2021: July

Intake open for domestic & onshore international students.

4 years

2021: A$14,850 to A$17,400* per semester.
*Depending on field of research (see How to Apply below)

Application due dates:
We are currently accepting applications for this course.


Complete your PhD in a research institute dedicated to improving our cities and communities through scientific, technological, creative and social innovation.

Victoria University offers exceptional opportunities to study in a supportive research community, with well-established connections to businesses, industry, educational institutions, the legal sector and government.

You’ll complete an original doctoral thesis at the forefront of its field, and learn to present your findings in a wide variety of contexts appropriate to your study area, such as publications, conferences, and creative works.

You'll receive expert supervision from researchers in our 'Sustainable industries and liveable cities' group, which offers leadership in our focus areas.

Your study will address important contemporary issues such as:

  • artificial intelligence and intelligent information systems
  • business and financial systems
  • climate change, alternative energies and conservation
  • cultural diversity, arts and social justice, religious and racial discrimination
  • economic modelling
  • education systems, policies and practices for diverse communities
  • fire engineering and structural mechanics
  • Indigenous cultures and communities
  • legal systems, governance and regulation
  • packaging design and sustainable materials
  • policy and interventions for resilient and inclusive communities
  • technology for future industries, education and policy
  • tourism innovation
  • urban planning, transport and water treatment.

Further opportunities exist to complete your PhD in the Institute for Health & Sport.

VU is recognised for research excellence – in the latest Excellence in Research for Australia rankings, we were rated above world standard for our engineering, mathematical sciences, and applied-mathematics areas, among others.

We have also been ranked:

  • 2nd in Victoria for computer science
  • 3rd in Victoria for engineering & technology (Times Higher Education).

Engineering & science labs

Victoria University has high-tech laboratories and equipment that enable our innovative research.

These include:

  • computer modelling software packages including GIS and REALM
  • controlled-temperature rooms for botanical work
  • dynamics labs including drop- and shock-testing and thermal-imaging equipment
  • e-health software and systems, including PhysAnalyser & GP E-connect
  • fluid mechanics and hydraulics lab
  • large-scale structural fire-test furnace
  • materials engineering labs
  • PCR molecular labs
  • pluviometers, flowmeters, and water-quality monitoring equipment
  • polymer research lab.

Libraries & special collections

The VU Library holds several special collections and archives that are available to assist graduate students and staff in their research.

We have working partnerships with most universities in Victoria, and several large industry and government departments.

Our collaborative partners include the following, among many others:

  • Attorney-General’s Department
  • Australian Centre for the Moving Image
  • Australian Federal Police
  • Australian Multicultural Foundation
  • Australian Social Policy Institute (ASPI)
  • Bushfire CRC
  • China Energy Research Institute
  • Cross Yarra Tunnel
  • Defence Science and Technology Group (DST Group)
  • Department of Education and Employment
  • Department of Justice, Victoria
  • Department of State Development, Business and Innovation
  • Greater Western Water
  • GWMWater
  • Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV)
  • Melbourne City Mission
  • Melbourne Metro
  • Memcor
  • Migration Agents Registration Authority
  • NEXUS Online
  • Oztron Energy
  • Peter Mac Cancer Centre
  • Sunshine Hospital
  • Telstra
  • The University of Texas El Paso (UTEP)
  • United Energy
  • Victorian Department of Education and Training
  • Victoria Police
  • World Health Organization (WHO)

Our research is aligned with two interdisciplinary flagship research themes, delivered through six research focus areas.

Sustainable industries and liveable cities research is undertaken by:

You can also undertake a PhD through VU's Institute for Health and Sport.

Conduct research that addresses major challenges faced by communities and industries. We offer leading supervision in several areas:

  • Cultural Diversity: Migration and mobility; Social inclusion, cohesion and equity; Access to justice; Community services
  • Urbanisation – Leading Urban Planning for the West & Beyond: Infrastructure and services; Urban and peri-urban planning; Quality of life
  • Climate Change: Impact analysis, mitigation and adaptation; Infrastructure and planning; Risk analysis and management; Decision support
  • Industrial Futures Preparing Technology-driven Futures: Technological change; Product innovation; Economic policy; Regulation and governance
  • Future of Work: Technological change; Micro, small and medium business; Skill and knowledge development.

We offer various research scholarships for our PhD students. Victoria University has several generous research scholarships for successful applicants.

There are also externally funded scholarships from dozens of organisations, some of which are aimed at postgraduate students.

