As a research student, you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of our world-class staff, with networking opportunities that can lead to career possibilities around the world.
Together, our high-calibre researchers and students are solving some of today’s most critical and challenging problems. Browse our research degrees below to find one that best suits you.
A driving force in energy Professor Christophe Gaudin
With the help of a state-of-the-art centrifuge facility, Professor Christophe Gaudin’s research is changing the world of industry and renewable energy.
Nobel Laureate Professor Barry Marshall
From curing ulcers to preventing asthma and allergies, Professor Barry Marshall continues to find ways to use his Nobel Prize-winning research to save lives.
Leading Australian archaeologist Dr Jo McDonald
Director of UWA’s Centre for Rock Art Research and Management, Professor Jo McDonald is shedding light on some of Australia’s most ancient settlements and earliest symbolic behaviour.
Indigenous campaigner Professor Pat Dudgeon
Professor Pat Dudgeon is transforming Australia’s approach to improving mental health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and leading the way to best practice for suicide prevention programs.
Postgraduate research options
Postgraduate research courses have an intensive research component. Through the research process you will extend your understanding of a subject area and develop advanced analytical and project management skills as well as the ability to work independently.
Successful completion of a research degree indicates to a prospective employer that you have excellent project and personal management skills, and that you can think independently and critically, solve problems and communicate effectively.
Research doctorates (including PhD)
These consist of a research project mutually agreed upon by a student, supervisor, head of school and the Board of the Graduate Research School. The programs require the development and implementation of a rigorous research plan, based on a comprehensive understanding of the relevant literature and the need for answers to questions posed in that literature or as the result of a new theory.
A thesis at this level will demonstrate, in the context of a substantial and original contribution, mastery of the subject as well as a furthering of understanding in that field of knowledge, through the discovery of knowledge, the formulation of theories or the innovative re-interpretation of known data and established ideas.
The thesis arising from the research should show a student's ability to document and interpret results, to formulate theories, and to discuss the results in the light of the current literature to a level of competence required in published materials.
Some research doctorates also include a structured coursework component and are designed to provide high-level research training to professionals in particular fields. These courses include the Doctor of Education, the Doctor of Juridical Science, the Doctor of Podiatry and the Doctor of Business Administration.
Master's by research
A master's by research is a supervised degree for which a thesis represents 100 per cent of the degree requirements. Some master’s by research courses include creative work (creative writing, fine arts or music). For these degrees, assessment is based on creative work only. A master's thesis must be a substantial work, generally based on independent research that shows:
- sound knowledge of the research subject
- evidence of independent thought
- an ability to use clear and concise language
Master's by thesis and coursework
A master's by thesis and coursework recognises your thorough understanding of a research field or area of professional practice. A master’s by thesis and coursework includes a dissertation component that represents 66.6 per cent or more of the degree requirements.
Graduates possess a range of academic and vocational attributes such as:
- advanced knowledge of a specialist body of topics
- high-order skills in analysis, critical evaluation and/or professional application through the planning and execution of project work or a piece of scholarship or research
- creativity and flexibility in the application of knowledge and skills to new situations
- an ability to solve complex problems and think rigorously and independently
Higher Degree by Research Preliminary
Students who demonstrate great potential for research but do not meet eligibility criteria for direct entry into a master’s or PhD research program can apply for the Higher Degree by Research Preliminary. This is a supervised course of advanced study and/or research. Students who wish to complete a higher degree by research may be required, on the recommendation of the relevant head of school, to complete this course before being eligible for acceptance into a higher degree by research course.
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