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.

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:

  • The equivalent of a three-year undergraduate degree plus a postgraduate degree in a relevant discipline from UNSW with an overall average grade of at least 75 (Distinction),
  • or
  • the equivalent of multiple undergraduate degrees (e.g. a dual degree) from UNSW with at least one in a relevant discipline and an overall average grade of at least 75 (Distinction),
  • or
  • the equivalent of a four-year degree of Bachelor with first or upper second-class Honours from UNSW in a relevant discipline.

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 relevant discipline can be interpreted broadly. The table below lists the types of non-business disciplinary backgrounds which may be suitable for admission to the UNSW Business School PhD program. This list is not exhaustive and interested applicants with backgrounds other than those listed may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology
  • Computer Science
  • Software Engineering
  • Engineering
  • Physics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Law
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Psychology

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. Please disregard the scholarship message from the tool. This message will not impact the assessment of your application.

Step 2: Choose the most suitable program for you

You will need to match your area of interest to one of our eight streams. Please visit the stream 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. You are not required to contact or secure potential supervisors prior to submitting an application for admission.

Step 3: Consult the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Please review the FAQs page for answers to the most commonly asked questions. If you have additional questions contact the UNSW Business School Research Office by emailing

Step 4: Submit a formal application for admission

All applicants must apply online.

Applicants must provide supporting documentation as part of the online application. Below is a short description of the documents you must submit with your application:

  • Electronic transcripts: Applicants need to provide a scanned or electronic copy of transcripts for all tertiary degrees completed or attempted, including current degrees. For those students undertaking a research degree which do not have specific scores, an enrolment summary will be required to show in which semesters the applicant was enrolled.
  • Grading systems: These are explanations of what specific scores/grades mean at a specific University/Institution. These must be provided for each University the applicant has attended.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV): This should include details of previous research, such as a summary of all research output and experience, including publications, conference presentations, etc. Work samples such as abstracts may be attached as appendices to the CV.
  • Proof of English: All applicants, domestic and international, must meet the English language entry requirements for the University before they can be offered unconditional admission. Applicants do not need to have met the English requirements before applying for admission, however satisfactory English proof is required in order to be considered for a scholarship (please see Key Dates for the deadline).
  • GTE/Financial Declaration Form: This is required in order for your application to be assessed.

The following documents are also required but can be sent at a later date:

  • Testamurs: These are certificates of completion for prior degrees. If you are currently studying, the testamur for this degree can be submitted at a later date. Your application can be provisionally assessed without these. BTS checking may be undertaken at any time.
  • Proof of Australian/New Zealand citizenship, or Australian Permanent Residency (PR): For Australian/New Zealand citizens or Australian PRs only.
  • Current semester results: This is only required for any students still undertaking a tertiary degree. These are not required until you have completed all requirements of your current degree. Once you have completed, you will need to submit your final transcript and any examiners’ reports (if applicable).

PhD applicants also need to provide:

MPhil applicants also need to provide:

  • Research Statement: A brief research proposal which indicates their area of interest (up to 1,000 words).

Further documentation specific to your case may be required beyond the above, and we will contact you in the event these are required.

Step 5: Scholarship application

All PhD applicants will be considered for a scholarship at the time of application, provided the Financial Declaration Form is completed. No separate application is required.

All MPhil 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 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 MPhil scholarship applications should be addressed to domestic.grs@unsw.edu.au or international.grs@unsw.edu.au