PhD & MPhil

The ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science offers two research degrees; the Doctor of Philosophy and the Master of Philosophy. Both degrees are awarded based on the submission and subsequent independent assessment of a thesis that describes original research undertaken by the author while enrolled as a student in a relevant research program at ANU. These programs are also referred to as Higher Degree by Research (HDR) awards.

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is typically eighteen months to two years full-time and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is typically three to four years full-time. There is a possibility that study may be approved on a part-time basis in which case the duration is doubled. This is not common, and is not encouraged. Students seeking part-time options will need to seek special approval from the College. Part-time study is not available to international students or scholarship holders.

HDR students work very closely with an academic supervisor and panel of advisors. They also have the opportunity to access a broad range of specialist courses, attend seminars, conferences and summer schools, and to contribute to various undergraduate teaching activities.

The College offers research in a wide range of areas including computer vision, biomaterials, human-centred computing, computational mechanics, robotics and much more. If you're interested in completing a research program with us, explore our application process and inmportant information below.

Please self-assess your eligibility for entry into a graduate research program, before commencing the pre-application process.

Self assessment

ANU is ranked among the world’s most prestigious universities and is recognised for setting the standard in education and research on matters that will have an impact on advancing society and the world in which we live. Our graduates become the innovators and leaders of the future. For these reasons, admission to one of our HDR programs is competitive and most successful applicants are in the top five to ten percent of their class in their previous degree.

Domestic students (Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and New Zealand citizens)

All domestic students commencing a PhD within the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science who have previously completed a relevant degree from an eligible university with 1st class honours (or equivalent) are guaranteed admission (subject to supervision being available). Students with 1st class Honours will also be considered very favourably for a scholarship. Students with upper 2nd class honours may be eligible for admission and will be considered for a scholarship, and are encouraged to apply. There are no tuition fees for domestic students.

International students

International students are required to pay tuition fees. Only the most outstanding applicants will receive a fees and/or stipend scholarship. For international students, this is typically only the top 10-15%.

Eligibility flowchart

To help you assess whether or not you are likely to be successful for admission, stipend or scholarship, please see the flowchart below. Note that even though you may meet the criteria, this is not a guarantee of admission, stipend or scholarship. The flowchart helps you to see if your experience and qualifications may meet the university requirements.


Identify a research area, project and supervisor

Once you have completed your self-assessment, the next step in applying to study at the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science is to identify a research area and a potential supervisor with whom you may like to work with. Potential supervisors are listed within each research area.  You may also like to explore availabilities in current research projects. You should note that regardless of the quality of the application, you cannot be accepted into a research program without having the support of an academic that is willing to supervise you.

Secure support from a potential supervisor

When contacting a potential supervisor(s), it is important that you provide him or her with all information relevant to your application. Many of our academic staff are internationally recognised and receive many expressions of interest each day. To ensure that your request is given appropriate attention, please include a recent CV and a short research proposal in your email. If the supervisor you have contacted is interested in speaking with you further, he or she will contact you by email. Please be patient as many of our academics are extremely busy and have regular international travel, so there may be a delay in responding to your request.

Identify potential scholarships

If you require a scholarship to commence your study at ANU, now is a good time to identify any scholarships that may be available to you. A list of domestic and international scholarships can be found on the College scholarships page. It is also recommended you explore any scholarships that may be available external to the University. These may include scholarships awarded by your local government, Australian and international aid organisations and commercial enterprise. Securing external funding can greatly increase your chances of admission.

Meet English language requirements

All applicants must meet the University's English language requirements.


Before submitting your formal application please ensure you have already self-assessed your eligibility and completed the pre-application process.

Applicants can choose to apply either by a hard copy application (please note that there is a processing fee is applicable if you choose to apply using the hard copy form) or by using our online application system (no application fee). 
You can apply through our online system to commence a:


Your formal application must include a number of supporting documents.

  • High resolution coloured soft copies of all your previous academic transcripts.
  • A short CV or resume.
  • A one (1) to two (2) page research/thesis proposal.
  • Three (3) referee reports. Preferably all (no less than two must be academic references. Referees are required to complete a standard referee's questionnaire. These must be arranged by the applicant and we will not pursue these on your behalf. Questionnaires must be sent by the referee directly to the email address provided on the form and cc'ed to
  • Proof of meeting the University's English language requirements.
  • Proof of residency/citizenship (domestic applicants only).

These documents do not need to be submitted at the same time as your application (we understand that referees may take some time to submit their reports) however your application will not be assessed until all of these documents have been received.

Admittance and closing dates

Applications for admission to a HDR award may be submitted at any time throughout the year, and students may commence their program at any point throughout the year. If you wish to be considered for a scholarship with ANU, you should ensure that your completed application is received by the appropriate deadline. For international students this is 31st August and for domestic students this is 31st of October in the year before commencing study.

Who can I contact regarding my application or other aspects of the application process?
You can email Due to high volume of emails, turnaround time is three to four days, so if you do not hear from us right away, please wait a week before you consider emailing us again. Chances are your query is answered somewhere on the ANU or College website or in these FAQs, so please try to research the answer yourself in the meantime. Please be as succinct as possible in your email and we will endeavour to answer your queries as thoroughly and quickly as possible.

Am I admissible?
Please view the self-assessment process to determine if you may be admissible. If you are considered not admissible for MPhil/PhD entry at this time, please consider completing a Masters by Coursework degree. After completing this degree, you may be considered admissible into the MPhil/PhD program. 

