Duration
2 year(s) full-time

Mode
On-campus

Program Code
MMRJ

Fees
2021: AUD$ 32,600 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL)

English Language Requirements
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements

Program level
Masters by research

Degree overview

  • Study at SA's No.1 university for psychology research1.
  • Our research is also rated above world-class in sociology, and world-class in law and social work2.
  • Join a community recognised for world-class research and explore research topics across areas including psychology, law, social work, human services, arts, and Aboriginal and Australian studies.
  • Benefit from our extensive national and international research links and strong record in winning national competitive grants. 
  • Develop the skills to independently design and execute original research, and create new knowledge with impact.
  • Learn from experienced and highly qualified research supervisors, renowned academics, and visiting scholars and artists - experts who will support, mentor and guide you through your studies.
  • Undertake exciting and innovative research across a range of disciplines, with a focus on finding practical solutions.
  • Partner with industry, government, communities and education providers to influence decision-making and challenge current thinking.
  • Over 200 external partners support our research, which is inspired by the contemporary challenges of our region and the world.
  • Explore our range of fully-funded research degree scholarships to support your studies.

1The only university in SA to have all its assessed Psychology and Cognitive Sciences research rated well-above world standard. 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).  22018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).

What is a research degree?

A research degree is an advanced program of study allowing you to investigate a topic relevant to your field. Under the supervision of world-class researchers, research degree students learn and apply advanced research methodologies to produce new knowledge and provide solutions to the world’s challenges. Completing a research degree means becoming an expert in your field. It’s your opportunity to take a topic that interests you, explore it in depth, tackle intellectual, creative and practical challenges, and communicate your findings.

You can study a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Professional Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy (by Portfolio of Publications) and Masters by Research.

Research degrees offered at UniSA

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs (up to four years full-time equivalent), provide training and education with the objective of producing graduates with the capacity to conduct research independently at a high level of originality and quality. By the end of the degree program, the PhD candidate will be capable of independently designing and executing original research that generates new knowledge.

Professional Doctorate

A rigorous program of advanced study and research, designed specifically to meet the needs of industry, end-users and professional groups. Professional doctorates usually consist of a blend of coursework and research (three to four years full-time equivalent), encouraging close cooperation across university, industry and the profession and providing a framework for integrated professional expertise and scholarly inquiry.

Doctor of Philosophy (by Portfolio of Publications)

Allows formal recognition of established researchers and/or scholars who do not already hold a PhD qualification, and who have produced research of international standing in their field with an ongoing record of academic publication (work).

Masters by research

Masters by research programs (two years full-time equivalent) aim to train candidates in analysing their thesis topic at an advanced level, applying research methodology and techniques to contribute new knowledge to their field, under appropriate supervision.

Please note, a master by coursework (such as an MBA) involves enrolling in selected courses and participating in lectures and tutorials (online or on campus). It is different to a masters by research.

Find out more about what you can study.

Why do a research degree?

UniSA research is inspired by the challenges and opportunities of today. In the 2018 Australian Research Council Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluation of Australian universities, all of our assessed research was rated at world class or above. We are vibrant, outward-facing and responsive. We partner with industry, government and communities to seek answers to questions that arise in the real world. Our research themes are:

  • An age friendly world
  • Transforming industries
  • Scarce resources
  • Cancer
  • Healthy futures
  • Transforming societies

Learn more about our research themes.

The transformed PhD

UniSA intends to deliver industry and end-user informed research that supports employer-relevant curriculum. To achieve this, and to produce entrepreneurial and business-aware graduates, we have developed the transformed PhD.

We have added a structured component to research degrees including enhanced skill development, supervisory panels and a technology-enabled oral defence of the thesis. Through these activities you will develop a set of professional, transferable skills relevant to our knowledge-based enterprise economy.

The aim of the transformed PhD is to increase your employment prospects in any career path. You will possess the knowledge, expertise and confidence to meet the emerging needs of academia, industry, government and the community.

Four good reasons to do a research degree

  1. Challenge yourself. You will need to work hard, be dedicated and think analytically at a high level. You will tackle completely new research and different research methods, or extend research already undertaken.
  2. Increase your career opportunities. A research degree provides evidence of independent thought and the ability to manage a research project in a given timeframe. Your research could allow you to develop a new specialisation, academic field or career. A research degree at UniSA will also allow you to develop a skillset which sets you apart, putting you at the centre of your professional development.
  3. Make your ideas public. Your research findings may be published, presented at conferences, provide a commercial return and have a positive impact on society.
  4. Contribute to society. Discover new methods, understandings and techniques, and solve a real-world problem.

