2021: February and July

4 years

2021: A$17,400*
* fee per semester

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


Help resolve food security challenges facing growing populations with PhD in Food Sciences & Technology.

Become a leading scientific researcher in the increasingly important areas of food sustainability and nutrition.

PhD in Food Sciences & Technology program at VU

In your doctoral degree in Food Sciences and Technology, you’ll conduct original research at the forefront of its field. VU’s research in advanced food systems allows you to contribute real advances to the study of food-sustainability and innovative food production. These address the complex nutritional needs of industrialised and developing nations.

Within VU's research focus areas, we work closely with industry to discover scientific and technological solutions to food-related problems. Multidisciplinary food and nutrition research is undertaken in partnership with government, industry, not-for-profit organisations and other universities in Australia and overseas.

Throughout your study, you’ll have the support of leading scientific researchers. You’ll learn to present your findings clearly and effectively in a thesis, and through public presentations and publications.

Our research centre at Werribee campus offers the latest technology for food analysis and scientific research. Laboratories include:

  • analytical instrumentation laboratories – equipment for compounds and materials characterisation and testing
  • polymer research laboratory – equipment for thermal analysis of materials, polymer molecular weight, compression moulding press and programmable ovens
  • food material science laboratory – food-related testing instrumentation, including rheometer, zetasizer, texture analyser, universal testing machine
  • imaging research laboratory – for imaging food systems including scanning electron microscope, confocal laser scanning microscope, luminescence and light microscopes.

The food science and technology program offers research specialisations in the following areas:

  • food processing
  • functional foods and nutraceuticals with emphasis on probiotics
  • enhancement of shelf life of foods
  • physical chemistry of foods
  • dairy and cereal science and technology
  • microbial and enzyme technology and engineering
  • analytical systems
  • food safety and risk management systems
  • food security.

We have partnerships with government, industry, not-for-profit organisations and other universities in Australia and overseas. Our research partnerships include (but are not limited to) collaborations with:

  • Dairy Innovation Australia Ltd
  • Regional Victoria Food Clusters
  • Fonterra cooperative
  • Department of Primary Industries.

We support PhD students with international industry contacts, research collaborations and a Dean’s lecture series by leaders in the health profession.

Our research is conducted at Werribee campus, St Albans campus and Western CHRE.

Werribee campus is a part of a modern technology precinct with specialised facilities for teaching and research. It has a children’s centre, a health and fitness centre, student lounges and an osteopathy clinic.

Western CHRE is a state-of-the-art research facility located within the Sunshine Hospital precinct.

St Albans campus is a relaxed, friendly place, with a children’s centre, a gym, award-winning architecture, and lovely grounds.

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.

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Dr Osaana Donkor's food-research expertise includes toxins, allergens, pathogens, prebiotics, and probiotics.

Thomas Yeager (VU) and Romain Xueref (visiting intern) in Fermentation Lab at Werribee Campus.

Careers in food science and technology

Following your PhD, you’ll be ready for a scientific-research or advisory role. Opportunities exist in government, health care, food-science organisations, and universities.

The following are average salaries from the government site, Job Outlook:

Course structure

The PhD is a research based degree with a maximum duration of 4 years (full time) and 8 years (part time).
As well as enrolling in Research Thesis units Doctor of Philosophy (Science) students will be required to complete two coursework units, ROP8001 and ROP8002.

An average result of 70% is required in the compulsory coursework units in order to proceed to candidature confirmation. Ongoing progression is subject to policy and procedures for candidature management as per the VU HDR Policy.

Coursework Units

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 Masters degree or a relevant four year undergraduate degree 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.