Study PhD in Australia – A complete Guide in 2022-2023

PhD in Australia cost
PhD in Australia cost

Study PhD in Australia: If you’re looking for how to apply for PhD programs with scholarship, here is an article that explains the requirements you will need as well as the cost of running a PhD program for international students in Australia.

Australia is a good city to study a PhD program due to the presence of world-class research centers and labs.

The academic status of Australia makes it one of the most favorable countries for study abroad purposes.

Each year, most Australian universities receive tons of applications for both undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

And the number keeps increasing by the year.

If you’re interested in running a PhD program in any of the available Australian universities it’s a good choice.

However before you make such an important decision, it’s only wise to gather the right information equipping yourself with the knowledge to make this process an easygoing one.

That’s where we come in.

Knowing how difficult it can be to study abroad, we have put together this piece to inform you about all you need to know to apply to study for a PhD program in Australia.

From the requirements, we have specified what every Australian University expects to see when you apply for a PhD program in Australia.

Also, we have specified how much it will cost you to run a PhD program in Australia.

For students who are looking to run any of the PhD programs offered in Australia on scholarship, you will find a guide that will inform you how to make that a possibility.

As an extension, we ensure you know the average cost of living as a PhD student in Australia, this will help you prepare financially or consider getting a scholarship.

Are you ready?

Welcome Aboard!!!

ALSO READ: 21 Scholarships to Study Abroad in Australia for International Students 2022

Content Summary

Studying PhD in Australia: What is It Like?

From the serene environment to the beautiful sunrise, sea, and sand, Australia is a country that suits international students.

There is great food, and enough places to hike and surf in Australia, but there are more opportunities for postgraduate research which makes it a good place to study for a PhD program.

The presence of world-class research centers and internationally ranked universities makes Australia a vibrant hub for research and scholarship.

In Australia, you can be sure that you are graduating with a valid doctoral degree from an accredited and internationally recognized university after conducting life-changing research.

PhD programs covering courses such as ecology, renewable energy, antibiotic therapy, marsupials or medicine thrive well in Australia.

When it comes to quality education, Australia ticks all of the boxes.

Here are reasons why you should study a PhD program in Australia;

#1. Australia is Internationally Known For Research

Australia is home to some of the world’s leading universities, with 16 institutions in the global top 250 its ranking number accredited towards research.

If you want to carry out a thorough research-based PhD program, Australia is unarguably one of the best countries that are equipped for research.

You can trust that research is thorough in Australia due to the presence of well-equipped labs and research centers in most Australian universities.

#2. There Are Unique PhD Opportunities In Australia

Even if you want to research or carry out a project on marsupials, you can do so in Australia.

From Marine Biology at the Great Barrier Reef to Anthropology at Uluru, Australia offers some uncommon PhD programs.

As some would say, some doctoral research can only be completed in Australia.

This singular factor draws high creative scholars to Australia to carry out a PhD program.

#3. Australia Offers Generous Post-study Visas 

Australia does not stop at offering you the best kind of education.

They go on to ensure you can live and work in the country for at least four years once you complete your doctorate degree. 

What more could international students want?

#4. No Viva After Your Doctoral Degree Program In Australia.

Australia takes it up a notch when it comes to defending your thesis.

Australia as a country devised a means to assess Australian doctorates without the traditional PhD viva voce.

You are sure to skip defending your thesis during an oral exam.

That’s good news for students with stage fright.

#5. All Australian Universities Offering PhD Programs Are Accredited

If you’re to apply for any of the PhD programs in Australia, you wouldn’t have to worry about the state of accreditation of the university.

Out of the 43 universities in Australia, all of them are publicly-funded institutions, supported and accredited by the Australian Government. 

All 43 universities are in charge of carrying out research and training PhD students.

#6. Australian Universities Have High Rankings when Compared To Other Universities

We judge the strength of schools by their position when they are compared to other schools.

We see how strong the research ability of most Australian universities is by their position in global league tables. 

22 Australian universities are in the top 300 according to the latest Times Higher Education Rankings.

We see the same prowess in the rankings done by World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings, and Academic Ranking of World Universities.

So yeah, Australia is ready to welcome students from all walks of life to study PhD at less tuition cost.

Find out how as you read on.

How Long Are PhD Programs in Australia?

Just like in most countries, full-time PhD programs in Australia normally take three years to complete. Perhaps, Part-time PhDs in Australia can take up to six years, but this is not usually granted to international students. 

Australian student visa conditions allow all international students to study full-time so as to complete their PhD programs in 3 years.

Some students can take longer, but this usually depends on registration and funding arrangements.

What Is the Cost of A PhD Program in Australia?

First things first, Australia is not cheap. The cost of studying a PhD program in Australia is very high when we compare it to some other study destinations. 

As an international student in Australia you’re to pay fees at a higher rate while domestic students pay less.


Domestic students benefit from state subsidies of public universities through Australian taxation.

Whatever that is, it doesn’t benefit international students.

A PhD program for international students will cost between AUD $18,000 and $42,000 which is equivalent to USD $13,065-$30,485 per year. 

This cost stands if you’re proposing your own research, or applying for a project without funding attached.

ALSO READ: Study Abroad to Australia for International Students | A Complete Guide 2023

How Do I Apply To PhD Programs In Australia?

If you want to apply to an Australian University for a PhD program as an international student you have to know how to go about it.

Launching out without proper understanding will only lead you to get a rejection mail and that’s not good for the heart. 

Especially when you have put a lot of energy into that application.

Here’s how to apply for PhD in Australia;

#1. Contact A Prospective Supervisor

In Australia, before you can come into the postgraduate circle as a PhD student you have to have the backing of a supervisor.

So the first step for your Australian PhD admission application is to contact a prospective supervisor.

Do not skip this step because none of the universities in Australia will consider applications from international students who haven’t done this.

Your choice of supervisor should be one who is a lead researcher for a project or a research group you wish to join.

Also, your choice of supervisor can be one in academics with research interests related to the topic you would like to run a PhD on.

If you find one, send them an email to declare your interest.

Ensure you provide a clear and concise description of your project and interests and how it relates to their research.

Once you have successfully executed this step you can go on to the formal application procedure to the university.

#2. Ready the Admission Requirements As Specified By The University Of Your Choice.

Every school in Australia has specified requirements for a PhD program.

Once you have figured out who your supervisor is and gotten his/her approval, you can visit the school website to find out what the requirements to run a PhD program is in the university.

Once you have that settled, you can proceed with the application.

#3. Get Ready For An Interview

To study PhD in Australia you will have to undergo an interview although this is school-specific. Some Australian universities may wish to interview you for a PhD, some may just skip it. 

But if they request an interview it’s a good sign that you’re a good consideration.

It means your application is strong and your prospective supervisor thinks you have potential.

And not to worry, you are not traveling to Australia to take an interview. 

If a school requests an interview it will either be via a chat or a video-conferencing platform.

Once you have these processes covered step by step, you will easily apply for a PhD in Australia without stress.

Be careful not to skip a step as each step is important and comes in sequence.

What Requirements Do I Need To Apply For Admissions For A PhD Program in Australia?

As we specified earlier you need to have the requirements so as to have an effective application to study PhD in Australia.

Keep in mind that when it comes to admission requirements there is no one requirement list that suits all schools in Australia.

Each school has unique PhD application requirements.

In addition to the general application requirements we will list below, we often recommend you visit the schools’ website for specific details on what is required to apply to their PhD program.

Here are the general requirements for PhD in Australia;

  • Academic and/or professional references
  • A bachelor’s and Masters’s degrees in an appropriate subject. Few universities can admit you with a bachelor’s degree but this is less likely.
  • Evidence of your previous qualifications (these may need to be certified by your previous university or universities)
  • A research proposal (if you are putting forward your own PhD topic)
  • A personal statement (this may be required for applications to advertised projects and opportunities)

These are the requirements for PhD in Australia.

Any additional requirements will be school-specific. Do well to visit the school’s website for more specific details about the requirements for their PhD programs 

Is There Funding For International Students Who Want To Study PhD in Australia with Scholarship?

Studying for a PhD in Australia is not cheap, it’s expensive when compared to some other study destinations. 

But Australia has funding options for international students who want to study PhD in any of the Australian universities.

As we mentioned earlier, the presence of world-class research centers and internationally ranked universities makes Australia a vibrant hub for research and scholarship.

