Doctor of Philosophy


By choosing to study a Doctor of Philosophy you can make a significant, original contribution to knowledge and understanding in the Arts, Humanities or Social Sciences.

A PhD in Arts & Social Sciences will provide you with advanced specialist research training and expert knowledge of the discipline in an international context. It will open doors to academic, research and professional roles nationally and internationally.

Constructing your thesis

You will demonstrate your excellent research skills by producing a high quality thesis in your field of interest. Your research will be supervised by scholars who are progressive thinkers and creators, and national leaders in their fields.

Your thesis will provide evidence for your independent investigation and summarise the research you have completed over three to four years.

You will be considered an integral part of the Arts & Social Sciences research community and have the opportunity to mix with a diverse grouping of enquiring and adventurous scholars.


The minimum length of candidature is 3 years and the maximum length is 4 years.

Candidates are required to submit a thesis for examination normally not exceeding 100,000 words in length.

Supervision areas

You can search through our disciplines and research areas to find out if there is a potential supervisor for your proposed area of research.

We offer supervision in a wide range of disciplines and research areas that contribute to the Faculty’s research strengths.

UNSW Arts & Social Sciences also encourages interdisciplinary collaboration both within the Faculty and across the University.

Postgraduate research supervision areas


Admission to the Doctor of Philosophy degree requires one of the following qualifications:

  • a completed undergraduate degree with Honours 2/1 or equivalent (for example at UNSW, this is graded as distinction level or 75%+)
  • a completed Masters by Research degree or equivalent postgraduate qualification that includes a substantial research component written up as an academic thesis, awarded at or above distinction level or equivalent
  • in exceptional circumstances, sufficient evidence of research experience that clearly demonstrates exceptional research skills and the ability to undertake the proposed research program

All applicants must meet the English language entry requirements of the University.

How to apply


For program rules and structure please see the UNSW Handbook.