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Doctor of Philosophy

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Doctor of Philosophy

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Do you aspire to become a leader in your field? CSU's Doctor of Philosophy gives you the opportunity to make an original and significant contribution to knowledge in your chosen discipline within the arts.

As the highest level of qualification available, a PhD could pave the way for a rewarding career in research or academia anywhere in the world.

  • Why study this course?

    Open to those with an excellent academic record and proven research skills, the Doctor of Philosophy allows you to conduct a detailed research investigation in an area of interest and present your findings in a thesis. 

    Build your research expertise

    You will design and implement a high-quality original research project of significance to your discipline. Through this process, you will develop a thorough knowledge of scholarly debate in your field and the capacity to critically analyse and constructively contribute to that debate. Research areas include Australian history, Australian literature, communication and culture, drama, fine arts, police studies, professional and applied ethics, sociology, rural social studies, social work, social welfare and social policy and theology.

    Join the CSU research community

    As a PhD candidate, you will be admitted into a dynamic community of scholars who are dedicated researchers in disciplinary and interdisciplinary areas of research. You will complete your doctorate under the guidance of experienced academics who are experts in your discipline.

    Choose a study option to suit you

    CSU's Doctor of Philosophy has been designed with flexibility in mind. You can choose from full-time, part-time, on-campus and online study options, and applications for admission are considered at any time throughout the year.

    Consider applying for a scholarship

    CSU offers a number of merit-based scholarships to help you realise your study or career goals.

    Doctor of Philosophy by publication

    If you have a significant body of published research, you may be eligible for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy by publication. This program enables you to gain formal recognition for your existing research and published material.

  • Career opportunities

    As a research-based professional doctorate, the Doctor of Philosophy produces knowledgeable, skilled and reflective professional practitioners who are equipped for diverse and changing work contexts. Successful completion of your PhD heralds your admission into a community of scholars and paves the way for a rewarding academic career. Alternatively, you could work in research or policy roles as a specialist in your discipline.

  • Subjects

    The below information is for new students. Current students should select their subjects by checking the Handbook for the year of their enrolment

    Course structure

    Students should contact the Sub Dean Graduate Studies or potential supervisor to discuss possible research topics. Students wishing to undertake research in an area strategically aligned with a designated University Research Centre should also contact the Director of that Centre.

    In accordance with the University's Higher Degree Regulations, students will be assigned an appropriate supervisor who will assist the student in developing a research proposal and the title for the research, and guide the student during the research process and thesis preparation.

    Priority research areas of the Faculty for a Doctor of Philosophy by research and thesis are Australian literature, rural sociology, Australian history, communication, creative industries and culture, ethics and social philosophy, social work and social welfare, social administration and policy, theological and biblical studies, Islamic Studies, fine art and drama.

    In consultation with the Sub Dean and supervisor, each student will be allocated one of the following research subject codes, in which the student will enrol for the period of his or her candidature:

    ART701/ART702 Doctoral Research (Arts)COM701/COM702 Doctoral Research (Communication)HSS701/HSS702 Doctoral Research (Humanities and Social Sciences)ISL701/ISL702 Doctoral Research (Islamic Studies)THL701/THL702 Doctoral Research (Theology)

    Subjects above are listed in both their full-time and part-time modes, where 701 = part-time and 702 = full-time.

    Enrolment pattern

    No enrolment pattern is specified. Students are advised to contact the Associate Dean Higher Degree Research or Coordinator for relevant information.

  • Admission information

    Special admission criteria

    Applications with the area of research interest clearly stated can be lodged at any time within the academic year. Initial contact with the appropriate Course Coordinator is highly advisable.

    Admission Criteria for PhD By Research (Arts)

    The entry qualifications required for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy program in the Faculty of Arts and Education are:

    • a relevant Bachelor degree at Honours Class 1 or Honours Class 2 Division 1; or
    • a relevant Master by Research; or
    • enrolled in a Charles Sturt University Master by Research program and has demonstrated exceptional ability in the conduct of a research project which is clearly capable of being extended to a doctoral level; or
    • a relevant coursework Master's degree with evidence of research at a Distinction level or above; or
    • other qualifications acceptable to the Faculty and the Research Committee.

    Admission criteria for PhD by Publication

    An applicant for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy by Publication shall meet the requirements specified below. Admission to candidature will be subject to external assessment. A candidate is expected to be an experienced researcher with a significant refereed publication record of doctoral standard.

    An applicant for admission to Doctoral by Publication candidature shall have:

    1. qualified for the award of a Master degree by research at an acceptable level; or
    2. an appropriate Bachelor degree with class 1 or class 2(i) honours from an Australian university or an equivalent overseas tertiary institution, taken over a minimum of four years (full-time equivalent); or
    3. some other appropriate combination of undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications (such as relevant graduate diplomas) and research experience which demonstrates to the Research Committee that he/she is capable of undertaking research at a Doctoral level, may be accepted into the program.

