PhD & MPhil

The ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science offers two Higher Degree by Research (HDR) degrees: the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and the Master of Philosophy (MPhil). Both degrees involve producing high quality original research under the close supervision of a panel of world class academic staff. HDR students produce a thesis that describes this research, which is assessed by external examiners at the end of the program.

In addition to supporting core research, the College provides generous financial assistance to HDR students for professional development activities such as specialist courses, seminars, conferences and summer schools.

The College offers research supervision 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 important information below.

If you have further questions, please contact the College HDR Administration team

Please self-assess your eligibility for entry into a Higher Degree by Research program before commencing the pre-application process.

Step 1: Self assessment of eligibility to undertake an HDR program

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.

Admission to a Doctor of Philosophy degree at ANU requires:

  1. An Australian Bachelor degree with at least Second Class Honours - Upper (First Class Honours is often required) or its international equivalent, or
  2. Another degree with a significant research/thesis component that may be assessed as equivalent to paragraph (1), or
  3. A combination of qualifications, research publications and/or professional experience related to the field of study that may be assessed as equivalent to paragraph (1).

Admission to a Master of Philosophy degree at ANU requires:

  1. An Australian Bachelor degree or higher, with an overall grade of distinction or higher, or its international equivalent, or
  2. Another degree that may be assessed as equivalent to paragraph (1), or
  3. A combination of qualifications, research publications and/or professional experience related to the field of study that may be assessed as equivalent to paragraph (1).

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.


Step 2: 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. 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.

Step 3: Secure support from a potential supervisor

When contacting a potential supervisor(s), it is important that you provide information relevant to your application, including a current CV and a brief research proposal in your email. Many of our academic staff are internationally recognised and receive many expressions of interest each day. 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. If a supervisor agrees to support your application, you may proceed to submit a formal application


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.

If you can't find the answer to your query on our webpages, please email the College HDR Administration team for further assistance. 

Who can I contact regarding my application or other aspects of the application process?

You can email the College of Engineering and Computer Science HDR Administration team at

The HDR Administration team receives a high volume of email enquiries, so it may take a few days to receive and answer to your query. In the meantime, please review the College and ANU websites to check if there is relevant information already available to you. 

Am I admissible to an HDR program?

Please view the pre-application tab and check the self-assessment flow chart 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. Note that even if you meet admissibility requirements, the College may not be able to accept your application due to a lack of resources or adequate supervision to support your program of study. 

Are there English language requirements to study at ANU?

All applicants, whether domestic or international, must provide evidence that their English language ability meets the minimum requirements for admission. The English Language Requirements for Students policy outlines approved methods for meeting the English requirements.

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 for further assessment. You will find a list of research areas on our website. Please review the pre-application tab for more information.

How do I submit an application?

If believe you meet eligibility requirements and you have secured the support of an academic to supervise your study, you may submit a formal application for the MPhil or PhD program through the ANU application portal. Please see the ANU HDR application advisory page for more information. 

What constitutes a complete application?

A complete application includes:

  • An application submitted through the ANU application portal
  • A current CV
  • A research proposal
  • Colour copies of all transcripts and completion certificates of prior study, in original language and official English translations
  • 3 complete referee reports (Referees are nominated through the application portal). 

If the HDR Administration team receives an incomplete application, we will contact the applicant and give them 30 days to provide the outstanding documentation. We recommend submitting your application at least two weeks prior to scholarship application deadlines to give your referees time to provide their references for you.

What scholarships are available for me to support my study at ANU?

You can search for scholarship opportunities on the ANU scholarships page. There may be additional scholarship opportunities listed on the College scholarships page. You may also be eligible for scholarship opportunities external to ANU. Applicants will be considered for all internal scholarships available if they indicate on their application that they want a scholarship.

Applicants should note that our scholarship rounds are extremely competitive. In general scholarships are awarded to the top 10-15% of applicants, depending on the number of applications submitted and the number of available scholarships. 

What are the scholarship application cut-off dates?

International Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship

International students applying for this scholarship will need to have their complete application and all supporting documents including referee reports submitted no later than 31 August.

Domestic Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarships
Australian citizens, Permanent Residents and New Zealand citizens will need to have their complete application and all supporting documents including referee reports submitted no later than 31 October. 

Other scholarship round deadlines will be according to the scholarships listed on the College scholarships page.

Applications that are incomplete at the deadline will not be considered for scholarship under any circumstances. 

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. 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. 

Want more information on studying at ANU and living in Canberra?

Information on living in Canberra, studying at ANU, accommodation options and more can be found at the ANU Study webpage. 

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 unless they are in receipt of a tuition fee waiver scholarship. Information on fees can be found on the Programs and Courses page for our HDR programs. 

The ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science is committed to supporting our students with scholarships. All applications for scholarship are carefully and rigorously assessed. Our scholarship rounds are highly competitive, and we are only able to provide scholarship funding for the top applicants.

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 31 October each year.

International - For international scholarships the main round is 31 August each year.

Closing dates and eligibility requirements for any additional scholarship rounds will be advised in the scholarship advertisement. 

Your application must be complete by the relevant closing date for your application to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be assessed for scholarship under any circumstances. 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