2021: February and July

4 years

2021: A$14,850*
* fee per semester

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


Learn best-practice research methods before you begin an academic thesis, or major creative project supported by original research.

Our integrated program allows graduates without sufficient research experience to undertake a PhD in Creative Arts.

Integrated PhD in Creative Arts program

We’ll give you intensive coaching in ethical research techniques for a year. After passing the coursework and thesis with a 70% average, you’ll begin your own original research, finishing your PhD in the standard four years.

We offer an advanced research program for our doctoral degree in the arts, across our research focus areas.

The PhD in Creative Arts includes:

  • producing a creative work informed by substantial research
  • an accompanying analytical written component or exegesis (thesis by creative project)
  • a component of required coursework, usually undertaken in the first year
  • participation in both formal and informal learning opportunities.

You'll learn to present your research in a wide variety of contexts such as:

  • refereed academic outlets appropriate to your field (e.g. ranked journals, academic conferences, book chapters, monographs)
  • public presentation to broader audiences.

Our PhD in Creative Arts will give you the opportunity to undertake advanced study in your chosen discipline, if you are a high-achieving graduate in:

  • Arts
  • Professional and Creative Writing
  • Music
  • Screen Media
  • Creative Arts
  • Marketing Communication.

You’ll undertake a significant research (thesis) and creative project with the guidance of an academic supervisor, as well as coursework subjects in one of our main research programs:

  • creative writing (fiction, poetry, plays, memoir, autobiography, creative non-fiction)
  • visual arts (video, performance, installation)
  • journalism (print, online)
  • media arts (film, television, radio and digital media)

Conducting your own research allows you to further explore an area of interest as well as contributing to your discipline.

We offer opportunities to embed your research in top creative industry organisations. Our partnerships include collaborations with:

  • SBS Television
  • Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne
  • Baryshnikov Art Centre (NY)
  • Malthouse Theatre.

Our researchers in creative arts and writing combine skills and methodologies in creative arts research with more traditional humanities and social science research, including narrative and ethnographic research, and textual and archival research.

Our Creative Arts students have the opportunity and guidance to create major creative work, such as published novels, as part of their PhD.

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 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.

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Dr Tony Birch, award-winning author, contributes to our creative arts and writing program.

Benefit from connections with top arts organisations including the Malthouse Theatre


Become an independent, competent and highly sought-after researcher, equipped to pursue a research career in relevant industries and/or to become an academic.
As a Doctor of Philosophy graduate, you will be expected to demonstrate a scholarly and enquiring mind, and strong capabilities in:

  • research conceptualisation and design including reviewing of the literature;
  • the marshalling and critical analysis of data and evidence, and
  • conceptual innovation in order to make a significant new contribution to knowledge and society; and
  • deep disciplinary immersion and broad interdisciplinary literacy, including methodological literacy.

Course structure

To attain the award of Doctor of Philosophy through undertaking the Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) students will be required to completed in total 384 credit points consisting of:

  • 72 credit points of Core studies in Year 1
  • 24 credit points of Elective studies in Year 1
  • 288 credit points of Thesis units as per standard PhD

In addition, post Confirmation of Candidature students, who are progressing well, may, with the approval of their supervisor, take a 0 credit point elective, ROP8003 in order to build industry connections and transferable skills. The Placement elective should run at the same time as the Thesis units and should not compromise a timely and quality submission.


Core Studies

Thesis Units (36 credit points)


Select 24 credit points (equivalent to 2 units) Elective Studies:

YEAR 2 - 4

Elective unit

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

  1. expert understanding of a substantial body of theory and its practical application at the frontier of a field of work or learning, including substantial expert knowledge of ethical research principles and methods applicable to the field.  
  2. intellectual independence and cognitive skills to undertake a systematic investigation, reflect critically on theory and practice and evaluate existing knowledge and ideas, including identifying, evaluating and critically analysing the validity of research studies and their applicability to a research problem.  
  3. expert cognitive, technical and creative skills to: design, develop and implement a research project/s to systematically investigate a research problem; develop, adapt and implement research methodologies to extend and redefine existing knowledge; manage, analyse, evaluate and interpret data, synthesising key ideas and theorising within the context of key literature.  
  4. expert communication skills to explain and critique theoretical propositions, methodologies and conclusions; to disseminate and promote new insights; and to cogently present a complex investigation of originality, or original research, both for external examination and to specialist (eg researcher peers) and non-specialist (industry and/or community) audiences through informal interaction, scholarly publications, reports and formal presentations.  
  5. capacity to reflect on, develop and evaluate strategies for achieving their own learning and career goals.  
  6. intellectual independence, initiative and creativity in new situations and/or for further learning.  
  7. ethical practice and full responsibility and accountability for personal outputs.  
  8. autonomy, authoritative judgement, adaptability and responsibility as an expert and independent scholar.  

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

Achieved an IELTS (Academic Module) result with an overall score of 6.5 (no band less than 6) or equivalent and completed a qualification at AQF level 8 or above, typically in a cognate discipline (including a qualification without minor thesis), with Honours or its equivalent at a high standard.

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.

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.