How to apply

The UNSW Australia Business School welcomes Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from applicants intending to apply for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in the Business School.

The aim of the EOI process is to provide you with a preliminary assessment of your application without the need for you to provide certified copies of your transcripts, and to identify a potential supervisor for your research.

Please note: all potential applicants must send an EOI to the Business School Research Office before formally applying for admission. On the basis of the EOI, applicants may be invited to submit a formal application for admission.

How to submit an EOI

Please complete the HDR Self-Assessment form to see if you meet the UNSW requirements for admission and scholarship. If you are eligible, please email the Business School Research Office with the following information:

  1. A completed EOI questionnaire: EOI questionnaire (pdf version)
  2. A research proposal
  3. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  4. Academic transcripts for all previous degrees (at this stage it is not necessary to provide certified copies)
  5. Two recommendation letters or referee reports: Referee report form (pdf version)
  6. It is strongly recommended that applicants to the PhD program (who have not completed an undergraduate degree in Australia or New Zealand within 18 months of applying) provide GMAT or GRE scores with the EOI.

    Requirements for various Schools are as follows:

    Accounting: GMATBanking and Finance: GMAT/GRE
    Economics: GREInformation Systems: GMAT
    Marketing: GMATManagement: GMAT
    Risk & Actuarial: GMAT/GRETaxation & Business Law: GMAT/GRE
  7. Any other relevant information available, such as an English score, an abstract of a thesis completed for your previous degree/s, etc

An acknowledgement will be emailed to you after your EOI is received by the Research Office. Please allow at least 4 weeks for your EOI to be considered. You will be informed whether you should make a formal application for admission.

Prior to submitting an EOI, candidates should also work through the following steps.

Step 1: Check that you meet the minimum academic entry requirements

PhD: The minimum academic entry requirement for the PhD is:

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

MPhil: The minimum academic entry requirement for the MPhil is:

  • A coursework masters degree in a related discipline* with an overall grade of Distinction (75 per cent) or better; OR
  • A four year undergraduate degree (preferably with honours); OR
  • An equivalent academic qualification or level of 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

Step 2: Identify the disciplinary school in which you wish to enrol

Step 3: Prepare a research proposal

PhD applicants
At UNSW and other Australian universities, it is standard practice to ask applicants to submit a research proposal. The research proposal is used by the School to determine whether it is possible to provide adequate supervision and resources to support your research.

If you are accepted into the program, the topic may be reviewed or refined during the course of your enrolment. The proposal is also used to assess your capacity to undertake research. It should 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

Your research proposal should be 3-7 pages in length and 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.

Step 4: Be aware of the UNSW English language requirements

All applicants, whether domestic or international, for admission to 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.

Applicants will be deemed to have satisfied the English language requirements if they can provide evidence that they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Prior study in the medium of English
  2. Residency
  3. English language tests:
    • IELTS: Overall minimum score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6 in each sub-test
    • TOEFL-Internet based: Overall minimum score of 90 with a minimum in writing of 23
    • TOEFL-Computer based: Overall minimum score of 233 with a minimum in the essay rating of 5.0

Read more about UNSW's English language requirements.

Applicants who do not meet the requirements outlined above may still proceed with their EOI, but must register for an English test.

EOI closing date

EOI’s can be lodged at any time throughout the year.

However, if you are aiming to apply for a UNSW Research Scholarship (APA, UPA, IPRS or TFR + faculty stipend) it is strongly recommended that you lodge your EOI with the Business School Research Office at least four weeks before the closing date of the intended scholarship.

EOIs received after the dates specified below may not be considered in time for the Scholarship application closing date.

Applications for Semester 2 (July) 2015 and Semester 1 (March) 2016

Applications for UNSW research Scholarship programs (IPRS/UIPA/TFS) for international students:

  • Semester 2, 2015: Scholarship applications open on 2 September, 2014 and close on 26 February, 2015

An EOI should be lodged by 29 January, 2015
Offers release from 22 April 2015

  • Semester 1, 2016: Scholarship applications open on 27 February 2015 and close on 24 August 2015
An EOI should be lodged by 31 July, 2015
Offers will release from 22 October 2015

Applications for UNSW research Scholarship programs (APA/UPA) for domestic students:

  • Semester 2, 2015: Scholarship applications open on 1 October, 2014 and close on 22 May, 2015
An EOI should be lodged by 24 April, 2015
Offers release from 9 July, 2015

  • Semester 1, 2016: Scholarship applications open in April, 2015 and close in mid-October, 2015
An EOI should be lodged by mid-September, 2015
Offers release from late November 2015

Please always check Scholarship closing dates from GRS Scholarship web page.

Further information on UNSW research scholarships

If, after submitting your EOI, the School's Postgraduate Research Coordinator recommends that you apply for admission, applications to our postgraduate research programs can be made. Apply online.

How long will my application take to be processed?

Allow 4-6 weeks after submitting your online application, or the completed downloaded form, to receive a decision from the University regarding your admission.