VU Research gives you opportunities to:

  • connect with other researchers
  • participate in research festivals and competitions
  • develop your research skills
  • get funding for your research
  • publish and promote your findings.

We offer support for graduate researchers including:

Find out more about graduate opportunities at VU.

Within our research institutes, you may study towards a qualification in your chosen area:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Business
  • Creative Arts
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Food Science
  • Information Technology
  • Law and Justice
  • Science
  • Society and Culture
  • Sport History
  • Tourism.

Course e-Brochure

Create a customised brochure in a few simple steps. Your brochure will include country-specific information.

Create an e-brochure

Careers in academia, government and private sector

Following your PhD, you’ll be ready for a research or management career in the private or public sectors, or to become an academic. These are usually high-level roles, and paid accordingly.

Visit JobOutlook (government website) for more information about potential salaries as:

Course structure

To attain the Doctor of Philosophy students will be required to complete 384 credit points over a maximum duration of 4 years (full time) consisting of:

  • coursework units, ROP8001 and ROP8002, to an average standard of Distinction or have approved advanced standing for the unit(s)
  • 384 credit points of Research Thesis units and have had their thesis classified by a Victoria University Academic Review Panel.

Coursework Units

Thesis Units of Study


Creative Arts



Food Science

Human Movement

Information Technology

Law and Justice

Medical and Biological Sciences

Nursing and Midwifery



Society and Culture

Sport and Recreation

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. engage in critical reflection, synthesis and evaluation;  
  2. develop, adapt and implement research methodologies to extend and redefine existing knowledge or professional practice;  
  3. disseminate and promote new insights to peers and the community; and  
  4. generate original knowledge and understanding to make a substantial contribution to a discipline or area of professional practice.  

What's a unit?

A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.

Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take and optional elective units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.


Each unit is worth a set amount of study credits based on the amount of time you study. Generally, 1 credit is equal to 1 hour of study per week.

Admission & pathways

Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course. Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements you may be eligible for one of our special admission programs. We also encourage you to explore our study pathways to help you reach your goal.

Find out more about how to apply for our courses, and our commitment to admissions transparency.

Entry requirements

Completion of an Australian Bachelor Honours Degree (AQF8), or equivalent, in a similar discipline to the proposed research with average grades of at least H2A/Distinction (70% or above on the Victoria University grading scale) for the final year
Completion of an Australian Masters degree (AQF9), or equivalent, in a similar discipline and undertaken by a combination of coursework and a thesis with average grades of at least H2A/Distinction (70% or above on the Victoria University grading scale). The output produced from the thesis must have been undertaken solely by the applicant and examined externally to the supervisory/advisory team, but this need not be external to the University where they completed the degree
Completion of an Australian Masters research degree (AQF9), or equivalent in a similar discipline with average grades of at least H2A/Distinction (70% or above on the Victoria University grading scale)
Completion of an equivalent combination of academic and research achievements such as relevant industry experience, research experience evidenced by peer review publications or the completion of a high-level research project in a similar discipline to the proposed research deemed to be equivalent to any of the above entry requirements.

Find out if you meet the entry requirements, including English language and academic requirements.

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

If you have completed study with another university or institution and believe you are eligible to receive credit for skills and past study, you can apply for advanced standing.

Applications for advanced standing can be made after a discussion with your course chair or academic adviser.

How to apply

We are currently accepting applications for this course.

Methods of applying:

International students can apply directly to Victoria University using our online application system, or apply through an education agent.

International fees

The following fees apply per semester:

  • Business and Management: A$16,550
  • Creative Arts: A$14,850
  • Education: A$14,850
  • Engineering: A$17,100
  • Food Science and Technology: A$17,400
  • Human Movement: A$17,100
  • Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences: A$16,550
  • Law & Justice: A$16,550
  • Medical & Biological Sciences: A$17,400
  • Nursing & Midwifery: A$16,650
  • Psychology: A$16,650
  • Science: A$17,100
  • Society & Culture: A$14,850
  • Sport & Recreation: A$14,850


Direct online applicationFind an education agent

If you have questions about your application, you can:

Information and fees listed above are for non-resident students. Fees are accurate at the time of viewing and will be subject to annual increases. Some courses require students to purchase equipment or clothing that they will need in the course. These equipment or clothing costs are not included in the course fees listed above – check your Letter of Offer for an estimate on non-tuition-fee-related expenses.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this course information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that course information is current with the Student Contact Centre.