There’s a high chance that you won’t pay your full international fees as a PhD student in Australia. 

This is possible due to the available funding options from various sources such as university and government scholarships. 

Keep in mind that many Australian PhDs will be advertised as pre-funded projects, especially for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine (STEM) topics.

If you are looking at running a PhD in Australia with a scholarship, these are your available sources for funding;

#1. Australian University Scholarships

Most schools of higher learning in Australia offer their own scholarships and funding outline for promising PhD students.

These scholarship opportunities include international students. 

To stand a chance to get such scholarships, you have to visit the school’s website or browse the internet for school-specific opportunities of your preferred school of choice.

#a. International Scholarships at the University of Sydney

The University of Sydney encourages individuals to apply for the University of Sydney International Scholarship if they are eligible to pursue a Postgraduate Research Degree or a Master’s by Research program at this university (USydIS).

The USydIS will pay tuition and living expenses for up to three years, with a one-semester extension option for PhD students.

#b. International Scholarships at Macquarie University

The Macquarie University Vice-International Chancellor’s Scholarship provides outstanding students with a half-tuition fee scholarship to study for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at the Macquarie University North Ryde campus. The scholarship value might range from AUD$10,000 to AUD$20,000.

#c. Griffith Remarkable Scholarships

The Griffith Remarkable Scholarship is open to exceptional candidates applying for undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs at Griffith University. The scholarship covers half of the tuition expenses, which will be deducted for the duration of the program.

#d. Graduate Research Scholarships at the University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne developed the Graduate Research Scholarship, which is offered to outstanding domestic and international research students. Tuition fee waiver, living allowance, relocation award, and abroad student health insurance are among the scholarship benefits.

#e. Adelaide Global Excellence Scholarships are available to international students.

The University of Adelaide Global Academic Distinction Overseas Scholarship is a highly competitive prize that recognizes international students beginning undergraduate and postgraduate coursework who have exhibited academic excellence in previous studies. The scholarship covers half of the tuition costs.

#f. International Postgraduate Scholarships at Flinders University

Flinders International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (FIPRS) are offered to adequately qualified applicants who wish to pursue a full-time research higher degree at Flinders University for up to two years for a Research Master’s degree and up to three years for a Research Doctorate degree. The award covers international students’ tuition, living expenses, establishment expenses, relocation costs, and flights.

#g. International High Achievers Scholarships from Charles Darwin University’s Vice-Chancellor

International students with a record of academic distinction and high success who wish to begin an Undergraduate or Postgraduate coursework degree at Charles Darwin University are eligible for a limited number of 25-50 percent tuition price scholarships.

#f. International Scholarships at UNSW

UNSW provides a variety of Scholarships and Awards to international undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students starting full-time studies at UNSW. Scholarships may cover all or part of your tuition fees, while some provide a stipend to help with the costs of your study.

#2. Scholarship From Research Training Programs

Most research training programs in Australia have funding available for domestic and international PhD students. 

The reward is awarded to Universities that participated who passed the eligibility criteria set by the Government.

#3. Explore Funding Opportunities Sponsored By the Australian Government.

Another way to Study PhD in Australia with scholarships is to find scholarships and funding opportunities sponsored by the Australian Government.

To find this you need to visit the Australian Government’s Study in Australia website but here are some Australian Government sponsored scholarships.

#a. Australia Awards Scholarships

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade administers Australia Awards Scholarships, formerly known as Australian Development Scholarships (ADS). They enable persons from developing nations, particularly those in the Indo-Pacific area, to pursue full-time undergraduate or postgraduate studies at participating Australian universities and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes.

The Scholarship advantages typically include complete tuition, round-trip air travel, an establishment allowance, a contribution to living expenses (CLE), Overseas Student Health Coverage (OSHC), and other benefits.

#b. Destination Australia Scholarships

The Australian Government offers the Destination Australia scholarship program, which aims to assist both domestic and international students in studying in regional Australia.

Over 1000 $15,000 worth of scholarships will be awarded each year to fund the study and living expenses connected with pursuing a Certificate IV to Doctorate level qualification at a rural campus of an eligible Australian university.

#c. Scholarships for the Australia Research Training Program (RTP)

The Australia Research Training Program allows international students to pursue a postgraduate research qualification in Australia while working alongside prominent Australian academics.