Are there English language requirements to study at ANU?
The University does have English requirements. Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) regulations require international students from select countries to provide specific English language test results for the purpose of student visa applications. This test may be different from the University’s English language requirements. Please speak with your nearest Australian Mission for the visa English requirements from your home country.

How do I find a supervisor to support my research application?
You will need to contact relevant academics in your research field. In your discussions with them, they will determine whether your background and experience is significant enough to submit a competitive application. You will find a list of research areas on our website.

How do I submit an application?
Please visit the online application website.

What scholarships are available for me to support my study at ANU?
A list of scholarships for International and Domestic students can be found on the College scholarships page.

The College is committed to offering scholarships to the best students with the best potential projects and will use a broad range of indicators to make such determinations. If you have a first class honours degree there is a good chance that you will be offered entry and a scholarship. Students with a very good second class honours degree and who are able to demonstrate an aptitude and ability for research are also encouraged to apply.

What are the scholarship application cut-off dates?

International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS)
International students applying for this scholarship will need to have their application and all supporting documents submitted no later than 31 August. Notification of award will be sent by the end of October.

Domestic Research Scholarships
Australian citizens, Permanent Residents and New Zealand citizens will need to have their application and all supporting documents submitted no later than 31 October. Notification of award will be sent by the end of December.

Endeavour Postgraduate Award (EPA)
International students who wish to apply for this award will need to have submitted their application and all supporting documents to us no later than 31 May in order to make the 30 June cut-off.

Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC) 
Chinese students applying for this scholarship will need to have their application and all supporting documents to us no later than 31 December in order to make the March cut-off.

All other persons who have scholarships from their home country can apply at any time of the year for admission. Please provide evidence of the scholarship you will be living on with your application, i.e. the scholarship offer letter.

Data61 applicants should check the Data61 website for application closing dates.

Applicants will be considered for all scholarships available if they indicate on their application that they want a scholarship.

Do I have to translate my documents into English?
Documents that are not in English must be translated by a National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) translator who is registered to translate the document language to and from English. You must submit certified copies of both the original language documents and the English translation.

My offer is about to expire, how do I request a new offer?
You will need to provide a valid reason for your delayed arrival. If your supporting supervisor supports your deferral, please email with evidence of the supervisor’s support of the extension. If you are eligible for a deferral, you will receive a new offer letter within three to four weeks of the request. Please be advised that deferring your offer may cause you to forfeit a scholarship that may have been awarded to you by the University. Please indicate in your email if you have been awarded a scholarship. Please note, we will only grant a deferral for up to one semester. Unfortunately there are no exceptions to this rule.

Want more information on studying at ANU and living in Canberra?
Please explore the University.

Where can I find the University rules governing graduate research at ANU?
The University rules governing graduate research at ANU can be found at Graduate Research Award Rules.

What are the tuition fees for HDR students?
Domestic students (Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and New Zealand citizens) are not required to pay tuition fees for graduate research study as they are covered by the Australian Government Research Training Scheme (RTS). International students are required to pay tuition fees. More information can be found on the student fees website.

I have an offer letter, how do I enrol?
All information for enrolment procedures can be found within the offer letter.

Where can I find out more about accommodation on Campus and in Canberra.
Please take a look at our accommodation website.


CECS is committed to offering scholarships to the best students with the best potential projects and will use a broad range of indicators to make such determinations. If you are a domestic student and have a first class honours degree it is extremely likely that you will be offered entry and a scholarship. Domestic students with a second class honours degree and who are able to demonstrate an aptitude and ability for research are also encouraged to apply.

To view the full list of research scholarships offered by the ANU, please visit the Research Scholarships page.

Which scholarships can I apply for?

Domestic Scholarships - A domestic (or national) student is someone who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen.

International Scholarships - An international student is someone who is not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or not a New Zealand citizen. All other students, including New Zealand permanent residents, are deemed to be international students.

How do I apply?

When you submit your application for admission to a research program, you will be asked whether you wish to be considered for a scholarship. If you request to be considered for a scholarship we will consider you for all available scholarships.

What are the closing dates?

Domestic - The closing date for the main domestic scholarship round is the end of October each year.

International - For international scholarships the main round is around the end of August each year. This means that your application must be complete by this time if you wish to be considered. There are often delays associated with collecting referee reports and other required documents, so we suggest you aim to have your application completed well in advance of this date.

When do I find out the results?

International applicants can expect to be notified towards the end of October as to whether they were successful in being awarded a scholarship. Domestic applicants should be made aware of the outcome of their application in December.

Travel awards - Once you have commenced your program, there are a number of opportunities to receive funding to help support travel relating to your research. Some money will be automatically allocated to you for this purpose, but it is important for you to be aware of other sources for funding.

A dedicated team of academic and professional staff are available within the College to provide support for all our HDR students. Some of this support is in the centralised student services area of the College, and some is within each School.

Questions to do with the administration of your program should be directed to your(see below) in the first instance. Any forms that you complete should first be signed by your Chair of Panel and then sent to your HDR administrator in the Student Services Office, CSIT Building (108).

Within each school there is also an Academic Network Convenor who is primarily reponsible for admission matters, while each school has a Delegated Authority (DA)with a responsibility for oversight of the exmaination process.

Each school also has a Director who has responsibilty for the academic leadership of each school, including research education.

Updated:  15 May 2018/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing