part-time Online

Course Structure

Students are required to continue re-enrolling in the relevant discipline-specific thesis unit of their study until the thesis is submitted for examination.

For candidates commencing from 2018, the examination process will consist of both a written and oral component.

Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
AGR7200 ^ Doctor of Philosophy Thesis (Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies)  
ARC7200 ^ Doctor of Philosophy Thesis (Architecture and Building)  
ART7200 ^ Doctor of Philosophy Thesis (Creative Arts)  
COM7200 ^ Doctor of Philosophy Thesis (Management and Commerce)  
ERT7200 ^ Doctor of Philosophy Thesis (Engineering and Related Technologies)  
ETN7200 ^ Doctor of Philosophy Thesis (Education)  
HLT7200 ^ Doctor of Philosophy Thesis (Health)  
INF7200 ^ Doctor of Philosophy Thesis (Information Technology)  
NAT7200 ^ Doctor of Philosophy Thesis (Natural and Physical Sciences)  
SCL7200 ^ Doctor of Philosophy Thesis (Society and Culture)  

^ Core Option

PhD Unit Sets you can study in this course

  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Communication, Media Studies and Journalism
  • Computer Science
  • Counselling
  • Criminology
  • Cyber Security
  • Design
  • Education
  • Engineering - Chemical
  • Engineering - Civil
  • Engineering - Computer Systems
  • Engineering - Electrical and Electronic
  • Engineering - Environmental
  • Engineering - Materials
  • Engineering - Mechanical and Mechatronics
  • Engineering - Petroleum
  • Environmental Studies
  • Exercise and Sports Science
  • Law
  • Mathematics
  • Medical Science
  • Nursing and Midwifery
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Paramedical Science
  • Performing Arts
  • Physics
  • Politics and Government
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Security Science
  • Social Science
  • Speech Pathology
  • Visual Arts and Design
  • Writing

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Apply communication skills to explain and critique theoretical propositions, methodologies and conclusions, and cogently present findings of a complex and original investigation to peers and the broader community
  • Integrate substantial and systemic understanding of complex discipline knowledge with research principles and methods to demonstrate expertise in the field
  • Take responsibility and show initiative for designing and executing original research, demonstrating the capacity to generate new knowledge with intellectual independence.
  • Use expert skills and authoritative judgement to adapt and implement research methodologies and conduct a systematic and independent investigation of theory and/or practice at the frontier of a discipline.

Career Opportunities

Throughout your PhD, you will be supported to develop high-level research and professional skills such as project design and execution; problem identification, definition and solving; critical thinking and analysis; data management; utilising research methods and methodologies; teamwork, negotiation and networking; high-level technical skills in your field; and communicating to different audiences. With the majority of PhD graduates now pursuing careers outside academia, the skills and research training embedded in the PhD assist you to move into a variety of sectors and roles, including management, consulting, commercial R&D, research management, entrepreneurship, public policy, government, finance, technical services, biotech, education, and project coordination/management.

Last updated Oct 2020

About the School

At ECU we are guided by our values of integrity, respect, rational inquiry and personal excellence. Our focus on teaching and research is inspired by engagement and partnerships with those in the many ... Read More

At ECU we are guided by our values of integrity, respect, rational inquiry and personal excellence. Our focus on teaching and research is inspired by engagement and partnerships with those in the many communities we were established to serve. Read less
Joondalup , Mount Lawley , Bunbury + 2 More Less