Scholarships are offered for a two-year master’s by research degree or a three-year Doctorate by research degree. The award pays for tuition and health insurance.

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What schools offer PhD Programs in Australia?

There are a lot of schools in Australia that offer PhD programs.

However, here are the top 10 universities you can apply for PhD in Australia;

  • UNSW Sydney    
  • Monash University    
  • University of Sydney
  • The University of Adelaide    
  • University of Melbourne
  • The University of Canberra
  • The University of Queensland
  • University of Western Australia    
  • Australian National University    
  • University of Technology Sydney    

When Is The Application Deadline For PhD Programs In Australia?

PhD in Australia with scholarship
PhD in Australia with scholarship

Application for PhD programs starts at any point in the academic year.

In Australia, there is no strict deadline for when the application deadline is for PhD programs.

Some schools may prefer you to submit in time for the start of a term, some have exceptions especially if you’re also applying for funding, such as a scholarship. 

Although there is no deadline for PhD programs in Australia, that doesn’t mean you should take your time.

It’s advisable you apply at least four months before you hope to start your PhD.

What Is The Average Cost Of Living In Australia As A PhD Student?

When it comes to the cost of living in Australia as a student, a lot depends on you as an individual and your spending lifestyle.

Also, the location you live in Australia will determine how much you will spend.

If you’re an extravagant person chances are that you will have to spend more because there are a lot of hiking, surfing, and many outdoor activities in Australia.

On average, the cost of living in Australia as stated by the Australian Government is at least AUD $21,041 which is equivalent to USD $15,270 per year.

How Are PhD Students Assessed In Australia?

As we have mentioned earlier, Australia does not go by the usual viva voce kind of assessment to validate your project.

Here’s how it works in Australia.

At the end of your PhD you will submit a written thesis summarizing your findings and the evidence. 

Your thesis should be 100,000 words in length. 

Some fields such as creative arts require your thesis to be accompanied by a practical project or presentation.

Once you have submitted this, your work will be sent to two or three external examiners with relevant expertise in your field.

They will study your thesis in detail before returning a written report to your university. 

Some schools are taking up the conventional viva where they organize an online video-conferencing rather than a face-to-face interview.

Once the review is completed either by videoconferencing or thesis review, your PhD result will be based on the recommendation of your examiners. 

If you’re lucky, you will get the doctorate without corrections.

If you’re not, you may be asked to make changes to your thesis, or you may be denied the PhD although that’s rare.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Apply For PhD Programs In Australia

Do I Need A Student Visa To Study For A PhD In Australia?

Yes, you will need a subclass 500 visa which is the Student Visa to study for a bachelor’s, Master or PhD in Australia. Here are the requirements you need to apply for a visa to study for a PhD in Australia;

Be studying full-time
Have confirmation of enrolment at your university
Possess sufficient financial resources at least AUD $21,041 (USD $15,270) per year
Australian Student Visa processing fee of AUD $630 (USD $460).

What Are The Language Requirements To Study PhD in Australia?

Australian PhDs are organized and delivered in English. If you are a native English speaker or have completed a previous course of study in English, you will not need to show any proof of English language proficiency.
However, if you’re not, you may need to provide a language test score of either the following:
Language tests – minimum scores
PTE    61
IELTS    6.5
CAE    176
TOEFL (internet-based)    85

Can I Work During My PhD In Australia?

Yes, you can work for up to 40 hours fortnightly while doing your PhD in Australia.
You can even work on holiday periods.
Do know that any work you undertake fits with the requirements of your PhD and is in line with what your supervisor wants.

Can I Work In Australia After My PhD?

Yes, Australia offers a Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) to international students which can secure their access to longer-term employment and residency in Australia.
This Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) allows PhD graduates to remain in Australia for up to four years, subject to certain conditions.

Knowing that a PhD program in Australia can be compared to studying a PhD in the UK is tangible information.

And the good thing is that you can study PhD in Australia on scholarship so as to foot the cost of whatever PhD programs you choose.

Before applying ensure you follow the steps we have specified above and also have your requirements in check to have a smooth PhD application in Australia.

We really hope you get that which you seek.

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We wish you, good luck Scholar!!!!



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