Facts & figures
Our research is driven by the big picture. The University of Sydney is home to leading researchers who are finding solutions to the world's most pressing issues by changing the way they look at them.
We are home to 90 world‑renowned multidisciplinary research and teaching centres that tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges, such as health, climate change and food security. These centres include the Charles Perkins Centre, the Brain and Mind Centre, The University of Sydney Nano Institute, the Sydney Policy Lab, the Sydney Environment Institute, and the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre.
Our interdisciplinary approach means that students are part of a community of scholars that unites experts in fields as diverse as medicine, arts, social sciences, engineering, information technologies and science.
As a researcher at Sydney, you'll work alongside some of the world's brightest and most accomplished academics. You can access high-calibre facilities and unique international partnerships with top-ranked institutions, including Stanford, UCLA, the University of Edinburgh, Utrecht University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and the University of Hong Kong.
A master's degree by research at Sydney:
A PhD at Sydney:
A Joint PhD (previously called ‘Cotutelle’) at Sydney:
Download our Joint PhD programs factsheet (pdf, 96KB) to learn more.
A professional doctorate at Sydney:
To support the research capabilities and success of HDR students, and in response to a changing world, we are introducing a new coursework component to our PhD degrees and broadening the coursework options for our other postgraduate research degrees.
You will have the opportunity to create a distinct research pathway by selecting from 270+ units from any faculty – a first of its kind in Australia – with study areas ranging from specialist analytical methods and professional engagement courses, to discipline-specific subjects.
This flexibility allows you to:
You will be able to enrol in any of the units available at no extra cost, subject to unit capacity and your research background, as some units vary in levels of capability. Browse all available units.
Your faculty may elect to define certain units of study as mandatory for a given degree pathway.
Yes, all HDR courses require prior research experience. This is because HDR courses are largely self-driven, requiring pre-requisite research, time and project management skills.
If you do not have any previous research experience, there are ways to gain what you need. Both the one-year Honours and Masters by coursework degrees containing substantial research components are great pathways into research. These courses will allow you to gain the research skills necessary to apply for the PhD.
The PhD is our premier research award and the highest qualification on the Australian Qualifications Framework. The PhD is usually three years full-time or six years part-time.
The Master of Philosophy/Research is usually one to two years full-time or four years part-time (part-time is available to domestic students only). A PhD thesis is generally around 80,000 words while a master’s thesis is 50,000 words.
To browse through the profiles of our researchers and learn about their current and past research, please refer to Find a Researcher. Here, you will also be able to access the publications lists and contact details of our researchers.
No! Interdisciplinary research is actually highly regarded in the world of academia and working across disciplines can be very beneficial in developing and demonstrating different analytical skills. Working on research from two perspectives can also offer insight which you would not be able to achieve from one discipline perspective.
Please check your course page on Sydney Courses for the requirements of each course. Generally, the English requirements are between 6.0 to 7.0 IELTS overall or a minimum result of 565 overall for TOEFL – PBT score.
There are no course fees for domestic students, as fees are covered by the government Research Training Program fee off-set. However, fees apply to international students. Please refer to your course page on Sydney Courses for fee details.
We have one of the largest research schemes in Australia. Opportunities include the Australian government-funded Research Training Program (RTP) stipend scholarships, and the University of Sydney and faculty-specific awards. Explore your options.
Yes, if you are commencing your HDR study from 2021 you must complete the mandatory HDR coursework for any HDR course. Generally, this is 12 credit points for the PhD and 6 credit points for the Master of Philosophy/Research.
It is possible for students enrolled in the Master of Philosophy to move to the PhD after the first year of study, if you have made satisfactory progress and if the transfer is approved by your Faculty. It is important to inform your supervisor of your plans early so that you can work on a timeline together to achieve this goal.
Yes, you can work during your PhD. How many hours you take on is at your own discretion, and you must ensure that you still allow time for the completion of your research. International HDR students can generally work more hours than coursework students. Please check your individual visa for specific restrictions.
There are sometimes opportunities for PhD candidates to engage in paid employment at the University, but this is not guaranteed and is dependent on the Faculty/Department. If opportunities do arise, they may be in the form of teaching, marking, acting as a research assistant, or other roles.
There is extensive support for research students at Sydney, including 100+ multidisciplinary research and teaching centres. Other services include library workshops for research skills; dedicated Research Librarians and Research Support Officers; the Careers Centre; access to the Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association; and the Learning Centre.
Facts & figures