What can I research?

Research students have the opportunity to complete exciting and innovative research topics that span areas such as:

  • psychology
  • law
  • social work
  • human services
  • arts
  • Aboriginal and Australian studies

Browse our selection of research projects and topics, or find out how you can develop your very own.

Our research is also facilitated by a range of different research groups, including:

Find a supervisor and research area

To find a research area, you'll need to match your qualifications and interests to the research programs and degrees offered at the University of South Australia. Browse our research degrees. Once you’ve done that, you will need to find a supervisor. A supervisor is an academic staff member who will work with you throughout your research degree. In your online application we will ask you to provide the name of your proposed UniSA supervisor. Learn more and find a research supervisor.

Scholarships and projects

A scholarship can allow you to focus on your research without needing to do paid work. Scholarships are offered for Australian and international students looking to undertake a research degree. There are also high achiever scholarships, vacation research scholarships and Vice Chancellor and President’s scholarships.

We are also excited to offer thematically-based scholarships. These scholarships will not only address local, national and international grand challenges, they will also ensure students work across traditional boundaries in the University, with industry, and with community partners.

Learn more about available scholarships.

Graduate outcomes

There are seven identified graduate qualities and outcomes that result from doing a research degree at UniSA. Importantly, these competencies are transferable to the workplace, whether academic or professional. In brief, a research degree graduate of the University of South Australia:

  • understands, can contribute to and critique current research-based knowledge in their field
  • is prepared for lifelong learning in pursuit of ongoing personal development and excellence
  • is an effective problem solver and researcher
  • can work both autonomously and collaboratively as a researcher
  • is committed to ethical action and social responsibility
  • communicates research knowledge effectively
  • demonstrates international perspectives in research

Read about our research degree graduate qualities in more detail.

Academic regulations and Code of Good Practice

What can you expect of UniSA and what do we expect of you? Please familiarise yourself with the requirements governing research degrees by reading about our academic regulations and good practice code.

Why Masters by Research

Why this Degree

UniSA provides a dynamic, multidisciplinary environment where you are encouraged to explore your own ideas under the supervision of some of Australia’s leading researchers. Our focus is always on finding practical solutions and creating new knowledge.

We are also the No.1 university in South Australia for psychology research1.Our research is also rated above world-class in sociology, and world-class in law and social work2

Our commitment to research with an industry focus is unprecedented. We are renowned for our concentration of global thought-leaders and academic experts in areas such as psychology, law, social work, human services, arts, and Aboriginal and Australian studies.

We offer a research environment with highly experienced and engaged supervisors, extensive connections to industry, government and communities, and a focus on addressing globally significant issues. We encourage you to connect with our researchers and find out the possibilities.

In the 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) rankings, all of our assessed research was rated at or above world-class with particular strengths in psychology, law and social work. Read more about our strengths in research.

1The only university in SA to have all its assessed Psychology and Cognitive Sciences research rated well-above world standard. 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).  22018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).

This could be you

As a research candidate at UniSA you will create new knowledge and become an expert in your field by exploring a research question that interests you.

UniSA Video

Career outcomes

Your career

A research higher degree will give you a competitive edge in the workplace. You may choose to pursue a career in academia, or in research with a research institution or university. Alternatively, you may choose to work in your chosen specialisation. For graduating students there are a range of employment options, including: 

  • ongoing research in Aboriginal Studies 
  • teaching and lecturing  
  • policy development 
  • government and non-government organisation involved in Aboriginal health, housing, education and employment 
  • child protection policy development

Advanced research experience may also be the gateway to the Australian Public Service or leading NGOs.

A research degree graduate of the University of South Australia:

  • understands current research based knowledge in their field and its methodologies for creating new knowledge. They can create, critique, and appraise new and significant knowledge.
  • is prepared for lifelong learning in pursuit of ongoing personal development and excellence in research within and beyond a discipline or professional area
  • is an effective problem solver, capable of applying logical, critical and creative thinking to a range of research problems
  • can work both autonomously and collaboratively as a researcher within a particular discipline or professional area and within wider but related areas
  • is committed to ethical action and social responsibility as a researcher in a discipline or professional area and as a leading citizen
  • communicates effectively as a researcher in a discipline or professional area and as a leading member of the community
  • demonstrates international perspectives in research in a discipline or professional area and as a leading citizen

How to apply

Before applying, you will need to do some investigation. Our step-by-step guide will take you through the process of preparing your application to maximise your chances of success.

Research degree applications are made through our Apply Online facility, a secure online service. Please check the research degrees calendar for all key dates.

Scholarships

Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campuses.

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