Explore ANU College of Asia & Pacific research activities

Graduate research

ANU College of Asia & Pacific (CAP) offers two research degrees: the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and the Master of Philosophy (MPhil). The PhD, in which almost 400 students are currently enrolled, is a three to four year research degree requiring the production of an 80-100,000 word thesis. Most students are required to undertake some preparatory course work in their first year. All research students work closely with an academic supervisor and a panel of advisors. The College offers PhD and MPhil research supervision in a wide range of disciplines from the humanities and social sciences. See a list of the major fields of research.

Download the CAP HDR Student Handbook (PDF, 1.78MB)

Application process at a glance

checklistSelf assess

You need to have completed an undergraduate or master degree in a discipline relevant to your area of proposed research. For undergraduate degrees your result should be First Class Honours or Second Class Honours (First Division). If you have a master degree, rather than an honours degree, you will need to show that it had a research component. If you don't have a master or honours degree you may be able to apply on the basis of professional work experience. You will also need to have academic referees to support your application.

Most students who are successful in their application for admission to a research degree are in the top 5-10 per cent of their class in their previous degree.

checklistFees & scholarships

There are no tuition fees for students from Australia or New Zealand citizens enrolling in a higher degree by research for the first time. Their research training costs are met by the Australian government. You can apply for a Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) to cover your living expenses but there are only a limited number of scholarships available. The closing date for applications if you want to be considered for a scholarship is 31 October to commence by the following March. Occasionally, scholarships are available for mid-year entry by August.

International students are required to pay tuition fees. A very small number of scholarships is available to cover fees. There is also a very small number of scholarships to cover living expenses. Only the most outstanding international applicants will receive these scholarships. We strongly encourage you to investigate other funding options before submitting your application. The closing date for applications if you want to be considered for ANU scholarship is 31 August to commence by the following March.

checklistFind a supervisor

One of the most important steps in making an application is to identify a potential supervisor. Your application will only be successful if there is an academic in the College who is willing to supervise your research project.

The best way to identify some potential supervisors is to search the ANU Researchers Database. You can search for researchers by name, discipline, country or other key word.

You can also find out about potential supervisors, and their research interests, by browsing the websites of the Schools located in the College of Asia and the Pacific.

The CAP Student Centre may also be able to help you identify a potential supervisor if you have difficulty finding one.

checklistMake contact

Once you have identified a potential supervisor (or perhaps two or three) you should make contact with them, well in advance of making your application..

Potential supervisors will expect you to send a 2-3 page outline of your proposed research, along with a Curriculum Vitae that includes details of your academic performance.

The academic staff member will let you know if they are interested in discussing your proposal further and developing it into a full application. Normally there are several email exchanges, or telephone discussions, with a potential supervisor before a final application is submitted.

If the person you contact is not interested in your research they may be able to suggest other potential supervisors and will often forward your details to colleagues who may be closer to your area of research.

If you are having trouble making contact with your potential supervisor, please get in touch with the CAP Student Centre.

checklistSubmit application

Applications for research degrees at ANU are made online. To view the list of research degrees available you may navigate to the ANU Programs and Courses website and filter programs by 'Research' and 'College of Asia and the Pacific'.

If you need any additional advice on completing your application please contact the CAP Student Centre.

Applications can be submitted at any time during the year, but if you want to be considered for a scholarship the closing dates are (31 August for international students or 31 October for domestic students). Scholarship recipients must commence by 31 March of the following year.

Here are a couple of important pieces of information that will help you in filling the application form.

  • For Academic Group select “College of Asia and the Pacific”
  • For Program Code select the code which relates to the relevant School (see table below)
Program College of Asia Pacific Schools
9540 PhD
8540 MPhil
NSC code: 9850 PhD
Crawford School of Public Policy
9050 PhD
8050 MPhil
School of Culture, History & Language (CHL)
9510 PhD
8510 MPhil
Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs
9560 PhD
8560 MPhil
School of Regulation, Justice & Diplomacy (RJD)

Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team