Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Entrance level

Candidates for the PhD will normally have completed a Master degree or a Bachelor's degree with honours (H1 or H2A) from La Trobe University or another recognised university. All acquired degrees must have included a significant research component (for example, completion of a minor research thesis).


A PhD is a research degree normally of three to four years duration full time or the equivalent part time in which the candidate conducts a supervised research project.

Learning outcomes (AQF)

Characteristics of learning outcomes at this level include a substantial original contribution to knowledge in the form of new knowledge or significant and original adaptation, application and interpretation of existing knowledge.

These characteristics of learning outcomes may be based on:

  • a comprehensive and critical review of the literature;
  • experimentation;
  • creative work with exegesis; or
  • other systematic approach.

A graduate of a Doctoral degree is able to:

  • carry out an original research project at a high level of originality and quality; and
  • present a substantial and well ordered dissertation, non-print thesis or portfolio, for submission to external examination against international standards.

The research for the PhD must be carried out during the candidature, although the thesis may refer to work published by the candidate prior to commencing.

Exit standard

Completion of a course of postgraduate training in research under proper academic supervision.

A dissertation, thesis or non-print thesis or portfolio based on original investigations is presented to external examiners and must be considered a substantial and original contribution to knowledge and understanding in the relevant field of study. A stand-alone thesis should not exceed 80,000 words.

Where a creative or practice-based component forms part of the submission for examination the thesis should not exceed 50,000 words.


The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)