    The Reseach Committee shall base its decision on a proposed candidature upon the following evidence:

    • the publications (which may include books and non-print materials) that will be included in the submission presented for examination;
    • any information on the quality and citations of the publications to be included in the submission;
    • a statement making clear the applicant's contribution to all jointly-authored publications;
    • a statement from the co-authors of any jointly-authored publications confirming the extent of the applicant's contribution to these publications;
    • a statement of no more than five pages that:
      • indicates the way in which the work has developed;
      • demonstrates the contemporary relevance of each publication;
      • makes clear the way in which the publications make an original scholarly contribution to knowledge;
      • provides a thematic overview which serves to link the individual publications into an integrated whole;
      • confirms the papers have not previously been submitted as part of a degree;
    • a statement indicating whether or not additional research activity may be required in order to convert the publications to an integrated whole, and if so, an outline of the necessary work,
    • the names of two persons who are able to provide academic references relevant to the proposed PhD candidature
    • the qualifications and experience of the applicant;
    • the proposed area of research;
    • an indication of willingness to supervise the proposed research from a supervisor;
    • certification from the Faculty that:
      • the proposed program of study and research is at a level appropriate to the degree being sought;
      • the proposed program falls within an approved University field of research for higher degrees;
      • adequate supervision and physical resources are available;
      • the applicant has the appropriate background and ability to undertake the proposed course;
      • the applicant has given the necessary commitment to work regularly on the approved program of study and research and maintain regular contact with a supervisor.

    See standard CSU admission criteria

  • Cost of study

    Fees - please visit the fees and costs page or contact us for current fee information.

    Tax deduction - in some instances a tax deduction may be claimed for self education expenses. Please seek independent qualified taxation advice.


    Alumni discount

    Already studied with CSU? Our 10% Alumni discount applies to this course!
    Find out more

  • Course details

    Campus locations listed for Online students are purely for administrative purposes and have no relevance to the student experience.

    Enrol TypeModeCampusFee typeSession 1Session 2Session 3Admission Code
    DirectOnlineUni WideFPOSYYYJAZZ
    DirectOn campusUni WideRTSYYYKAZZ
    DirectOnlineUni WideFPPGYYYOAZZ
    DirectOn campusUni WideFPOSYYYIAZZ
    DirectOn campusUni WideFPPGYYYGAZZ
    DirectOnlineUni WideRTSYYYEAZZ

    CGS: Commonwealth Government supported places
    FPPG: Fee-paying postgraduate places
    FPOS: Fee-paying overseas student places
    Admission Code: For your reference if required during your application process
    NO TAC: An admission code is not required for applications to CSU Study Centres
    TEMP: An admission code has not yet been assigned for this course

    Graduation requirements

    To graduate, students must satisfactorily complete a thesis (192 points), to the satisfaction of the Research Committee (RC).

  • How to apply
    Apply direct to CSU

    An online application to CSU takes about 15 minutes to complete. Find out more

    Apply online

    Apply direct to CSU

    Apply direct to CSU for on campus study at a CSU regional campus, or study by distance education.

    Apply online

    Recruitment agent

    Contact a Recruitment agent in your country who can answer your questions about CSU as well as help with the student visa application process.

    International recruitment agents

    CRICOS Code(s)

    011999A (Uni Wide)

    Thinking of deferring?

    Find out more about deferral

  • Academic expectations

    For each 8 point subject at CSU, students should normally expect to spend between 140-160 hours engaged in the specified learning and assessment activities (such as attending lectures or residential schools, assigned readings, tutorial assistance, individual or group research/study, forum activity, workplace learning, assignments or examinations). The student workload for some subjects may vary from these norms as a result of approved course design.

    Students will be assessed on the basis of completed assignments, examinations, workplace learning, or other methods as outlined in specific subject outlines.

    Where applicable, students are responsible for travel and accommodation costs involved in workplace learning experiences, or attending residential schools (distance education students).

    Expectations relating to academic, workplace learning, time and cost requirements for specific subjects are provided in the subject abstracts and in course materials.

    Throughout their studies, CSU students have a responsibility to continue to develop skills in English Language, literacy and numeracy as appropriate to their discipline. This ongoing development will enable students to effectively participate in their course and graduate as competent professionals.

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Apply for admission

  • Australian and New Zealand citizens, and permanent residents.


    By research, Full-time: 3 years minimum / 4 years maximum, Part-time: 6 years minimum / 8 years maximum, , Extended - for international students only, Full-time: 3 years minimum / 4 years maximum, , By prior publication, Full-time: 6 months minimum / 1 year maximum, Part-time: 1 year minimum / 2 years maximum


    Online; On campus


    Uni Wide

    See full list of enrolment options


    By research, Full-time: 3 years minimum / 4 years maximum, Part-time: 6 years minimum / 8 years maximum, , Extended - for international students only, Full-time: 3 years minimum / 4 years maximum, , By prior publication, Full-time: 6 months minimum / 1 year maximum, Part-time: 1 year minimum / 2 years maximum


    Online; On campus


    Uni Wide

    See full list of enrolment options


    Find out more about tuition fees


    011999A (Uni Wide)