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How to apply for a research degree

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A Higher Degree by Research advances knowledge and/or the application of knowledge through the preparation of a substantial thesis, representing a significant contribution to a particular field of study. You will engage in an intensive individual program of research at Masters or Doctor of Philosophy level, under the guidance of an experienced supervisor with research expertise in a specific area.

Research degrees support you to achieve industry and professionally relevant skills, knowledge and research frameworks to achieve your career goals.

To find out how to apply to do a research degree within the School of Art, Architecture and Design, please refer to the information below. Please take particular note that a portfolio is required of most applicants. Research degree places are offered each year to a limited number of suitably qualified applicants. Decisions regarding offers will be made by a committee.

Application Process

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants for research degrees are expected to hold an Honours degree or equivalent in a design-related discipline.

Scholarships Available

Before You Apply

Before applying for a research degree, you should identify a suitable research topic and a potential supervisor from amongst the staff in the School of Art, Architecture and Design qualified to supervise such a project.

Applications for a place may be made at any time during the year, however Applications for Scholarships close on 31 October so the School only accepts occasional applications for places outside this date.

Prospective applicants should contact the School prior to September 23 each year to arrange an interview to discuss the proposed research project. Telephone consultation can be arranged for interstate and international Applicants.

Art Architecture & Design Research Support Office
T: 088302 7363          
E: AADResearch@unisa.edu.au


Art, Architecture and Design School
Cnr Fenn Place and Hindley Street
Kaurna Building, level 3 Reception
UniSA City West Campus


GPO Box 2471, Adelaide South Australia 5001

Portfolio Submission

All studio applicants are required to submit a portfolio, please refer to Portfolio requirements - applicants below. 

Australian Applicants
While applications are formally required to be submitted via Research Degrees Apply Online (closing date 31 October each year), the School requires your portfolio by 24 September to make a preliminary assessment.

International Applicants
While applications are formally required to be submitted via Research Degrees Apply Online (closing date 31 August each year) the School requires your portfolio by 15 June to make a preliminary assessment.

Finding a Supervisor 

Use the Directory of Research Expertise to find a research degree supervisor in the School of Art, Architecture and Design. Type either art or architecture or design in the keyword search field and search by all keywords to get comprehensive results.


Portfolio Requirements

Portfolios should be the applicant's own original recent work and may include:

  • Art works (drawings, paintings, photographs, sculpture, installation, performance, ceramics, prints, glass, jewellery/metal, textiles)
  • Graphic design or illustration work (logos, posters, publication covers, illustrations, web designs, design tenders)
  • Architecture, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture - construction and design drawings

Portfolio Presentation Requirements:

  • Up to 15 images of works on a DVD, maximum duration 10 minutes. Please provide a list of all images with name, title, date, medium and dimensions, and ensure all support material is labelled.
  • Statement of Academic Qualifications. Please state your undergraduate academic qualifications, together with any postgraduate qualifications or experience.
  • Curriculum Vitae. Please state your career achievements, with particular emphasis upon those relevant to your proposed program of study. You may also outline employment experience relevant to your proposed program of study.

Other Information Required from Higher Degree By Research Applicants:

  • Proposal Outline (750 words or less). Please state succinctly and clearly your proposed research topic, together with a brief description of your research methodology and a bibliography of key references.
  • An indication of proposed supervision arrangements (if known). For information on supervision expertise available, search the Directory of Research Expertise or contact the School for further advice