How to apply

The UNSW Business School welcomes applications from students who would like to undertake a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in the Business School.

All applicants must apply online for entry into a UNSW Business School PhD or MPhil program.

However, there are a number of steps you must undertake first.

Step 1: Check that you meet the academic requirements and English requirements

The minimum academic entry requirement for the PhD is:

  • A four year undergraduate degree with honours class IIA or higher in a related discipline*; OR
  • A strong research Masters degree in a related discipline*; OR
  • An equivalent academic qualification or level of experience

The minimum academic entry requirement for the MPhil is:

  • An undergraduate degree AND
  • A coursework Master’s degree in a related discipline* with an overall grade of Distinction (75 per cent) or higher;
  • OR

  • An undergraduate degree AND
  • An equivalent academic qualification or research output in the form of publications or relevant work experience.

* The notion of a related discipline can be interpreted broadly. The table below lists the types of non-business disciplinary backgrounds which may be suitable for admission to selected programs. This list is not exhaustive and interested applicants with backgrounds other than those listed may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

BackgroundEligible to apply for PhD/MPhil in
Anthropology and Sociology
  • Marketing
  • Management
Computer Science, Software Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Information Systems
Engineering and Physics
  • Banking and Finance
Geography and History
  • Management
  • Business Law & Taxation
  • Management
Mathematics and Statistics
  • Actuarial Studies
  • Banking and Finance
  • Economics
  • Marketing
  • Marketing
  • Management

UNSW English language requirements

All applicants, whether domestic or international (for admission into any UNSW program), who do not have an assessable qualification undertaken and assessed in English, must provide evidence prior to enrolment that their English language ability meets the minimum requirements for admission.

UNSW Higher Degree Research (HDR) Self-Assessment Tool

We recommend you use the UNSW HDR Self-Assessment Tool to check your eligibility for admission and scholarship.

Step 2: Choose the most suitable program for you

You will need to match your area of interest to one of our 8 disciplinary Schools. Please visit the 8 disciplinary Schools’ pages to get more information about our research and to view our academic staff and research students' profiles.

Please do not contact potential supervisors directly. Applicants for a PhD or MPhil degree at the UNSW Business School are not required to contact or secure potential supervisors prior to submitting an application for admission. After submitting your application and supporting documents, we will evaluate your application and match your research interests with faculty members.

Step 3: Contact the Business School Research Office

Please contact the UNSW Business School Research Office by emailing and inform us of the PhD or MPhil program that you have identified in Step 2. If you have difficulties identifying a suitable program, we can help you.

You will then receive a reply email from the Research Office, which contains information about the required supporting documentation, scholarships, and interviews.

Step 4: Submit a formal application for admission

All applicants must apply online.

Applicants must provide supporting documentation as part of the online application. You can find detailed information about the required supporting documentation at “Step 3 Prepare Supporting Documentation” on the UNSW Graduate Research School website.

Developing a Research Proposal

Please note that a research proposal is required for your application and the UNSW Business School has specific requirements for research proposals.

Your research proposal must be sufficiently detailed to enable us to determine whether it is possible to provide adequate supervision and resources to support your research. The proposal is also used to assess your capacity to undertake research. It should be 3-7 pages in length and demonstrate:

  • Clear aims and objectives
  • Some consideration of method
  • A good command of the English language
  • That you are capable of independent and critical thinking

Also it should include:

  • A discussion of the issues you would like to explore (why it is important and interesting)
  • Background literature supporting your project
  • An explanation of the way your project would significantly add to the understanding of the topic
  • A bibliography of your background literature

MPhil applicants

MPhil applicants may submit a brief research proposal which indicates their area of interest.

If you are accepted into our MPhil or PhD program, the research topic may be reviewed or refined during the course of your enrolment.

Step 5: Scholarship application

All scholarship applications need to be submitted to the Graduate Research School (GRS) by the advertised closing date. You apply for a scholarship in your online application for admission to the PhD or MPhil degree. There are strict deadlines for scholarship applications and no extensions are possible.

Scholarship information can be found at Postgraduate Research Scholarships

Please also be aware before you apply that the process is highly competitive and you need to have a 1st class Honours Degree or equivalent qualifications to be considered for a scholarship.

Any questions about scholarship applications should be addressed to or